Re: Are you innovative?

Subject: Re: Are you innovative?
From: "Chris Christner" <cchris -at- toptechwriter -dot- us>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 09:50:27 -0700

Coming up with new ways to use graphics in documentation is the most
innovative thing I'm doing. I learned technical illustration in my spare
time at TRW on my first tech writing assignment. On my next job, (also in
my spare time) I experimented with Aldus FreeHand and created some rules
for drawing isometric illustrations. I know that this skill was a major
factor in my being hired for my next job (they wanted a new look for their
docs) and I got several awards from STC as a result.

Since then, I've added perspective drawing to the isometric and have moved
from technical writing to marketing communications. Knowing how to
illustrate helps in ways you wouldn't expect: I can take AutoCad drawings
(in PDF format) and modify them for use in manuals, or take dimensioned
line drawings from the mechanical designers and generate product
silkscreens and overlays that are used as actual artwork for
manufacturing. Those same illustrations then get placed on product photos
in Photoshop so we can see what the product will look like when finished.
Technical illustration isn't just for manuals---when a client recently
needed a "jazzy" drawing depicting process flows for a presentation, the
final artwork of a spiral staircase was a big hit.

And then there are the DFDs... <kidding>

Warm regards,
Award-winning technical writing and illustration services.

> We talk a lot on this list about word choices,
> document contents, help authoring software, etc., but
> let's think big for a few days. I wonder....
> What is the most innovative thing you're doing in your
> current job as a technical writer? Are you doing
> something that other writers or companies haven't even
> thought about? Are you breaking new ground or taking
> risks?
> Steven Brown
> Technical Writer


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