Do you remember a time before computers? No, we don’t really, either. But we have it on good authority (thanks, internet) that there really was a time when people didn’t have every second of their lives surrounded by a host of digital devices.
While we can’t help but think this must have been an organisational, practical, and creative nightmare, there is evidence that shows people still managed to make exciting, beautiful and inspiring stuff without the assistance of a backlit screen. Incredible but true!
All smart-arsery aside, some of that evidence details the complex wonders of one particularly important area of pre-computer life – graphic design. If you’ve ever read or written a typed page, you’re indebted to generations of designers who performed daily formatting feats few of us laptop-jockeys could imagine, let alone accomplish. These legends of layout, who mastered the treacherous, chemically hazardous tools and mind-boggling mathematical systems necessary to generate clean work, will finally get the kudos they deserve in an upcoming documentary by Briar Levit.
Graphic Means, now nearing its final stages of production, is a loving homage to the people who blazed the trail to InDesign, and a timely educator for those of us whose lives and livelihoods would shrivel without Word, Photoshop or even Paintbrush. You can learn more about the project and how to help get it off the ground here, or watch the trailer below.