Dave Sutton – under the arches

Dave Sutton, Senior Creative, 25 years at Delineo

As part of our series of interviews with staff members at Delineo, Dave Sutton, Senior Creative takes to the couch and shares his experiences of life, work and even a few of his predictions for the future.

Can you share your earliest memories with us.

My first year was spent quite literally in the dark. I started at Delineo in 1988 and was put to work in the darkroom for 10 hours a day. I came out like a mole. It took me 20 minutes to adjust my eyes… I couldn’t find my bus stop!

What was the next big challenge for you?

Five years on (I was out of the dark room by now) and we had made the conversion from the board to Macs. This happened overnight and was massive. We knew it was inevitable but it was incredibly scary and completely changed the way we worked. We had to hit the ground running. At times when the pressure was on, you would find me back on the board as it was the fastest way I knew to get the job out of the door! The first Mac I used had a 150MB hard drive and was, I think a Mac II.

What was your first live job on a Mac?

It was vouchers for Airtours and I did them in Freehand. We also had very early versions of Quark, Illustrator and Photoshop. We learnt them all on-the-job through trial and error, there was no one else to ask as we had all been using them for the same time.

What was the next big thing for you?

1998, Nick Melvin took over Delineo. We had lost quite a few staff, the typesetters who were simply unable to convert to Macs and redundancies due to the decline of the business. We were down to six staff at that point. Things were bad. I can remember Nick saying “If anyone has got any ideas on how to save the business, let me know”. I don’t know how he did it, but the work started to come in and I’m glad to say we’ve gone from strength to strength ever since.

What other key turning points have you seen over the years?

The end of repro, in other words, the first time we went straight to plate. This was huge. It skipped a stage in the design process and saved a lot of money. And in 2000, the internet exploded and once again revolutionised the way we worked. We went from using photodiscs for images with such limited choice to having an almost limitless supply of images. Everything changed, communication changed, file transfers, everything.

What was the first website you visited?

Manchester City’s first website… at least this is the first one I’ll admit to looking at!

What are your predictions for the future?

  • Time travel. I believe it’s possible.
  • Teleporting. Definitely.
  • There will be no such thing as money. We will use a form of credits.

See you in the future and Merry Christmas!