I am so old that I started using Freehand when it was owned by Aldus.
After this became the company known as Macromedia and rest is
history with Adobe that discontinued developing this great product.
Among many artists and designers Freehand has been a great tool for
making vector graphics. Some of the workflows take less amount
of time when compared to Illustrator.
Why freehand was popular? and still is!
Applications like Freehand is popular of it´s simple workflow
because advertising industry needed a software to meet it´s tight deadlines
which was followed by an era called desktop publishing and vector graphics. This is when advertising
and printing companies did not have to outsource their work in reproduction
houses aka repro companies. Many of these companies that had invested of physical
hardware machines went to dust because soon anyone with lowcost setup and
enough computer skills could make graphics on their own. This was around late 80´s when freehand came out
in the market.
I have seen the breakthrough of film scan and computer graphics in nineties but have also seen
these oldschool people who still had their awesome handicraft in layout and
skills in making stencils. I have learned some paper cutting too when I was
a trainee in a small company that did color separation work in early 90´s. Sometimes real tools are much more dangerous than digital ones.
Perhaps the weirdest looking devices still are