Category: Retro

Art

The role of Art Deco in fashion and textile designs over the years

During its conception, Art Deco was the newest style of its kind while boasting of strong attachments to other art styles and periods. It nurtured elements but at the same time reacted and even turned away from others. It gets a lot of similarities from its predecessor, Art Nouveau, such as geometric forms, exotic elements, as well as multiple dimensions and perspectives. During the Art Deco period, a lot of attention was given to textile design. At the time, fashion was the second biggest industry in export and carried heavy importance in the recovering economies right after WWI. Furthermore, Art Deco associates the technological innovations of the machine age, carrying with it a tendency to lean towards the urban and industrial scenes, which are prevalent in the metallic color palettes and the clean ergonomic lines of vehicles and objects. All of these were seen clearly in the evolution of textile and fashion design. The images below show the evolution of Art Deco design....
Art

Contemporary Islamic art as a means to connect the past, present, and future

Islamic art's parameters have gone beyond the traditional definitions over the past few years. Museums, private collectors, and gallery curators have paved the way towards a more contemporary age of works coming from the Middle East. Islamic artists have started to garner inspiration from a variety of sources: their own culture and traditions, as well as modern life. They use techniques, ideas, and imagery that date back to past centuries. In the images that you'll see below, you'll see these conventional methods almost "reinvented" by expressing more modern subjects and ideas. Doing this, in a way, "frees" the artists from Islamic patronage and functionality, as their predecessors were once constrained. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been active in acquiring and preserving these pieces of contemporary Middle Eastern and Islamic art, believing that the art's relevance lies not simply as "art", but also as a means to explore the culture and...
Art

An altar of self-professed ‘junk’ becomes a source of introspective art

It is always said that art depends on the eyes of its viewer. With that being true, many will disagree on what constitutes art - and what is merely trash. However, a lot of fans and critics have come together to behold Huffer Collective's recent work: a towering pyramid of various knick-knacks. It is comprised of random things, from detritus lights to bootleg videotapes to ribbons to Star Wars figurines to photos of known personalities (hello, President Bush!) and a whole lot more. The piece contains an altar-like installment at the center, titled Save Your Selves. While the artwork is amazing seen as one whole body, many find it equally awesome to try and process each nook and cranny that makes it up. This artful heap of 'trash' - which goes all the way up to the ceiling - is now available for viewing at Locust Projects. ...
Art

Hobby between friends turns into promising magazine venture with eccentric prints

Introducing Buffalo Zine, the brainchild of Adrián González-Cohen (creative director) and David Uzquiza (graphic designer, art director). The two men were friends since 1999 when they met as students. Over the years, their friendship led to one of the most fascinating magazine ventures of today. Buffalo Zine is a totally hands-on process. Each issue is made from scratch and takes years to complete. In fact, the two artists did not think that they would be publishing at all. It simply was a humble hobby shared between the two of them. After producing thousands of copies, they decided to distribute... and the rest was history. Now on its fourth issue, copies of Buffalo Zine can be bought online. It follows a classic newspaper format - one that is almost extinct in our modern and digital age. What once was kept in the garage is now a real and flourishing venture between childhood friends. /...
Creativity

7 objects that have self-deprecating thoughts

Blending her background in typeface design and hand-painted signage, Annica Lydenberg founded the design studio Dirty Bandits to work on typography, lettering and illustration projects. In a series called I'm a Piece of Garbage, Lydenberg rescues retro objects that were on their way to the dumpster and hand-paints them with puns and self-deprecating phrases. “With these phrases Dirty Bandits touches on deep insecurity and a struggle to maintain a sense of self worth,” says Lydenberg.   ...
Illustration

A submarine for one

In a project called Under the Sea, fictional submarine designs capture the imagination. The realistic renderings show the underwater vehicles with smooth chrome plating, believable bolts, and hints of seaweed. The illustrations are by Yonito Tanu and Jessica Chapiness who work together under the name Hunky Dunky Studios. The Madrid-based artists collaborated on this project with Chapines working on the story and Tanu doing the art direction and rendering. ...
Creativity

Painting pottery with chemical reactions

Kevin Kowalski’s pottery studio is in California. His pottery craftsmanship stands out for mastering the decoration process called Mocha Difussion, a technique originated in England during the 18th century. It is the chemical reaction of an acid on top of a wet alkaline surface, resulting in patterns spreading in dendritic branches. To see more of his chmically-embellished work, visit his website, YouTube, Instagram, or Etsy. ...
Illustration

12 animated illustrations of retro technology

French illustrator Guillaume Kurkdjian has tapped into the nostalgia of vintage electronics with his series of animations. Posting these musings about retro technology on the project’s own Tumblr page, Electronic Items includes renderings of old video game consoles, 8-track tape players, and a dot-matrix printer. Whether you remember using these devices or have only seen them in attics and vintage shops, these sweet animations are sure to delight.  Which pieces of outdated technology do you remember? ...
Creativity

Science Combat: a new game with awesome animations

Brazilian illutsrrator Diego Sanches has partnered with Pixel Art Animations to create a fantastic set of characters for Superinteressante Magazine’s new game, Science Combat. With an 8-bit pixelated aesthetic, the animated GIFs include characters such as Charles Darwin throwing punches, Pythagoras doing karate chops, and Stephen Hawking in a flame-throwing wheelchair. Beyond these basic moves, each character has their own “special moves” that play off the character’s scientific discovery. In an evasive maneuver, Steven Hawking uses a wormhole. Pythagorus does a triangular leap. And Charles Darwin flies thanks to the animals of Natural Selection. ...
Retro

Retro technology: the last audio cassette factory

“I think you can characterize our operating model as stubbornness and stupidity,” begins the Bloomberg Business video about the last audio cassette factory. Based in Springfield, MO, the National Audio Company opened in 1969 and hasn’t yet stopped production. After weathering the doldrums of cassette production in the 1990s when all other companies were switching to CDs, this lone cassette factory is currently producing more cassettes than they’ve ever made. In addition to revealing the company’s surprising business model, the video shows a clip of the company’s Chief Technician, Robert Coverston, who maintains the company’s equipment. He calls the machines “orphans” because they haven’t been in production for many, many years. With a small stock of old machinery that he uses for parts, he has the DIY task of repairing, soldering, and patching the equipment to keep production running smoothly. ...
Creativity

Limited edition shoes for geek girls to collect

Nicholas Kirkwood has a very creative vision and likes to challenge conventions. He founded his own shoe company on 2005, and in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his company, decided to launch “10”, a model collection inspired by games, toys, and films from the 1980's. This British designer likes to design “...for a sophisticated woman with an implicit understanding of luxury who has a strong defined vision of herself and her personal style.” Check out more of his footwear designs on his website,  Facebook or Twitter. ...
Painting

8 tasty food patterns inspired by vintage advertisements

Illustrator Kelly Gilleran has an unlikely inspiration — vintage advertisements in mid-century magazines. She considers these hand-drawn illustrations to be nostalgic and enticing. Drawing from this vintage aesthetic, Gilleran took a break from more series painting projects to develop a series of patterned food illustrations. While pancakes and ice cream sandwiches are timeless treats, the jell-o mold design certainly refers back to a 1950s issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. In contrast to the “little vignettes and perfect fantasies” that Gilleran finds in old advertisements and cookbooks, she says, “Now everything with advertising is done with either heavily edited photography or digital illustration, the warmth is taken away, and so is the sense that someone made this.” ...
Industrial design

Return of the Polaroid

Polaroid’s newly released Snap Instant Digital Camera is similar to a blockbuster sequel — will it flop or will it soar? With new cellphones having amazing cameras included, it’s unclear if there’s room in the market (or in people’s pockets and purses) for another gadget. Yet, Polaroid remains committed to the concept of on-the-spot photo printing. The new product produces prints that are 2x3 inches, with camera capabilities that shoot at 10 megapixel resolution and hold a Micro SD card up to 32 gigs. Do you like the retro-mod design and four color choices? It was developed by San Francisco-based design studio Ammunition. The designers were challenged to make the device as small as possible, re-engineering the interior of the device to accommodate the printer. ...
Graphic Design

Short film pays homage to 1980s movies in all their ridiculousness

The epic 30-minute action comedy short film 'King Fury' by director David Sandberg is finally unleashed in its full glory, now available for free streaming on Youtube. Originally a successfully funded Kickstarter project, the short is a no-holds-barred parody of over-the-top '80s cop and sci-fi films. Complete with kung fu time-travelling cops, vikings, dinosaurs, and Hitler (played by Jorma Taccone of The Lonely Island), 'Kung Fury' is guaranteed to be a crazy fun ride through '80s aesthetics and cliches (with added lasers of course). Check out the fantastic short in full below, and visit the website for more on this cool project. ...
Design

Unlikely design love – Ugly airport carpet has a cult following

Portland International Airport's carpeting is 25 years old, and for many people, it falls into that category of “it’s so bad that it’s good.” The geometric patterning of mostly blue and green was installed in the airport’s 14 acres of floor space in 1987. And with the appeal of a cult classic, the carpet has become beloved to many a traveler and Portland native. The vintage carpet design has spawned a cottage industry as a result of the public’s unlikely love affair with the pattern. Companies such as PDX Carpet, Made in Oregon, Keen Footwear, and Namu Designs have all embraced the design in wares including t-shirts, footwear, tote bags, bike helmets, and other merchandise. And yet, all good things must come to an end. The carpet is due to be replaced in November of 2015. ...
Design

Wes Anderson designs a prefectly vintage bar for Milan Prada

What happens when famed auteur Wes Anderson ventures into interior design for a bar in Milan for Prada? Impeccable vintage style, fine furniture and perfect symmetry, of course. The Wes Anderson-designed Bar Luce is a part of the newly opened Fondazione Prada in Milan. 1950s formica tables, chic furniture and jukeboxes, and Steve Zissou-themed pinball machines are among what you can expect at Bar Luce. If you're a big fan of his works, then visiting this spot must be a bucket list item away. Check out photos of the interior of the stylish bar below and find out more about Bar Luce here. ...
Graphic Design

Enchanting posters of Studio Ghibli films as traditional Japanese prints

Texas-based illustrator Bill Mudron is the latest of artists to release a poster series inspired by the magical animated films of Studio Ghibli. Inspired by the works of Kawase Hasui, his poster tributes are beautifully designed in the traditional Japanese woodcut style. Films like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso, Spirited Away, and the lesser-known Castle of Cagliostro are the source for his gorgeous homage to the world of Hayao Miyazaki. In the posters, the main characters become secondary in the mise-en-scène, in a Where's Waldo way, instead the naturalistic theme of the films is centered through lush sceneries. Prints of the whole set are all sold out at his online store, but you can pay a visit just in case they become available again. ...
Creativity

Contemporary TV shows and movies get a retro VHS tape makeover

If you're old enough to know just what a VHS tape is, then these fake videotape designs of modern TV shows and movies should evoke all kinds of nostalgia. Contemporary TV shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and movies like Interstellar, Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Grand Budapest Hotel are given the ultimate videocassette makeover, complete with garish, dated 1990s graphic design. Originally an elaborate April Fools joke, these redesigned tape cases come from French blog Golem13 through someone who goes by "Stan." Check out the authentically retro creations below in all their gloriously anachronistic kitsch. ...
Illustration

Illustration series pairs iconic buildings with their spirit animals

Barcelona-based architect-turned-illustrator Federico Babina (previously featured) has put his delightfully retro touch to a brand new illustration series called 'Archizoo.' Channeling his childhood, Babina mashes up iconic buildings by legendary architects with animals, resulting in an anthropomorphic series of Saul Bass-esque posters celebrating architecture and imagination. “Our mind is capable of collecting, record and store millions of images. One thing that always interests me is the association that we can do between these images," says Babina. See some of the landmark buildings designed by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, and more like you've never seen them before. Make sure to check out the full series at his website. ...
Photography

Travel to 1970s Harlem through these captivating street shots

French photographer Jack Garofalo spent six weeks in the summer of 1970 capturing everyday life in the streets of Harlem, New York City. From the fabulous fashions and hints of culture to the societal issues, everything about the Harlem of that time is celebrated in these rare shots. Located in northern Manhattan, Harlem has been a major residential, cultural, and business center of African-Americans for quite a few decades, since the 1920s. However, in 1960s Harlem was facing a significant decrease of its residency, as people were seeking better schools, safer neighborhoods, and better housing in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, leaving behind mainly those who couldn’t afford to move. Harlem has faced a lot of ups and downs since then, but its street life has stayed as intriguing, vibrant, and vivid as ever. These pictures by Garofalo ended up as the cover story for Paris' Match magazine in October 1970. ...
Digital

12 mind-melting GIFs of shapeshifting bodies and colored fluids

Kristyn Janae Solie's GIF art is not for the weak of heart, it features shapeshifting alien-like figures and gross colored bodily fluids. The Los-Angeles-based artist is pushing the form to new experimental territory with her colorful and psychedelic renderings. Wonderfully bizarre and borderline disturbing, her take on virtual reality and retro computer graphics is not just nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. There's a sense of unfiltered madness to her animated art that keeps you gazing and staring at one after another. Check out 12 of her mind-melting GIFs below, and go to her website for much more where this comes from. ...
Digital

Strangely mesmerizing 3D GIFs of wobbling objects

Julien Rivoire is the founder of Bastard Graphics, a Lyon-based design studio that specializes in art direction, illustration, and animation. In his spare time, the French graphic designer enjoys making surreal 3D GIFs inspired by '90s computer/video game graphics. Using Maxon Cinema 4D and Photoshop, Rivoire creates minimalist loops of strange landscapes, wobbling and rippling objects in mesmerizing ways. At times, the GIFs resemble cinemagraphs in that they're mostly still, except for one perpetually moving element. The inclusion of typography in his animated GIFs is a nice touch, providing more context for interpretation. Check out the Tumblr-friendly eye candy below, and click here to see more of his work. ...
Architecture

Whimsical miniature sculptures of Palm Springs and NYC

McKean Studio has created six Mini City scenes of Palm Springs and New York City, available for sale. The scenes come in multiple pieces and are hand-made and entirely hand-painted. And when they say miniature, they mean miniature - the blue house in Palm Springs, for example, stands just over 4cm tall! New York is one of the most iconic cities in the world. The Mini City scenes capture this, and include the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building (complete with a firetruck and rat), and brownstones. Palm Springs is a mecca of mid-century modern design, and the Mini City set fully embraces this. There are three houses: a pink one with a butterfly roof, a classic "Swiss Miss" A-frame, and an angled roof blue house. There are vintage cars and palm trees with each, and one even comes with a pink flamingo! ...
Retro

People from the 1900s transformed into alien creatures

Colin Batty is a talented artist from Manchester, England, best known for his countless artistic contributions to the world of legendary movies, contributing to Alien, Mars Attacks, The Sandman and others. Although Batty is best known for his sculpture, the artist has also published a huge set of cabinet cards from 1900s, modified with his own dark and humorous elements. Those additions or strange mutations look very natural and flow seamlessly with the colors and shades of each image. Batty has an impressive talent to create creepy, but very delightful pieces of art. His works are ideal adornments for any unusual places like horror amusement parks, dark art galleries or, cabinets of curiosities. ...
Illustration

Take a trip back in time with this psychedelic poster art

Art is like a time machine, ready to take us to any place in the past, present or future. With his new seires, USA-based artist Ryan Kerrigan has proven he is a master of time, creating unique, colorful paintings, influenced by psychedelic poster art of the '60s and '70s. Kerrigan paints most of his posters live at concerts, at the place where art meets music! It is quite easy to feel and see those vibes in his paintings. Ryan Kerrigan's art invites us back to the legendary era of the psychedelic '70s. And who would mind accepting a ticket to ride that time machine? On your trippy journey expect to meet floating mandalas, disco balls in cosmos, fish playing music, colorful butterflies... you get the idea, right? Continue your trip on the artist‘s website. ...
Graphic Design

9 Volkswagen T1 hippie vans dressed in superhero outfits

Have you ever wondered how your favorite superhero's car would look like if he or she preferred a “regular ride“ instead of another hi-tech Batmobile? Well, wonder no more! Thanks to the Netherlands-based designer Chung Kong, we can see these four-wheel miracles for ourselves. Chung Kong created a series of posters, depicting classic Volkswagen T1 vans, dressed in superhero outfits. The series features your all-time-favorite team of superheroes like Captain America, Spider-Man, Batman, Hulk, Wonderwoman, and others. Even Superman has got his own van design... if Mr. Superman is sick of flying maybe he would fancy driving one too? You can visit the designer's website for more retro eye candy. ...
Funny

Intriguing silent movie etiquette slides reveal daily-life in 1912

We all love going to the movies, but it is a pity when this magical cinema experience is spoiled by others who do not care for etiquette. Back in 1912, however, when the movies were still silent, they knew how to deal with bad behavior in style! New York designers John D. Scott and Edward Van Altena created a series of slides in the early 1900's that were a humorous visual guide for how to behave in the movies. Those slides were put in fancy carved frames and shown in cinemas. This is how movie-goers got educated not to talk loud, wear huge hats, or just walk around in the middle of the film. Today, we still face similar problems with inconsistent behavior in cinemas. John D. Scott and Edward Van Altena show us how to deal with the problems in a communicative, yet entertaining way. ...
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