Artplan Graphics came into being in 1990. The name alludes to the technology then used in the printing industry. Artwork was photographed and the resultant sheets of film were planned in a sequence of multiple exposures. The end result usually in colour printing was four sheets of film, cyan, magenta, yellow and black from which a printing plate was made for each colour.

That’s the CMYK process still in use today in offset printing and in xerography (colour photocopiers). Legend has it that K was used instead of B for black because it was easier to scratch into the film.

Although the Apple Macintosh had made inroads into magazine layout by 1990 it didn’t have the processing grunt or disk storage to handle four-colour film work. But in less than a decade, film planners and typesetters were on the scrap heap.

With the invention of Adobe’s postscript language which described shapes as vector images, that is, a mathematical shape, rather than as a bit map of pixels, the PDF became the industry standard.

Here we are: a content creator on a computer, a PDF, a photocopier-type printer and the audience, nothing else is left from all the printing skills of centuries past. Even the print stage is redundant if the content is seen online.

Artplan Graphics is sticking to print on paper. It’s worth it to keep design alive. Words alone are barely enough.