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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

entry arrow5:06 PM | Reflection on Digital Evolutions

I was watching this trailer for a documentary on the evolution of graphic design, and it made me think. Sometimes I'm struck with what for me is the relief of being born at the right time, especially when it comes to the digital divide of generations. In journalism/publishing, for example, I was editor-in-chief of The Junior Sillimanian (the high school paper) in 1991, right around the time things were starting to go digital. Our first issue for the year was something assembled through the help of the old linotype machine, a huge contraption with a keyboard upfront and a boiler at the back that essentially "cooked" on the spot the metallic letters you typed in which you then assembled by hand to make metallic impressions for each page of the paper. By the second issue, we were using a desktop, the print resembling dot matrix letters that smelled of the future. In terms of desktop publishing, I started doing page design using Aldus Pagemaker which became Adobe Pagemaker which became InDesign, each change in platform requiring enormous will power for reeducation. (I hated InDesign when it first came out. Now I can't live without it.) When I was in college, we were assigned a journalism teacher who made us do headline writing by counting type -- there was a mathematical formula, and all -- which was the way they did it before the digital shattered best practices in journalism and design. I found that class incredibly sad, to be "taught" by someone who clearly didn't know what was current. She didn't last the semester. I can't remember who she was, and I don't know where she is, but she has since become the voice at the back of my head always warning me, "Keep up, keep up. Don't get stuck in the old ways of doing things. The moment you start complaining about new platforms -- I hate blogging, I hate Facebook, I hate Twitter, I hate Instagram, I hate Snapchat, etc. -- that's the moment you become old and irrelevant." It's a harsh reminder that's not entirely true, but it helps keeping me on my toes.

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