April Greiman: biographical poster from Design Quarterly 1987

April Greiman: biographical poster from Design Quarterly 1987

Three years after the invention of the Apple Macintosh – one of the key technologies bridging the analogue and digital design epochs -the leading graphic designer April Greiman puts the Mac and its software tools through their paces. In 1984, the Mac was sold with bundled software produced by Apple, including MacPaint (a bitmap editor), MacDraw (a vector-based graphics program), and MacWrite – a cool word-processor. Combining this suite of software to produce a life-size (6-feet long) fold-in poster for an issue of Design Quarterly, Greiman pulls together her fascination with contemporary iconography and reprographic processes and uses a scan of her own body, and her idealised ‘spiritual double’ complete with montaged annotations – all this on a Mac with a one-bit (black or white) screen of 512×342 pixels (about 7 inches by 5 inches), a printer that only printed US Letter size (8.5×11 inches), and a scanner not much bigger than the standard paper size. Greiman, trained under leading Swiss School German designer Wolfgang Weingart, was the first graphic designer to illustrate the potential of digital. Despite the low-resolution, miniature screen size, monochrome limitations, Greiman celebrates these qualities while transcending their limitations, creating an icon of the transition to digital.

This poster was featured in a series of double-page spreads in Greiman’s monograph Hybrid Imagery – The Fusion of Technology and Graphic Design (1990) – in itself a seminal influence on graphic design, and an inspiration for designers, typographers and intermedia artists.

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