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A Wiper for Every Need

kimwipes You know, I started this blog to talk about news and politics. I wasn’t prepared for rude poetry and potty humor. Still, I’m on a roll!


Yeah, look what I found in the back of a drawer today. Kimwipes! We used to buy these by the crate; now this sad, mustly little guy is probably the last of his kind in captivity.

I’ll bet you didn’t know there were different wiping needs, let alone that someone prided himself on being the standard for his particular wiping duty.

Kimwipes were a designer’s essential; they’re hard, lint-free wipes primarily used for mopping excess wax off galley using powerful, braincell-eating film cleaning solvents. If you don’t know what the hell activity I just described, don’t bother learning — the old way of preparing publications for print is never, ever coming back.

Not even after the apocalypse, when we’re running around with mullets and shoulder pads popping caps in each other’s asses.

See, the old photographic processes were extraodinarily complex, sophisticated and expensive. Assembling a magazine required several gigantic specialty cameras, many different kinds of film and papers, all sorts of amusingly lethal chemicals and a thousand little specialty items of no use to anyone else ever again under any circumstances. We had burnishers, waxers, rollers, wipers, technical pens, non-repro pens, markers, swatches, specialty knives of all sorts, registration marks, tracing overlay, illustration board, foamcore in an assortment of colors, lead holders, lead pointers and leads. We had rubylith and amberlith (which we called rubylips and amberlips), the Leroy lettering system, and something we called a Blue Thing, which was a burnishing tool that came inside tubes of 3M photo mounting adhesive but was the best darned all-around essential paste-up burnisher ever.

I can remember six different kinds of tape I couldn’t get through the day without.

Man, sitting here thinking about it, more and more stuff is coming back to me. The specialty furniture, the lighting, the drafting tools, the calculators, the stencils, the Letraset thingies and the Pantone dinguses. And we haven’t even touched on the darkroom stuff yet.

Huh. Not all earth’s vanishing languages are in Siberia or New Guinea.

October 2, 2007 — 6:26 pm
Comments: 29