When do you need a Graphics Pro?

Banging one out in InDesign. Yeah, I know what Im doin

Banging one out in InDesign. Yeah, I know what I'm doin'. Look! CMYK colors!

With the market shifting as rapidly as it has been in the Electronic Age – this is a question that often pops up in my dealings with clients, my colleagues, and especially potential clients.

When is it time to hire a Designer?

There was a time, it seems long ago now, when everything printed, from annual reports and catalogs, to matchbook covers and little league flyers, required the hands of creative pros – designers, draftsmen, illustrators, layout artists, darkroom technicians, typesetters, color separators, film strippers, platemakers, printers and pressmen.  But that was circa 1980, B.C. – Before Computers. In the Mid 80’s the PostScript Programming language was being developed by John Warnock of Adobe, and Steve Jobs and was developing the Apple Macintosh computers. Eventually the combination of the Macintosh, the LaserWriter II and Aldus’s ground breaking page layout program, PageMaker, changed the publishing landscape forever.

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Barrier to Entry

Grab this end. Ancient graphic design tool. An X-Acto kniife.

Ancient graphic design tool. An X-Acto knife. Grab THIS end.

I had alluded to this subject in my earlier post about Adobe Creative Suite.  I did get a bit rantish about it. So I decided that I might clarify where I was coming from this time around. Now for a little background, I entered the field in 1980, yes that would be B.C. — Before Computers.  Moving right along, If someone had told me in 1989 that in a few years I would be replacing 90% of my professional tools every three to five years, I would have looked at them like they were out of their minds. Seriously, I made it a point to buy good quality pro gear and took good care of it. I had a steel t-square that I would be able to leave to my grandchildren, nearly indestructible. I had a lovely oak drafting table. A sweet little Badger airbrush and compressor. Red Sable brushes. A set of very slick and pampered technical pens. And seriously, a drafting instrument set I actually inherited from my grandfather.

Then “Desktop Publishing” happened.

The advent of the Apple Macintosh Computer, PostScript, PageMaker software, and the LaserWriter II printer changed everything. Forever. That was a weird time, when many companies tried to jettison their Agencies, Design Studios and Art Directors for low paid operators with Mac SEs. But after a few years, they decided that they needed people who actually knew some Design Principles operating the computers. So a lot of us went back to school, helloooo Continuing Ed., to learn more about this “Computer Stuff. ” A lot of good and talented people gave up and left the field, and some of us made the transition and picked up the mice, wondering, “what the f**k is this?”Continue reading

Adobe Creative Suite 4

Adobe Creative Suite 4 - Design Premium

Well, I went down into NYC for an Adobe Creative Suite 4 Launch Tour seminar last Friday. And got a reminder of why I took the bus when I had a NYC day job… it was 50 min inbound at 7:00-8:00 yesterday… but over TWO hours outbound at the height of the evening Rush Hour. Left the Javits Center at around 5:30… pulled into the driveway between 7:30 and 8:00.. OUCH. But the very evil part was walking the block or so from the parking lot to the Javits Center into the wind off the River… AIEEEEEEE!!!!! Oh my FACE! So you can see why I was less that excited about walking down from Port Authority in the Artctic Blast. Which put me rather out on hiking off to 8th or 9th avenue for lunch. So I ended up having very overpriced very blah and ordinary concession food at the center. FEH. On the other hand, I scored an $14 Early Bird rate at a lot LESS than a half mile from the Javits, so I think I’ll call it even and move on.

That said, Creative Suite 4 is pretty frakkin’ awesome, with lots of clever enhancements, with many peeves addressed and wish list items suggested by users added. This is of course a FAR superior approach than Microsoft, that just DOES STUFF to their apps, usually Office or Windows itself, and then shoves the “enhancements” down your throat. Often this breaks things that might have actually worked well in some of their products. So yes, I WANT IT. Very shiny. As Tim Taylor once said.. “More POWER! Utt! Utt! Utt!”
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