I have been working in the graphics industry since 1986, and have created designs for everything from print & websites to logos and even wrestling uniforms. I’ve work locally and remotely with clients all over the U.S., quite a few in Canada and have worked on a couple of projects abroad. Generally a project will begin with a phone or email conversation, followed by creation of a project plan, price quote and timeline, then the work begins.
Work History & Experience
I graduated from SFCC with a Visual Media degree in 1986, worked in various graphics and print shops afterwards, and have been freelancing since about 2001.
While attending SFCC our program got one of the first Compugraphic computers that came out. It was a computer you could type code and text into, and the product was “galleys” of finished typeset columns on photographic paper. I had a work study gig in the Visual Media department where the largest publication we produced was the SFCC Class Schedule. We would receive files transferred via modem from a Wang computer in the district office, once files were captured we ran them thru translation tables we created to convert the Wang files into something the Compugraphic could understand. It was a great experience as not too many offices had technology that advanced to learn on.
After graduating I worked for a rubber stamp company where we used a Compugraphic 7500. I can’t even remember how we coded the text on the screen so things came out the size and font we wanted, I do remember the negative filmstrip with actual letters and numbers on it we wrapped around a drum inside the machine (see pic — that exact machine). We selected the desired font strip and pinned both ends to a metal drum inside the machine. Depending on the font size, a light would move closer or further from the filmstrip and burn the image onto photographic paper on the other side of the strip. The drum would spin loudly until the desired letter on the filmstrip was in front of the light source, clunk to stop, and a whirring-laser sound indicated light was being passed through the filmstrip. This was the process for each letter. After it was done “setting” the type we would remove the light-tight cartridge full of undeveloped photo paper and feed it thru a processor. Developer, fix and water baths developed the film. The result was a long stream of photo paper varying in length from 2′ to 10′, by maybe 10 inches wide. Then we would cut and paste to create the layout we wanted on blueline paper.
After that I worked in a prepress/graphic design studio with very contemporary Compugraphic equipment — digital like what we used at SFCC. Soon after the first Macs were put in our shop — I believe the Mac SE was our first one — sometime ’87-ish. And on it went from there, never stopping to let any of us take a breath. No wonder graphics people are a little quirky and enjoy downing a few cocktails at the end of each day — the learning curve has been a non-stop blur since the first Mac in the early 80’s.
In 1993 I started a prepress shop. We would receive files on disk (floppy, cd, zips, and other even more obscure media) from graphic designers all over town, open them on the mac and prep them according to the desired printer’s specs, and output them onto film used to make printing plates.
At some point I couldn’t ignore the website thing, I hated to be in the dust. About the time CSS became the buzz, around 1997, I bought Adobe PageMill 2.0 and dove in. A myriad of software came and went — GoLive was my favorite. Now it’s all css, php and content management systems.
After selling the prepress shop my work tasks evolved to be predominantly web, and almost always done from home. I’ve got other great freelancer buddies to help fill in the gaps on things I’m not as well versed in. These days I do quite a bit of preventative maintenance, and lately have been doing redesign round 2 on a lot of websites I originally designed and built anywhere from 8 to 12 years ago. Gotta freshen up those sites!