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Y’all Pass Me That Bottle

What Night Train Express and Thunderbird are to vintage wines, Ventura Publisher is to graphic design.

In 1986 (yeah, we were there), Ventura Publisher begat what came to be known as desktop publishing. That opened the world of graphic design to the common man. That would have been bad and dangerous enough. But it also opened the world of graphic design to every hack, butcher, and shoemaker who didn’t know what he didn’t know (and still doesn’t) and who didn’t (and still doesn’t) want to hire a pro with some smattering of design sense, let alone training or an accredited degree.

So, here we are. In the 31 years since Ventura Publisher was introduced, we’ve had Quark, Quark XPress, Quark CopyDesk, Quark Publishing System, Adobe Framemaker, Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher, and Ready, Set, Go! All these tools have evolved, found markets, and become accessible to anyone with the money to pay for them, computers on which to use them, and the misguided belief that they should have them.

As a result, and assuming we choose not to do it ourselves, we can go down to the local quick-print franchise and have our logos, signage, business cards, post cards, brochures, letterhead, envelopes, posters, banners, flyers, newsletters, pamphlets, websites, and even ads designed by a guy who was selling shoes, installing mufflers, hauling trash, or selling cars last week. Best of all, we can get quick turnaround. And, don’t forget, this is progress.

Let’s Not Homogenize

We don’t want to be misunderstood. We firmly believe that everyone deserves a shot at everything. We stand by the conviction that everyone has the right to try, to fail, and to try something else. But results still have to mean something. Good still has to differ and be discernible from bad. If there are no failures, there can be no successes. And if there are no standards, then we’re all the same. What a boring world and unfulfilling life that would be.

Some people have as much business doing graphic design as we have designing rockets. And even we know we shouldn’t be allowed any higher than we can get with Night Train Express and Thunderbird.

Let’s find what we’re good at and stick to it, shall we? In the meantime, y’all pass me that bottle.

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