(Well, not recently…)
My first job was working the grill at Coney Island with my friend Gretchen. We got covered in grease and bleach while all our other friends goofed off as parking attendants, reading books and getting tan.
I’m not bitter. We ate better and made tips.
My second job was at Kroger, renting out VHS tapes and, once a week, making signs for endcaps and displays.
I was sent to a workshop to learn the “Kroger way” of writing these signs.
It was actually a hoot, wandering around the store with a clipboard, taking “orders” from department managers. Then I’d fill up the back room with the smell of chisel tip Marks-a-Lot markers.
I was the in-house design department. Painting the front windows once (disaster) and I also made a t-shirt (my first).
I held this gig for a good long time, but when my senior year of high school came around, it was time to turn in my badge and focus on my studies (senioritis).
Today I was shopping (the stomach bug has passed), stocking up on all the pop-tarts my brother keeps eating, and I noticed the signs are now computer output. Printed with a perfect incarnation of the Kroger sign font.
I’d say this is a terrible sign of technology taking over creative gigs, but I don’t think so. The proliferation of blogs and digital photography, self-publishing for goods like t-shirts, books, pins, and even distributing video, it’s a great time to be expressive.