Re: Who's Job is it to Layout a Book?

Subject: Re: Who's Job is it to Layout a Book?
From: Chuck <writer -at- BEST -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 13:04:07 -0700

David Hickey wrote:
> CONTEXT: I've just had my wings clipped at my new client to reformat their
> books in a layout that, in my professional opinion, would be better. One of
> the arguments I was given was "You are a writer, so focus on the writing.
> Layout, fonts, font styles, and the like are a questions of graphics and are
> to be handled by the Graphics department. You are not a Graphic Artist."

If you have the training/experience in quality layout, and have the
evidence to back you up (samples, books, etc.), you might try explaining
this to them *once*, implying that you, too, have tha talent and
capability to do so. If they still blast you with the same attitude,
then (assuming this is a contract), just do the writing, then cross them
off your list of future employers.

Many of us have training and experience in much more than "just" writing
as technical communicators, including design, graphics, usabilty,
programming, and more. I personally find such statements an insult, and
will generally attempt to educate the speaker once. If s/he persists in
the insults, I know that my talent is not valued or wanted. There are
plenty of places that do understand the total value that a good
technical communicator brings to the table. Find one of those.

"[Programmers] cannot successfully be asked to design for users
because...inevitably, they will make judgments based on the
difficult of coding and not on the user's real needs."
- Alan Cooper
"About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design"

Chuck Martin


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