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Adobe Illustrator Turns 30 Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

13 March 2017

You had to be there. Of that time, in that room. A pristine room with a Macintosh cabled to a Linotronic, Illustrator running on the Mac. No ruling pens, no bottles of ink, no rubber cement, no waxer, no white paint, no Letraset rub-on graphics. Just a computer and imagesetter that spoke Postscript to each other. And, well, Bezier curves.

The Linotronic, the size of a washing machine, was an expensive dream, well beyond the means of a graphic artist. But not Illustrator. And not a Mac. And soon a new industry of service bureaus blossomed, taking Postscript files sent via modem for output on their Linotronic.

To proof those files and save the expense of rerunning them on the Linotronic, graphic artists invested in printers like the Apple LaserWriter that output Postscript. They could iterate their designs inexpensively, making revisions that had never been possible with hard art and finally send the files to the service bureau where negatives could be output for reproduction.

Illustrator wasn't the only Postscript-aware application but it was the first. We took Mom, who worked at the weekly magazine with us, to a demo downtown at lunchtime one day just so she could see it. "That's the future," we told her.

You just had to be there.

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