Why Computers Suck

In the old days, back before G-d invented dirt, and I was a young designer who still had visions of a career standing at a drafting table, getting my hands full of ink and 2-coat rubber cement, only designers (or the paste-up guy at the local printer) could produce newsletters and such.

And then came the desktop computer, and it was OK. And then the desktop computer begat the desktop publishing software industry and everything went to hell in a handbasket.

Suddenly, secretaries were using the words "font" and "typeface" interchangeably. Point sizes were replaced by pitch (on IBMs). People with no eye, queer or otherwise, were able to put together newsletters. They used every typeface installed on their machines . . . in each publication. Because they could. Grayscale tints were placed behind blocks of copy. Black boxes contained knocked-out lettering. Xerox machines replaced printers.

And, in the immortal words of Stan Freeberg, "Everybody Wants to be an Art Director."

But they are not. Many, if not most, people haven't got what it takes to be a good graphic designer, top of the line software notwithstanding. If you don't believe me, just look at how the average man or woman dresses to appear in public. If they can't tell what looks good on themselves, what makes them think they can figure out how to make something look good on a page? Huh? Answer me that!

Here at the hospital, I used to have to work with the nurses who would bring me "designed" newsletters to publish. I would say this to them:

Everybody here went to school for something. You went to school to become a nurse. I went to school and studied design. While I could, theoretically, start an IV, it would be painful and messy, and you would not want me to do it to you. Likewise, although, in theory, you could design a newsletter, it would be messy and painful ...

Now I'm out of the printing business, and in the web publishing business, and you know what? I didn't think it could happen, but it's even fucking worse. There are so many more ways to be incompetent. JPGS that are articulated and bitmapped are presented as quality graphics for me to post.

Can I retire yet and become a luddite?
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/01 at 12:18 PM in As I See It Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/01 at 12:18 PM in Geek Goddess Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/01 at 12:18 PM in I Hate the Living.

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