A bit about myself and my version of the history of web design
I have been creating websites and related print materials for MANY years now. From my photo you can tell I am not a millennial. More of a Baby-Boomer. That does not mean I am not in touch with current web trends, design influences and the best way to build a website for small and emerging businesses.
I have years of experience in graphic design and did that before we all knew what the internet was. I even started out learning programming on a Commodore PC! When I started working at a San Diego design agency in the 80’s, we had our typesetting done at the local typesetter, waiting one or two days — or if it was a rush, a few hours to get our type back, then we used a hot wax roller to place our text into our composition. We sat at ‘drafting tables’ and the desktop was a real desktop. Most people used a parallel slide straightedge attached to the surface along with an adjustable triangle to place against the ruler to draw our crop lines and using a blue pencil (so those reference lines would not show up when the composition was photographed and developed in a dark room) to mark where the images and text were to be placed. Hopefully in a very straight line, evenly spaced, centered and with no typos or you’d have to go back to square one at the typesetter. We used real images – photos, drawings, oh, and lest I forget, rub-down letters called Letraset. (Those were a real pain)! We didn’t output nearly as much or as fast as today. We weren’t building websites at that time since everything was for print, signs, TV ads, or publications of some kind. Not quite the days of Don Draper/ Mad Men, but more in between Don and the Digital Age.
We were one of the first design firms to be equipped with MacIntosh computers and use Pagemaker and Quark to create compositions. If you know what any of these things are, congratulations, you must have been there too! It actually was a very revolutionary time, but the changes we were experiencing seem to have happened very slowly compared to the constant changes that are happening today.
After re-training and learning all the latest Adobe programs in the early 2000’s I thought I was full equipped to take on the world. I wanted to jump into the Digtial Age. Dreamweaver allowed me to build ‘beautiful’ websites! They actually worked and people could visit sites on the web. Or if you wanted to make your site super light weight I could write the code in a text editor and eliminate the need for Dreamweaver. But there were a few drawbacks.
If you had a very large website and your client asked you to make major changes, no problem, you had Templates! For some reason it was still a lot of work to implement major changes and there were times when you seemed to be copying and pasting a code snippet into 100’s of pages. And, we all began to realize that the viewers wanted more. They wanted to interact with websites. And more importantly, website owners wanted to interact with their audience and even SELL things to them! E-commerce was clunky at first, but is getting better all the time. With the advent and popularity of WordPress, even end users (people I build websites for) can learn how to manage their own sites and online stores. All that seems to be going well. Today, we also need to interact with or sell to our audiences via Social Media. Where will we be in the near future? Virtual Reality? Who knows. Oh wait; one of this year’s ‘trends’ is hand-drawn elements. Now that’s something I already know, lol!
As with many industries today, website design is constantly changing. The only thing we can do as designers and developers is to keep up. That is what I do! I read, attending meetups, interact with fellow designers, go to conferences, and still make time to do projects for you, my client.
I live and work in San Diego but I have clients all over the world. Don’t let geography hold you back from working with me!