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©Copyright 2008, 2014 Eric Wrobbel



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First ad for LinnDrum Alternate Sounds. This simple headline moved a lot of tapes! On the tape were sound samples that could be ordered on plug-in chips for the LinnDrum Drum Machine. Keep in mind that showing these computer EPROM chips was a terrific eye-grabber at the time. A busy layout? Busy in the sense that there is a lot going on. But simple in the sense that there are really only four separate points of 'eyefall,' to coin a phrase. http://www.ericwrobbel.com/art/linngetthistape.htm

This simple headline moved a lot of tapes! On the tape were sound samples that could be ordered on plug-in chips for the LinnDrum Digital Drum Machine. Keep in mind that showing these computer EPROM chips was a terrific eye-grabber at the time. A busy layout? Yes, and no. Busy in the sense that there is a lot going on. But simple in the sense that there are really only four separate points of “eyefall,” to coin a phrase: the chips, the tape, the headline, and the rest. I find that artful grouping is the key to maximizing space without chaos.


Perhaps the most important design element on this page is the unsung but essential, and deliberate, white space around the bottom of the tape, separating it from the headline. This “air” is essential.
I was not involved in the photography here, and I’m afraid it leaves something to be desired. Communication fails when the communicator cares more about what he is saying than what his listeners hear. Photographers are communicators too. This one apparently thought it would be a neat little trick to light the chips from behind. But when is the consumer ever going to see these chips that way? When he puts them on his light table? Give me a break! This was the first time many people had even seen a computer chip. They should have been well lit naturally from the top with nice little natural shadows around them (not on top of them!)—all real and clear and glorious. Time and budget constraints prevented the photo from being redone. And, frankly, I was alone in my criticism. The client loved it. They had “art directed” it themselves.
 
Original pencil layout for LinnDrum Alternate Sounds ad 'Get This Tape.' This simple headline moved a lot of tapes! Showing computer EPROM chips was a terrific eye-grabber at the time (1984). A busy layout? Yes and no. Busy in the sense that there is a lot going on. But simple in the sense that there are really only four separate points of 'eyefall,' to coin a phrase. The finished version here: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/art/linngetthistape.htm
What: Concept, copy assistance, design, art
For: “Get This Tape” ad for LinnDrum Alternate Sounds
Client: Linn Electronics
When: 1984