In editing complicated graphics, the draughtsperson should look for the inkprint picture's meaning, and render it in the most simple and/or clearest way to a blind reader.

For instance take a look at the transverse section through a tree trunk. In inkprint the different elements have been fanned out: one wonders what kind of impression the faithful copy will make on a blind reader. Do trees look like that? A less complicated, more realistic rendering of the material will make more sense.

    Tree trunk
    Faithful Copy (ca 70K)
    Good (ca 65K)
    Better (ca 80K)

In the cell mitosis drawings I wonder if drawing a cell spatially will be very useful: representing a cell by a rectangle will make the drawing far easier to read. Also note the addition of the word 'mitosis' at the arrows.

    Cell Mitosis
    Faithful Copy (ca 60K)
    Better (ca 50K)

    Two stomach drawings look alright at first glance, but the second one will actually be much clearer to the blind reader.
    wrong (ca 65K)
    right (ca 70K)
I'll list the defects:
1. title
The title is missing. To find out what's in this drawing the reader will have to look it up in the text volume, or he'll have to infer it from the names in the drawing. The small addition 'The stomach' will greatly enhance this drawing's value.
2. figure number
The figure number is split over two lines, 11.11 in the first line, A in the sixth. Why not simply fig.11.11-A in the first line?
3. spatial elements
The stomach's entrance and exit are drawn spatially, an ellipsis and an arc: will this make sense to the reader? What will the ellipsis mean to him? In the second drawing it is immediately clear what the stomach's openings are.
And besides, the drawing is of a section through: not spatial, not the stomach taken out, so representing entrance and exit as openings makes more sense.
4. hatching
A hatch is meant to show something's extent. In the first drawing the big dots are so far apart that the reader might easily gather that they are meant to represent something like holes or moles. Ideally hatch elements should not be individually discernible.
5. arrows
What exactly do arrows point at? Isn't there a choice in 2-3A at the arrows indicating duodenum and esophagus? Placing one or two characters in the right place is unequivocal, leaves no room for doubt. Sometimes an arrow is the only way of identifying an element, but I think they should be used sparingly.
6. point 6
There is no need for point 6 in biology.
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© 1989, 2002 Marco Schuffelen All rights reserved

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Last modified: Thu May 15 10:27:35 PDT 1989