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Geoff Hart writes
Here's the analogy that occurs to me: we're writers, not
typists, because we create information from data rather
than simply inputting what someone else has written. By
analogy, we are (information) designers, not desktop
publishers. To whatever extent our work involves creating
an effective design, it should be part of our job; applying
someone else's templates isn't a good use of our talent.
The value we add to a product comes from the intellectual
input we provide, not the mechanical, rote performance of
tasks. _That's_ the important distinction.
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I think of it in terms of the software developer. Some companies
employ user interface designers who design what the GUI is
going to look like. The programmers then fill in the logic behind
the GUI and make the GUI look like the design.
Writers are the programmers who figure out the logic and
decide how to best design the nuts and bolts of the product. Some
programmers also do GUI design, and some of those are good at
it, some are not. Same holds true with writers doing DTP. But
remember that those who are good at it and can wear the
additional hat will be more marketable than those who wear
only the one.
If I'm working as a writer for a company that employs a DTPer,
I can concentrate more on the writing (and perhaps the docs will
get done faster?). So far, I've not worked for such a company,
and have always been responsible for the layout as well as the
content. But I enjoy the break in the routine and find DTP to be
creative and fun, so I won't complain!
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