While an ’80s revival hit the fashion realm years ago, it’s the world of graphic design where a 1980s design revival is currently exploding, particularly on screen. Let’s start with the screen of your favorite mobile device. This year Glow Play released Radballs, a unique, ’80s-inspired puzzler for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Set against the background of a heavy synth soundtrack, Radballs comes to life with ’80s-fabulous colors like hot pink, aqua and yellow, and with motifs including diagonal lines and dotted backgrounds.
In fact, through email correspondence, noted video game soundtrack composer and Radballs creator Neil Voss shared that Trapper Keepers were a source of inspiration for Radballs screens. We’re not claiming a direct relationship between the Trapper Keeper and Radballs trailer screen below, but with a match-up like this, it’s easy to see the power of ’80s motifs:
In fact, see if you can spot the Trapper Keeper-esque motifs in the teaser/trailer/promotional video for Radballs below, filmed by Bill Sharp and art directed/animated by Brandon Lori and Andrew Montague at MPC New York. Creative direction by Neil Voss:
For more Radballs fun, check out our previous post noting ’80s motifs on Radballs trailer screens as compared to ’80s designer fabrics… And then there’s the world of movie posters and electronic musical act logos. In lipstick-reminiscent script, 1980s text came alive against dark backgrounds, as in the poster for the 1983 film Risky Business (shown below, top left). This script is currently re-emerging in stylized reference to 1980s graphic design, as shown in the movie poster for this year’s Drive (shown below, top right).
Top it off with the album cover art for Secret Diary by College (below, bottom), part of the current Valerie Collective. Members of this group of French electronic musical acts share a love of composing synth-tastic tracks that are influenced by a 1980s vibe, much like their cover art. In fact, an image of the movie poster for Drive is prominently displayed on Valerie Collective site. Coincidence? We think not!
Here are logos for two more Valerie Collective acts, The Outrunners and Anoraak. The ’80s influence is as prominent as the neon colors:
In fact, if you head to YouTube and start searching for tunes by Valerie Collective members, you’ll be greeted with suggestion after suggestion for music and videos from a slew of current musicians inspired by ’80s action film soundtracks, some in the Valerie Collective, some not. Equally impressive are the logos and album covers for these acts, which prove that something amazing is happening… an explosion of ’80s influence on the music sector in both the audio and visual realms.
Suddenly I have the desire to grab onto a floating grid and rocket across the night sky. In a Testarossa, and under a neon moon, of course.