Pamela Trush, Graphic Designer
In 1985 I was burning plates and getting ink on my fingers. The pressroom contained a Macintosh Apple 2 that nobody took too seriously, though we were enamored by its novelty and the fact it could do a few cute graphics tricks.
The Apple 2 didn’t have to ink up a press or flash a plate, but I did, and I’m grateful for the experience. There’s a priceless depth to learning a trade from the ground up and that’s how I learned graphic design.
By ’87 I was responsible for the classified ad section of my local newspaper, which at the time ran on a two-color press. This entailed getting the story on a sheet, running it through a hot waxing machine, and then cutting it with the razor blade that seemed planted between my index and middle finger while not in use. I then placed the text on a “broadsheet” to be shot by the camera man then burned onto plates which were finally loaded onto the press.
To create spot colors for display ads, I’d cut Rubylith or Amberlith on a “light table.” Rubylith and Amberlith are films used to mask plates for press production. Amberlith masking film is easier to see through than the darker red Rubylith. This became more significant when the newspaper invested in a 4-color press. Now I had four colors to cut through as several sheets of film were overlaid to produce color separations!
I didn’t mind because I had the privilege of creating my local newspaper’s first 4-color full page ad! Once completed and press time came, we all stood at the windows outside the pressroom waiting in anticipation for that full page color ad to print out. (see photo).
By the mid-90’s I was doing the layout for the paper’s “special sections” and occasionally even created the front page by hand. Once, I had to do two front pages. One that read, “Acquitted!” And another that read, “Guilty!” That was the day the country waited to hear the OJ Simpson verdict.
Oh, did I mention that I was more than a tad intrigued by the Apple 2 way back when? I even studied up on it a bit, learning about computer fonts. By the late 90’s this interest came in handy as it became evident that computers were here to stay in the graphic design industry. I was fortunate that my newspaper didn’t wait too long to begin buying licenses to all the major software coming out. I got to learn the programs as they hit the market and began creating digital advertisements for the paper. We also began using layout programs to paginate the newspaper.
I learned a great deal at my local newspaper and eventually took a design position with a commercial printing company where I designed brochures, newsletters, and even audio book covers for Chivers Sound Library, which is owned by BBC Audio America. I was responsible for design and prepress check. The latter meaning that when my project went to press, I’d get to check the first few prints to determine what adjustments, if any, would be necessary.
I stayed with this company several years until ultimately deciding to work freelance, which is what I’m still doing today and hope to always be doing. I registered my company, “Delaney-Designs,” with the State of NH in 2004. The bulk of my work is book cover design, book layout, and newsletter layout services. I also get, and enjoy doing, a lot of logo design work.
The best thing I can say about my latest career choice is it gives me the flexibility to be there for my 12-year-old daughter, whom my business is named after!