Style guide for sale?

The style guide enjoys a prominent position in the history of technical communication. For a long time, it has been considered proof of professionalism. But what has happened to this classical instrument of professional documentation?

Text by Sissi Closs


Style guide for sale?

Image: ©

Simply stated, a style guide regulates the development of technical documentation in an organization. However, this implies a wide range of topics that can include definition of document types, definition of the internal structures of document types, standard structures and sample structures, process models, templates and samples, definitions for layout, rules for graphics, description of the technical writing organization and how it is integrated in the overall organization, and processes and workflows from input analysis to quality assurance. In addition, a style guide often explains how to use the tools in the technical communication process chain and contains task descriptions for authors, developers, reviewers, and project managers.

This variety is highly demanding. Moreover, illusory promises such as “The style guide ensures completion on time” or “is a guarantee of high-quality ...