In 1979 I got in my car, drove from Boston to Santa Cruz, worked in Sunnyvale and finding a place for my “studio” started a graphic design business in Fremont. California.$35.00 per month.My work included working with businesses in Silicon Valley area, designing, executing art work, and printing, When I began my career as a graphic designer it was pre-computer—marker sketches, camera-ready mechanicals and press checks and computers changed the whole process.
Post computer , design is done as a computer file and for high quality printing it may be “output” directly to a high quality printing device, or it may be output as film and the film is exposed to a metal plate (much like a piece of photographic paper which is used to put the ink on on the offset press which is then transferred to the paper.
Pre computer, the process was more susceptible to foreign matter, usually small particles such as dust and dirt, which could be on the negative, the plate and/or the blanket resulting in preventing the ink being transferred properly to the paper, resulting in lower quality printing by white spots in photographs and “broken type.”
So before the plate is exposed to the negative, a contact proof would be made on paper, paper being much less expensive than the plate and the designer and print production manager would examine the contact print for problems, Once it was ok’d then the plate would be exposed and developed , put on the press , a proof would be made, the print production manager would inspect it, and then the designer would inspect it, generally fixes would be made and then the press would run. This process was called doing a press check.
These things occurred less after computers were involved because it removed some of the steps which exposed the process to dust and foreign matter. But either way the designer would come to the printer for the press check to spend time looking for small spots where the ink was not best printed on the paper.
There were other things such as color balance and more , but that is not important here, What is important is I would go to a press check and be responsible for , and be paid, to examine the printing to see if there little pieces of dust or broken type, sometimes even using a magnifying glass, point them out to the printer and get them fixed.
Most of these imperfections would never be noticed by most of the readers, because they do not have the training nor are they interested, basically hey are interested in reading the information.
Sometimes I would be at the press check, totally focused on finding these small imperfections and then , I would flash on remembering somewhere in this world there are people, families, children, human beings who are starving, sick with no access to medical care, cold and freezing because they have no access to heat and here I am being paid to look for minor imperfections in printing a corporate brochure, or a package or magazine.
Imagine there’s no hunger , its not hard if you try.
Below is a view from Sengakuji, a temple in Tokyo associated with the historical story of The 47 Ronin, aka The Ako Vendetta or Chushingura, a famous samurai story about loyalty, revenge and seppuku that touches something deep in the heart of Japanese culture. Here are the graves of the 47 ronin, Lord Asano and his wife, hardly any visitors
A man cleaning the graves of the 47 ronin
scene from the front gate, no one in sight. I have been here before as well as read the story, seen movies and plays and watched a couple of the year long NHK history dramas When I entered to pay the fee, there was a group of Americans wondering what there was to see here, and whether it was worth the ¥500, they read the brochure and left with out going in.
And below is Sensoji which is packed to overflowing most every day, but to my knowledge no dead samurai, no story of revenge, though it is well guarded by the one open and one closed mouth defender.
And the universe goes on, with little regard for whatever trump says.