This retro bit of advertising done by a designer is quite clever. Imagining current products as if they were conceived in the stark, wood-paneled world of 1977 is pretty funny. The art’s well done, the devices seem like they’d fit right in, but one thing leaves a bit to be desired, and that’s the fact that the ads are just not very subtle about the “no, seriously dudes, we’re not time travelers, really” bit. Clearly writing isn’t this dude’s forte, being a designer is. Still, these things could only get better by not beating the reader with a joke like it was a sledgehammer.

One of the finer truths about writing, “Show, don’t tell,” could have been put to great use here. Drop some hints that they’re not exactly of this time. Be a little mysterious. Let the reader figure it out without dropping the bomb on him and it’ll be a more fulfilling experience. The great idea of this concept is already evident, so let it run its course, otherwise you’ll look like Jimmy Fallon, laughing at your own terrible gags.

On an aside, this brings up just how awesome technology has gotten over the past twenty years or so. Sure, we had home computers and vidyagames in the 1970s, but imagining a 24/7 interconnected network that let you talk to anyone in the world instantly via voice, video, or text? They’d probably call you crazy. Maybe that old saying about sufficiently advanced technology being similar to magic really is true.

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