Graphic design in the ‘old days’

A few friends shared this video on Facebook. It shows what graphic design was like before Adobe Illustrator was around. I remember the press down letters, but this wasn’t that long ago, was it? They make it sound like ancient history.

I remember using the letters for a bag company I worked for, I think I told the story before, I used to do the graphics for a paper bag company. At times I didn’t have the typeface I needed on our Compugraphic or Varityper machines so I would purchase the type on sheets and press them onto the graphic I was working on.

waxer

Compugraphic and Varityper, I haven’t thought of those names for years. They were huge machines where type came out sort of on reverse film, black on white. Then we waxed the back using a “waxer.” There was a machine with a roller, called a “waxer,” and it waxed the back of the film and it then was placed down where needed. And of course xacto knives and razor blades were in our hands at every moment. I preferred razor blades to xacto knives.

It was all “pasted-up” to make a complete page, image, advertisement . . .

It was all to get the work “camera-ready.” Yes, the stuff was all then shot with cameras and plates and negatives were made from that. Now camera ready means Kendall Jenner posing for Instagram.

I remember I could look at any typeface and know the name of it and the point size it was, just by eyeing it.

I remember in the 1980s when one of my bosses told me that “pagination” was coming in the future. This is where the whole page would come out as one piece. At that time we did the headlines as one piece, the text in columns as another, the photos  were stripped in later in the camera room and there were so many steps to getting just one newspaper page done. I remember thinking that he was kidding, how could it all come out as one piece?

I also remember asking my brother Chris one time if it would be possible to typeset on computers and have different typefaces for different jobs. He said it was probably possible but something would have to be programmed into the computer to get that effect as it wasn’t something that was done at the time. I remember standing in his kitchen in the 1980s having that conversation with him like it was yesterday.

Am I dating myself?

Things that will soon disappear

paper_checkKipplinger has an article, actually, an annoying slide show, which lists 10 things that will soon disappear forever and 7 things that refuse to die. I still use some of those things that refuse to die, sort of like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The penny, I like it; the fax, I pay bills with it and checks, which I use to pay bills, maybe one bill a month, but I still need the checkbook for that. All the rest are paid online. Or by fax. I do use the fax online, I got rid of my home phone, which I only kept all these years for my one or two faxes a montht that I send, but now I use an online fax service and was able to drop the landline at home.

And one thing I’m not happy about losing, my internet privacy.

Here is the list.

My Stories on Instagram

instagram-tomversationI told you about  VideoCam, my favorite new app. That still is my favorite, but I’ve also been playing around with Facebook live and doing live videos and now I’ve gotten into the Story thingie on Instagram. It’s supposed to be like Snapchat, but I could never get into Snapchat, but I’m really enjoying Instagram’s Story feature where you add short videos which disappear in 24 hours.

I’ve been showing some of my upcoming comics and the work I’ve been doing getting my Tomversation comic ready for publication. You can join me at Instagram.com/Tomversation and if you follow me, you’ll get to see the Story videos when I post them. You have to follow on a cell phone, it doesn’t work on a computer or ipad, that’s the nature of Instagram.

The Lyceum Theatre

lyceumI love this picture. It was taken in 1917. You can see the Lyceum Theatre sort of at the center, see it, next to the Loews sign? I was at a play at that exact theater last summer, 99 years later! We saw Jesse Tyler Ferguson in “Fully Committed,” a one man play.

I had a couple of premonitions that night. Stupid, but they played out as I described.

Before the play started, I told my cousin, who was seated next to me that the guy seated next to me would have his phone ring during the play. And it did. The only phone to ring! Jesse looked at the guy from the stage and made a joke of it, even though he was annoyed, but right on cue, the guy’s phone rang.

I also said something about spitting would happen. I wasn’t sure what, but I saw in my head that Jesse would spit on the stage or the audience. By accident. And he did. He talked so much during the play that at one point he just spat. Right onto the front row! He laughed about it and played it off, but it happened.

Now if I could only get a premonition about tonight’s lottery numbers!

lyceum2

This is the Lyceum Theatre stage last summer.

lyceum3

Kodak cameras

vivatar-110-camera-1985

I saw these old cameras online the other day, they brought back so many memories. I remember having a Vivitar camera like this and one like the Kodak below.

camera

This Kodak pocket Instamatic brought me back, too. I remember getting this exact one for my birthday one year.

kodakpocketinstamatic20_cropweb

I remember how cool it was in the box just like this. It had that weird extender for the flash club, remember, there were four flashes on a square cube. And the film was a cassette. I wonder what happened to mine. Did we just throw it out? I have to check my old closet at my parents’ house one day, it’s got to be in there.

kodak

When I was older, maybe in my 20s, I worked for a department store, in the camera department for awhile. We sold tons of these little cassette films.

filmAnd we developed so many cassettes, too. A guy would pick them up the cassettes and then deliver the photographs in envelopes to the store.

My favorite new app – VideoCam

I found this cool new app, which is now my favorite iPhone app. It’s called VideoCam.

I was looking for something that would allow me to video different scenes without having to edit them together. For instance, I was interviewing artists at a local art show this past weekend and I wanted to string the very short interviews together, without having to edit the videos at the end. I looked for two hours and finally found VideoCam. It’s so great in that you can start and stop the filming like you would do with Vine, only there is no time length. So you can pause and resume – you film one thing, stop it, then go off somewhere and film something else and so on and at the end, you have one long movie without any editing involved.

By accident, I learned of another feature which is truly amazing. You can edit out the segments you don’t want by just clicking an X box in the corner of that segment. The whole film is “raw” until you save it as one long piece. So each segment is its own short movie. What happened was, I was with friends and we were having lunch and for some reason, the camera starting filming in my pocket. So I had 11 minutes of us ordering lunch, with the black from my pocket on the screen and the sound. All this right in the middle of my artist interviews. I thought I had ruined the interviews, either that, or I needed to defeat the whole purpose of the app and learn to edit. But to my amazement, I found that feature that allowed me to just X-out the lunch footage and no one was the wiser.

The app is free, but for the extras, like this editing feature, you have to buy the app for $4.99, well worth it.

The other advantage to this is that you can film various takes and just X-out the ones you don’t want. I just love the app, I’ve used it every day since I downloaded it. You can always edit the films later in other apps, but the whole point of VideoCam is that you don’t have to be bothered with any of that.

Below is the first film I did. It’s a bit rough and it was before I realized I could redo takes and just use the ones I liked. But you’ll get the idea. I had cut the pocket filmed part out, so you don’t even know it was there.

I can’t wait to use it next weekend at the Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth where I can go from artist to artist and show their work in a single movie; and also Comic Cons and things like that will be a lot of fun to film.