New styles keep developing; that’s evolutions. Yet, they root out of the vintage, mostly. That’s why illustrator, Bobby Evans, refuses to ignore retro and acknowledges it through his personal and professional works.
CG. How do you achieve the Retro or classic style of illustration, and how do you think it contributes in the modern context?
Bobby. In recent years, I’ve found commercial clients often looking to convey a sense of heritage and history to their brands, and vintage-looking work has been at the heart of that. I think, in such a fast-paced modern world, people are looking to hark back to ‘simpler times’, and a ‘classic’ illustration style can make something feel timeless along with a reassurance of quality.
I learned to build the illustration up and, then, when I thought it was ‘finished’, started to remove layers while taking away anything superfluous that might distract from the core concept of the image. More often than not, I would end up with a more concise and pure piece of work that did its job more effectively.
CG. How do you manage to balance contemporary style of illustration with a retro feel?
Bobby. I don’t refer to a specific piece of collected imagery. The work is a result of taking in a multitude of influences from both, the past and the modern world I live and work in.
I want to avoid pastiche or mimic a vintage piece of design; that work has already been done. I want to create something new, but, obviously, it will be informed by the style of things I am naturally drawn to – most of those things are vintage.
CG. What and how much do you think is the role of a simplistic and minimalistic approach in your work?
Bobby. As my illustration skills developed, I often found my work is more complicated, but I noticed they weren’t saying anything more. So, I work to convey the idea as best I can on a poster i.e. “What is the simplest way I can represent X?”
I love design and illustration with function – anything from old flight safety cards to vintage science diagrams. Anything that distills an idea or visual down to its basic parts gets my vote. A canvas such as a matchbox or stamp forces the artists to be clearer and sparing with line and shape to carry their idea over.
CG. How do you feel the retro styles of representation can be used to enhance the communication in today’s times?
Bobby. Having a background in screen-printing, I love imagery harking back to an age of craft and care – enjoying all the trappings, limitations and errors caused by unreliable printing technology. Misprints, broken halftone and loose registration show a human touch to the image that I think we miss with computer-based artwork.
I illustrate with modern tools, but have a history in screen-printing, and love how a print process can affect the work to create interesting outcomes you wouldn’t have initially thought about. The imperfect results of archaic print processes have added a unique and finished warmth to vector based illustrations that would otherwise feel cold and clinical.
CG. How do you make this classic modern appeal to the audience, such that they relate to it?
Bobby. I think, creating an image that initially grabs the audience with its bold clarity and immediate recognition of both tone and subject is important. But, then, also having a further depth and detail to investigate means the audience will take it in for more than just a second and want to stay with the piece. It’s always about balance.
Published in Issue 35
The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be a mix of both. If you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!
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