Re: Exactly which illustrations...?

Subject: Re: Exactly which illustrations...?
From: Michael J Maloney <mmaloney -at- EPIC-ISTI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 12:19:12 -0400

>If you can't draw it and can't afford it, forget illustrations.

This is the wrong answer. Our first obligations is to the consumers of
technical information. If we can't afford to illustrate a document, perhaps
we can't afford to produce it at all.

The whole "afford" issue must be fought by writers and illustrators. If we
bring all technical communication down to it's most affordable level, we'll
end up with water.

As a technical communicator, I feel it is important to unite writers and
illustrators behind this concept. Putting illustrators out of work is one
gripe. However, my first loyalty goes to producing effective technical
communication. And in many situations, text should be accompanied by high
quality technical illustrations in order to be effective. Regardless of
extra cost.

At what point does a document lose its potential effectiveness due to lack
of visual information? At what point do both the product/service provider
and the consumer lose? And when should a writer or project manager demand
(through reasonable argumentation) that technical documents (usually written
for un-technical consumers) must contain a substantial amount of
illustrations in order to be functional?

If a customer offered you a budget of $100 to write an effective operation
and maintenance manual for a helicopter, would you take it? Well then, at
what point do you say NO to a budget that doesn't allow enough money for the
proper use of technical illustrations?

In a way, "you writers" are our (illustrators) only voice. We seek your support.

Michael J. Maloney
President, EPIC Creative Services
2230 Lyndhurst Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28203 USA

President, ISTI (International Society for Technical Illustrators)
Business Phone: 1-704-523-6907
Business Fax: 1-704-522-7504
Home Phone: 1-803-366-6763

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