Early on, we gained skills and experience working in foreign languages, and developed some simple strategies to handle this kind of work. It seems almost quaint that back in the late 90s we were so insular here in the UK, but it did mean that our skills commanded a high premium.
This was a typical area of extra revenue for designers where they could add value, but this has since all but disappeared as language versions of promotional material are now produced locally using the designer’s original files. There were a number of these little ‘add-ons’ that we were able to offer which boosted the bottom line.
Race against time
A huge project in the early 90s came in the form of the creative and production work of a complete programme of educational, marketing and promotional material for Letraset’s ground-breaking range of graphic design software.
Their suite of programs – ‘DesignStudio’, ‘ImageStudio’, ‘FontStudio’, ‘LetraStudio’ and ‘ColorStudio’ – were forerunners of Adobe’s now ubiquitous range including Photoshop and Illustrator, beloved of Apple MAC users around the world.
Understanding how this software could be used and what it could achieve was at the core of this project, and our challenge.
The products were in the very early stages of development and were prone to numerous glitches. Sadly, for Letraset, they failed to seize the initiative with this new technology and delayed in bringing it to market, so losing out to more aggressive competitors.
Designers turn typesetters
In conjunction with Letraset, type designers Monotype launched a range of digital typefaces in the early 90s, some on floppy disc and some on CD.
We were asked to produce the branding, packaging and promotion for the product. Not really understanding how they would be sold, we guessed designers would buy them in their local art store.
This was long before the advent of internet sales and downloads.