Graphic Design and Typesetting

Graphic Designer, Typesetter, Bulletin Board Operator, Desktop Publishing and Publisher

Graphic Designer, Typesetter, Bulletin Board Operator, Desktop Publishing and Publisher

Company: Four Star Print and Graphics

Timeline: 1989 – 1992

Location: Alexandria, Virginia – Washington, D.C.

Apple (Beige) Server, SyQuest Removable Cartridge Drives, Digital Audio Tape (DAT) storage

Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, PostScript, Aldus PageMaker, QuarkXPress

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I had the privilege of being at the forefront of the desktop publishing (DTP) revolution in Alexandria, Virginia at the seat of Federal Government and home to many National Advocacy Groups, Trade Associations and Not for profits. My focus was on serving the many Veterans Associations and Patriotic Societies headquartered in the DC area. This was an exciting time to be a graphic designer and typesetter as I witnessed a massive shift from traditional paste-up and typesetting methods to this new exciting digital realm.

Using early DTP tools like Aldus PageMaker on a X2 IBM wit Floppy Drive before graduating to Apple Centris 610, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and QuarkXpress, I helped these organizations revolutionize their communication materials. Brochures, newsletters, magazines, annual reports – everything could now be designed, laid out, and typeset on a personal computer, saving time and resources while significantly improving the quality and visual appeal of their publications.

My work often involved collaborating closely with clients to understand their unique needs and messaging. I’d then translate their ideas into visually compelling designs that honored their history and mission while resonating with their target audiences.

As this was the very early era of DTP, there was a constant learning curve. We were figuring out the capabilities and limitations of these new tools, experimenting with layouts and typography, and troubleshooting technical glitches along the way. But it was also an incredibly rewarding experience to be part of this groundbreaking shift.

In those days, the internet was still in its infancy. However, we began exploring the potential of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) for sharing files and collaborating with clients. This was an early glimpse of how digital communication would eventually transform our industry.

My experience working with Veterans Associations and Patriotic Societies was particularly meaningful. It was an honor to contribute my skills to organizations that served those who had served our country. I felt a sense of pride knowing that my designs played a small part in helping these organizations fulfill their missions.

Looking back, I’m grateful to have been part of that DTP revolution in Alexandria. It was a time of immense creativity, innovation, and collaboration. The skills and experience I gained during those years have continued to serve me well throughout my career.

I’m proud to have served the Veterans and Patriots of the DC area in those early days of desktop publishing. It was a truly unique and fulfilling chapter in my professional journey.

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