I haven't been very good at keeping up with this series, have I? That's assuming that you can even remember it - because I see that it's getting on for the best part of a year since I told you about the Litchfield Street days. I have very fond memories of that place. But sooner or later, all things must pass. And so I moved myself and my studio to home, to work solo again for a while:
Yes, it's one of those. But I'd prefer not to tell you exactly which one, if you don't mind? And the move coincided with some tumultuous times: there was the boom and bust of the late Thatcher era and some very difficult family circumstances. But I set myself up in a studio in the attic space - it's under two of those Velux windows that you can see here:
And there was one thing that made this arrangement possible: the fax machine (remember those?). Because it meant that all of a sudden I had a means of showing things to a client without having to be on their doorstep every working hour of the week. And after two years of this I bought myself a computer: and, no, not a Mac, but an Apricot XEN. With a massive 30MB (yes, that's megabyte) hard disk. Which cost me the best part of £7,000. No other designer I knew had a computer at the time. In fact, if I mentioned it to any of my fellow travellers, their reaction was always "I'm never having one of those - I don't want to be a secretary". But it meant that I could format all of the typesetting that I ever needed and get it delivered back to me the next day (via a bureau in Aberdeen, of all places). It all sounds very primitive now, but back then it was the future. And it put me in a position of being able to take on an assistant.
And then the business grew. And we switched to Macs: a Quadra 650 if I recall correctly. Shared between three of us (basically because the thing cost £17,000 together with an A4 laser printer and copies of Quark XPress 3, Photoshop and Illustrator). But we couldn't manage like that for long. So more Macs were bought. And we grew. And more staff joined. And we had to take over one of the bedrooms just to fit us all in (I think we got up to six in number). But eventually, the strains of running a business inside a family home bacome too much for everyone to bear. Which led us next to a basement (but I'll tell you about that another time).
But I (without the staff) did eventually return. And I'm writing this now from underneath one of those Velux windows. Look closely and you might just see me waving to you.