Skil-Set/Alpha Graphix underground newsletters

After my introduction to computer typesetting in the early 1980s at TV Compuset, I got hooked on being able to create materials using various typefaces. When it was time to go pro, I bought an IBM Selectric III and a bunch of type balls.

The Selectric III provided years of amusement, but after my introduction to job-shop computer typesetting in the late 1980s, I could see there was much, much more. In short order, I met my first Mac, bought a Mac Plus, and plunged into desktop publishing, thanks in part to Mark Heliger at CommType in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles*. If I remember correctly, my first big project with CommType was the owner’s manual for the Chroma Polaris electronic keyboard.

CommType became Access Publishing, which then merged with a traditional phototypesetter by the name of Skil-Set/Alpha Graphix. I came on board to get the DTP department up and running, and stayed on as the second-shift supervisor.

Unfortunately, all was not well at SS/AG, so after blistering management with suggestions and memos, I published an underground newsletter for the employees.

* One of the more laborious but ultimately satisfying projects at CommType was creating a digital version of cartoonist Matt Groening’s hand lettering, the results of which can be seen on the titles of every episode of The Simpsons.