Re: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Subject: Re: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
From: Marilynne Smith <mrsmith -at- CTS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 06:55:00 PST

Cody (or is it Michael? These replies get confusing after a while)

I have had the experience of going to the "technical illustrator" of a
company with ideas only, hoping for the kind of expertise you apparently
have, and finding out that the resource was not an illustrator at all, but a
person who had been sat in front of a screen and provided with Freelance
graphics and a lot of clip art. <jaw dropping in amazement> This was
apparently the company's method of keeping costs low. Because I had worked
with technical illustrators before, I was very demanding of this person. To
this person's credit, her skills improved 200% while she worked with me.
However, to me and to a lot of people she will never be a technical illustrator.

Don't take one person's careless words as a sign of a universal trend. Once
a writer has worked with a technical illustrator they know the difference.

>"My little niece does cartoons, can you use them in one of our brochures?"
>And so on and so on.

So why not put his little niece's cartoon in his brochure? It would present
well against the professionally prepared work, don't you think? <grin>

This same attitude is common toward writers. "Gee, that looks easy, I guess
I'll have a try at it." I have explained to tender egos that while I am
sure they can do an excellent job of writing (and some can), their company
has hired them to do xxx and me to do the writing and I'd like to get on
with my job so they can do theirs. If I do it gently enough, it is often
the start of a good working relationship.

At 06:13 PM 12/5/95 -0800, Cody Jones wrote:
>Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 15:13:53 -0500
>From: "Michael J. Maloney" <MMaloney -at- AOL -dot- COM>
>Subject: R-E-S-P-E-C-T


>Referring to technical graphics communicators as weenies is a fatal mistake.
>>Oh thank you for championing our cause. While I have a minor in English and
>have earned my living the last several years as a writer (technical and
>marketing), my BS degree is in Graphic Design. Yes, it is not only POSSIBLE
>but recommended to have a degree in graphic design if you will work with
>document design.


>The fact of the matter is, I would quite often recieve illegible pencil copy
>and have to create something visually stimulating, not to mention functional
>and reproducible. I worked very hard to earn my degree and the respect of my
>colleagues and was very much disheartened, not to mention disillusioned, when
>I entered the real world. Thank you for helping to share the truth about the
>value of designers.


>We are, as I ve stated before, supposed to work together as technical
>communicators with a common respect for each others skills and contribution.
>Only then can _any_ of us call ourselves technical communicators.

>Mr. McDonald s opinion is his own. I understand that. However, I have studied
>the their ONLY drawers attitude many writers have towards their fellow
>communication professionals - technical illustrators.

>I would appreciate a direct apology to myself, and to all technical
>illustrators. Enough is enough.


No apology coming from me.
Marilynne Smith
mrsmith -at- cts -dot- com

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