Thursday, April 18, 2013

Roland "The Creative Answer" Original Stickers, 1977 or 1978


Roland "The Creative Answer" Original Stickers from approximately 1977 or 1978.

If you haven't guessed by now, I don't just love old synth ads. I've posted brochures, catalogs, newsletters, sell sheets and even belt buckles. But I'm pretty sure this is the first sticker set. 

So.... like, awesome.  Where to begin?

Well, that small middle sticker is a good place to start. Yup - that's a circular System 100 sticker with an actual little System 100 photo. Looks almost like a poker chip. When I was first getting into synths, a good friend had a System 100 in his basement and I loved going over there to noodle on it. I think it was the modularity of it that interested me most. Especially the sequencer. It was in great condition too.

The dude with the headphones and the guitar are also fantastic because the imagery is a great reflection of the time period.  The bandana/scarf around the neck, the hair cut, the v-neck shirt. All of it.  Even the boots with the stars on them.

But, with no date included on the sticker sheet, I had to estimate the year it was printed.

The colouring is still so bright that a part of me is still not convinced this is from the 70s. I did a few Google searches to see if I could find anything similar and nothing came up. A few Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears) stickers came up though. I almost got sidetracked looking for other 80s new wave band stickers.

I also decided a few MATRIXSYNTH searches were in order. LOTS of great stickers there from a lot of synth companies. I recommend doing a few searches yourself if you are interested. But again, nothing resembling this Roland sheet came up.

With my suspicion *almost* subsided, my first idea to estimate a print date was to look at the tag line found in some of the stickers - "The Creative Answer" - to narrow down the time period. But I'm writing this part of the blog post in a hotel room and don't have access to my library of documents. I tried a couple of quick Google searches with the tag line but it didn't bring up anything.

Reviewing other Roland ads already posted on the blog found that by 1979 Roland was already using the "We Design The Future" tagline in brochures and ads. Earlier ads like this 1977 MicroComposer ad, this 1977 System 100 ad, or this 1978 "You simply don't outgrow the best" family ad don't seem to mention "The Creative Answer" anywhere in the ad-title or ad-copy. But my blog posts still make up a small sample size of world-wide Roland ads, so that tag line could still very well have been used somewhere else in print. Very likely, I'd say.

In the end, I had only the few pieces of gear that were included on the sticker sheet to help me. And based on the System 100 - introduced around 1976, and the SB-100 - introduced around 1977,  I decided that most likely the sheet was printed in 1977 or 1978.

Even now I'm still a little suspicious that these stickers may not be from the 70s at all. But they look nice, especially that System 100 sticker.

And I'm keeping 'em.  :)

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