Who is Fred Showker
Fred Showker, was born on August 18th, 1950, in the backwoods of Virginia. Now retired, Fred has been involved in the graphic arts industry for nearly a half century. He embraced computers and the online world with the advent of Apple Computer from the first Apple IIs until today. Graphic Designer, illustrator, photographer, teacher, author, publisher and columnist, Showker's career has followed a diverse path.
After graduating from VCU, and working for a year producing animations for public TV, Showker founded, owned and operated Showker Graphic Arts & Design (Showker, Inc.) in 1973. This advertising graphic arts production facility in Harrisonburg, Virgina has produced more than 7,000 successful projects for more than 600 clients. To his credit are three National Dynamic Graphics Awards, numerous PIVA and Printing Industries of America awards, and the 1987 Package of the Year award for consumer packaged goods. He won the coveted Desktop Publisher of the Year Award for Aldus (Pagemaker), and was cited as among the top four desktop publishers for Mac Guide Magazine.
He began publishing DT&G ezine in 1988, and established The Design & Publishing Center on eWorld and GEnie in 1988. In 1989, Fred's Great Graphics session at Macworld Expo featured Russell Brown of Adobe with the introduction of Photoshop and in 1990 he began "Photoshop Tips & Tricks," one of the first online publication for Photoshop users.
Ten years later, DTG took the coveted GRAND APEX award for best electronic publication of the year. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Showker has authored more than 2,800 articles and content items for an average 250,000 readers per month. DT&G Zine and The Design & Publishing Center have received more awards than should be published here, including C|Net's "Site of the Day", USA Today's "Hot Site", Publish Magazine's "Site to See."
DT&G is a one man tour de force of advice, instruction and how-to's pertaining to
all things graphic! . . . There are other ezines about design and art.
But none approach the usefulness of this one."
FRED SHOWKER teacher, speaker, presenter
Fred presented talks, seminars and presentations for many venues over the years including Macworld, Multicom Expos, In-House Graphics Magazine, New Media Expos and Dynamic Graphics DGEF, among others.
His seminars have brought such topics as creative layout techniques, web design, presentations, multi-media design, brochure design, and typography WOW to employees of more than 500 organizations including Apple Computer, Microsoft, Phillips, Merck, Ford Motor Company, the State of Maryland, Chicago Newspapers, Wired Magazine, and numerous nonprofit organizations such as The United Way, National Library Association and the U.S. Armed Forces. His 1993-96 tour of "Newsletter Make-over Clinics" brought crituques and hands-on make-overs to hundreds of businesses such as Caterpillar, 3M, NRA, National Underwriters Labs, University of California, Maryland State, The United States Air Force and a myriad of ad agencies and DTP studios.
As an adjunct faculty member of James Madison University (JMU, Harrisonburg, VA) he's taught Publication Design and Introduction to Digital Graphics and Introduction to Typography. Additionally, he has presented seminars and workshops for user groups, civic groups, PTAs and schools on internet safety, spam and online crime.
FRED SHOWKER : Computer & User Group Industry
Fred was one of the first to embrace computers in the design industry. In 1986, he was among a handful of studios to slave a Macintosh computer to an A&M Compset photo typesetting machine. He has been a long time computer and online connectivity pundit. He is the founder of the Design & Publishing Center as well as Editor in Chief of the User Group Network News service. Thousands of computer users all over the world know him from his column, 60-Second Windows, syndicated in newsletters throughout the user group community since 1988. Many know him best through is active participation in Apple's user group programs including the revitalization of the "Apple User Group Advisory Board" in the 1990.
Showker's involvement with Apple computer users and the user group community began much earlier however. He has been an active computer user group evangelist since 1984, involved in many activities for Apple and the User Group Community. He was an active participant with the original Apple User Group Department, contributing to such projects as "Just Add Water" (JAWS), and the original "QuickConnect" Mug newsletter. He acted as presenter and participant in Apple's first User Group University* in 1987, (above, left) with the Apple User Group Connection (UGC), as well as Apple's eWorld.
Through the late '80s to the mid '90s, he was a board member of National Apple User Groups (NAUG), National Apple User Group Symposium & Workshops (NAUGSAW), and the rebirth of The User Group University (UGU).
Having long-standing experience with BITNET, Compuserve, Delphi and GEnie, he was invited to participate in the establishment of the first User Group Forum on AppleLink PE (ALPE) and later for Quantum Computers, who eventually changed their name to America Online (AOL). There, he was cofounder and Forum Leader for the first online User Group Forum (UGF). He served as contributing editor for the Mac User Group News Service (MNS, MUG News), and served on the boards of both The Computer Users for Social Responsibility (CUSR) and The National Home & School Mac User Group (NHSMac).
Beginning in 1995 he co-founded the User Group Academy which has given more than 100 awards to user groups for excellence in the community -- from the first "Nice Ice" award given to Chuck Joiner in 1996, to the "MD Apple Corps 25" award presented in 2003. Through his activities in the User Group Academy, he founded the User Group Grants program which over three years awarded more than $50,000 in educational grants to user groups partnering with K-12 public schools. Awards events featured guest presenters like David Pogue and Steve Wozniak. (Three examples of which may be seen at the now inactive UG Academy archive site.)
Today Showker is Editor and Publisher of the User Group Network, the continuation of the AOL User Group Forum where he is co-editor and publisher of the "Info Manager" weekly newsletter and numerous articles and reviews for user groups and interested readers every where. He was cofounder and active contributor to The User Group Academy and The Association Of Apple Computer Users & Groups (AACUG) where he established the "Safe Netting" advocacy group.
In 2002 he authored the ISP Anti-Spam, Self Regulatory Initiative to fight spam and cyber crime on the internet. In 2003 he was part of the FTC Spam Forum. In 2007, Fred and brother Joe Showker presented anti-spam and "Safe Netting" seminars at Macworld Expo. Today, he and his brother continue the "Safe Netting" advocacy for digital ethics and child safety on the internet. The Safenetting web site and Facebook pages stay up to date, and Joe Showker continues work in the public schools and community seminar programs for consumer safety in the digital world.
FRED SHOWKER Community Supporter:
In 2005 he and his wife, Carol, established the "Appleseeds Foundation" a private 501(c)(3) foundation where he continues his work supporting and promoting quality education, technology and quality of life for children and the underprivileged. Appleseeds is an active supporter for the Harrisonburg Children's Museum, Explore More Discovery Museum, Boys & Girls Cubs, Blue Ridge Community College, and many others. In 2008, Appleseeds established the Appleseeds Technology Awards. He and his wife enjoy building homes in the "Habitat for Humanity" project, and in 2009, completed their second house.
Showker was a graduate of the Communication Arts & Design School of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU, Richmond, VA) and is active in local civic organizations. He is a Key member in the Harrisonburg Community Foundation, on the board of Shenandoah Valley Economic Education.
Showker retired and closed Showker, Inc. in December of 2014 -- today he concentrates on his family, his blog "60-Seconds.com" and his philenthropic activities. He and Carol enjoy their new granddaughter, photography, gourmet cuisine, travel around the world, and cruising the highways of America in their RV, and the waters from Ft. Lauderdale to the Florida keys and beyond.
Thanks for reading . . .
A personal note from Fred Showker:
I invite you to contact me, and share your comments and views with the world of visual arts and the computing community.
P.O. Box 10
Weyers Cave, VA 24486
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