Retro Roundup

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We just posted some gorgeous retro-style illustrations that Tavis Coburn created of the 2010 BAFTA film nominees. Repped out of Dutch Uncle Agency, Coburn brings a classy, retro feel to the modern gloss of a film like Avatar, and to the other honorees Precious, Up in the Air, The Hurt Locker and An Education.

Coburn's work is just one of a number of stunning retro-inspired series that we've been enjoying lately. Also recently making its way around the blogosphere is the work of U.K. designer Simon C. Page, who's received a lot of attention for his minimalist posters celebrating the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

"The International Year of Astronomy prints started off as a self-initiated project that I thought would not only be a good way to promote myself but also the campaign—which I had only found out about quite late in the year," Page explains. " I wanted to do something that was a little different from the normal space type posters that you regularly see and found my inspiration in some old science and astronomy book illustrations.

"The hardest part of the design was making them look believable as '60s posters with a minimalistic Swiss style. Too often you see people trying to make a design look old and totally overdoing it and the balance here is tricky but crucial."

Perhaps what makes Page's work so successful is his devotion to mathematical principles and design rules. "As with most designers I am pretty obsessive to a point where every design should have an order and follow a logical rule even the chaotic ones," he says. "The other aspect of mathematics in my work is the subconscious stuff like the golden ratio, which I believe are hardcoded in the heads of most of the good designers out there."

The 2009 astronomy series was such fertile creative ground that Page is extending his space-themed works through 2010, but his other mathematically-themed pieces deserve an extended gander as well. Check out more of his captivating designs and get your hands on your own prints here.

Page's work was one source of inspiration for Chicago-based designer Justin Van Genderen, who brought a more gritty feel to old school travel posters based on destinations in the Star Wars Universe. Although minimalism isn't Van Genderen's typical go-to style, it served him quite well on this series.

"The idea for the Star Wars Galaxy posters came to me while lying in bed one morning," Van Genderen says. "I had recently been watching my way through the entire Star Wars saga starting with episode one and working my way through to number six. What kept standing out in my mind was how differently the younger generation of Star Wars fans must view the original trilogy. In their eyes the effects, the feel, the look all must feel ancient. Having grown up watching the original Star Wars films I wondered if this younger generation was having the same experience with the new Star Wars films that I had with the old.

"So with that kind of in the back of my mind I later came across some great minimalist astrology posters by Simon Page (see above). After viewing those it was only a matter of time before the two separate thoughts came together one morning—a series of posters that reveal the original Star Wars planets in an old minimalist style, the way that the younger generation must see them. The biggest challenge in creating these was keeping it simple! It is in my nature to want to make things more and more detailed but I had to fight that urge to keep these minimal yet effective." Check for updates to the series and print purchase info on VanGenderen's Flickr stream.

Like Van Genderen, Austria-based designer Albert Exergian takes inspiration from the entertainment world. In his continuing self-promotional series, Exergian has boiled popular TV shows down to their very essence.

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