If know won came

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.









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s