Monthly Archives: August 2010

Man Ray

Man Ray 1934

Man Ray 1934

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection, reproduction number LC-USZ62-63265 DLC (b&w film copy neg.) Photo: Carl Van Vechten

Man Ray (August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976), born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography. He is noted for his photograms, which he renamed “rayographs” after himself.


Filed under Photography

What ever happened to… SuperPaint

SuperPaint box

The beautifully packaged SuperPaint

A recent post by davidthedesigner on working with current design software made me think back to one of the earliest graphics pakages I ever used: SuperPaint. Beautifully packaged in a boxed slipcase with a hard-backed ringbinder style manual that contained 3 floppy disks, this was my very first experience of using a computer to develop graphic images.
Using an Macintosh SE/30 4:40 (state of the art at the time). I was able to draw and ‘paint’ using a mouse and keyboard and print out my work via a laser printer. No colour on screen or via the laser’s output, but I still remember the thrill of doing all this myself from a small desk in my own home.
I suppose it’s all taken for granted these days with all the RAM and power at the designer’s disposal. Large colour screens, fast processing, high resolution colour output. I wouldn’t want to turn the clock back for a second but I did feel like a pioneer and it was very exciting in a geeky kind of way.
This is from Wikipedia:
SuperPaint was a graphics program capable of both bitmap painting and vector drawing simultaneously. It was published by Silicon Beach Software and originally released in 1986 for the Apple Macintosh. SuperPaint was one of the first programs of its kind, combining the features of MacPaint and MacDraw together. Later versions were published by Aldus until about 1992. In September 1994, Aldus was absorbed by Adobe in a $525 million 1.15:1.00 common stock exchange.
SuperPaint made some tasks easier than present day pixel paint or object oriented applications. Superpaint could create vector graphics drawings and transfer them back and forth between the vector graphics and pixel paint layers, hiding and recalling either layer.
All this on three floppy disks!!!
Silicon Beach Software was an early developer of software products for the Macintosh personal computer. It was founded in San Diego, California by Charlie Jackson and his wife Hallie. Jackson later co-foundedFutureWave Software with Jonathan Gay, the company that produced the first version of what is now Adobe Flash.

SuperPaint logo

SuperPaint start up screen

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Filed under Design, Illustration, Technology

Lewis’s – a final goodbye in pictures

Founded 1856. Closed May 29, 2010. I will really miss the windows at Christmas…

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Lipsons Robotics

Lipson Robots Fury II

Lipson Robots Fury II

I have a soft spot for robots. See my previous post: Robots. So when I came across the work of David Lipson I had to give him a mention.

David Lipson makes robot sculptures from other people’s junk which he then sells successfully on Etsy. He makes them in a studio apartment in New York.
This is a quote from David’s site:. “They are made from materials old and new,” says Lipson, “and are located in places such as The Salvation Army, on the street, retail stores, construction sites, garbage dumps, recycle shops, pretty much anywhere. Materials most frequently used are steel, metal, glass, and plastics such as Bakelite. Drilling, cutting, sanding, twisting, and sometimes a hammer are the methods used when fabricating the pieces for assemblage. I use nuts and bolts to put them together. I don’t weld.”
Colgate Head

Colgate Head

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Filed under Odd stuff

Those were the days 1…

NCR computer ad 1965

NCR computer ad 1965

“Usually it takes months to get a computer system going. Ours was running six weeks after they rolled it in.”

Six weeks! I’ll never complain about boot up times ever again. An ad for J Grazier American Radiator NCR 315 Computer 1965.
Image via Vintage ad browser.

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Filed under Advertising, Technology

The Sharpie ‘liquid’ pencil

Sharpie liquid pencil

The new Sharpie liquid pencil

Sharpie, the permanent ink company will be releasing a ‘liquid pencil’ in September. The pencil will write in liquid graphite, can be erased for up to three days and then becomes permanent.

This looks like an interesting new tool for designers and illustrators and it’s refreshing that it doesn’t require a charger unit, batteries or wi-fi.

For more details go to the Sharpie blog.


Filed under Design, Illustration

Learn Graphic Design Fast

Learn graphic design fast ad

Learn graphic design fast advert

This came to my attention via ‘Daily Heller and it’s been bothering ever since.

The title above is from an ad for Shillington College. Shillington has colleges based in several locations in Australia, America and now here in London and Manchester.

Now please bear with me here… I began my education in design with a 2 year full-time course (known then as a pre-diploma) and followed it up with a 3 year BA Honours degree course at Liverpool. Once in a design job I continued with professional qualifications; ASTD and finally a few years later gained MSTD status – now iSTD. (International Society for Typographic Designers). After working in design for many years and establishing a design studio 15 years ago with my partner, I feel that I’m still learning and still have much to learn. I regard my profession as a ‘lifelong’ learning experience.

But, maybe I’m wrong…

This is from the Shillington College ad:

World class education needn’t take forever. It should be well planned, continually adapted to the times and presented by passionate professionals. That’s what happens at Shillington College and we have the records to prove it. Our students are taught by outstanding graphic designers and are getting top design jobs Starting with no prior experience they graduate with a professional portfolio and an in-depth knowledge of the design programs.

We offer 3 month full-time and 1 year part-time graphic design courses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London, Manchester and at Shillington School in New York, USA.

Boy! I must be a slow learner. To think I could have sorted it all out in 3 months flat!

What does this say about our profession? Will this ultimately devalue design? Can we apply this fast track approach to other professions? Architecture in easy steps. Idiots guide to engineering. Brain surgery for dummies… Maybe I’m just angry because I feel threatened in some way. Perhaps the students from these colleges will make good designers. Who knows…

… I think I need a strong cup of ‘instant’ coffee!

coffee cup

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Filed under Design