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April 17, 2014 2:50 PM   Subscribe

ALT/1977 is a series of advertising mock-ups which imagines modern products with the aesthetics and production of 1970s consumer electronics. Faux-wood paneling, angular fonts, and more orange than you can shake a stick at.
posted by codacorolla (60 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Place Invaders."
posted by Adridne at 2:58 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Pung
posted by leotrotsky at 3:04 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


LapTron 64. Love it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:05 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


"...our company definitely wasn't stared by rogue time travelers from 33 years in the future. Like at all."
posted by Hactar at 3:07 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Double but I don't care I love seeing it again.
posted by The Whelk at 3:07 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


But can you play Manholes of Venus on it?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:08 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Needs more avocado green.
posted by perhapses at 3:20 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I really hate the color orange. And if this is the next phase in mid-century madness, I am going to pretty much lose my shit. This is just fair warning.
posted by jph at 3:50 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


jph, don't you think the non-existent totally fictitious time travelers already knew that and planned this all in advance? They're watching on the sidelines, giggling and just waiting for you to lose your shit. No warning necessary.
posted by janey47 at 4:00 PM on April 17


I'm sorry jph but it's already happening, 70s hyper hit avant guarde is all over the hip antique stores and design fronts, it's a little colorful and south American, but everything looks like a prop from Modesty Blaise.
posted by The Whelk at 4:05 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Orange may be the Most Awesome color.
posted by maxwelton at 4:41 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Those headphones look amazing, even though your hair would constantly get caught in the springs.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:45 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


> if this is the next phase in mid-century madness

Yeah... Those of us who were there at the time remember the seventies as involving a whole lot more than orange, orange, orange, and beige. But not to worry. The really trendy kids seem to be into the black-and-neon eighties these days.
posted by ardgedee at 5:13 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Naw the really hip are in this mid 70s Euro-art space, lots of heavy prints and dramatic lighting and deep pile brown carpets supporting white ceramic statues and primitive chic knit work.
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Somewhere I have a copy of House and Garden magazine from 1970 with the cover story "Introducing The Colors of The '70!". There's some just astoundingly ugly colors in that issue. I really should dig it up and scan it and post it somewhere.
posted by octothorpe at 5:45 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


There was mostly green. Most of it ugly shades of green.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 5:49 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Those of us who were there at the time remember the seventies as involving a whole lot more than orange, orange, orange, and beige.

There were also avocado and goldenrod!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:50 PM on April 17 [15 favorites]


This reminds me that I would do terrible things to get my hands on a laptop with a mechanical keyboard. I don't care if it's 3" thick and 20lb, I just want a 1920x1200 IPS screen and Cherry MX browns.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:55 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


But not to worry. The really trendy kids seem to be into the black-and-neon eighties these days.

Yeah. I saw a couple of college kids with rat tails at a gig and thought "Great. Looks like we're getting the cartoon version of the 80's in this revivalist wave."
posted by sourwookie at 6:02 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Those of us who were there at the time remember the seventies as involving a whole lot more than orange, orange, orange, and beige.

Yeah, there was avocado green, and autumn gold! And that awful maroon and crap brown combo they loved for that faux brick vinyl tile that was so popular in kitchens, and dark walnut wood paneling with black stained vertical grooves breaking it up, and lime green shag carpeting, shiny red cheap plastic housing on electronic doodads, and subdued, smeary colors on polyester clothing.

And that was just my house as a kid!

Most of all, my memories of the seventies are of unrelenting dreary colors. No wonder the 80s were so over the top bright.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 6:24 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I would buy that phone today. It reminds me of my first mobile, the Ericsson GA628. I loved that little brick.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:25 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


And that was just my house as a kid!

Also my grandparents' house, 1975-

Aside from their late-90s VCR/DVD combo player and newish flat TV (sitting on top of a 1970s wooden floor model), walking into their house is like setting a time machine back 40 years. They even have the same giant 400-watt microwave purchased for a small fortune in the late 60s, with its on/off switch and built-in mechanical egg timer
posted by maus at 7:04 PM on April 17


Those headphones look amazing, even though your hair 'fro would constantly get caught in the springs.
posted by mattoxic at 7:18 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to see the past through the lens of younger people who weren't there. Certain stereotypes are played up while others are not, probably because they aren't aware of them.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:21 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


When I was a little kid in the early 70s, I used to ride in the cargo area of our avacado green Ford Pinto. It had faux wood paneling. My mom made my dad get rid of it when she found out that the gas tanks on those had a bad habit of exploding in rear collisions. It looked like this, but newer.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:29 PM on April 17


Just the thing to get us ready for Space Station 76!
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:33 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


There will always be orange. Even in the year 2273.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:44 PM on April 17


My bedroom in 1977. Orange. So, So, Orange.
posted by not_on_display at 10:08 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Abigail's Party. Those high-waistband trousers with the 2 sets of buttons up the front... paisley shirts, tank tops, and FLARES ! Pinafore dresses and gingham shirts. Oh man. Cullottes, clogs, espadrilles and hush puppies.
posted by marienbad at 11:03 PM on April 17


(octothorpe - my favourite means "YES! Please do this!")
posted by marienbad at 11:04 PM on April 17


Don't forget almond to go with the burnt orange, avocado green, and harvest gold.

OTOH, appliances were built like tanks; my almond 1978 kitchenaid has never broken a gear or a paddle, unlike my roommate's 1995 that has stripped 4 gears and destroyed two whisks and a paddle on the same recipes.
posted by Dreidl at 11:07 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Have you built an Atari today? How about one made out of wood?
posted by trackofalljades at 11:08 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


If my favorite unreleased indie film of all time ever actually were to get a wide theatrical run, I would love love love to see posters for it designed by this artist.
posted by trackofalljades at 11:13 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Almond can come back but orange, avocado, and yellow can stay in the past where they belong. I was having painful flashbacks to my childhood home (remodeled in the late 70s) while looking at those mockups.
posted by immlass at 11:14 PM on April 17


I am seriously in love with the Pocket HiFi.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:15 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Why didn't early computers come in orange?! Heathkit (which I built with my dad), Sinclair, and Atari got the textured-pictures-of-wood treatment, but not orange.
posted by Dreidl at 11:30 PM on April 17


It's interesting to see the past through the lens of younger people who weren't there. Certain stereotypes are played up while others are not, probably because they aren't aware of them.

It kind of hurts my head, all the "this is what the 70’s / 80’s / 90’s were like" things on the internet that are just so wrong in most respects. I may just be looking at it wrong though.

It has given me a greater interest in and a different view of history in general. Trying to figure out how things were hundreds or thousands of years ago is quite a challenge when the general view is so warped of a past so recent that a large percentage of people alive today were there.

I’m also fascinated by what gets passed down. It’s often commercial items, things that didn’t necessarily reflect the real world at the time, but later are taken as an accurate depiction. A lot of little things that were a part of people’s life are forgotten because no one really had a reason to talk about them or record them, they were things everyone knew about.
posted by bongo_x at 1:09 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Why didn't early computers come in orange?!

http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/mcs_drumcomputer.php
posted by bongo_x at 1:10 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Why didn't early computers come in orange?!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:24 AM on April 18


Like what, bongo_x? I love to hear about this stuff.
posted by STFUDonnie at 4:34 AM on April 18


Pung

Yeah, it's entertaining for a while, but a simulation just can't recreate the excitement and skill of real, physical Peng-Pung.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 4:41 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


TakeMyMoney.gif

Also, apparently my parents decorated their house in the seventies.
posted by drezdn at 4:41 AM on April 18


I was just lamenting to all my friends that computers no longer have wooden ends like the Sol-20 or the Challenger 4P, but right as they came on the scene, Apple Computer invented eighties beige and the epoch of wooden computers met its Permian-Triassic Boundary.
posted by sonascope at 4:53 AM on April 18


Some of the earliest personal computers (or "microcomputers", as we called them in the late Neolithic) didn't come in orange because they didn't come with cases--they were kits, like the Apple I, and you had to provide your own case, along with keyboard, power supply, power switch, etc. The Apple II was more fully kitted out, but it also cost about $5000 in today's dollars, and this in an era in which people were still trying to rationalize getting one of these things, so it was made beige to fit in an office environment better so that you could write it off as a business expense.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:09 AM on April 18


To be certain--I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the Apple ][.

In fact, it's the first real flowering of what Jobs was great at doing, which is to make a complete experience for the user by creating machines that invited simpatico, and the case design of the ][ is absolutely sublime, like the computing equivalent of car with a nice easy-open hood over the engine compartment. It is, though, at the very roots of the beige computing family tree. Wasn't long after that the sort of two-tone blues of, say, a Lear-Siegler terminal, were doomed until the next big thing came along.
posted by sonascope at 5:25 AM on April 18


I'm disappointed that they've only done the same three products over and over again: cellphone, mp3 player, laptop. The execution is pretty good, if a bit orange, but I wish they would look a little further than these low-hanging fruit.
posted by gauche at 5:51 AM on April 18


it was made beige to fit in an office environment

In one of the earlier William Gibson novels, a character is giving an oral anthropology of the desktop computer, and she (I think it was a she) has a theory that the reason computers from this era were beige is because the guys who were making them were terrified as shit of what they were creating and needed them to appear to be as innocuous as possible. I've always liked that.
posted by gauche at 5:53 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I remember some old DEC computers were orange. DECSystem-20, maybe?
posted by rmd1023 at 6:29 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I remember 1977 well and I don't remember it being so orange. In terms of color scheme, there was a lot more avocado and mustard-yellow. And my parents were into mint green (house and car both) but that might just have been them.
posted by aught at 6:40 AM on April 18


Oh, it was super orange. And brown. And gold. And avocado. One day I'll upload pictures of my parents house in the 70's. They were all the hip.

BTW, anyone remember this print? They still have this hanging in their living room.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:53 AM on April 18


I remember some old DEC computers were orange. DECSystem-20, maybe?

The DEC manuals, as I remember, all came in orange binders. I wish I had kept some of them!
posted by crazy_yeti at 7:22 AM on April 18


yeah I remember 1977 vividly. Because the personal electronic I had, that I used the most, was the cassette tape recorder / player that my parents had that I played with ALL THE TIME.

it had brushed chrome and faux woodgrain textured ends and looked almost exactly like this. Behold, 1970s electronics tech that actually existed!

and yeah, orange really was a thing. My mom painted the entire livingroom in our house in DC bright orange sherbet orange in... 1973, I think? Gah, I can still remember the stench of that paint to this day. Orange paint has a peculiarly intense funk that nothing else does.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:45 AM on April 18


I remember 1977 well and I don't remember it being so orange.

My parents redid their kitchen with yellow painted cabinets and ORANGE countertops. (Allcaps to indicate color intensity.) We moved out after my dad died in the late 80s and I hope the folks who moved in renovated again because those were butt-ugly countertops.
posted by immlass at 10:13 AM on April 18


Orange paint has a peculiarly intense funk that nothing else does.

Was it Sateen Dura-Luxe? I hear that stuff will outlast the smile on the Mona Lisa.

I like to pronounce 70's orange as "orinch" just to get across the extreme flavor of that color.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:58 AM on April 18


And in 20 years we'll be saying, "UGH, look at all those fugly stainless appliances! Can you believe people put that in their kitchens? And why the hell were all of the portable devices that weird soft white, or black? Every piece of home entertainment was BLACK! Man, they had no taste back in the early 2000's!"
posted by Mr. Big Business at 12:59 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Mr. BB, I already see those hideous, heavily-patterned granite countertops with the rococo ornate edges in real estate photos and go "gah, what were they thinking??" and that particular trend isn't even a decade old yet I don't think.
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:28 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


When the 90's revival hits it will be nothing but Hunter Green. Hunter Green everywhere.
posted by sourwookie at 8:20 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


"Flashback Friday?"
posted by mikelieman at 2:57 AM on April 19


The bedroom that I shared with my older brother circa 1977 had wallpaper with a black and white checkerboard pattern. Each square of the pattern was shaped such that they formed larger 3D geometric shapes. Little me learned a lot of swear words while my dad hung that wallpaper.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:35 PM on April 22


Sometime around 1970-75, my wife's grandfather painted almost all of his wood furniture with green antiquing. My kids use one of the dressers to this day. They think it looks cool. I think it looks hideous.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:48 PM on April 22


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