Deke's Techniques 595: Mastering Adobe Illustrator 88

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke takes a look at the history of Adobe Illustrator (which turns 30 this month) by playing around with Adobe Illustrator 88.

Illustrator 88 splash screen

This was a team effort, with the Deke's beleaguered support staff (finding and) installing all the necessary software, then Deke digging out his Mac Paint files, then finally my going over to the storage space to dig out a copy of Mastering Illustrator 88 that Deke wrote 29 years ago so he could remind himself how to use it.

Deke with his Mastering Adobe Illustrator 88 book

Funny thing was, it didn't turn out to be the laugh riot the way Deke's Photoshop retrospective was in Episode 303. There was a lot that early Illustrator could do, even text if you were willing to put up with a dialog box like this.

The Type dialog box in Illustrator 88

Check it out, take a look back at the time where you made new anchor points with the scissor tool (?), and join us in wishing Illustrator a happy birthday.


. Tagged with:



LOL "despite 3 decades of progress.."

Illustrator 88 was an absolute breakthrough for people who had access to PostScript output, especially Linotronic imagesetters. Blends were especially powerful, I remember there used to be a Desk Accessory that you could use to calculate smooth blends, you could input the output line screen and the start and end CMYK values, and the distance across the page, and it would calculate the number of steps needed to make the blend smooth without banding. Of course this could still produce baffling results, I remember one designer gave us some files that had a blend, the yellow plate had a blend from values only 1 apart, something like 10 to 11. It produced a negative with a big zaggy line between the two values. This caused us considerable confusion and several debugging and re-output runs, until we decided to just run a Matchprint proof from the films, whereupon we discovered that you could not tell the difference between the two values of yellow and you couldn't see the banding. The pale yellow values were too weak to show banding distinctly. Then we were puzzled why the designer would even blend between the two values at all, it would have looked basically the same with only one value of yellow.