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Subject:Re: Graphic design use From:Bruce Ashley <bashley -at- CREATEPRINT -dot- COM -dot- AU> Date:Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:58:22 +1000
In theory, I agree Tom.
In the real world, however, away from large conglomerates and government
departments, graphic design, illustration, layout, diagrams are all done to
some degree by the humble TW. Some of us even know PhotoShop and
Illustrator to reasonable levels.
We even get to make pots of coffee.
It must be fabulous working for a company large enough to employ a writer,
editor, proofreader, graphic artist and art director to produce their
manuals, user guides and training material. They can probably even afford
to employ canteen staff to make the coffee.
What next, a FrameMaker specialist PLUS a Word specialist PLUS a WinHelp
Hey! Why not then have a letter specialist, a manual specialist, a pamphlet
Geez, I could go on. A font specialist, a font style specialist, a grammar
specialist, a typist.
Then we could even have a 'keyboard letters A to P' specialist, a 'keyboard
Q to Z' specialist and a 'keyboard non-character set' specialist.
We should all be so lucky.
But then again. It works for the medical and legal professions :)
From: Tom Campbell [SMTP:tomcampbell -at- EUDORAMAIL -dot- COM]
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 1998 12:50 AM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Graphic design use
I'm responding to your post on TECHWR-L regarding the online graphic design
course you're planning for technical writers.
To me there is a big difference between "graphic design," "illustration,"
"layout," and "diagrams." I differentiate between these as follows:
Graphic design is what art directors and graphic artists do. This involves
conceptualizing an overall visual framework--for a publication, website,
ad, or billboard, for example--that conveys an impression consistent with
I think of illustration as creating drawings or other images, work on a
level that only a trained artist could be expected to produce. Some tec
hnical illustrations--for example,a detailed depiction of all the parts in
an auto brake assembly--are beyond the scope of many graphic artists, and
also beyond the scope of all but a few technical writers.
Diagrams are usually fairly simple compositions of boxes, arrows, clip art,
and symbols, which the writer or other worker arranges.
The graphic work that most technical writers do is limited to three things:
layout, diagrams, and manipulation of graphic elements.
I use whatever application I'm working with to do layout--most commonly,
Word. I have also used PageMaker, Adobe Acrobat Exchange, Interleaf,
online help tools (RoboHelp), and HTML editors (FrontPage, WebEdit, etc.)
If I were a FrameMaker user, I would use that for layout.
The main graphic tools I have used are:
- Visio for diagrams and flowcharts
- PaintShop Pro for screen captures and other manipulation of graphics
I have also used RoboHelp's screen capture utility, and PM Camera (OS2
platform), although I prefer PaintShop Pro to either of those.
Occasionally I have to use Microsoft Word's drawing tools, which is about
as much fun as going to the dentist. (However, Word's drawing tools are
not as bad as trying to do numbered lists in Word, which is about as much
fun as a root canal.)
I never use Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop, Freehand, or other tools that are
more in the domain of graphic artists.