1-bit Posters

Graphics programs like Illustrator and Photoshop have gotten increasingly complex over time. But what would happen if you stripped off all the bells and whistles and were left with the essence of a graphics editor? Today three friends and I explored that idea using MacPaint, the very first graphics editor to ship with the original Macintosh in 1984. We dubbed our casual collective “Wherewolf” and set out to create a series of posters based on headlines from trashy UK newspapers. We loaded up MacPaint using an old Mac emulator, set a time limit, and began fumbling through the (relatively) ancient interface. 

The MacPaint interface. Here I'm editing one of my posters. Only a small part of the document that's visible in the window, can be edited at one time. You can't edit while looking at the whole document. Though the interface is old, many of the tools are the same today. 

The MacPaint interface. Here I'm editing one of my posters. Only a small part of the document that's visible in the window, can be edited at one time. You can't edit while looking at the whole document. Though the interface is old, many of the tools are the same today. 

My first poster, based on the headline “Attack of the giant spider: Eight-legged freak interrupts BBC news bulletin as it creeps across camera to snatch prey". 

My first poster, based on the headline “Attack of the giant spider: Eight-legged freak interrupts BBC news bulletin as it creeps across camera to snatch prey". 

My second poster based on the headline "Man accused of killing roommate ’asked Siri where to hide the body‘".

My second poster based on the headline "Man accused of killing roommate ’asked Siri where to hide the body‘".

My final poster of the day was based on the headline "170 pigs killed by rare ball of lightning". I always think it’s helpful to give yourself limitations when designing, and working with the limitation of old technology turned out to be a pretty fun experience. 

My final poster of the day was based on the headline "170 pigs killed by rare ball of lightning". I always think it’s helpful to give yourself limitations when designing, and working with the limitation of old technology turned out to be a pretty fun experience.