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.
> On the "face" of it (sorry), I'd tend to agree, but I'd
> want to see the specific example before condemning it out
> of hand. As I noted earlier, the design can still be
> effective despite the use of many fonts. OTOH:
I suppose I have to agree in theory, but I wonder if anything could
support the practice.
I've become a typographical minimalist myself for a number of reasons:
--as Eric Gill points out in "An Essay on Typography," modern taste is
geared to an aesthetic of utilitarianism. Or, in plain English, modern
people like their layout plain. There's no point in distancing readers
with an over-elaborate layout. And people do notice: in the
small-sampled usability testing I've done, customers universally prefer
the well-designed plain layout to the well-designed elaborate one. So do
clients. In fact, since I became a minimalist, I've found myself in
demand as a template designer.
--the more fonts, the harder your manual is to maintain, especially when
you returnto it after a long absence.
--the more elaborate the layout, the harder it is to work on. When I've
done elaborate templates, I've often had trouble remembering the
conventions I've established myself, especially at the end of the day.
--the more elaborate the layout, the harder for anyone else to work with
the template. You may even have to put in extra time on style guides.