Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)

Subject: Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)
From: Kent Newton <kentn -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 18:10:00 PDT

On Monday, May 13, 1996 1:26 PM, Michael J. Maloney (correctly) wrote:
<snipped>
>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.

>If our combined trade skills are supposed produce the optimum in
technical
>communications, we must each go with our strengths and training. Please
get
>off the "do it yourself" bandwagon and leave the illustrations to
>illustrators. In return, the illustrators will continue to resist the
>temptation to write, edit and publish.

>If executed properly, a picture can be worth a thousand words. Just try
to
>describe how to build a LEGO Santa Clause using words alone. Then,
imagine
>trying the same with images alone.

>All I'm asking is for "some" writers to consider the design, development
and
>production of technical documentation as a team process. IMHO, this
approach
>will strengthen our trade and produce better products for our consumers.

I agree with you 100%, Michael, as I think most of the communicators on
this list would. However, many of us don't have the luxury of having an
editor, illustrator, desk top publisher, graphic designer. We are in
small companies with small documentation departments and even smaller
budgets. We are forced (often against our better judgment and
protestations) to design our layouts and create our graphics. One of the
nice things about a forum like this is that those of us who are forced by
circumstance to communicate in a medium with which we are not experts
(such as illustrators who are forced to write or writers who are forced
to illustrate) can get advice from those who are experts.



Kent Newton
Senior Technical Writer
Metrix, Inc.
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com

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