Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Check monthly flyer for price changes.

While digging deep, deep, deep into the flat file, I discovered some graphic design from my very first job. As I was finishing up at Buff State, a friend offered to get me an interview at the company he was leaving. So In 1989, I left my 5-year run at the Sheridan Family Restaurant(which highlighted a rise from dishwasher to line cook/closer) to become the in-house graphic guy at Appliance Parts Distributors, Inc. (APD) on William Street, Buffalo,NY-- across from the main Post Office. I was 24 years old and it was a bonefide job in Commercial Arts, pretty cool!

I did a lot of monthly flyers, signage, store displays, I was the grill-man at the yearly open houses and sometimes I printed the flyers myself. This was all done without computers, learned with the tools of the times.

My 1990-chic design tool kit included:

  • grid paper with the non-repro blue lines
  • the Xerox machine
  • books of clip art (which a lot ended up in the Box O Many Graphics)
  • line tape in various point sizes
  • press-type and a Kroy typesetting headline maker ( a tabletop label maker)
  • a WAXER
  • a small 1-2 color press that was on it's way out
  • supplied stats of the parts from the manufacturers - oven and stove parts, grill parts, plumbing, fridge things, etc, you get the picture... No wonder I always like Art Chantry - a common love of black and white, appliance parts and tools illustrations!!
I had my own office space which doubled as the catalog storage area (an alphabetical wall of manufacturer catalogs and special flyers) and the 'other way' to get into the break-room- or better known as the backdoor out of the break-room....

Here is an example from the 72-page yearly catalog I put together and delivered to the printer (Artcraft Burrows) set up on eighteen, 4-up spreads (that I had to figure out and put into the correct spots- printer spreads!). This was all laid out on blue grids and all the boxes at the bottom were line tape stuck down and trimmed with a blade. Imagine doing this now! No freakin' way!!

Now sure, the 'connectors section' at the top has a generous portion of typefaces, but the bottom is where I meticulously created a set of standards for the APD catalog with Futura Bold (starting using it here and haven't stopped) headlines, body text (set on a typewriter by the secretary and shrunk down on the copy machine), manual photo wrapping! (oh yeah), streamlined font sizes and line weights... Hey I was a kid learning graphic design- fresh out of school with a head full of good times and my 1st job in a field, that I attended to make a career out of.

... 18 years later and, well... I am still doing it-- with different tools- but it is really still the same thing. Ah, design.

>> Page 31: Gas Connectors & various plumbing supplies

1 comment:

Braid said...

Oh, the memories. I get all warm inside when I see that Teflon Thread Seal Tape and oh, how the prices have risen....