If you were wondering what era was having an influence design these days, look to the 1980’s. Everything from 8bit game graphics, to over saturated color pallets, collage, geometric shapes and patterns. It’s all there and it’s all retro. Well retro to some, nostalgic to me, I grew up with it. When I was starting out, it was 1950’s and 60’s retro design that was influencing many, so it’s no surprise that a 1980’s retro look is hot right now. I guess that means the 1990’s grunge look will be creeping in soon if it already isn’t.
Below are two examples of 80’s influenced videos to start your week off with. They feature new takes on bad effects that were produced by state of the art gear 30 years ago. 8 bit graphics, and audio to remind you of the games your dad used to play at the arcade, and loads of bright colors. The thing I love about both of these examples is how the visuals have been filtered through a new set of eyes, and a memory of this style handed down from a generation before and faded memories of early childhood.
You might not have noticed it, or you might not be aware of it because you didn’t live through it the first time around, but the eighties are back. Over the last couple of years there has been a slow growth of a very 1980’s aesthetic inching it’s way back into graphic design, and especially the motion graphics side of things. The colors. textures, retro-styled graphics and illustrations that all feel somewhat digital, but have that look that seems to blend stop motion styling with a kind of eight bit quality. the look reminds me of the old school days of the Quantel Paintbox and Newtek’s Video Toaster. There is a “New Wave” thing happening and I have mixed feelings about it. Part of it waxes nostalgic, and part of it makes me say “uh oh here comes the tacky”. When it’s done right it works, when it isn’t, look out. Below is the opening title sequence for the 2014 Motion Conference created by State Design, and this clip gets it right. It has a freshened up approach to an old school look. It definitely gives a nod to the 1980’s, yet manages to come off with a fresh approach and style that I predict is going to flood your media channels in coming months.
Over the last few years the broadcast advertising for VW has been really strong playing off pop culture icons like Star Wars. Two days ago VW dropped an ad based on the classic 1980’s music video “Take on Me” by A-Ha. Once again VW nails it with a solid commercial balanced with just the right amount of humor. Both the new VW spot and the original A-Ha video are below.