Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)

Subject: Re: Doing your own graphics (an illustrators perspective)
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 17:15:41 GMT

In article <9605141359 -dot- AA06172 -at- plamondon -dot- com>, Robert Plamondon
<robert -at- plamondon -dot- com> writes:
|> >Technical writing (prepared by a professional writer) should be edited by
|> >editor, place into a document designed by a publishing specialist and
|> >be accompanied by professionally produced technical illustrations.
|> Not to mention being hand-typeset by a typesetter, printed
|> on 100% rag-content paper by a printer, bound in morocco
|> leather by a bookbinder, delivered by a postal carrier, and read
|> by talented and appreciative engineering professionals.
|> But we are sometimes compelled deviate from this ideal.


I don't want to take sides in this debate, however I do suggest the
following. As technical writers, regardless of whether our illustrations
are rendered by specialists or not, we need to be able to conceive of
and (at least) crudely render illustrations that advance the clarity of
our work. We must write with the idea of having illustrations included,
no matter who renders the output.

In an ideal world, technical illustrators will do this. In a semi-ideal
world, software tools will help even technical writers render adequate

It was a revelation to me (several years ago) that I could use shareware
drawing tools to produce illustrations that clarify my writing - mostly
by eliminating the need for a lot of it. Real illustrators make my
concepts look much, much better. However, I can do line drawings to
illustrate a surprising variety of material (using things like Xfig) that
are a *lot* better than nothing.

This is dangerous, though. That same skill-set has led to many of my
seldom-requested yet often-seen overhead-projector presentations.
Doesn't pay much, but it's fun, and a lot more evocative than
"powerpoint". ;-)

Len Olszewski My opinions; you go get your own.
saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com

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