Frank Romano Returns to Cal Poly as Research Professor From Industry

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Graphic communication author, researcher and educator Frank Romano will serve as Research Professor From Industry at Cal Poly for the fall term. 

Romano, professor emeritus from the Rochester Institute of Technology, will volunteer with Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department, teaching book production and publishing. In the spirit of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing teaching philosophy, Romano’s students will produce a book and be credited as co-authors with Romano.

“It will be the ultimate test of Learn by Doing,” said Romano. “Over the 10-week term, students in Cal Poly’s graphic communication program will produce a high-quality, 380-page book with more than 300 color illustrations.”

The book, “History of the Phototypesetting Era,” will document advances in technology that changed the printing and publishing industries from 1945 to 1985. During that time, typesetting and prepress evolved from analog to digital methods with 345 models of phototypesetting machines competing for market share in the newspaper and commercial industries. While the book focuses on the specific process of phototypesetting, it will also document how technology evolved. This book will be the first complete historical account of this era in printing and publishing.

“It’s an honor to have Frank Romano here to work with our students on this project,” said Ken Macro, chair of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department. “Frank’s knowledge and experience in the area of phototypesetting is, in effect, a rare, applied, in-depth history lesson.”

The book will be printed in Cal Poly’s graphic communication labs using offset lithography and digital printing processes. A team of 14 students will design the book using Adobe InDesign and manage color files to print consistently using two different printing processes. Industry vendors will be approached to donate consumables such as paper.

Romano has collected most of the artifacts, photographs and promotion materials of the era. “This book will be a time capsule for a bygone era,” Romano said.

All proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Graphic Communication Department and Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly (www.grci.calpoly.edu).

Cal Poly’s Research Professor From Industry program dates to the 1980s and provides the opportunity for highly experienced professionals to share their knowledge with students. Organizations such as Apple, Adobe, Information Architects, National Printing Bureau, JAPAN, K/P Corporations, AdMail Express, U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing have participated.