When I started this blog I really didn’t have a plan other than to chronicle the 25 years I’ve been in partnership with David Lach and the various members of our team at Baseline. Writing stories chronologically would be difficult, so I’ve allowed reminders of our past to form my content, such as the first real logo designed for Baseline, or our first really big gig – the Yeltsin Clinton Summit.
1989 saw the release of the Mac SE/30 and the emergence of what would become known – and hated, by seasoned, professional designers – as the era of desktop publishing. If you had $15,000 (the SE/30 alone was $6,500) in your wallet you could become an overnight graphic designer, typographer and publisher, and it was the beginning of the end for the traditional train of experts who expertly prepared traditional artwork for the print and display trade.
We now competed with people who charged anywhere from 25% to 50% less than our established hourly rate for design, typesetting and production. We had to become marketers, relying less on the ability of the Yellow Pages to bring people to our doors. Smaller company’s, our traditional bread and butter, flocked to the emerging desktop publishers, we had to find new ways of attracting the larger more sophisticated customers if we were to survive.
I bought my first business suit, essential back then if you where going to show your book and expect business and corporations to hire you. Letters of introduction were mailed and backup phone calls made a week later in an attempt to set up that first crucial meeting. The portfolio was tailored for various audiences – today the website can be easily updated – and researched as much as possible about the new prospect – didn’t have Google then – before entering the offices of company marketing VP’s and CEO’s.
Over a 12 month period, we managed to bring in new regular customers who recognized the importance of well-tailored marketing and communication tools. Print was still King, and we worked long hours and weeks to provide this new Baseline client base with the very best we could produce with these new tools. Our clients included the resource industries and their suppliers, engineering firms, lawyers, consultants, First Nations and emerging industries. My first SE/30 soon became the new Macintosh IIsi and we replaced our expensive image setter with the Apple Laser Writer and started to outsource our film output directly to the printers.
We experienced 150 line screen 4-colour work, not a match on today’s stochastic direct-to-plate technology. We now enjoy value priced hi-end digital printing allowing for an affordable tailored marketing campaign to address various audiences, and of course, the new wave of social media bringing content to audiences to interact with. A brave new world indeed and all within the last 20+ years.
All logo’s, photo’s, illustrations are copyright© registered® or trademarked™ by their respective owners.