Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My history with setting type on a curve...

Bedtime reading, I kid you not....

With the end of Freehand, (the program i've been designing in for um 20 years OMG is it that long?) I've been forced into making the transition to Adobe Illustrator who bought them out a couple of years back. Seriously, can you hear me sobbing whilst muttering sh!t this would have only taken me 20 mins in Freehand, and 2 hours later I'm still trying to negotiate my way around some small obscure task in Illustrator.  Arghhhh..... Then yesterday I had a couple of people ask me at a retailers workshop why I haven't designed any new papers, ummm lets see......

Maybe I should go back in time like I did when I first started out as a junior artist working with pen and ink and paint, OMG and Letraset. How many of you remember that - (nowadays referred to as rub-ons which revived a dead product.) When I first started as a graphic designer, I  can remember what a mission it was everytime I needed to set lettering. We had an entire filing system dedicated to storing our letraset sheets. So you'd find the font you wanted, go through the sheet which is partially used to see that you've got all the letters you need, and then carefully rub off the lettering to make up your word. Then you'd only have just enough a's or e's (they were always the first to be used up) and you'd bugger up the last one which would inevitably come off broken. Then in frustration I'd phone up and order another sheet and shelve the current project whilst I waited for a delivery the next day. When that arrived I'd complete the word, but of course it wasn't the right size, so I'd have to go into the darkroom and do camera work and enlarge it and make a bromide (ha ha, haven't said that word in a long time!) But little did I know that the guys I worked with (i was the only girl around in those days) would move my things in the dark room so I couldn't find anything. (grrr)

So I would patiently wait for my bromide to come out of the processor and it would be back to the drawing board. I would then set about cutting my letters to fit whatever shape I needed (normally in a semi-circle.) Then it would be back to the dark room to once again make the artwork camera ready, the only thing is now one of the boys have taped up the entrance of my darkroom with cellotape so when I walked in... well you can just imagine.

So, when I sit back now and think about just how long it took me to set a line of text on a curve 20 years ago, maybe it took less than a minute in freehand (that was the first thing I taught myself when we got our first apple mac in our studio) and I complain about how long things are taking me now, reflecting has helped me see that I just need to stick it out and work my way through the manual, its still going to be quicker than it was back then.

2 comments :

Cathy said...

hehehe.... I can so relate.... the joys of learning new software.... so not easy... good luck!

Amanda Bashford said...

Hi Trace! I can SO relate to this - Freehand was amazing, but now Illustrator needs to be amazing too! I've just managed to make a pattern brush and am very proud of myself!! woohoo - perhaps Illus is not sooo bad after all!
Amanda