Graphic Design History

Compugraphic Typesetting Machine

Graphic Means

The history of graphic design

Here is a very interesting trailer on the documentary Graphic Means. It’s about what the profession of graphic design was like before the Apple computer. I remember doing paste up with a hot waxer and using the dark room and a stat machine to set type and make negatives of type. My first experience in graphic design was in the early 80s when I was studying jewelry design and gemology at a Jr. College. I was in the work study program and was placed in the print shop. We created all the school’s printed materials as well as the school newspaper. I learned to set type on a Compugraphic Typesetting Machine. It looked very much like this:

Compugraphic Typesetting Machine

It wasn’t wysiwyg, it was straight type on the screen, it kind of looked like a typewriter. You ¬†would choose from about 1 of 10 fonts and sizes and type it in. You didn’t really know what it looked like until you developed the print. The processor worked like photography, using the same chemicals. If it looked like what you wanted, normally it took a couple of trys before you liked what came out of the machine, then you could paste it up on a board at the¬†light table. I loved the paste up process it was tedious, detailed work to make all of the pieces work together in the layout.

I can’t wait for the documentary to come out to see all of these old tools again!

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