Before InDesign, or how I used to design newsletters and such

I feel like one of those old guys that yells for the kids to get off his lawn. I have been in the graphic design business for over 20 years, and watching that video of Illustrator, from 1987, brought back other memories. One of those memories was how I used to design newsletter, before PageMaker came out.

PageMaker was the first program most people remember being used for design layout, but before I got ahold of that program, back in 1986, I was designing in MacDraw. Not the best way to do it, but it worked. I was doing newsletters for the local offices of Goodwill Industries, down in L.A. I was fresh out of college, being paid very little, using my own computer, even though I was a full-time employee. I was going to Mac user meetings, and that was how I found out about PageMaker, and started using it.  With that knowledge, as well as the knowledge of Illustrator, as I said last week, I was able to get my first job with an ad agency.

I used PageMaker for quite some time, until about 1989, or so, when I tried Quark Xpress, and was sold on it. It was a bit of a pain to convert all the ads over, but to me, it made so much more sense. PageMaker had gotten larger, and bulkier. The files we were saving were huge. Quark was so much lighter. It didn’t save all the files, including graphics, in the program, so it was easier to move around, which was important, in the pre-internet world, where we had Ethernet, and zip drives.

I, and the rest of the people I worked with, continued to use Quark until OS X came out, on the Mac. At that point, it became a little trickier, and that is when I switched to InDesign. I have been using it ever since.  Of course, after all those years with Quark, I had to invest in "InDesign for Quark Users" but after teaching myself, I have only used Quark when forced to.

What is interesting, is how so many designer work in lock-step with each other, each using, for the most part, similar programs, even though there are usually at least two choices. I wonder why this is? Is it sort of like primaries, or beta vs. vhs?

Who knows?


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