Frank Orlando (Visual & Auditory Communicator, Public Speaker, Community organizer, Geek) will be joining us to create the graphics for the campaign and also for the film . We had a quick interview with Frank yesterday to find out a bit of his motivation for partnering with us for this project:
So Frank, tell me how you found out about Newton?
Back the early 90s, I spent a few years as a mural artist, mainly working in the local mall. There was a generic computer store there that had a display of the original. I still remember how blown away I was seeing a portable computer that seemed to do everything. What a contrast to all the other enormous beige blocks that were computers back then. One thing was clear to me was the complete lack of respect that store had for the Newton. My interpretation was they did not understand the level of what it could do and treated it as if it was a toy. It also was possibly because I had returned repeatedly to ask for specs, ask endless questions and request to play with it.
What was so great about Newton?
The Newton was the first time I thought about the concept of device convergence. The idea that a single device could hold all your information, be able to be productive, run business applications, and be entertaining, all in a small package. Back then the idea of a PDA, personal digital assistant, sounded too futuristic to be true. I was blown away that the Newton looked and behaved a hell of a lot like a Hitchhikers Guide Book. Which if I am completely honest with myself, it was what I really wanted it for. I am sure I am not the only person who wanted to put, ‘Don’t Panic’, in large, friendly letters on the cover.
What inspired your designs?
Part of my love of the Newton is the modular design. You really feel the device in your hands when you use it, the weight, it is a tactile experience. Part of that tactile experience is working with all the bits and pieces that come along with you. Anyone who has lived with the Newton knows it has an eco system of its own. I wanted to show that in these illustrations as a nod to that workflow of swapping cards and cables. A beautiful mess.
There is a sameness to portable designs these days, slabs and wafers of tinted metal. While beautiful in their own way, to me there is something human missing from the design. While there are ebbs and flows to product design I hope there is a return to the lines and curves of the Newton.
Why is this project special to you?
The Newton is one part of a greater love I have for old technology. Specifically, portables, like PDAs and laptops. I’ve been a collector for a long time and share that love with my close friends. Right now, we have an unprecedented amount of power in both our portable computers and in the palm of our hands with our phones. It boggles the mind on how far we’ve come in 20 years since the Newton was introduced. But to see that these devices, are truly the grandfather to the world of devices we know now.