September 3, 2022
Mike Parker was a typographer with Mergenthaler Linotype Company. He was known for bringing together more than 1000 typefaces in the worldwide Linotype font library. He was called the godfather of Helvetica.
My friend Vic was a professional graphic artist who became friends with Parker.
“In mid-1990, Parker, along with Victor Spindler, a professional graphic designer, founded Pages Software Inc to create a design-oriented desktop publishing software package.”
The company was founded in San Diego. Their building had a Pages logo on the outside.
Vic and Mike traveled the country using Mike’s corporate contacts to assess companies’ typesetting needs. They discovered disparate graphic identities due to a company’s use of different typesetting houses. This disparity could be solved by including templates in the Pages Inc word processor. The look and feel of documents created from the same template would give a company a consistent looking identity.
Templates would be a central feature of Pages by Pages.
The two businessmen met with Steve Jobs to pitch investment in the company about 1990. They did not take any money from Steve.
In 1994 Pages by Pages was shipped for the NeXTSTEP computer platform.
In 2005 Apple released a word processor as part of iWork, called Pages. They did not have the rights to the Pages Inc application or any of its code.
Sometime after the meeting with Mike and Vic, Steve Jobs hired programmers away from Pages Inc. and rewrote the application. The final product was essentially a clone of the original version.
How can you avoid this kind of industrial espionage?
The short answer is, “You can’t.”
Pages Inc. did all the right things. The app was copyrighted and documented. They did not, however, have the resources to sue Apple over the infringement. Lawyers said that a battle over Pages would have costed 15 million dollars. And so it goes.
I have seen the Pages product mockup and packaging. It is truly a treasure of history. It is no doubt Vic’s most prized possession.
To be fair, I use Pages. Knowing the truth, I feel a little guilty every time I do. Pages is a fine word processor and is compatible with so many word processing formats, most notably Microsoft Word.
I recently used Microsoft Word for the manuscript of my book, “Technically Human.” Its formatting and Table of Contents automation are powerful and accurate. Also, the publishing services I used require the .docx format. But when it came to publishing to Apple Books the export to their store is built right into Pages. Export to .epub for ebooks is simple and true to the formatting and page breaks originally created for the paperback. Still, I feel a little sad every time I use Pages.
The saddest part of my friend’s story is that he was denied his legacy. Only a handful of people know of his development of Pages.
But now you know Vic’s legacy too.
“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is now available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.
Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.
Great job Rick! You did it again. BTW could you sign my copy of Technically Human sometime soon?
I hope to be in your neighborhood next week and will see you then Vic.
Such an interesting story. Even though they didn’t get any money from Apple, was their company profitable?
Pages by Pages Inc. was only released on the NEXT computer. A short while later Steve Jobs sold NEXT to Apple. Then Pages was included in Apple’s iWork and Pages Inc. had no market.