End of an era, for me any way.
Once upon a time, typesetting the financial sections of company annual reports was a very lucrative business. I had the opportunity to work on a few of the AR’s from some of the top companies here in Illinois. Little companies you may have heard of like Sears, Allstate, Walgreen, Grainger, Morton International, Harris Bank, Motorola and Peoples Energy. Amongst many others. Over the past 25 or so years I typeset the financials on well over 200 AR’s.
As I said, it was once lucrative.
Years ago here in the Chicago area there was an informal group called The Chicago 35. They were the top 35 design firms around here. Over the years I got to work for and with over half of them.
If you ever read any comments I make about how things look… websites, magazines, photos… it stems from the association I had with those designers. I do my best to keep my mouth shut, but now and then I just can’t help myself.
I was very well trained.
Mediocrity is unacceptable.
This also caused big problems for me. I’m never very happy with the things I produce for myself. I have to force myself to accept and put out there things that I feel fall short.
I’ve almost learned to live with it.
Then about 10 years ago, things started changing. Financials were simplified to the point of being the ugliest things in an AR. The typesetting of them was sent out to places like India, China and other countries where English is barely a second language. In order to compete with them, I would have to do the AR’s for free.
For the past few years I’ve only had one AR to do, a little drug company called Abbott Laboratories. Beautiful AR year to year if I can boast a bit, done by a design firm called Hartford Design. The owner Tim says he fly fishes, but I’ve never seen it. If any one reading this has a need for high quality design for damn near anything, give Tim a call.
And if you get him out fly fishing, take a picture of the event and send it to me. I want proof of what he’s told me in the past.
I just sent off an email to Hartford… due to time constraints caused by the first full time job I’ve had in over two decades, I will no longer have the time to work on the Abbott Annual Report.
And with that, another door on the past slams shut.
Now, what’s next.