Re: Technical Illustration

Subject: Re: Technical Illustration
From: "Bernard A. McCann" <bi975 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 15:38:32 GMT

Robert Plamondon (robert -at- plamondon -dot- com) writes: > Darlene Bohner writes: >
>>Quality technical illustration is extremely important to good
>>documentation. As for a writer doing the artwork, there are some who
have >>the talent and interest, but this is a completely different field
and >>should NOT be "what technical writers need to know!" Writers and
>>illustrators need to work hand in hand, each with their own specialty. >
> Let's not confuse talent with training. Few people are born with > the
skills required to be brain surgeon, an illustrator, a writer, > a bookie,
or a lawyer. They get these skills through training or > experience --
rarely from first principles.

I'm not sure what is meant by first principles in this instance. Of
course, brain surgeons are not born, they are trained, but don't forget
that some doctors flunk the course. Therefore, not everyone can be trained
to be a brain surgeon - or a good technical illustrator. Thus, in one
sense Darlene is correct in implying that tech. writers should not always
try to become tech. illustrators (Just as they should not always try to
become desktop publishers or editors). Nevertheless, it is useful to know the
basics of of each others profession in order to communicate effectively.

isometric drawing, the fact is that he's often
> busy painting a wall or something, and you're on your own.

Robert, I hope that you're not saying that if one's tech. illustrator is
working elsewhere, then it's ok for a tech. writer to do it (as long as
they understand what a 3-point perspective is) ... Not on my projects!

Bernie McCann bi975 -at- ncf -dot- carleton -dot- ca
Professional technical writing, remarkable translation, and
efficient turnkey management of engineering and scientific publishing.

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