Did You Notice? The 80s is Back
One of the most iconic eras made a comeback recently, and you probably didn't even know you're
obsessed with it.
What do we mean by that, you ask? Take this simple test to find out.
Which of the following items are from 2017?
Whether you love it or loathe it, the 80s is back in trend. From bright neon colours and heavily synthinfused
pop music to the absurdly high waisted mom jeans, millennials and youngsters (heh) alike are
obsessed with the 80s. Part of us are just glad that mullets aren't part of the return programme!
Admittedly, there's a charm to the 80s trends despite the goofy outfits and geeky sci-fi influences. Some
of the audience were old enough to experience height of the Alien movie saga or even witness the
launch of Apple's first Macintosh personal computer. It brings a deep sense of nostalgia and comfort to
know that through the ups and downs of passing fashion, economic downturns and growing up in
general, "childhood" came back to them. We believe that is why the 80s aesthetics is really flying right
As a creative agency striving to push the boundaries of communications, we generally do not
recommend following trends as timelessness is the key to good branding. Trends come and go and by
the time production ends, there's a chance that the waves of trend have turned. (Spoiler alert: the 90s
will trend in 2018!)
With that said, there's a lot more leeway for fads when it comes to short-term communication tools
such as Facebook posts or short commercials. So, what should you do to hop on the 80s bandwagon
before 2017 ends?
Here are a few aesthetical keys to successfully emulate the 80s and be ridiculously hip.
1. Bright neon or pastel colours
The more the better. Mint green and hot pink logo on top of a yellow background?
As perfect as Aunt
Martha's lycra aerobics suit. Perfect.
2. Pixel art
You would be familiar with this if you've seen games like Mario Bros, Contra, Thunder Cats, Bomber Man
or Castlevania. Pixel art is one of the easiest ways to evoke tsunamis of feels in the hearts of a true 80s
3. Retro TV series intros
Remember Miami Vice? What about Manimal? *cringes* Come to think of it, their TV opening
sequences were really tacky, but because everyone views the past with rose-tinted glasses, we only
remember what made them memorable: floating 3D-esque icons, sci-fi vibes, and the annoying VHS
flickering. Oh, did we mention the overly cheesy home shopping commercials?
4. Bold geometric patterns
Bold. Geometric patterns. On everything. The "Memphis design" was everywhere back in the day but
you've probably never even heard of the name. Originated from a group of Italian interior designers
known as the Memphis Group, perhaps most well-known for the Carlton Room Divider:
listed the following as the characteristics of Memphis Design.
• A flat, vectorized style that is often accented with bright, saturated color choices.
• Geometric shapes are the primary art element and few actual photos are used.
• Designs are accented with plenty of strokes and squiggled lines to provide navigation cues or
points of reference.
• Highly visual sans serif typefaces are the popular choice, often in block or bubble styles.
Bonus point: Fun.
The 80s were evidently a golden age for print design. New technology was announced almost every
other day, wars were slowing down, pop culture was booming, economy was thriving, and some of the
most iconic graphic designers gained popularity in the 80s. In short, everybody was having fun, so your
modern retro design should reflect that too!
Keep an eye out for trends, but capture the spirit of what made them work. Surely, your content will be
much, much more substantial and timeless that way.