Re: Getting input into the style guide

Subject: Re: Getting input into the style guide
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 06:38:22 -0400


You may be dealing with someone who has overinterpreted guidance from
the marketing department. Before you gird for battle, you should go
directly to the source and find out what the actual situation is.

Here is why I say that: I have imposed a similar rule where I work. The
rule is that in our Web applications and on our Web site, the only html
font specification that is acceptable is "arial, helvetica, sans-serif";
the default font in everyone's Outlook email editor is to be Arial; and
all correspondence and internal documents are to be in Arial only. The
basic rationale is that this helps us present a consistent, predictable,
platform-independent look across the company; it does not require
special software; it works on low-resolution devices (as Times does
not); it keeps people out of trouble.

HOWEVER, the rule explicitly DOES NOT APPLY to marketing materials or to
user documentation. In both of those instances, the presumption is that
professional designers are involved and that those designers have some
understanding of typography.

I suspect you may have a similar situation at your company and that you
can have a reasonable discussion with your marketing people, resulting
in an outcome you will find satisfactory.

My two cents,


Jane Carnall wrote:
> One of the first things she said
> when she looked at it was: "Oh, of course you didn't know, because the style
> guide wasn't available, but we've agreed that all documentation produced by
> us has to be in Arial."


> But... I also don't want to get into an infight. I just have a strong
> feeling that any style guide that simply specifies "Arial" as a font choice
> is not one that paid much attention to what user guides need to look like;
> and if all the documentation I produce is to be formatted in accordance with
> the company style guide, I want some input into what the company style guide
> says!
> I would appreciate insights and advice on how best to handle this...


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Getting input into the style guide: From: Jane Carnall

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