Re: focus so deeply on DTP.

Subject: Re: focus so deeply on DTP.
From: Kris Olberg <KJOlberg -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 13:02:29 -0500

In a message dated 95-11-04 16:10:14 EST, dhaugen -at- BARNESVILLE -dot- POLARISTEL -dot- NET
(diane haugen) writes:

>I am surprised that as a technical writer, you do not consider the design
>of the page an integral part of the writing process. Desktop publishing
>software has revolutionized the publishing industry for the very reason
>that it is a tool that allows the blending of what was once two separate
>tasks, the writing and the layout and design of the printed page.

I do consider page layout and design to be integral to the PUBLISHING
process, not the writing process. Call me old-fashioned, but in the old days
(my pre-writing days), the keyliners, typesetters, and editors were the
experts at page layout and design. The writers were allowed to focus on the
writing, the product of which they handed to the production people for
typesetting, keylining, etc. This separation of skills forced the production
folks and editors to be GOOD at producing readable, interesting copy.

From a strictly business perspective, the writing and production skills
should be separated when it's economically feasible to do so. DTP people can
be paid less than writers. This means that, when DTP personnel can be
resource-loaded to a point where they are busy, the end result is a product
that can be priced more competitively (or has a less negative effect on the
bottom line).

I long for the days when I can give my copy to DTP so they can perform their
magic on it. As it is now, I am forced to spend my time worrying about fonts,
point sizes, white space, rather than on the content.

Here's the irony: In my quest to be a writer, I put myself through college as
a typesetter, keyliner, and graphics artist. I made about one-half the salary
that writers were making. Now, as a writer, I spend much of my time as a DTP
and graphics artist. Funny though, I make about double what DTP people are

How can this possibly be good for both the writing and DTP professions?


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