Side Note

Old-School Texas Instruments books are a treasure trove of great graphic design

The Internet Archive is maybe the only chill thing on the internet these days. Spending hours sifting through it can be like walking around a library, pulling volumes at random, and occasionally having your mind blown by something you never knew existed. Though it’s by no means new, their collection of TI-99/4A books fell into this category for me.

Released in the early 80’s, the TI-99/4A came into the world at a time when illustration played a more prominent role in graphic design than it does today — if you wanted a realistic image that was out of the realm of possibility, you couldn’t get there by using Photoshop or rendering it from scratch, you had to find somebody to draw that shit.

And if you did decide to create a graphic digitally, it was going to look very much like you made it on a computer.

The books in the collection almost uniformly feature incredible graphic design, and looking at them makes me wish everything still looked like this:

Love to master the TI-99 with my golden sword.