Re: Am I an illustrator or a writer?

Subject: Re: Am I an illustrator or a writer?
From: Dave Neufeld <Dave_Neufeld -at- SPECTRUMSIGNAL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 14:44:33 -0800

Normally, I prefer doing the graphics myself because:
- It's a nice break from writing, where I get to exercise different creative
methods of communication.
- The balance of what to communicate in text and what to communicate in
graphics is somewhat fluid as I create a document. Being the author of both
lets me adjust that balance better.
- It's quicker and simpler for me to do it myself than to explain, review,
revise, debate, and import the work of an illustrator who is not as steeped
in a project as I am.
- Graphics and text could be integrated better when they have the same
- Many graphics are simple enough for anyone to do them.
- IMO, I've gotten good at it; to the point where it can really shine in my
- Looks good on a resume, and in a portfolio. I can tell a client or
potential employer that I did the graphics as well. It adds to my value
(which just might translates into a better salary.)

Where would I use an illustrator?
- If I was in a larger publications department that had illustrators.
- If the graphic was just too darn tough for me to do satisfactory, I'd ask
for one.
- MAYBE, if I was in a rush and it would save time. I say maybe, because
this may not save time if it takes just as long or longer to explain,
review, revise, debate, and import the illustrator's work.
- If I didn't have the skills to do the illustration.
- If Extremely high quality graphics were required.

"Illustrious" ;) technical writers sort of flies in the face of some
Technical Writing advice. But I enjoy the smaller companies where it is
better suited, and I just like doing the graphics! It may not be for
everyone; I know writers that enjoy having illustrators do the graphics.

If you are doing your own graphics though, knowing basic graphic design
principles and your output media limitations is quite important. It doesn't
necessarily take more effort to make a professional-looking graphic; it just
takes the right kind of effort.

David Neufeld
Technical Publications
Spectrum Signal Processing, Inc.
dave_neufeld -at- spectrumsignal -dot- com
"no matter where you go..... there you are." -- Buckaroo Banzai

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