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Making the Mac: 20 Vintage Apple Ads

Print has been acquired by an independent group of collaborators—Deb Aldrich, Laura Des Enfants, Jessica Deseo, Andrew Gibbs, Steven Heller and Debbie Millman—and soon enough, we’ll be back in full force with an all-new look, all-new content and a fresh outlook for the future! In the meantime, we’re looking back at some of our favorite pieces. Enjoy.

From the curious introductory price of $666.66 to spreads featuring David Carson, old Apple and Mac ads are fascinating. On the practical side they also chart the swift evolution and perception of personal computers in America, as the conversation shifts from convincing potential users about the worth, utility and operation of the machines to the bolder tone Apple adopts as PCs become ubiquitous.

Mac Mothership, which maintains a fascinating archive of all things Apple, allowed us to dig through their collection of print ads. For more—and for larger versions, which are linked below—drop by the site.

Here we follow the trail of Apple ads that laid the foundation for the company prior to the bold palette dancing silhouettes and Feist videos that dominated in the early 2000s.

One of the first Apple ads. 1976. 4K RAM.

1976 Apple II Introduction Ad (1/2). “Now you’re ready for an evening of discovery in the new world of personal computers.”

1976 Apple II Introduction Ad (2/2).

1977 Apple II “Simplicity” Brochure.

Apple II 1979 “How to Buy” Ad. “Suddenly everyone is talking about personal computers.”

1979 Apple II “Adam” Ad. “What in the name of Adam do people do with Apple computers?”

1979 Apple Pascal “Iron-On” Ad. “When you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

1980 Apple II Ben Franklin Ad. “It’s a wise man who owns an Apple.”

1981 Apple III “Will Someone Please?” Ad. (1/4)

1981 Apple III “Will Someone Please?” Ad. (2/4)

1981 Apple III “Will Someone Please?” Ad. (3/4)

1981 Apple III “Will Someone Please?” Ad. (4/4)

1981 “Baked Apple” Ad (1/2).

1981 “Baked Apple” Ad (2/2).

1981 Chait/Day “Seriously” Ad.

1981 IBM “Seriously” Ad.

1984 Apple IIc Introduction Ad.

1992 PowerBook Ad, featuring Steve Wozniak (1/1).

1992 PowerBook Ad, featuring Steve Wozniak (2/2).

“What’s on your PowerBook?” Ad, featuring Gene Shalit.

1996 Power Macintosh Ad, featuring David Carson (1/2).

1996 Power Macintosh Ad, featuring David Carson (2/2).

1997 Apple “Create” Ad.

1997 Mac OS 8 Introduction Ad #1.

1997 Apple Macintosh “Leave Your Mark” Ad.

1998 iMac “Chic. Not Geek.” Ad.

1998 Think Different Ad, featuring Muhammad Ali.

#DavidCarson #appleads #macads #vintageads #advertising



PRINT (founded 1940) is where creative people gather to inspire and build design dialogue. Perpetually curious about everything design, we report on, curate and celebrate visual culture, the makers of that culture and the expression of graphic design in all its forms and mediums.  


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