Illustrator 88

Creativity Explained

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.

The Adobe Illustrator Story.

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.

Happy Birthday Adobe Illustrator!

Today at work I have been helping a colleague learn some of the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator CS5. I use this program so much anymore it is in many ways second nature to me, much like Photoshop, Premier, and After Effects. It’s hard to believe that Adobe Illustrator was introduced 25 years ago this month.

Back in the day it seemed so revolutionary, and today when I watched this video, it proved just how far the design industry has come in the last decade and a half. There are two videos below. The second features John Warnock and is 35 minutes long. I’m going to be upfront, and I hope I don’t offend any die hard Adobe fans. The second video, while nostalgic, is pretty hard to watch. I made it about 5 minutes before I started skipping around.

Happy Birthday Adobe Illustrator.