1986  April Greiman

Bringing design into the digital space

New Wave artist April Greiman did not feel, as many of her peers did, that the computer threatened the craft of graphic design. She embraced the graphical user interface of the Macintosh and used it to create her seminal work of digital art, Does it make sense? The first of its kind, the piece inspired a new generation of creative professionals who began to see the potential in pixels.

Don’t call Greiman a graphic designer. She prefers the term transmedia artist. “When I got the Macintosh, it signaled the end of calling myself a graphic designer because ideas could cross platforms, change scale, change materials.”

In the mid-1980s, Greiman dared to do what her peers couldn’t fathom — mix traditional graphic art with technology. Using videos, photos, a scanner, and her Mac, Greiman explored ways to manipulate the two-dimensional constraints of the printed page and reimagine them in three dimensions.

“I realized the Mac could let me do everything in a much more interesting, more complex way.”

— April Greiman

Greiman’s groundbreaking concept for Design Quarterly magazine, titled Does it make sense?, paved the way for a new approach to print, to design, to art as a whole.

Now, nearly three decades later, Greiman is seen as a pioneer. “People my age, from my generation, jumped on the bandwagon way later than I did. They couldn’t imagine why you’d want to ruin something by using bitmap typography or something that was so low-res. It wasn’t like that for me. It was a joyous adventure.”

Introduced January 16, 1986

Macintosh Plus

The first expandable Macintosh, it introduced the SCSI port to the Mac, enabling the connection of external hard drives, scanners, modems, and printers. Thanks to Apple’s new LocalTalk networking technology, anyone with PageMaker software and a LaserWriter printer could design and print documents with beautiful text and graphics. Desktop publishing was born.

What people did with it

In 1986, the Macintosh Plus was many things to Mac users. Here’s how people say they used it the most.

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