The industrial artist in the early twentieth-century used the pen or pencil to create logos, or an ad campaign designs. The industrial graphic artist for the last half twentieth-century used pencils, pens, and an exacto-knifes. They used exacto-knifes to cut a new product named Rubylith to make photographable designs. The artist created the required designs with Rubylith. Then the artist photographed the images, using the photos to burn; plates and, silk screens to print lithographs, decals, and roll labels.
A short history of Rubylith explained below:
The invention of pressure sensitive plastic materials gave the artist an additional tool Rubylith. Rubylith is a brand of masking film, invented and trademarked by the Unlano Corporation. Rubylith consists of two films sandwiched together. The bottom layer is a clear polyester backing sheet. The top layer is a translucent, red colored, self-adhesive emulsion. It is designed to be both easy to cut with an exacto-knife and light safe for use with orthochromatic films.
Rubylith is used in many areas of graphic design, typically to produce masks for various printing techniques. For example it is often used to mask off areas of a design when using a light source to produce printing plates for offset lithography or rotogravure. It is also frequently used during screen-printing.
Information about Rubylith obtained from Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubylith
In nineteen-seventy-eight I began my sales career, selling silk-screen printed decals. Rubylith was the used to create images on a clear film base to burn the image onto the silk-screen. There used to be a job description at screen-printing companies, titled a Stripper. The title of the occupation described the day-to-day duties of the employee. He or she would strip the Rubylith design onto a film, which created the silk-screen to print the decals.
In the years since my introduction into the printing industry new technologies adopted by art rooms made the masking system detailed above more efficient. In the early nineteen-nineties a new technology the computer, changed the industrial art room for ever.
When the printing artist realized the power of the computer, art rooms changed forever. Then the computer replaced the pen, pencil and the exacto-knife, employed by the artist for decades. In the past the art room could make or break a dead-line it was a bottle-neck, but the computer changed that image.
In the late nineteen-nineties and continuing into the twenty-first-century the digital created artwork replaced the mechanical created art. The art room of the past had many items such as: light-tables, cameras, and stripping areas to mention a few. Most print manufactures, sold their photographic equipment, and light-tables are faint memory. Stripping departments’ are extinct as is the occupation of the Stripper. The tools of the art room are now the computer and the printer. Therefore, art rooms became smaller. Now were staffed with fewer personnel. The best part the art teams became more efficient.
Then printing industry combined the computer, with the new large format digital printer. This union created a new industry, Web-to-print. Web-to-print paradigm allows the consumer and a company to design a desired printed product from their computer; then the design is sent to the printer via the internet, without speaking to a sales person. The process is seamless. Proofing, payment, and shipping directions are all communicated electronically. The best part the printer saves money, time, and scheduling errors, and the customer saves time, and money.
It is a brave new world. The computer now is being pared to the three-dimensional printer. However, that is another article for another time.