I started designing on a Sinclair Spectrum as a kid in the early 80′s, using packages which didn’t even allow me to save what I’d created.
They had 8 colours. I learnt to dither to simulate more. I created fonts on an 8X8 grid. It beeped. I bought a multichannel sound board. Then it beeped in 4 channels.
I programmed graphics and games and wrote music on 8-bit machines. I worked my way up to the Atari 800 XL – which gave a whole rainbow of colours (256 in fact) to choose from. It also had multichannel sound. I wrote music by programming Basic, created sound envelopes with for/next loops. For a while its capabilities overwhelmed me.
I got over it and bought an Atari ST in 1989. This had 4,096 colours and built in MIDI sockets.
It had the GEM operating system – one of the first GUIs. I got a DTP package. I got a word processor. I got an art package. I could save things to floppy disk ! I got a MIDI sequencer. Heck, I even got a dot matrix printer. I produced lavish black and white dotty graphics at University. I produced MIDI music.
Throughout academic and early work, I always became the presentation guy. Whatever was available; from crayons, sugar paper and Spraymount to Vax VMS and colour laser printers I’d be trying to improve how everything looked.
Then one day I heard of this thing called the Internet.