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Retro Babyyy!!!


I've been constantly thinking about logo ideas as we rebrand our company (we're not getting sued...I promise....) and decided to play around with some retro 80's design. (seriously.... we're not getting sued...) Sure, why the hell not. I've always been attracted to the style. Here's my take:

80's Design by Billy Restey

Who doesn't love the 80's?

Well... a lot of people. But that shouldn't stop you from re-designing your logo in a retro 80's style and printing it on a million t-shirts. Everything's cyclical. It'll come back in fashion.

But on the real... retro design is coming back in some huge ways! I love the vibrancy and boldness of the era. Everything's glow-y and chrome. It makes you think of what it was like having more access to software and graphics tools and how that influenced designers at the time.

Influencial Artists

James White, the one-man team behind Signalnoise studio, has been absolutely killing it in the design world. When he's not on the road speaking at conferences, he's pumping something out everyday like Mike Winkelmann (Beeple). And it's all solid. It has been a great pleasure to watch this dude's growth and style change over the past 6 years. If you aren't familiar, maybe you're familiar with his latest rendition of a Drive poster. I'm pretty sure this image broke the internet. And rightfully so.

His style has always been very bright and vibrant, but he started honing in on this kind of tri-tone 80's look the past couple years and has been absolutely brilliant. It's like retro 2.0. Definitely cleaner and more refined--but still holds some classic values. Here's another poster he created recently.

Key Elements of Retro Design

  • Don't suck!
  • Use a thick & bold typeface
  • Gradients are your friend.
  • Neon pink!
  • Glowy shit!
  • Horizontal lines
  • Combine hard-surface type with organic elegant type
  • Grain & Texture
  • Chromatic aberration
  • 3D grid in perspective
  • Chrome
  • Drop some acid!
  • Have fun!

Florian Renner

Check out this amazing piece by Florian Renner. This is some good 80's shit right here.

Kung Fury

Laser Unicorns also put out this amazing 80's style trailer. This work may not be 100% serious, but it is definitely entertaining. Here's their version of TRUE SURVIVOR featuring David fucking Hasselhoff. 

Wow... just wow.

Kill the Noise Pt.1

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Designing Sci-Fi UI


Designing Sci-Fi UI

Sci-Fi UI Design by Billy Restey

Getting Inspired

Science Fiction is my JAM! Always has, always will be. After watching Oblivion by Joseph Kosinski, I really wanted to dabble with some futuristic UI design. The visuals in the film were absolutely stunning and left me with a huge wave of inspiration. Bradley Munkowitz (Gmunk) and David Lewandowski (Dlew) killed it with the design and animation! I also came across a bunch of comps from Guardians of the Galaxy--which also turned out spectacular. I kept researching great examples of sci-fi UI and sought to build something I could call my own.

Oculus by Billy Restey

I spent about two days designing and creating my custom UI in Adobe Illustrator, referencing countless examples of UI design that had an impact on me. I can't imagine working on designs for months on end for a feature film! That must be a huge opportunity to unleash your brain's capacity. Maybe one day.

Oculus Animated

Animating my UI design straight from Illustrator posed a few problems: I didn't have appropriate layers set up and I didn't really have a plan on how I wanted elements to animate. I had to go back into illy and break separate sections into their own layers so they would be easy to animate inside of After Effects. Although time consuming, it saved me a boatload of time in AE. 

This was primarily a learning experience for me and a way to flex some of my patience muscles---we're all too accustomed to short timelines and instant gratification. This project actually lead to a few other rad jobs based solely off the animated clip.

Quick Tips for the Design Process

  • Gather plenty of reference / inspiration
  • Choose an appropriate grid to start with
  • Use a limited color palette
  • Design in Adobe Illustrator (Use Layers!)
  • Think about how elements will animate and break them into sections
  • Import .Ai file into After Effects for animation

Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at a work in progress UI design that I'm creating for an upcoming music video. I will be posting on it in the upcoming months so stay tuned!

WIP UI Design by Billy Restey