Extras – Seminar Summaries – The Northern California Association of Law Librarians Fall Workshop

v(Archived March 19, 1997)

    The NOCALL Fall Workshop, “Image Is Everything: Packaging Electronic Information,” was held November 6th.

    The first half of the morning was devoted to packaging information on the Web. Kevin Lee Thomason, JD and CEO of The Seamless Website, organized his discussion around his “The Seven Seas (C’s)”:

    • Concept (what’s the page for?)
    • Content (what is going to be in it?)
    • Creation (how is it going to get there?)
    • Code (yikes!)
    • Continuation (who’s going to keep it current?)
    • Control (access, style, security)
    • Contact (use of “e-mail click” requires some thought, etc.).

    Then he turned to his “Home Page Ten Commandments.” Finally he settled into a discussion of considerations of what goes into creating a good law firm home page. For details of Kevin’s design tips, see his outline.

    In the second part of the workshop, Jenny Wu (McKenna & Cuneo) treated us to multi-media presentation using a laptop computer and overhead transparencies on “So–You Want to Be a Desktop Publisher.” Jenny started with a history of desktop publishing and then discussed the advantages of desktop publishing over just doing documents with a word processing program:

    • publications look more professional and are more interesting
    • document creation flexibility
    • recent availability of cheaper, easier programs),

    and the disadvantages:

    • cost
    • training curve
    • computer memory space.

    Jenny dazzled us with examples from the pieces she has created for her firm (newsletters, Banned Books Week promotion) and for her local PTA (a AWARD-WINNING newsletter!), which she used as examples of rules and guidelines of desktop publishing.

    Some of Jenny’s rules:

    • Tread the line between consistency and variety.
    • Uniform typeface, size & spacing among like items (headlines, captions, text)
    • Contrast increases impact.
    • Stand back and look at the document as a whole.
    • Column size should be about the length of the alphabet typed 1 and 1/2 times in lowercase letters.
    • Use smaller type in a narrow column; larger in wider.
    • 12-point type looks best in a 23-pica column
    • DON’T USE ALL CAPS IN HEADLINES. It is hard to read.
    • Limit fonts to 2-3 per piece.
    • Use bold sparingly; it darkens the page.
    • White space provides contrast and allows the eyes to rest.

    And that’s just a few! I am now inspired to make my humdrum library publications more spiffy!

    Then Jono Jones from APS (Attorney Printing Supply) took the stage to speak briefly on how he and others in the graphics department of APS work along with law firms, corporations, and other institutions in creating printed pieces. Jono pointed out that although many companies are using Windows, most design companies are still devoted to Macintosh operating systems. This is not an insurrmountable problem, but the names of fonts may not translate exactly, so make sure to deliver a hard copy of data as well as on a disk. There are still many things a printer can do that a small time desktop publishing set up can’t, like printing mass quantities, for example.

    All in all, it was a morning well spent; the two halves of the program were quite different but related to the same topic of packaging electronic information. Thanks to the panelists, to NOCALL Education Committee chair Jenny Kanji, and to my co- committee member Cella Mitchell (Landels, Ripley & Diamond), everything went off without a hitch. Oh, and a special thanks to my little color desk-jet printer, which worked so hard to produce all 450 of those invitations.

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