Old Dog, New Trick

I vividly remember the day a Mac was placed on my desk and I was left to figure out how to use it. I was the only employee at KOZK (PBS) who had a Macintosh and nobody knew what to do with it. I wasn’t married to Steve so I didn’t have a handy resource living at home. Somehow I managed to get it started and l learned how to use the programs specifically designed for it. In February of 1995, the station sent me to the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) to attend a two-day workshop on how to use QuarkXPress. I had no idea how to speak “print” but I was about to learn.

I designed, wrote and edited the KOZK Program Guide for several years and am proud that I was the person who took it from paste-up layout to computer. Fortunately, I made a lot of friends in the printing industry who were more than patient with me and my endless stream of questions. I loved what I did, but I admit I grew tired of it after many years. Besides, by the end of the 1990s, it seemed like everyone was an “expert” at desktop publishing. My knowledge seemed very pedestrian. In March of 2000, I left KOZK and didn’t do much with layout programs for many, many years. Instead, I managed to create all my ads and logos in Illustrator and Photoshop. I haven’t had a need to do any kind of design. That is, until now.

My good friend Sarah (also my metals instructor) is a member of the Enamelist Society. Every two years the group hosts a conference that includes a juried exhibition. The exhibition has a gorgeous full-color catalog of all the pieces in the show, artist information and general information about the group. In the past, they’ve hired a graphic designer and Photoshop editor to create the catalog. Unfortunately, the previous designer wasn’t able to work on this year’s catalog so Sarah thought she’d talk to me. I admit, my first thought was to say no, but I began to get excited about re-entering my print world. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any desktop publishing software and had no idea how to use InDesign (the preferred software for design and print). Steve and I talked about it and we decided I could learn it in time to create the catalog.

We bought the software and installed it on Saturday. When I opened a new document, I began to feel overwhelmed and comfortable at the same time. It looks a lot like my old Quark documents, but I know InDesign is much, much more advanced. Fortunately, I’ve been working in Photoshop and Illustrator and some of those rules apply within InDesign. I bought a book with DVD instructional videos and I’m  getting started. Wish me luck. If I don’t figure this out, the Enamelist Society is going to kick my ass!

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