Ephemera site Retronaut has collected a gallery of classic Apple ads running from 1975 (with a black and white ad for the Apple-1) up to 2002 (for the iMac G5). It’s a fascinating collection of how the company presented itself to customers when it was on top of the world with the bestselling Apple ][, to its slump in the ’90s, to its resurgence with the “i” line.
The early ads are colorful and crowded, full of pictures of people with the computer and loads of text explaining what a personal computer is, what it does, and how it can help you. A strange reminder of a time when most homes didn’t have a computer, let alone several.
This “more is more” approach continues with only a few exceptions: lots of explanatory text (indeed, one ad is nothing but text). Keep in mind, this is the era when Apple software was revolutionary, but the hardware was boxy, beige, and putty-colored.
This changes with the introduction of the iMac. Photos of the computers move front and center, taking up most of the space in the ads.
Check out the full gallery to take a trip down memory lane. Make sure to check out the ad where Apple advertises its latest breakthrough in networking technology: their telephone modem, designed so your land-line can sit right on top of it!