In praise of Letraset
When I was sitting in a particularly tedious presentation the other day involving far too many PowerPoint slides, I found myself reminiscing about my father creating diagrams for presentations using Letraset and then photographing the diagrams to create slides. Â This, as you might imagine, was a real pain and so presentations tended to have far fewer slides. Â Was the quality of presentations better in the good old days? Â Probably not, but at least people were spared theÂ spectacleÂ of someone trying to get through 40 slides in a 20 minutes presentation. Â We have all been there.
In the mildly amusing book, Â Is it just me or is everthing shit?Â the entry on Powerpoint reads:
“A Microsoft computer program which makes people think and talk shit”. Â
I can’t help thinking that there is some sense in this. Â Technology makes lots of things easier, but this ease of production causes a corresponding decrease in quality. Â some examples:
- Mobile phones make it much easier to meet up, but people never make proper arrangements any more
- BloatedÂ coding creatingÂ unwieldyÂ applications (e.g. anything by Microsoft). Â This never happened in the days when code was typed out from magazines (yes I did do this as a child)
- Emailing lots of people at once, most of whom won’t be interested
- The proliferation of shit ebooks
Whilst I’m not advocating a return to the past, is it too much to expect that we can learn from it? Â The very sensible Swiss might be onto something with the anti-powerpoint party.