This post is going to be unashamedly nostalgic. On top of that it kills two of my hobby horses withe one stone (apologies for mixing my metaphors).

Continuing on my perennial theme of my formative design years, I discovered a book yesterday gathering dust on a forgotten bookshelf. I remember buying this book in the mid eighties and back then it was a relatively big ticket item. Buying design books for work was one of my treats: I’d take the book catalogue home and over a cup of tea, carefully select which design book I’d get the most mileage out of and which had the most ideas I could nick.

Graphis were the annuals to get and I had quite a collection. They connected me to the seemingly glamorous international design scene and in particular the US where my design heroes came from. Graphis annuals were jam packed with great ideas, big brands and briefs that were a designers dream. Certainly this designer, sat at a drawing board in an office, above the Shadwell branch of Ainsleys. These books spoke of big budgets, inventive print finishes, state of the art typography and photography I could only dream of.

I think the corporate identity book was the one I anticipated the most, so it was a joy to rediscover it. And my joy was made complete when I saw that one of the case studies in there was for a fledgling technology company from California called Apple.

Looking at the date when this was published, I don’t think we’d actually got macs in the studio but it must have been around that time. I make no apologies for the double geekiness of this post – it so hits the spot for me and I’m sure it will resonate with many readers. I’ve grabbed as many shots of the case study as is proper on these occasions and I think it only right that they do the talking.

For those of you out there who aren’t in the design world, the spreads depict the corporate identity (as it was called before branding took over) of Apple Inc and some of the rules around how to use and examples of the identity in action. It’s a lovely snapshot of the Apple brand stretching its legs in the early days. Even back then they were pretty sorted as you can see and after a blip shortly after this period, they’ve grown to be the world-beating company we know so well.


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