TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
At 10:55 AM 9/24/96 -0600, you wrote:
>We like including this stuff, but find
>it lots harder to state the rules that will keep things
Here are some of the graphic design and layout elements you should control
to achieve "consistency":
-The amount of space from the preceding heading or text to the graphic.
(White space is good; be generous with it.)
-The space from the graphic to the subsequent text/heading.
-Whether the graphic is centered or flush left/right under the preceding
text. (If you're using an inverted "L" layout with an indented column,
consider going flush left with the column unless the graphic is wider than
the column, in which case you would go flush right with the text and let the
graphic hang on the left.)
-The type of graphic. Are they photos? screens? line art?
-If line art, the line weight scheme--be consistent. For example, you could
use thick lines for the outside of objects and thin lines for the inside.
-The symbolism--be consistent. For example, if you use boxes in one graphic,
don't use circles in another.
-If screens, the screen. Don't use 75% for some and 85% for others.
-The sense of scale across all graphics (if possible). This is hard to do.
-The humor, if any.
Consistency is good. But remember this: to achieve a good balance of
creativity and consistency:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little
statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has
simply nothing to do."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays: First Series_ (1841), Self-Reliance
kjolberg -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com (preferred)
kjolberg -at- aol -dot- com
kolberg -at- actamed -dot- com
102031 -dot- 3556 -at- compuserve -dot- com
s -dot- othoudt -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net