I recently stumbled upon a website that brought me back to my earliest days as a designer: www.forgottenartsupplies.com. I spent some time looking at the tools we once used. It got me thinking that one of the best things about being a designer is we are always learning new things. Whether it’s learning about a new client’s business, or keeping up with ever-changing technology, there is always something new to explore.
When I started out, we used pens and border tape to create borders. Type was specified and ordered from a type house where a typesetter spent their days just setting type. We used wax or rubber cement to paste up the galleys of type onto boards called mechanicals. I remember having to cut lines of type to create a runaround so the text would run around an image. Sometimes I would be looking for a single line of text, only to find it stuck to my sleeve or on the bottom of my shoe.
Along came the Macintosh computer and things quickly changed. It gave me so much more control over my designs and allowed more time for concept. A lot less time is spent on production. Files are sent over the internet instead of having to pick up or deliver or use FedEx. Web design has opened a new type of work for designers, along with animation and video production. Mobile devices have created a demand for app design, epubs and games. It is an exciting time to be a designer!