Peanuts shows how things have changed in printing.

January 26, 2006

{Boing Boing: Peanuts kids in realistic comic } – “OK, now this is just plain weird. In 1957, Charles Schulz seems to have given The Des Moines Register and Tribune permission to publish an eight-page comic in which Charlie Brown and Lucy fall out of a comic strip and into the arms of some unspecified dude who proceeds to give them a tour of the Register’s offices and printing plant. At the end of this visit, drawn in a sort of modified Soviet realism style, the kids are taken back to their strip by a Register paper boy.”

I really dig this old comic about the printing process. If you were to do something like this now it would be more along the lines of, “Here is where we layout the paper’s pages. We open up InDesign and create the spread, then we bring in graphics and send it through Prinergy to the platesetter.” The thought of going back to a physical collection of photographs is almost nauseating. The same way with thinking someone actually use to carve out a plate. It’s amazing how it’s changed.

Now, we have terabytes of photographs…for where I work, we take sample photos with a 20mp camera. We scan in swatches on a very nice and expensive scanner. We design layouts on computers and our workflows send it to a platesetter. The few times humans get to touch something, is when plates come out or when proofreaders get a proof or the designers print out a proof.

Our plates are 1-bit tiffs that get sent to a server and onto a platesetter. Lasers now carve the plates…although it’s really more just scraping off a coating now.

Again, look at that comic and think about how a lot of that process has been replaced by Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark, InDesign, etc. Look at it and realize what a manual job that musta been and how it’s really a dying art. I often tell some of the designers here, that even though I’m 32, I remember when “cut & paste” was actually cutting and pasting paper. I can see that the next generation will reminisce about when Flash only worked on computers and not on a refrigerator. They’ll have no clue about Y2k, only PSP.