Some examples of work for clients in Europe and the USA
Diafade Business Communications

USA  |  Database Assisted Publishing / Document Management

Overview: For a multinational semiconductor corporation we maintain a database of technical literature. We write a technical abstract or description of each document as it is published, and set up multiple cross references to specific products and application areas. Several times each year we create artwork for a fully indexed and cross referenced literature catalogue of around 130 pages, which is printed in the USA.

Activity: Copies of newly published documents, ranging from textbooks to simple data sheets, are shipped to us regularly by international carrier. When it is time to create the catalogue, data is exported from the database in a form that can be used directly by our page design software, with typestyles and formatting applied automatically; very little manual intervention or "cleaning up" is required, so that page layout costs are minimised. The artwork is saved as PostScript files to avoid font conflicts, and sent to our client for printing. We also provide cross-platform Adobe Acrobat PDF files for proofing and client approval.

We designed the database some five years ago, specifically for this application. Since then it has been enhanced and modified as necessary to satisfy new and ever more sophisticated requirements, whilst preserving all the data that has ever been entered into it. The same data has been used cost-effectively in the creation of other reference books.

Liaison: We are in regular communication with our client by email. Large artwork and PDF files are uploaded via the Internet to our private directory on the client's FTP site in the USA.

Toolbox | Database Publishing | Technical Writing+Editing | Document Design |

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Germany  |  Translation and Technical Editing

Overview: For a world-leading German software house we provide a technical editing and translation service for material used in their high quality newsletter, in their product brochures, and for live presentations at technical conferences.

Activity: Typically our client provides German text which we translate into good technical English. In some cases we are provided with English text which has been written by German or other nationals, or with articles written in other languages (Italian, Portuguese...). Whatever the source, we are able to return good English text with a consistent style.

The more we work with our client the better we understand their software products and company-specific terminology. So the better service we can provide for them. They now send our text direct to their German design agency for use in the final document, saving time in proofreading and correction compared to using a local translator, as well as achieving a better quality result.

Liaison: We communicate with our German client by email and by fax, depending on the source of the text. Our completed English articles in Microsoft Word format are returned as email attachments.

Toolbox | Technical Writing+Editing+Translation |

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Switzerland  |  Brochure and Document Design

Overview: For a Swiss manufacturer of precision electromechanical products we have created several product leaflets in English, German and French, plus an image/overview brochure in English. The company has representatives in most of the industrial markets of the world.

Activity: The work has included original copywriting, layout of technical specifications in the three languages, original product photography, image manipulation of our own and the client's photographs in Adobe Photoshop, creation of technical and illustrative graphics, and the production of artwork files for the printer.

All the documents have been printed in the UK under our close control -- this has proved more economical, despite the additional cost of shipping, than to print in Switzerland. Subsequently we have provided copies of the printer's filmsets for some of the documents to enable customised printing in the USA and other countries by the local distributors.

Liaison: In addition to initial visits to our client for briefing, two-way communication of text and page layouts is by fax, with telephone discussion as necessary.

Toolbox | Technical Writing | Illustration | Photography | Design and Print |

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England  |  Software User Manual

Overview: We wrote the software user manual for a graphics-based design tool -- running under UNIX -- for a speech technology and call processing company based in Cambridge, England. The company also has offices in Los Gatos, California, and is a world leader in its field.

Activity: This detailed user manual was written after demonstrations by the client and general discussion. Working with our client we compiled a list of required screen dumps to show typical operation of the software, and these were made by the client. Our text and the graphics were combined into a fully indexed 88-page manual suitable for short-run printing and distribution to the specialised end users, and were provided to our client both as hard copy and on disk.

Liaison: We obtained detailed technical information about the operation of the software in just two 4-hour demonstration meetings at our client's site. The screen dumps were sent to us by email, as were changes and corrections to our draft.

Toolbox | Technical Writing | Page Layout |

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