My apprenticeship. At first, 16:00 to midnight shifts, of which most of the time was spent in a small darkroom developing film. Then, after a few months, I was “promoted” to the day shift. Finally, I could start practising all the things I’d learned at college. The work wasn’t glamorous, but it was interesting.
Being situated on the grounds of the CSIR, there were a lot of information sheets and brochures that passed our desks. Now and again a brochure for a lodge, a wedding invitation, or a novel. Run-of-the-mill stuff. A nice benefit, as part of a larger printing company, was to see how the printing process worked from start to finish – everything from foils and varnishes to custom dies.
You can say what you want about middle-aged South Africans in the late nineties, but that didn’t apply to the ones working at BDRC and BPC. When a request came in from a gay nightclub for a campaign with posters, brochures, booklets, stickers, etc, they didn’t bat an eye and we simply got on with the job.