American Printer's mission is to be the most reliable and authoritative source of information on integrating tomorrow's technology with today's management.

Frank Romano Returns to Cal Poly as Research Professor From Industry

Oct 1, 2013 12:00 AM

         Subscribe in NewsGator Online   Subscribe in Bloglines

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 (
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.
About Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department
The Graphic Communication Department was founded in 1946 and is one of the largest and best-known programs of its kind. It includes concentrations in graphic communication management, web and digital media, design reproduction technology, graphics for packaging, and individualized study. The department, part of the College of Liberal Arts (, is supported by industry with grants, endowments, equipment, supplies and software for it’s more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories. The department is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications. The Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly focuses on services for industry including research, testing, product evaluations, consulting, training, seminars, workshops, conferences and publishing.
Industry icon Frank Romano instructs Cal Poly graphic communication students on book production. Romano is a Research Professor From Industry for the fall term at Cal Poly.