When I started my career in design, everything was done by hand. It was essentially analog except for the individuals that were setting type on very rudimentary computers that were dedicated to doing that one thing – setting and outputting type that was specified by the designer and then pasted up to be photographed on a stat-camera.
In addition to that, I would also be asked to rub down “Letraset” type from large alphabet sheets, setting headlines or other display items by hand. It was slow, tedious, work that required concentration and patience. You learned a lot about typography because Letraset was expensive, you had limited character counts, and undo was removing anything you screwed up with masking tape and starting over. If you want to know more about all of this I recommend watching “Graphic Means“.
When Adobe first hit the graphic design world with Postscript fonts for use in programs like “Illustrator 88“, (yes, that’s the original name because it was introduced in 1988. The link takes you to a very informative video from 1988 if you want to engage in Throwback Thursday) it caused a seismic shift in the industry. Suddenly graphic designers not only had greater control over the creative process with access to hundreds of fonts and greater control over how it was laid out on the page. By the way, I’ve been using Adobe products since 1988 and much has changed since the dawn of the computer graphics revolution. One thing hasn’t though, and that would be creative inspiration, and creativity itself.
Recently Adobe has launched a new section of their Creative Cloud website that focuses specifically on that very topic – creativity. Creativity Explained is a new series to guide you through the basics of art and design with the first section focusing on what else, typography. There are six articles including an interview with German designer Eric Spikermann. (the guy speaking in the video above). Some of the articles are pretty fundamental but still worth reading and informative. It’ll be interesting to see where Adobe takes this site, and whether or not they introduce more advanced content and concepts moving forward.
A few weeks back Adobe, the graphic design software giant launched a new microsite that honors the frontline workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with the video below, the site contains 120 illustrations created using their software. There s a link out to the Instagram site where additional images (not all are in the original vein that Adobe started with) are being uploaded with the hashtag #honorheroes. Each of the images is a CTA to the illustrator’s Instagram account where you can get the back story on the individual that the illustrator chose to feature.
The microsite is simple but could have done one thing that would have made it better. A link to a location where you could donate to the cause. I say this because Adobe has this at the top of the page.
“Adobe is supporting the COVID-19 efforts with over $3 million in donations to organizations that provide vital assistance to our communities across the globe.”
Failing to add a url to a donation site from both the microsite and the Instagram accounts was a missed opportunity. to do more.
A couple of weeks back I was approached to do a set of 3 illustrations of classic sports cars at a fixed price. The direction was specific about the view being straight ahead from the front of the car. The end goal was that these were going to be used in a printed calendar, and after the first 3, I’d get 9 more to work on.
Unfortunately, I fell victim to the bait and switch tactic or would you rather do these on spec, or for free, for a ton of exposure, and a possible cut of the profits. The thing is I don’t work for free, and unfortunately, the client’s proposal left me flat. So, I decided to say thanks but no thanks, keep my files and go back to my office.
The thing is though, it got me all inspired, so I did 12 more over the course of a couple weeks, and shared a few on social media. Now, I’m releasing them to the world. I really don’t have any interest in making money off of these. It was a fun little exercise with Adobe Illustrator that I feel good about. Each image is sized for the iPhone 6 screen resolution.
All I ask is if you download them and use them, give credit where credit is due. Let people know I am the guy that made these. Don’t resell them to make money and don’t take my name off of them. Tell people where you got them, and ask them to respect the same request about selling and credit.
About a year and a half ago I posted a couple of videos on the 25th anniversary of Adobe Illustrator. Both were pretty boring videos that Adobe produced back in the day to sell the new software to graphic designers. The video below, while just as long offers a better insight to how Adobe Illustrator really changed everything in the world of graphic design. Yes it really did. There are a number of references to the old school way of getting a piece of art from the drawing board to the printed page, but unless you did it, you have no idea. Through out the video designers, illustrators and artists are interviewed on how Adobe Illustrator has impacted their careers, or changed the course of them. The Adobe Illustrator Story is a tad long, but it’s well done with high production value and solid insight into John Warnock’s vision of how to make graphic design a bit easier, and ultimately more creative for us.