16 July 2012

The Pre-Digital Age

16 July 1988
28 years old
Living in London
Here I am at my drawing board, at work in Soho, in London. The digital age has changed the way many people work, particularly creative people: I mentioned photography the other day. The area of graphic design has also seen enormous changes. When this picture was taken very few studios used computers. Artwork was done by hand: pasting up type and leaving room for pictures that were stripped into film before plates were made.
I must confess I missed the hands on work following the widespread use of computers. I used to enjoy using brushes and markers and isograph pens, and coming home with black ink on my fingers. I guess it made me feel more like a 'real' artist.
Looking back, I believe my love of art and design lessened a little with the use of computers. Suddenly anyone who could use the software could bill themselves as a 'desktop publisher'. Many of these people had (have) no feel for type or design and do not know anything about art history, let alone have a passion for it.
But enough squabble, for I have left that world behind now. It's comforting and makes me feel a little smug to know that no matter how well a person can type and format in Word, they will have trouble passing themselves off as a 'writer'.

Thanks Mr Pink for the blog post idea!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Fran, what a lovely compliment. It was a great place to work so I was often smiling.

  2. Wow, great to see this! A completely different way of working, not staring into a hypnotizing white light-emitting screen all day. The pink font is a wonderful whimsical touch at the end, too!

  3. that's a great photo of you. I started in the graphic design field in 1992, just as computers were becoming useful. For many years, long after it was no longer necessary, we kept a wax machine and all of the equipment that went along with the non-digital age. I watched printers, designers, and photographers struggle with the change. Some dropped out. Some excelled. Some eventually changed fields. What I like about the digital age, though, is how we can now work as a team from anywhere in the world. An on-site location is no longer necessary. That is as much due to digital design software as it is to email.

    1. I had forgotten all about wax machines!!

      Thanks for the reminder, and your very insightful comments. The digital age has certainly made collaboration around the world, in every field, much easier.