Thursday, August 14, 2008

Math: The Necessary Evil

All right, I actually like math, but sometimes the details can bog you down when you'd rather be drawing or something else a bit more fun than calculations. However, as we've all been told, math really is a big part of life. Can you live without it? Maybe. You'll have a lot of problems, though. :0)

Now, I've gone on and on about the importance of learning to do things right, or do things the 'old fashioned way', or by hand. The reason is this: you learn why you are doing things, and in so doing, understand better how to do them. Okay, I'll admit that Paste Up and Mechanicals are a heck of a lot easier to do on the computer than by hand. Any of you taking Graphic Design can attest to that. All of that drawing fine lines in exacting places, and pasting your little registration marks, and all that stuff can be a real headache. In Pagemaker, Quark, or InDesign, you just type in a bunch of numbers, and voila... right?

Wrong. These programs are easy to use, but not totally intuitive. I've laid out several books by now, and of course each of them have to be different... different sizes, different margins, this one bleeds, that one doesn't. My problem is, at least with the current InDesign, I don't seem to have all the options I would like. The printer's specs have changed, and now I'm finding myself trying to change a full sized document midstream! Retroactively, it doesn't seem to be working. The program handles bleeds differently than the printer asks, so I'm finding myself working out the numbers myself, carefully checking that math, and now basically laying out the book on paper, the old fashioned way, and saying bugger all to the program.

So where are you when all you know is the computer and the program? Up a certain creek without a paddle, especialy if you have a deadline, and do not work well under pressure! :0) (I work well under pressure, but my math skills jump ship)

So here I am with my little calculator, my ruler and pencils, and heck, I may as well go get some graph paper, if they even make that anymore. Yep, the same tools that Cartoonists and Designers have used for the last century still do the job just right.

And best of all, these tools work when the power is out. :0)

Beat that, Bill Gates, Adobe, and the lot!

Cheers, JOHN :0)

PS I love my Adobe programs... mostly. I do.

What's on my iPod today? Crash Test Dummies, A Worm's Life and Genesis, Abacab


Brian Hughes said...

"And best of all, these tools work when the power is out."

Only during the hours of daylight, though, surely?

John said...

Actually, Brian, if squinting by candlelight was good enough for Honest Abe Lincoln, surely we artistic types can get by in the dark?

There's also the other option of a jar full of fireflies. :0)

Thought you got me there, dinja?

Cheers, JOHN :0)