KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

May 26 2010

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Reality is subject to change without notice

Thanks to our design assistant, I’m frequently reminded about how much has changed since I started in the business. Not that she points it out, but I do, and explaining it to her reminds me of all the old-timer’s stories we rolled our eyes at. That really hurts.

For example, she doesn’t really comprehend a time when we didn’t use computers for design work. She doesn’t hand-draft, nor does she calculate much without a pre-built spreadsheet. (Nor does she remember the days when 20-20 came with about a dozen 5-1/4-in. floppy installation disks.)

She expects most small orders to arrive—complete—within a couple of days and gets miffed when they don’t. “There are plenty of other companies to choose from,” she says. I still marvel that there are more than two.

She knows there wasn’t always a Web; she simply doesn’t understand. She looks horrified when I tell her we used to use catalogs, and magazines—for everything. Or how we waited for the reps to visit to find out what the latest trends and products were.

Or how, a decade ago, the web changed our lives: A former boss paid a small fortune to join a new website that listed all the latest major appliance specifications for immediate downloading. (Via phone modems, of course.) No more sagging shelves filled with out-of-date, or worse, incorrect appliance specs. No more dashing to the appliance store to check measurements (providing that the store had the actual appliance.) No more fine print: Appliance specifications are subject to change without notice, so there, pbthbhth. (Your interpretation may vary.)

I’m saving that one for the right “And we walked uphill both ways in the snow, sister!” moment.

What’s interesting is that that same decade I just mentioned above represents the difference in age between the two of us. That’s how far our field has come.

I’m holding out for another 10 years to see her expression when she starts teaching her own design assistant. I can’t imagine where we’ll be then, but I’m sure hoping I can keep up.

Until next time~


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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