In the second installment of our Public Holiday Project series, we here at ToneCorp decided to create a series of posters paying tribute to one of humankind’s most amazing inventions to date; the Walkman. 32 years ago today the first Walkman was released to the world and things would never been the same. Though the functionality inherent in the TPS-L2 had been around for some time in professional models for journalists, never had they been collected in a unit affordable for the common music fan. Debuting at ¥33,000 (US$200), to coincide with Sony’s 33rd anniversary the unit was a slow seller at first but quickly gained popularity with an innovative advertising campaign from Sony.
Supposedly Sony Chairman Akio Morita asked his team to create a portable device so that he may listen to his favorite opera’s on his frequent trans-pacific flights. 30 years of court battles and a whole bunch of cash would reveal that Sony may have borrowed the idea pretty heavily from Andreas Pavel’s Steroebelt, first developed in 1972, seven years before the Walkman would debut.
At the end of the day the Walkman was an amazing invention that for the first time in history would allow anyone to completley replace their audio input. No longer did you have to listen to the birds chirping outdoors, your mum telling you to make your bed or oncoming traffic honking as you jaywalk a red light. For the first time you could be in a private space whilst in a public space, a phenomena that would later be termed the “Walkman effect”, something that continues frequently today with iPod listening. Perhaps most importantly, this was the first time you could create your own soundtrack to what you were doing. No longer would you have to watch the Rocky montage with envy, now you could live it.
Today is a day to remember. Today is International Walkman Day.
Ben Hagley and Papa Marcus Design
Studio Lost & Found
Papa Marcus Design
Studio Bomba and Michelle Leslie
Brendan Hibbert Design
Prints available in our Etsy shop soon.