Podcast — Visual Composing: Document Design for Print and Digital Media, with Jo Mackiewicz

Visual Composing: Document Design for Print and Digital Media

Visual Composing: Document Design for Print and Digital Media

Recently Jo Mackiewicz (Auburn University) and Kathryn Riley (Illinois Institute of Technology) published Visual Composing: Document Design for Print and Digital Media with Pearson. This book covers the visual side of document design, including all the design decisions from the font you use to the colors you choose to the tables, column widths, images types, and more. I interviewed Jo for a podcast about the book. In the podcast, we cover the following:

  • Typography, including serif and san-serif fonts
  • Font sizes, and recommendations for older users
  • Characters per line — 35, 55, 75, or 95 characters long
  • Color — complementary colors, Itten’s wheel, the psychology of color
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Background colors, negative and positive polarity
  • Contrast in document design
  • Dual-coding theory, and when aural and verbal conflict but not visual and verbal
  • Reasons for gaps in graphic document design among technical writers
  • File types for images
  • Alignment — full justification versus ragged right
  • Symmetry and professional versus playful tone

Resources

Madcap Flare Adobe Robohelp

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for the 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS, email, or another method. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.

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