Yes, I’ve been stomping through a design career for quite some time. So far, it’s been a hell of a ride. Lots of great, wonderful clients, lots of enlightened, interesting people.
Along the way I managed to win a bunch of awards and lead the design field into new eras and new technologies. I produced the very first totally digital brochure and continued to lead the desktop publishing revolution to what it is today. And then came the net/web and I hopped on board that train about as early as any designer in the country. In fact, because of my knowledge and experience it was almost forgotten that I also do print.
The thing I like about being a designer is you get to learn so much. Each new client or assignment brings a wealth of new knowledge. I’m looking forward to it continuing. New clients, new assignments, new tech. Never a boring moment.
I guess every designer at some point needs to verify their design skills and find out how they stack up against their peers. For me, that was the "80s". I entered my work in all the professional competitions and came out a winner. In fact, everything I entered won an award. For me, the ultimate was an international award for an employee communications newspaper system I designed for Control Data. It was a tough competition as it required three years worth of work and the entry had to have won the local, regional, and national competitions first. In addition to the design, the entry had to have consistent writing and editorial also. It wasn't about a one shot design project, it was about quality, consistency, and teamwork over time.
Design/produced the first ever, fully electronic, full-color brochure. I know what you're thinking, "what's the big deal, the Mac came out in 1984". Yes it did, but in 1989, it still couldn't produce full-color, separated output nor interface to the high-end prepress systems. This brochure married up the technologies from Dicomed (systems for illustration, art, and presentations) and Crosfield (high-resolution scanners and prepress systems). It was a marvel of integration for the time. In the end, the Mac would win the desktop publishing prize, glad I invested heavily.
I'd been online for years but when the first release of Mosaic hit, I new this net thing was a different animal. I took it up immediately. You couldn't do much at first, after all it was designed by geeks/scientists for geeks/scientists. That all changed when they introduced "tables". Again, it was meant for researchers to display their data in a tabular fashion. Little did they suspect us early design adopters would use it for our own means and actually layout sites with it. It was a wonderful thing. Little did I know that being one of the few "designers" that actually knew how to code would put me in such demand.
I've restored some semblance of balance between print/online and large/smaller clients. And, continue to do some photography for pleasure. Did I mention anywhere that I love design? I'll probably be designing until I die.