Showing posts with label graphic design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label graphic design. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2016

Folklore, fantasy or fact?

Wow .... I loved sharing cool stories ... with my blog to be fueled with commentaries.  I think I'm developing my style and my voice on here.  What many don't know, and perhaps I didn't know until recently, is that these are the stories that capture my interest and draw me in for a little read or instigates the desire to learn about little everything that catches my eye :: like the "cloud" and I realize how I was in the leading edge of the cloud, about to fall off the MicroSoft cliff into lil creations like Adobe Photoshop​ .... which by folklore, in case you didn't know was another invention from a retired or departed colleague, scientist and innovator obviously saw a very big problem.  

What was the problem?
Well, Xerox, had a very big problem.  Hidden behind fantasies and fact we should remember the folklore.
If you did a little following or reading up on Steve Jobs was considered one of his single most impactful discovery :: the "mouse".
What others may or may not know or never heard, but Xerox had and to this day has a very innovative center of excellence.  p.s. That is an elegant descriptive that escaped from investor-adverse term like R&D (Research & Development).  
R&D had a really bad reputation.  Corporations reported on profits, and authored wording so carefully to avoid that word now.  
Because in itself, just beginning to understand spreadsheets of data that MicroSoft created, I picture a guy having a scotch with a colleague, a neighbor, friends over a dinner party.
These people were pretty tuned in to what was going on around them from a technological viewpoint.
This was a time, in the late 70s to early 80s, when scientists, environmentalists started to electrify us with reports on doom and gloom if we don't take care of our planet.  
As computers and printers began imploding because all of the great discoveries and creations emerging had to be printed on paper.

I remember those times.  I lived through those times ... but I was still not in tune with what was going on.  I had to hit a few walls, fall out a number of windows, but in this sweet spot I found a home : digital printing, document management, and file store :: the first hint of mist that would evaporate into "the CLOUD".  Really funny, sorta.  Xerox and MicroSoft were prolific, profitable and leading edge in the 80s.  What is amazing was that behind the scenes, companies like HP and dinosaurs called Attari were nurturing a duo of natural and expansive vision on the direction of aesthetics in printing and design.

A company with a logo of a fruit, was trying to solve a problem:  how do you create a world where 200 year old printing press with massive engines spitting paper in increments of thousands within just one of your eye blinks.  They recognized a problem with the appearance of printing or printed material generated from the awkward, mechanical, functional computers known on that day.  Steve Jobs and the other Steve :: yeah, the guy who created and then dropped out :: him!

It is a fact.  Steve Jobs attributed one very important truth about his brand of computers, that were synonymous together :: graphic design and fonts.  Of course, most of didn't realize how limited the machines, software creating most of the material on these environmentally poisonous inks lacked style.  I'm trying to remember the name of the predominate graphic design at the time.  Darn, I'll have to pop back in and edit later ... or maybe one of my readers who lean against both aesthetic design and functionality will remember?

So how do what sounds like a fantasy epic like Adobe, and an inventor in technology and a fruit like Apple have in common?

Back to the earlier problem of Xerox showing how profitable printers at speeds of light were going to consume the world of paper.  Ironically, all the stats were never showing that the mass of printed material was going to decline.  Why? Well because the products were going to get smaller OR MUCH BIGGER but the numbers of items would be be individually drastically lower in numbers.  BIG, MASSIVE signs and impressively designed items like menus could be designed in color, incorporate graphics arts with magnificent photography and you saw how this problem was going.

So Apple decided not independently, nor do I know if a folklore, that function, form and utility could be merged and expounded with incredible imagery and design.  By the 1990s, nobody could create an Annual Report, that would come out like symphonies of grace in not just the screen, but also in the appealing imagery and how words (or the industry types call text) flowed in and around this incredible design.

One of the most inspirational contributions was the mouse.  Probably back at the time it just looked like something you tooled around with when you weren't entering just text.  

Well, this is the truth and Steve Jobs even admitted it as one of his not so hidden secrets:  that he ripped off Xerox with the technology, science and invention of the mouse.  Yet so many people that is a fantasy to believe that Steve Jobs imagineered the mouse.  You have to give him credit because he was solving so many problems all at once.  And if Apple played its cards right, it would create a language, a loyalty and a dedicated audience that would brave anything than to have anyone think that the MAC was anything but the most fantastic single contributor, cutting down massive hours of work, allowing customers who paid for printed material to have output to the most high quality caliber even difficult to be detected by the most revered premiere printers in the world (think "Franklyn Mint" ? ) 

So the design and functionality was joined at last.  Apple victorious over legions of won-over fans in the creative universe imagined and output to the devices that Xerox was still in development in Pal Alto.  Perhaps it is fantasy to think that they would have taken their eye off the ball.  Like technology.  Like talent.

Watching organizations brain drain is going to be a commentary at another time.  It is one of the most downward spiraling corporate philosophies that is going to burst the most healthiest bubble called talent pool or loyal employees.  These organizations have boasted so broadly on how they look after their customer, or then their employees.  

Which is the GREATEST FANTASY:  that they care for anything other than their shareholders.

Back to the other part of this non-edited story is how another scientist at Xerox's Center of Excellence (or R&D disguised) left Xerox after I don't know how many years.  I don't know if he had imagined the problem or discussed it over dinner, drinks with their social circle.  

This part I know as fact.  There was this big giant obstacle obstructing the progress of where design meets these great big powerful paper spitting machines on material that was soon diverting from the more traditional magazine stock:  Luna Gloss.  How even that word can still cause me to cringe to this day.

There was this big enemy or distraction from design and power, revenue generating machines that would make Shareholders really happy, and stock prices to soar.    The marriage of the two was hampered by one really really big (now, I sound like Donald Trump Canadian girlie version anyhow eh?)  THING:  

The two could not talk!
Imagine me at the forefront of this explosive industry in its very infancy ready to collapse almost to mythical proportions.  

Well, it shouldn't really be rocket science:  The two companies Xerox that built machines and Apple that was exceptional for designers did not have a language in which they could communicate.  Sounds like a merger of two conflicting cultures like EDS and HP (that's another folklore story or commentary I've been writing behind the scenes for quite a few months).

Back to the scientist who had left Xerox.  Maybe he'd invented the mouse and was really ticked off that he did not any copyright rights?  That could be an interesting story as a fantasy or fact as a commentary later on.

He lived in a place in California.  Don't ask me the name because I'm a one person personality army waiting to emerge as a social media voice!

Beside the place where this scientist lived, ran a brook along side his property called Adobe.  He named his creation after the brook beside his house.  How's that for fact that sounds like folklore?

So this genius inventor recognized how the two massive allegiance we so far miss-aligned because they could not communicate.  

I was living those days.  Ha!  The sword thee doth yield.  (A little Cdn ShakespeareGIRLanese)
The biggest executives coming into our shop so that we could print their power point (OK, MicroSoft gets credit here, jeesh). They were about to hussle to the airport to get to an investors meeting in either New York or Toronto, it all started to sound the same:  problem.  Print fast, look nice, or nearly as nice as the generations old printing technology could.  

Then there is the gestapo at the now dubbed digital printing company is telling this executive that he had to have a conversation with his designer because he/she had to create a separate file in a separate language, then proof it because often things jumbled around, accompanied separately with Font codes, graphic files and Images (photography) all had to go where they were meant to.  The executive's disbelief that the rumored in an instant, sparkly, crisp printed design over night was fantasy!

So what Adobe did was bridged the language between the Apple designs/computers and the print engines invented predominantly by Xerox could communicate in harmony and keep everything together until at least the last printed sheet on glorious Hammermille (instead of Luna Gloss that ripped apart during the process and was so thin that both sides were shadowed :: shudders).

That could be a new Blog or story line:  the life and trialing times of a print sales executive.  

We know we all have called a photocopy a Xerox, as in "will you please go xerox a few of these for ..... please and thank you".  But the folklore of inventions by Xerox scientists are so behind the scenes.  It hasn't been really since Steve Job dying words were captured like information instead of confessions in his last authorized biography.  That story is one of the greatest salesman maneuvers of all time!!

Let's imagine examining what secrets were stolen or what technology borrowed to address a problem that needed to be solved either when it met near explosion so great that it could cause an implosion of profits, revenue and shareholders.

That is the true genius of the many greatest innovators.  There is folklore behind some that their greatest achievement would tarnish a few bazillion coins in investments if the real facts were discovered.

Yeehaw, that gets my creative juices going.  Uncovering and commentaries dedicated to the folklore or rumors from Silicon Valley by the giants of our world.  Now, that almost sounds like a NetFLIX special.  Hmmmm, someone who would appeal to both the Millennials and their parents :: will give it some thought and planning my goals on creative control.  (Inspired by the learning and knowledge gathered about PRINCE's true mastered gift:  creative control!