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High-Tech Startup's Rush Job: User's Guide + Spec Sheet

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  • Crash Project To Produce User's Guide
  • As usual, especially since the client was a high-tech startup fielding its first-ever produce, the documentation had been left to the last minute. So in a matter of a few days I wrote and edited the text, chose the typefaces, drew the line drawings, took the macrophotographs and retouched them in GIMP, and -- as per the client's specification -- endured the painful experinece of laying the guide out in MS Word instead of Quark. What looks like a modern, "open" layout, is a klooged-up Windows two-column table with the grid suppressed. You can do layouts like this in Word, but just like playing piano with your nose, while it can be done, it is slow and painful. One hint: while you can re-size artwork in Word, Word wll be a lot happier if you size your artwork to fit before inserting it. This is easy to to in GIMP if you switch the scale command from pixels to inches.

  • Product Shot, "Exploded" (Before)

  • Product Shot, "Exploded" (After), support for plug removed, background to white, shine knocked down, color balance emphaize pink color of dessicant in cannister (it is blue to start with; pink indicates has to be changed which is why plug has to be unscrewed)
  • Speecification Sheet: Adobe InDesign CS6, colors chosen to harmonize, cartoon "mascot' adjusted, product shot enhanced with letteriing on side of cannister (perspective tool), gradients in footer and right-margin bulleted list adjusted to fade into each other, client-supplied color logo with reflection special effect added at top margin, logo desaturated and reversed to white to cut into gradient in footer, copy written, edited to fit and laid out, typefaces choseen, etc.
  • Tables required heavy technical edit to get figures accurate and consistant, units properly rendered according to ISO and ANSI specs, and to fit on page. Client did not know, for example that using "x" or "times sign" for "by" is a convention peculiar to the US,.