Read the Original Brochure for Apple’s Groundbreaking Lisa

People from the 1980s using the Apple Lisa.

We’ve got a special one for you, folks. My dear friend and colleague Bill Scott found a delightful treasure while riffling through his archive a few weeks ago: the original brochure for the Lisa, Apple’s very first graphical user interface computer with a mouse. Bill worked at Hovey-Kelley Design when the firm created the first mouse (his beautiful sketches can be seen at the New Yorker).

Dating from early 1983, the brochure is a fascinating window into how Apple was thinking about the future of computers almost 30 years ago. It has hilariously florid discussions of how revolutionary the mouse is (“The mouse and the natural movement of your own hand. They’re all you need to control Lisa.”), overly obvious explanations (“The keyboard is just for typing.”), and the occasional fashion anachronism (see the vest and lavender bow above). Though it would be a few years yet until Apple became an industrial design powerhouse, it’s interesting to note how advanced the company’s graphic design already was — at least by the standards of the pre-Mac, dots-and-teal squiggles era.

It’s an enormous document, so I’ve uploaded it to Scribd, where you can read it online or download it for offline reading. Definitely worth your while if you bleed brushed aluminum.

  • oakdesk23

    Nice find! Too bad someone who was familiar with scanning software didn’t scan it… then it wouldn’t be “enormous” 

  • JohnnyMane9876

    my best friend’s mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. she has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. read about it here and follow the steps , http://shr.tn/th5N

  • erik25

    Nice comment.  Too bad someone’s grandmother never taught them; “if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut”.

  • Patrgnoster

    Is that Jobs himself in the background sporting the vest?

  • Figurative

    Well, if that was the case the Internet would be devoid of traffic (except for porn).

  • Bob

    Notice that with all the advances of technology the Lisa uses less max power than the current generation 27 iMac.  I know: not a fair comparison….but it still struck me.

  • Michael Mulhern

    So, you’d rather that nothing happened until someone came along, who understood scanning better?  Just be grateful that someone bothered at all, and posted so others could refer to it!

About the author

Pete Mortensen

Pete Mortensen is a design strategist for consulting firm Jump Associates and the co-author of Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, a book and blog that are significantly more interesting than you might initially think. Pete's particular Apple avocations are both around design--interface and industrial. Follow him on Twitter!

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