Sunday, December 20, 2009


Well, here I am…ready to take on the world! I was 21 and had just received my degree from Boston University. My real love was journalism but I’d been lucky to get this job in a Boston Ad Agency and it was a start.

Here I am at the drawing table with the Art Manager. He was teaching me how to set type by hand for an ad that our agency was working on. Can you believe that all of that was done by hand then?

A computer was unheard of in those days. What we used were thick books with examples of type faces. We would peruse those and choose the type that we wanted to use for the ad. Then we would manually set a page to our specifications. It was a tedious job but actually it felt wonderful to know that you were the one who put it all together. I’m not sure if I’d have that same sense of accomplishment if I’d just punched it all into a computer.

My oldest son ran into something similar. He’d done most of his architectural drawings by hand while in college and it was meticulous work but he enjoyed it immensely. Now architectural drawings and designs are done almost exclusively by computer. He’s told me that he misses doing it “the old way”.

This is true of all fields and comes under the heading of “progress” so I guess we have to bow to the inevitable. I have to admit that these are more efficient and quicker methods; but, I often wonder if we haven’t lost something in the trade


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

OTOH, technology means that you can blog about the past and that I can read about it. :)

9:33 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

We gained speed, but you are right that we lost more. I think the drawings are the best part of an architecture job. Too bad he can't do some of it the old-fashioned way.
Nice photo! You look cute there.

10:54 AM  
Blogger azahar said...

I was just born in a village called Kg mother delivered me right smack on a mengkuang mat without even the presence of a mid-wife!

3:41 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

You look really studeous and very professional. Type setters who did it day in and day out must have gotten good and fast at it.

When I worked at the local museum they had in storage a complete print shop. I tried hard to convince others to work toward getting it set up and working while there still might be someone around who could teach others how to do it. It sits there still.

3:01 PM  
Blogger possum said...

I used to teach basic architectural design in high school years ago... back when one used pencils, T squares and triangles and actually measured things! When we went to architectural cads on the computer, the kids did not learn as much, what they did learn did not stick, and it was, well, kinda boring - lines and shapes put in place with a click. Just not the same.
ANd what good is faster when you forget it faster, too?

4:58 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Amazing how things change. I am always saying that in my line of work too. Progress, I am not so sure it makes lifeany easier, but it buys more time I guess.
I do go back to basics whenever possible to work through problems. That is where people tend to fail, by looking at problems in so complex a manner, when the resolution would be..basic. :)

7:59 PM  

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