Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)

Subject: Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)
From: "Marvin W. Miller" <Marvin_Miller -at- SEC -dot- SEL -dot- SONY -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 10:31:46 -0800

Thanks for your comments Mike. We tech writers never cease to amaze ourselves!
Like you, we have had to evolve and learn new technology. For example, when
was the last time you used pen and ink to create a complex technical
illustration?

Many small companies here in the Silicon Valley have a need for tech writers
who essentially function as an all-in-one pubs dept. It's a matter of
economics. To get these jobs, the tech writer must have skills in graphics,
technical illustration and typography. This person may also be expected to
author the application help file and create web pages. If a Macintosh Guide
file is expected, then the tech writer must also have some basic programming
skills.

As "technical communicators," we are not getting on the "do-it-yourself"
bandwagon by choice. It is really a matter of job evolution and survival. You
either learn these skills, or choose not to and therefore limit your chances
of employment.




> Technical writers never cease to amaze me.

> Can you imagine the absurdity of a technical illustration group
> getting together and talking about "Doing Your Own Writing / Editing".
> The writers would have a cow.

> It's bad enough that you (some of you) do your own (our own)
> trade (technical communication) a tremendous disservice by
> under-utilizing high quality, professionally produced
> technical illustrations, but you've completely lost site of the
> document structure and the publishing process.

> Technical writing (prepared by a professional writer) should be edited
> by an editor, place into a document designed by a publishing
> specialist and should be accompanied by professionally produced
> technical illustrations. Sure, the writer can decide the content of
> the illustrations, but if the writers intend to produce the
> illustrations themselves, they will limit the technical complexity
> to their own skill level and therefore possibly produce a less
> effective document.




______________________________________________________________
Marvin W. Miller
Supervisor, Technical Communications Group
Sony Systems Engineering Center - San Jose, CA
Ph 408-955-4251
______________________________________________________________

Opinions expressed here probably differ from that of my
employer. If I ruffle your feathers, get mad at me - not Sony.
______________________________________________________________

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