Re: Spartan typography

Subject: Re: Spartan typography
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 20:02:07 -0500

Michael Lewis wrote:

>I don't think we're as far apart as you're suggesting, Bruce.

I should probably make clear that the comments in my last letter are not
a direct reply, so much as a spinoff from your comments. My apologies if
I sounded as if I was attributing t you everything I was reacting
against - I certainly didn't mean to.

>What I am saying is that (a) it should be possible to redefine >info structures so that clarity can be achieved without >ugliness;

I think this is the most important point. I hate to sound like a second
rate John Keats, but "Clarity is beauty, beauty clarity" would summarize
the Gill position.

>clarity has to come before beauty.

See above - Gill's contention would probably be that good writing
practice is beauty.

>Just as I would rather issue a manual that's 95% complete than >keep it back for three months while I pursue the other 5%

My take is that deadlines are part of the design constraints. Part of
the aesthetics for tech-writing layout has to be that the design allows
you to write as quickly as possible (one good reason to avoid overly
fussy design).
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
(bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com) (604) 421-7189 (Updated December 13)

"If you've written great work, no one can ever take that away from you .
. . . Whatever happens, you always have that. Even if you're the only
one who knows."
--Norman Spinrad, "La Vie Continue", or

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