Author Topic: Which software did they use for album layouts?  (Read 1095 times)

Offline Syntho

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Which software did they use for album layouts?
« on: September 30, 2020, 03:01:57 AM »
In the 90s and possibly prior, was there any particular preferred software for making an albumís liner notes, graphics, images etc? Taking a look at some of my old albums on CD, I wonder how they did all of that.

That also brings up a few more questions. Some of the albumsí band portraits look really crystal clear. I imagine they were shot on 35mm photo cameras and the scanned. So that makes me wonder... the scanners they used back then mustíve been very very expensive, or, perhaps there was a digital film scanner that they used connected to a Mac. Anyone know more about that?

One last thing: I noticed that video cards on older Macs just donít cut it. When I use a video card that is at least on a G4, things look a whole lot better. So if people were designing CD booklets back then, how did they deal with such crap quality images that a Macís video card produced? The image on screen wouldnít have been nearly the quality of what would have been printed.

Offline macarone

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Re: Which software did they use for album layouts?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 05:35:42 AM »
>In the 90s and possibly prior, was there any particular preferred software for making an albumís liner notes, graphics, images etc? Taking a look at some of my old albums on CD, I wonder how they did all of that.

Prior to the 90's, virtually all offset printing was from plates made from film exposed by camera.
The most used imagesetters which exposed film directly from a computer were "Linotronic" made by Mergenthaler Linotype Co. which rasterized PostScript files at high resolution. They became available in 1984, but were very expensive, and it took a decade before they became popular.

https://www.prepressure.com/prepress/history/events-1984

Online IIO

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Re: Which software did they use for album layouts?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 06:09:40 AM »
quark 3 with tiff images was the industry standard for more than 15 years.
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Offline teroyk

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Re: Which software did they use for album layouts?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 07:37:23 AM »
how did they deal with such crap quality images that a Macís video card produced? The image on screen wouldnít have been nearly the quality of what would have been printed.

Pictures was just files and when you design album covers you just saw place holder for hires-picture and if you took preview you just see that quality that video card gives and final press quality was much better. Real pros understand even these days that video card RGB-output is different (even calibrated monitors) than CMYK press printing. I have done offset-plates in 2018 and I have to say it's even easier to make them when you have crappy monitor than you even don't think that you see what you get and learn how inks behave in different papers in different ink spot sizes and I checked zooming 1000% separations. Good digital technology doesn't help make better thinks, if you don't know that you making thinks to analog world.
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

Online IIO

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Re: Which software did they use for album layouts?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 08:09:57 AM »
wer monitors really "crap" in 1990?

they had these "farbstation" type of monitors everywhere - and everyone was using Mac OS because of the better colormanagement options.

regarding color, they were for sure better than the first generation flatpanels 10 years later.

and if you are unsure about aliasing of lines or fonts on your CD booklet on a 72dpi monitor you could just zoom in and step back and all looks fine. :)
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Offline teroyk

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Re: Which software did they use for album layouts?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 08:22:15 AM »
wer monitors really "crap" in 1990?
they had these "farbstation" type of monitors everywhere - and everyone was using Mac OS because of the better colormanagement options.
regarding color, they were for sure better than the first generation flatpanels 10 years later.

Old CRT monitors had long time better colors than LCD.

and if you are unsure about aliasing of lines or fonts on your CD booklet on a 72dpi monitor you could just zoom in and step back and all looks fine. :)

That was my point.
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

 


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