Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Aldus...what's in a name...

Aldus FreehandI am working on a project in the office that has me revisiting legacy Mac software, circa 1990 and up. These applications, although primitive by today's standards, were cutting edge in graphic design and publishing in the day, and required a top of the line Mac to work correctly. Top of the line at that point was just edging up toward a PowerPC processor, with screaming speeds of 100mhz or more. The machines were also equipped with massive storage drives of 4GB and RAM as much as 128 MB. Sadly, today, cell phones, video game consoles and mp3 players are of higher specs than that.

The software of the day for designers and publishers consisted of such things as QuarkXpress, Photoshop, Illustrator and Aldus Pagemaker, Persuasion and Freehand. I have always wondered about the company name "Aldus"...where it came from and what their logo stood for. As I have been digging all over the internet looking for links to these legacy pieces of software, I have gotten an answer to my it is:

from the website Dead German Project: Aldus Manutius:

"....While Aldus Manutius was justly famous as a grammarian and humanist, his greatest contributions to the world of information were as a typographer and editor. Aldus was tutor to Alberto Pio, Prince of Capri, who later funded the Aldine Press in Venice. It was at Aldine Press that innovations in typography, printing and publishing opened the world of Greek and Roman classics to the masses...."

Makes perfect sense now, doesn't it? If you are interested in finding out more about Aldus Manutius, follow the link above to the Dead German Project. There are many links included with the feature article on the page, including external links to samples of his printing work. It is definitely worth a few minutes of your time, and you never know, it may show up as a Jeopardy question some day!

That's it for now...till later, much love to you...