Cut colour in ‘loud’ technical literature jobs

Over-use of colour in technical literature has been slammed by built environment specialist David Crawford, the author of a new manual being published this month.

Graphic designers need to take a “more clinical approach” to the design of literature containing a large amount of information, according to Technical Literature: Getting It Right.

“A lot of technical literature is too gaudy and self-promotional. It’s good to have an impact making cover but then it needs to highlight the information clearly rather than try and dazzle the reader with colour,” comments Crawford.

“Designers shouldn’t be bulldozed by clients into over-lavish use of colour, otherwise the information will not be trustworthy,” he adds.

Crawford believes that graphic designers have “a crucial role” as they can inform clients that a “technical document is not a consumer one”.

The manual is being published by information consultant Wedgwood Markham Associates and will include examples of the winners of the 1996 Technical Literature Awards, to be presented on 18 April.

‘In the past some small things have made a big difference. They started with Filofax’ – so runs the theme of the commemorative folder designed by Still Waters Run Deep for Filofax’s 75th anniversary exhibition currently at London’s Design Museum. The folder, comprising nine postcards, doubles as a poster and will be used worldwide to promote the anniversary. Each card illustrates an event from each decade which has affected modern times, says the consultancy, which has also designed press release stationery.

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