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When was the last time you cried over your industrial marketing idea?

Sun, Mar 30, 2014 @ 10:05 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Marketing Ideas, Industrial Advertising, Industrial Branding, Industrial Marketing Advertising, Creative Industrial Marketing and Advertising

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‘Write What You Know’ — Helpful Advice or Idle Cliché?

Bookends, Book Review New York Times, March 25, 0214

By Zoë Heller

(Thanks Zoë for reminding us that we do have good industrial marketing ideas. We just have to cut the crap and speak our emotions. That's the only thing that has worked in the past. If a committee is part of the creative process, you might as well forget it.)

You should write what you really know — as opposed to a slick, bowdlerized version of what you know.

I was in grade school when I first encountered the adage about writing what you know. It concluded my teacher’s tactful comments on a story I had written about an 18th-century highwayman. Stung by her tepid response, I rejected the advice out of hand. How ludicrous, I thought. How limiting! What about science fiction? What about fantasy? What about any writing that travels beyond the borders of the author’s sex or race or age?

Several decades on, the agony of my teacher’s criticism has somewhat abated, and I can see a little more of what she was driving at.

The first mistake I made as a schoolgirl was to assume I was being asked to write exclusively about things that had happened to me. In fact, the injunction is only to know; the business of how you come by your knowledge is left quite open. You can mine your own life, yes. But you can also sympathetically observe other people’s experiences. You can read and research. And you can use your imagination. What good writers know about their subjects is usually drawn from some combination of these sources. The problem with my highwayman story, it seems safe to say, was that I had drawn on none of them. It didn’t necessarily matter that I had never robbed a stagecoach. But it did matter that I had not troubled myself to find out, or even partially imagine, anything about what robbing a stagecoach might entail.

The other, subtler error I made — and continued to make for a long time afterward — was to suppose that translating experiential knowledge into fiction was a simple, straightforward, even banal business. For most writers, it actually takes a lot of hard work and many false starts before they are in a position to extract what is most valuable and interesting from their autobiographies.

In “The Enigma of Arrival,” V. S. Naipaul describes the momentous journey he made shortly before his 18th birthday, from Trinidad to England. The long voyage — Port of Spain to Puerto Rico to New York by air; New York to Southampton by ship — seemed to present rich material for his writing, and he eagerly wrote down his observations in a special writer’s diary. But years later when he came to examine this document, he saw that he had excised all the most interesting elements of what he had seen and felt, deeming them insufficiently literary — out of keeping with the “elegant, knowing, unsurprised” writer’s personality he wished to assume. The family farewell at the airport in Port of Spain; the cousin who took him aside to tell him confidentially that he should sit at the back of the plane because it was safer there; the squabble on board the ship, when a black man was assigned to his cabin and complained that they were being lumped together because they were both “colored” — all of these scenes were absent, as was any acknowledgment of his loneliness, his panic, the “rawness” of his nerves. What he had recorded instead were those incidents and bits of dialogue that seemed to confirm an idea of the grown-up world he had gathered from books and films. “So that, though traveling to write, concentrating on my experience, eager for experience, I was shutting myself off from it, editing it out of my memory.”

Most writers have, for reasons of diffidence, or snobbery, or fear of exposure, done the same thing at some point in their writing lives — unconsciously censored themselves and thrown out the wheat, mistaking it for nonliterary chaff. In this sense, the reminder to write what you know — what you really know, as opposed to a slick, bowdlerized version of what you know — continues to be pertinent advice, not just for 11-year-old schoolgirls, but for writers of any age.

Zoë Heller is the author of three novels: “Everything You Know”; “Notes on a Scandal,” which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and adapted for film; and “The Believers.” She has written feature articles and criticism for a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker, The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.

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Technical Illustration Guide for Marketing Communications

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 10:52 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Advertising, Literature Design, Process Equipment Marketing, Creative Industrial Marketing and Advertising, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Equipment Marketing and Advertising, Advertising Design, Industrial Process Equipment, Advertisement Design, Advertising Literature, print advertising, illustration, technical illustration, Corporate Advertising Literature, print advertisements, Advertising Agency

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Technical illustration has evolved along with the industrial revolution and then the computer age to be an integral part of marketing communications.

Fortunately, it has also become easier over the years and now technical illustrations can be mastered by all types of employees.

Technical Illustration Red Shift resized 600

Notice how easy it is to see various elements in the illustrations above. Important parts are tinted red and the red color projects off the paper into the foreground. The blue border recedes into the background and makes the panel appear in three layers: Background blue border, middle ground gray valve and foreground red components.

Still, many lessons learned over the centuries by illustration artists haven’t been written into computer software and that is where history can come in to make your technical drawing better:
1. Make sure your illustration can be copied in black and white. Use black lines for the most important and blue tints that will disappear when you copy the illustration.
2. Red color brings the object to the foreground and blue recedes the item.
3. Better to use callout lines and place the descriptive text next to the described item than labeling the illustration A-Z or 1-N.

Technical Illustration Sequences resized 600

To the right, here’s another example of warm colors being used for important parts of the technical illustration and blue tinted objects receding behind the particles. It helps communication to use the red shift to help communication and not hinder it.

Technical drawings are quick and easy with Adobe Illustrator but communication takes a quantum leap when you add an isometric dimension. And all the measurements in the three dimensions can be taken directly off of the drawing.

For the ultimate in communication learn to use a 3D program like AutoCAD or Lightwave. Objects can be rotated to where they communicate what you are trying to portray and then fine tune the sectioning.

Steps 1, 2 and 3, will never go out of fashion for describing a sequence of events in a technical illustration. As is shown in this operation drawing, to the right, the viewer can easily see the important parts because they are tinted red as you go through the process.

Technical Illustration Chart resized 600

Our resident illustration artist, Art Director, Robert Jeffries, has created the perfect dimensional drawing here by coloring the important things black and the less important items blue. The dimensions and their locations will come across in a poor thermographic copy.

Technical Illustration Separtation of Planes

Don’t let your chart junk interfer with communication! When laying out a chart, remember the numerals are the most important thing. Don’t make the grid black lines and the text blue! It won’t copy and it will give your reader eye strain.

Your eye naturally follows the three step process in this technical illustration, to the right, because your eye follows the red colored objects.

Classic tinting and shaping of the different planes in your technical illustration is important to separate the planes. Remember, a change in direction means a change in tint. Any object can be clearly drawn by just using gray tints. Adobe Illustrator has some great tools for this as you can position the changing highlights across a surface to make it look like anything from round to oval.


Always remember that we read from left to right and from top to bottom. Arrange your multi-step technical illustrations in that order to make them flow most naturally. If you’re illustrating for other languages follow their conventions. Japanese read from top to bottom and from left to right.

It might sound obvious but the closer an item is to another the more related it should be. That means captions should be close to the object it describes. Even visual elements relate more to each other if they are closer together. The further away an object is from another the less it relates to it. And this also means that items that relate equally to each othr should be spaced equally from each other.

Technical Illustration Two Step Process resized 600

This simple two step process comes across beautifully because it reads from left to right, the callouts are near the object and it would still communicate it you removed the blue color.

 



Simple Technical Illustration resized 600
All the components we have discussed in this blog come together here in this simple but beautifully communicated technical illustration, to the right. The black lines clearly outline the important features. The warm colors emphasis the features being discussed and if copied would turn a medium gray tint.

In the Diverter Valve illustration below, you will see how naturally understood the tan colored pebbles flow. It’s because they seem to be floating on top of the blue colored valve. The pebbles’ color helps communicate the message.

We hope you have enjoyed this primer from Cincinnati technical illustration and drawing from Lohre & Assoc. It's what comes from over 35 years of experience, so don't get discouraged. Good design is obvious. If you keep that in mind you won't go wrong. Sometimes I say to my staff, "Does it pass the two-by-four and a six-pack test?" Have your audience drink a six pack of an adult beverage and hit them over the head with a two-by-four wooden board. If they can't understand what you are trying to communicate, go back to the drawing board! Chuck Lohre.

Technical Illustration & Photo

 

If you would like to learn more about the creative process, please request our Creative Guide, below.

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Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads

Industrial Marketing Creative Guide by Lohre Marketing and Advertising, Cincinnati

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