Bits to Pieces is...

views on digital preservation

thoughts and views

tips and tricks

bits of others

Q&A Erik Adigard

Erik Adigard is a communication designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work ranges from branding, interaction design, immersive installations and video to consulting and design strategy. Better known projects include many visual essays for Wired magazine, websites for WiredDigital, the branding of IBM software, and large exhibits for La Villette, Paris, the Lisbon Biennale and the Venice Architecture Biennale. He also teaches, and serve on juries and advisory boards.  www.adigard.com and www.madxs.com

Absolutely Adigard
Erik Adigard. Absolut Adigard. 1996. Courtesy of Absolut Vodka.

Q&A Piet Schreuders

Piet Schreuders

Piet Schreuders (1951), graphic designer since 1975, editor-publisher of magazines De Poezenkrant and Furore, art director of VPRO Gids, researcher and writer. www.pietschreuders.com

Images courtesy Piet Schreuders. All rights reserved ©Piet Schreuders.


Q&A Max Kisman

As an analog graphic designer I first got interested in using computers when I saw a music video that used pixelation in its imagery. It was the early 80s and at the time I was graphic designer for Vinyl Music magazine. I used computer prints in an experimental "computer issue" (see elsewhere on this site). From then on I started to integrate digital technology in my graphic, typographic and illustrated work. Working with the Sinclair Spectrum 48K, the first editions of Apple Macintosh for print and Commodore Amiga 1000 for animation, I literally grew up (and in) with the technology in my field. It was applied in a.o. the '87 issue Red Cross Stamps of Dutch postal service, Language Technology/Electric word magazine, posters for Paradiso and Television graphics for Dutch VPRO Broadcasting networks. Later I got seriously involved in designing graphics for the first editions of websites like HotWired and VPRO digital. www.kismanstudio.nl

1986 Tekst&Beeld De Meervaart
Max Kisman and Bert Hendriks explain how they use the Apple MAcintosh at the 1986 Woord & Beeld event in the Meervaart, Amsterdam NL

Digital Death Day

While we pay most of our attention to preserving our valuable digital data luckily other smart people think beyond this and concern about our digital afterlife. Last Digital Death Day held on 20 May 2010 in London brought together the businesses of social networking, data management and.... death care. They identified three dimensions of digital death:


Forgotten and found. The 1984 Apple Macintosh pricing list.

In 1982 Vinyl music magazine was designed using rudimentary computer printouts for its typography. The Apple Macintosh wasn't available then. Vinyl's design was experimental, clumsy, but it contained the idea that magazines might as well be computer generated. See the article on Vinyl, magazine for modern music (still to be translated). Affordable computer technology was still quite remote for me.


Digital engravings for value paper

Between the antiquarian books and brochures at Nijhof and Lee earlier this year I did find the leaflet De zomerzegels en de computer (The summer stamps and the computer) from 1970. At that time, the summer stamps of 1970 fascinated me enormously one way, yet on the other hand I resisted their mechanical appearance.

De zomerzegels en de Computer, brochure PTT 1970

Picking up the pieces, California

In June 2010 we have been visiting and talking to a few main characters from the early days of digital graphic design in California, USA. We made interviews with MAD's Erik Adigard and Patricia McShane in Sausolito, and San Anselmo's visual artist John Hersey.

Over bewaren

In mijn gesprekken met grafisch ontwerpers gaat het opvallend vaak over archiveren en tegenwoordig vooral over 'digitaal bewaren'. Het valt me telkens op hoe verschillend er wordt gedacht over het nut en noodzaak van het duurzaam bewaren van digitale bestanden, maar ook hoe weinig informatie er voor 'niet-professionals' beschikbaar is. De meeste van mijn gesprekspartners beginnen uit te leggen dat ze vroeger braaf CD's en DVD's branden maar dat ze inmiddels beter weten en zijn overgestapt naar opslag op een extra harde schijf. Meestal geautomatiseerd.

 

De digitale vergetelheid

We leven in een digitaal tijdperk waarin een groot deel van de wereldbevolking werkt en communiceert met voortdurend nieuwere vormen van technologie. Informatie wordt uitgewisseld via e-mail, muziek bestaat alleen nog op MP3’tjes, vakantiefoto’s worden bewaard op internet en met de overheid communiceren we via een digitaal loket.

 

 

Vinyl, tijdschrift voor moderne muziek

1981. In de Volkskrant of Parool las ik over iemand die een coputerprogramma aan het ontwikkelen was om ‘normale’ lettertypes geschikt te maken voor een matrixprinter. Hij had daar al wat mee geëxperimenteerd op een Apple Lisa of Apple II en kon de letters op verschillende groottes uitprinten.

Forgotten and found. The 1984 Apple Macintosh pricing list.
on Tuesday, 09 November 2010 01:32
In 1982 Vinyl music magazine was designed using rudimentary computer printouts for its typography. The Apple Macintosh wasn't available then. Vinyl's design was experimental, clumsy, but it contained the idea that magazines might as well be computer generated. See the article on Vinyl, magazine for modern music (still to be translated). Affordable computer technology was still quite remote for me.



1984 Apple Macintosh brochure. Click on the image to enlarge in separate window.

In 1984 I spent Dfl. 1000,00 on a Sinclair Spectrum 48K to investigate its graphic possibilities and get some understanding of "the computer". I started to use printed output of drawings and modified computer type for Paradiso posters, publications and explored its rudimentary animation capabilities. For me the Apple Macintosh was still out of reach, but I surely considered it to aquire.



On the bottom of a box, at the end of a wire bound stack of programming and software articles, programming prints and brochures, I found the folder and the pricing lists of the 1984 Apple Macintosh, peripherals and software. A good Macintosh system would cost about Dfl 10.000,00 then… It was the state of the art. If acquired I would have had an enormous lead. And of course financial worries. So I kept on fooling around and programming animations with my Spectrum, until 1986 when I finally could upgrade to the Macintosh to design Language Technology magazine. Now, I have lost all data and software of the Spectrum. It was stored on tape, I have failed maintain the machine that I don't know how to operate anymore now and I guess all the data has eroded from the cassette tapes. (MK)



1984 early newspaper ad from an Amsterdam Apple reseller. Click on the image to enlarge in a separate window.



1984 Apple Macintosh pricing lists. Click on the images to enlarge in separate windows to compare the availability and prices of Macintosh equipment.









 


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