Vintage Computer Magazine Covers

Computer Magazine : February 1975

Vintage magazines fascinate me, they’re like paperback time capsules. Ones that focused on technology or computing are particular favorites of mine. The cover shown at the top of this post is central to a hazy memory I have from when I was a child. I can’t remember where I saw it, but I’m assuming by the date on the cover that it may have been in the school or public library. My memory didn’t come complete with the magazines’ title, so it took few specific Google searches to track it down. Fittingly, the name of the magazine was simply: Computer. 

According to the IEEE Computer Society, Computer has been their flagship publication for over 40 years. Out of the entire run, most of the late 70′s and early 80′s covers had the best art direction by a country mile. I wrangled a bunch of them over here to share, but you can see view all the back issues in their entirety on the IEEE Website.

In a time when computing was such an exciting new frontier, these covers really captured the imagination. The covers seemed so alien and mysterious to me as a youngster, but that’s really what was so great about them, and the reason they made such a lasting impression.

Computer Magazine : February 1971

Computer Magazine : April 1971

Computer Magazine : October 1971

Computer Magazine : May 1976

Computer Magazine : October 1976

Computer Magazine : November 1976

Computer Magazine : July 1977

Computer Magazine : September 1977

 

Computer Magazine : August 1979

Computer Magazine : May 1979

Computer Magazine : November 1980

Computer Magazine : June 1983

3 Comments

  1. These are really cool! Vintage art used to communicate “tech” or “the future” hold endless entertainment, doesn’t it? (Thank you Back to the Future)

    Design, music, film, an any other art used in the past to try and understand the future is of particular interest to me. Some of it is very concrete, some of it is highly symbolic. Either way, the way we relate to it is interesting… the mysterious future of the past is our reality, so it resonates with us as past a present at the same time.

  2. Right on, Dave. I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s the inherent mystique that these images hold; the melding of some contemporary iconography of the time with idealistic imagery of an unrealized future.

  3. “Idealistic imagery of an unrealized future”… nicely put. It’s also fun to see what ideas ARE realized. Star Trek communicators are the most obvious example (cell phones). Tricorders/tablet computers have been fully realized as well (though I’m not sure how sophisticated they are in the medical field). I’m still waiting for transporters and hover-boards!

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