MacQuarium / First Job

Posted in General at 2 pm

Nov 18 Thu (03 PM)

Eric’s parting gift to me was a Mac SE. He threw it in when I bought a coffee table and end table that sort of match Amy’s futon. The Mac is now sitting in the hallway, but I do have a plan for it. For years I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to put together a Macquarium <http://lowendmac.net/compact/macquarium.shtml> and now I finally have the start for the development of such a project.

The SE has just 1 mb of RAM, and a 20 mb hard drive. About the only thing of use on it is an ancient version of Norton, and the screen saver, After Dark, of course. I hadn’t see the ‘Starry Night’ screen saver for years. It’s little stars, lights for the buildings and the flashing light at the top of the tower brought back memories of my first real job doing graphics.

It was at a small copy and print shop, called ‘Mike’s Copy Shop’. I was hired at the Grants Pass shop in… 1992, shortly after graduating. As I recall, my ‘portfolio’ at that time was this disgustingly ugly ‘Literary Magazine’ that I had put together for the High School. My only real saving grace was that I had also put together the school’s newspaper for the previous year. I had a few of those with me as well.

Mike took me on and I used it as an opportunity to learn more about PageMaker (It was the DTP software of choice… no really. Stop laughing. I can still hear you giggling.) and Freehand. It wasn’t till much later that I picked up Photoshop, because at the the time, all I had were Black and White monitors. Greyscale really, but thinking back, I can’t believe that I came out with what I did using that setup.

I will say this: producing 10 – 15 business cards, brochures, newsletters, etc. five days a week for a few months is an incredible way of learning about graphic design. I was knocking out layouts and logos and designs at a pretty incredible rate.

One thing I would have benefitted from would have been taking samples and discussing them with a mentor of some short. I certainly didn’t have an ‘eye’ for design when I started, but it was there that I began developing some skills at recognizing good design from bad design. I probably would have developed faster with a bit of guidance.

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