Saturday, 3 April 2010

Alan Fletcher On the Apple Macintosh

Alan Fletcher
The Apple Macintosh
There's no doubt that the Mac is a marvellous machine and an invaluable tool for designers today. I have one in the studio and it's used on a daily basis. Admittedly, I art direct while someone else pushes the buttons. However what's really sinister is that every time you upgrade one bit of software - or hardware - you have to buy another bit to make the bit you just bought work. And so it goes on. It's as if some frightful robot's got you by the throat with one hand whilst his other is rifling through your pockets.
The Colour Photocopier
Before the Euro came into existence and we all had Pesetas and Lire and different European currencies, I was putting together a book, The Art Of Looking Sideways, and I wanted a page of the Dutch bank notes designed by Ooitje Oxenaar. So I went down to the photocopier place to get copies of the notes I'd borrowed from a friend. They came out beautifully - fantastic! I duly returned the bank notes only to find later that I'd left one of the bills out. So I headed down to a local Notting Hill place to do it again with the missing note. The guy seemed a bit dubious about copying money but I assured him it was OK. The copy came out of the machine with all the notes in bright blue. I thought it must be a fault with the machine as the one in Westbourne Grove had done a marvellous job. Turns out the latest machines have technology installed to prevent the photocopying of money. Technology can sometimes seem to conspire against the pursuit of simple (and in this case entirely honest) endeavour!
Wim Crouwel
The Apple Macintosh
Around 1980, at Total Design, we already worked with a design-computer; we got hold of the first Aesthedes, a large Dutch machine with three separate keyboards for type, colour and drawing. We were the first in Holland and how proud we were. In no time we had three of these expensive installations; we almost got broke.
So it was a shock when in 1984 the first Mac came on to the market. A small wondertool, straight from heaven into the hands of graphic designers. It overtook our Aesthedes-robots from the left and right-hand side and made them completely obsolete.
The Apple Macintosh created a revolution in design studios all over the world. Not only because of its possibilities, it opened a whole new horizon in graphic design. It was in fact, after all these centuries, the end of our beloved pencil!
First Apple-Mac

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