Saturday, October 11, 2014

My first “real” job … 1954

21 years old and I’m ready to take on the world ! I had just received my degree in journalism from Boston University and although this was pretty far from my dream of being a roving reporter I still felt pretty lucky to get this job at a Boston Ad Agency. My dad was a production manager in a competing agency and I’m sure he cleared the way for me.

Here I am at the drawing table with the Art Manager. He was teaching me how to set type for the ad that our agency was working on. We would peruse thick books with examples of type faces and choose the type that we wanted to use and then we would manually set a page to our specifications. It was tedious and exacting work but it felt wonderful to be the one who brought it all together.

Of course the computer has changed all that but I wonder if Id have had that same sense of accomplishment if I’d just followed instructions and punched in a bunch of numbers.

My oldest son ran into something similar to that after he got his Masters in Architecture in the 1990‘s. Architectural drawings were still hand drawn then and, although it was meticulous work, he enjoyed it immensely and even won some prizes with his designs. Now there are very sophisticated computer programs that have taken all the guesswork out of architecture and it has changed that whole industry. It’s called “progress” and there’s no doubt that it’s quicker and more proficient but I often wonder if we haven’t lost something along the way.


Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Our tools today take the creativity out of a lot of jobs. Quicker and easier but definitely lacking.

2:40 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Yes, I do believe we lost something along the way. I was a registered nurse, so jobs were abundant when I first started working.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter, who is nearing her 50th birthday, spent 4 years at college studying graphic design in the days of pens and paint brushes. She quickly moved on to computers when she started work for a design company. Her skills were much in demand. Now everyone can be a designer, and she is a police officer.

6:38 AM  
Blogger possum said...

You are so right. Years ago I spent over a month putting together the ads for our Arts Council Winterfest Program book... I was grateful to have Presstype so I did not have to spend hours dipping my pen in the ink (remember India ink anyone???) but I still had to draw sketches of ballerinas, or line drawings of flowers and buildings.
Now it is done with clip art, click, click and it is done. Do I get that same feeling of satisfaction? Not even close.
And then there was the dark room and the magic in that tray as the image slowly came up on the paper. I felt like a real photographer then. Sure I manipulate the images today on the screen rather than under the lens of the enlarger or in the tray of chemicals... but it is just like you said...
The magic is gone.
Great post, Ginnie.
ps, I only got to set type once... took all day to do one ad!

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we've lost a lot. Unfortunately, it's hard to think of what we have gained. I too had jobs that required 'hands on' experience. It was fun, and when we switched to computers, I actually understood what was happening at the nuts and bolts level.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

The CAD programs make things easy to change for sure. We still have the blue prints for our house. You have had many fascinating careers.

5:34 AM  

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