Been busy – wait, let me redo that, BUSY!!! – lately with my daughter’s wedding which was an absolute joy! So, I’m late to this party, the Friday Topic of the Loose Blogger Consortium. Check out the other writers with links on the right side of my page to see what they wrote on this topic. And, try to figure out what editing they did along the way …
One of my jobs in the early 80’s was to run the data import department for a leading Bay Area typographer. Vera’s shop was top of the line for its time! I took in data sent on disk or over the phone line (in the days when FAST transmission was over a 2400 baud modem and 300 baud still was operating for many); back when coding the data on the fly for the text editing department was essential and high-level functioning; back when manual cutting and paste-up was done by Bob in the art department; back when there were no spell checkers that didn’t have actual DNA. And we were GOOD!
How good? One day, we were looking at a fully published book of ours and found a single typo. We were mortified! How could it happen?
Now, shackman may be one of the few who know about the technical piece I’m going to mention next, for shackman and I worked together at the place that supported Vera’s computer operation until I moved on and became a member of her staff. The technical precision at Vera’s went down to the level of manual kerning of letters in the text until it looked precisely right! Kerning is the art of moving individual letters closer to or further apart than they standardly are produced by equipment so that they are more pleasing to the eye! A capital “W” next to a lowercase “a” needs to be squeezed together a bit, for example. No two fonts required the same amount of kerning.
Perfection was the only acceptable end to us. Literally. The beauty was that it wasn’t forced on anyone, everyone desired it for their own reasons. Vera soothed people when there were mistakes, not confronted them. And, now, I am sitting next door to the man who officiated my daughter’s ceremony, the man whom I have considered a brother for many a year, the man who edited and re-edited the ceremony itself for six months, the man editing the pictures his wife took at the ceremony. She served as the photographer (because she’s just that good!) and their son served as our DJ and Master of Ceremonies. Their daughter served as a Bridesmaid and is like Lafawnda’s sister. The picture editing will be perfect when it is done and my friend will put in all the time it takes until each picture is just so, those that are keepers out of the 1400+ that his wife took!
There is a huge soft spot in my heart for people so dedicated to other people through art. We promised the kids we won’t show you any of the pictures until they return from their honeymoon and they can see them first – so hold on for a bit, Grannymar! The one I have shown you was taken by me.
But our appreciation for what our close friends are doing is enormous! We are taking their whole family out to dinner tonight at the finest Italian Restaurant in town.