Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tools from another time...

Recently, while discussing the topic-- Are there too many print designers and not enough web designers? some people left comments about "the old analog days".

I miss the lost craft of what we do, the handwork and tactile connection to our brain's processes. I do not miss pulling all-night paste up sessions. There were the frantic searches for a missing phrase that you X-acto cut from a waxed galley (picked up from the typesetter vendor). After searching high and low you would discover it pasted to your shoe.

I have a wealth of fond memories of how we used to work but also a marked decrease in the anxiety about meeting deadlines. If you are of a certain level of seniority you remember something from before the computer layout switch don't you? Share your comments here, I'd love to hear them. and so would others.
Good Old Days at an Agency in Baltimore
I will never forget the time my boss, in a hurry to visit the client, wanted to take the paste up board on which I was working furiously. After firmly telling him, with all due respect,

"It is not ready to be seen by the client."

He said, "It looks fine!"

He pulled the board off my green Borco-covered drafting table, and proceeded to shove the board (overlays and everything) through the hot wax machine!

As he bent down to guide the board through the waxer, his expensive Harve Bernard tie traveled with it and got caught. The hot waxy roller wheel kept moving until he was being pulled into the machine and he had a look of panic in his eyes.

Luckily in the old days we always had a beautifully sharp pair of shears around which I used to clip him free. The $150 tie was in shreds, covered with wax, and frankly was a sartorial disaster.

How he got the idea we put an entire board through a waxer—I'll never figure that out. I chuckled at him as he made his way out the studio door on his way to the meeting the still gooey waxed board in hand.
I also wondered how would he would explain the lack of corporate logos. That was the graphic element I always added last.

Well, account executives have to learn to dance around the tough questions. Probably the toughest would be what happened to your tie?


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