Steve Jobs: Leave your remembrance

As the design worldindeed, much of the entire world — mourns the loss of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday at 56 after battling pancreatic cancer, SND looks back on the device that changed our lives.

In 1984, a brash Jobs rolled out a computer “for the rest of us” that would forever alter the publishing landscape. Suddenly, all the tools were in our hands. The Mac, importantly, was the first device to offer a range of fonts and ways to use them — things clearly meant to connect the computer to the context of the real world — that helped all of us in news design begin to understand the possibilities of the desktop revolution, the fast-coming change that prefigured the central role visual design would play in shaping the news audience experience.

Twenty years later, in 2004, we asked news designers to reflect on the Mac, one of the “25 Influential Moments in News Design” that was debuted as part of the San Jose workshop and exhibition. The video we made then is below. On this day, we ask you to remember Steve Jobs.


First Mac was scary and thrilling and then it became our amazing new beginning. Thanks Steve Jobs.

We used our first mac in the basement office. We had a phone line that ran all the way from the living room, through the kitchen, down the stairs, to the computer. Must have been 75-feet long. Dial it up and you’re on your way.

What is remarkable about all the Apple stuff we’ve owned and what Steve Jobs has done is make the user count. Interacting with our technology, our music, our creations, our lives is easy and fun … and were enabled to do incredibly powerful things.

That is a gift to all of us.

It would be nearly impossible to overstate the impact Mr. Jobs has had on our profession. We are all grateful.

My first home computer was an Apple IIgs. Every computer since has been a Mac. I’m currently typing this — on my phone — from my childhood home, just a few feet from where I learned to use my first computer.

Thank you, Steve, for not only exposing me to different early — but making it a part of my everyday life.

Hmmm. What role has Steve Jobs played in my career?

The only reason I was hired out of college was because I knew something about a Mac. Dozens of newspapers told me that I didn’t have the skills before Phill Spiker at the Tulsa World convinced his bosses that they needed another ‘Mac Person.’

I’ve been on Apple products my entire adult life. Even through my dark period when I had to work in CCI from 2000-2002, the Mac was still the first tool I use after finishing my sketches.

I was never all that interested in the Web until the iPhone. When I lept out of print and into mobile it was because I wanted to have a chance to work with new tools like GPS and Augmented Reality, tools that simply didn’t make a lot of sense in at your desktop.

In summary, the person at the controls for allowing me to break into print was the same person who spurred me to break out of it. When you think about it in those terms, I wouldn’t live where I live, do what I do or have the friends that I have without Steve Jobs.

My elementary school gave out Macs as part of something called the “Buddy System” where if you didn’t have a home computer, you got one. Still have mine in the basement. I started designing mini-newsletters about the news in my house in ClarisWorks. Thanks, Steve.

To me, the importance of Steve Jobs went beyond his products. He redefined for many the meaning of design. From an interview with Wired: “Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”

I started working in news “design” when it was still mostly “production,” learning to operate manual page cameras, code typography manually and photographically print it (a single character stroke error could cost 20-30 precious minutes on deadline), and even fixed aging video-typographic typesetters. All on clunky older PCs. Then the Macs started rolling into the newsrooms I was learning and working in. The ability to have WYSiWYG display was revolutionary at the time, its impact should not be discounted. It saved us on deadline and allowed us to push limits and boundaries.

As others have already said tonight, almost everything exciting or innovative that we did was either possible or made better/much easier because of the Macs we were using.

In college, I rigged my first Mac — a Macintosh Classic — to run a very early version of Quark (you had to load 8 or 10 discs, I think) connected to a massive 400+ MB external hard drive (by contemporary standards). I would work late into the night trying to make it do all kinds of unintended tasks.

Later, I remember interning at the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader — and entering their (at the time) all-Mac newsroom. My mouth dropped open, eyes widened, adrenaline surged and imagination raced at the possibilities.

In the end, Jobs’ biggest impact will not be about the devices themselves, but rather the revolution they unleashed by allowing the creators to create, and freeing us all to craft content without the restrictions of production.

What impact has Steve Jobs had on me, our field? It’s been absolutely complete and total. He pulled us out of the production age and ushered us into the creation age.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Thank you giving us the tools and sharing your endless inspiration.

My first Apple product was an Apple IIe, then a Macintosh LC. Both of which were in 5th grade in a classroom where every student desk had a computer. All from Apple. I wrote screen savers in Basic saved on 3.5″ floppy disks that flashed “Joey” in pixelated rainbow colors all over the screen. Our text books were digital and we forded many rivers in Oregon Trail.

Two of my classmates work for Microsoft. Another works for Amazon. And another works for Google. We all work in areas where technology and design meet and we all remember our first Macs.

I was lucky to go to a progressive school that had such access. I was even luckier that my teacher chose Apple. The concept of “design isn’t how it looks it’s how it works” is a mantra for me. Little did I know I’ve known that since grade school.

Thanks, Steve. You will be missed.

Tom Brokaw said last night that people will remember Steve Jobs, and his impact, 400-500 years from now. And I don’t think that’s overstating the case. Look at this message board already.

Every one of us can say that Steve Jobs’ creativity and inspiration was infectious. And truly changed the way we worked, the way we relaxed, the way we lived. I say this, of course, in the middle of nowhere on a school trip with my son, but firing away on my MacBook and iPad, after going for a morning run listening to my iPod, which also told me how far I had run.

My first Mac, a trusty SE, still boots up perfectly, 20 years after I got it. It’s like a time capsule. One which I still treasure.

Rest in peace, Steve. You will be missed. And you will be remembered.

My first computer was an Apple IIgs. My parents gave it as a Christmas present when I was five years old and, within hours, I was designing and printing banners with Print Shop on an ImageWriter printer. Steve Jobs set the stage, and I’ve been using his computers to do creative stuff ever since.

I started a newspaper for my elementary school on a Performa 6115, took my first digital photo with an Apple QuickTake, built a Web site for my middle school on a Power Macintosh and edited my high school’s yearbook on a bondi blue iMac. I became a designer and tinkerer because he built this fantastic ecosystem at the intersection of the liberal arts and technology.

Frank Chimero has a nice essay, where he describes Jobs’s vision as “built on empathy and laced with magic.” I can’t imagine a better screed for us designers.

I BS’d my way into my first graphics job by saying I knew how to use one of these new magical Macs. In the two weeks before I had to actually start the job, I learned how to use a Mac. It was fun, and I got a career out of it too. So thanks, Steve Jobs. But don’t forget that Jobs also made Apple into an entity that was really into controlling you and your relation to the internet and content: Read this from my managing editor, Andrew Potter, a smart guy on cultural matters: “How Steve Jobs sold conformity to hipsters”

We saw it coming at The Poynter Institute; this Mac would have a tremendous impact on the work we would do with graphics and design. As a result, the MacTrac series of training seminars was started in the Visual Journalism area of the Institute. Hundreds of designers and graphic artists went through that program. The rest was history. Steve Jobs’ legacy is grand, but to us in our field, he should continue to be the inspiration we need to realize each day that art and technology can indeed meet—and live—happily.

Twenty-eight years ago this December a computer dealer brought a contraption called the Lisa, made by Apple Computer Inc., for a demo in our newsroom. I was stunned, and convinced my boss we needed one. He readily agreed.

I was working at The State in Columbia, S.C., at the time. We used the Lisa with a dot matrix printer, and created graphics at double the size, placed type on the page from our Atex system, and reduced them 50 percent for printing in the paper. They looked okay. They likely were the first microcomputer graphics printed in an American newspaper. Scott Farrand was our graphics guru. Tim Goheen, now of MCT, was hired and also did some great work for us. (And I don’t want to leave out Brad, Tommy and Lou . . .)

In 1986 Apple offered us a deal we could not refuse: trade in the Lisa for a Mac Plus and a laser printer. We took the deal and kept rolling. Things have not been quite the same for me since that day in 1983. Thank you, Steve Jobs, 1955-2011. R.I.P.

My first computer was a Commodore 64, but the kids across the street had an Apple IIe. And that’s where I quickly began spending much of my time.

In high school computer class, the teacher taught us on PCs, but a poster of the rainbow Apple logo hung on a wall behind him. We spent hours goofing around with the Mac in his office after school.

In college, while others worked through papers and projects in the library’s massive computer lab, I stole extra time with one of the four Macs in the newspaper offices because they offered comfort.

And everything I’ve done in my professional life has been directly inspired by what Apple and its chief innovator, Steve Jobs, have accomplished.

But today, it’s about more than just the tools.

Today is about the creativity, ideas and inspiration. Jobs helped us unleash them. His drive and dedication helped us all think different.

And we are all better for it.

I wish to express my thanks to Steve’s loved ones and colleagues for allowing him to share with all of us his passion for making the world a better place, one bit and one pixel at a time.

Robb Montgomery
CEO, Visual Editors

Proud Apple fan boy since, 1981: Apple ][, Mac Plus, IIsi, iMac, eMac, Power Mac G3, Laserwriter II, PowerBook, Macbook Pro, iPod, iPhone, iPad

“Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Steve Jobs showed to the world that design matters. And even those worst detractors of the visual language had felt in love with his philosophies by using a Macbook, an iPhone or iPad.

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