This ugly piece of lit may possess a significant historical distinction: to my knowledge, it is the first fully digitally produced political piece in Minnesota – if not the nation. It was probably also the first and last time I used Freestyle Script in anything.

It was cranked out in 1987 using Aldus PageMaker 1, which ran using Windows 1.0.3, (a version for Macintosh came out about a year earlier.) The photos were scanned using a Microtek grey scale scanner, which had just been introduced. The type was set in postscript fonts which had to be purchased on 5.25″ floppy disks direct from Linotype. The film for the printing plates was spat out on a Linotype imagesetter, also freshly introduced to the market.

Looking at it now – if you can get past the headache-inducing layout – you can see the limits of the technology back then. But it saved time and a lot of money.

Up until this time, photos had to be placed on a giant graphic arts camera and shot behind a screen covered with halftone dots. Then, the halftone negatives were placed in the correct location by a technician wielding an exacto knife and “rubylith” tape before the whole affair was shot on a platemaking machine.  Digital prepress ended that era of printing for good.

But here’s what I remember most about this project. If you think Windows crashes a lot now, you should have seen it then!