Category: Retro (Page 1 of 4)

The gorgeous production design for the Queen’s Gambit

We just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit in Netflix and I was so impressed by the cinematography, costumes, sets and the overall impeccable production design and styling. The last time a series’ art direction and design made such an impression on me was when I watched Mad Men.

The show is situated in the 1950s and ’60s as the story’s fictional heroine Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) — a brilliant yet self-destructive chess prodigy raised in an orphanage — rises to international fame.

The show’s production designer Uli Hanisch is behind the sets, whether it’s the orphanage, or the traditional mid-century-modern home, or the glamorous chess-tournament events hosted in Las Vegas, Paris and Mexico City. Everything is palette-matched and perfect. Special mention will have to go to the full-pattern and colourful wallpapers inside the Wheatley home.

It is interesting that, while the story spans the globe, most of The Queen’s Gambit was shot in Berlin, even the Aztec Hotel chess tournament which is supposedly based in Mexico City.

Designed by Gabriele Binder, costumes for The Queen’s Gambit reflect the growing sophistication and self-assurance of the main character, often incorporating structural lines and black-and-white patterns, taking inspiration by chess colours, while paying homage to Pierre Cardin, Courrèges and the Mod style of the era.

A very interesting (virtual) exhibition of the costumes included in the series is presented in “The Queen and The Crown” by the Brooklyn Museum.

Illustrations with a retro look

Cristiana Couceiro is an illustrator and designer, living in Lisbon, Portugal. I love her retro style that mixes collage using newspaper, mainly vintage photos and pieces of paper, together with strong colors and clean layout. Her work has been published by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Vanity Fair.

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36days Electronics alphabet

Brazilian digital designer Vinicius Araújo created a different letter of the alphabet for his project 36days Electronics. He only used Helvetica typeface and all letters were inspired by specific electronic items and brands, like a retro Apple computer, a Canon camera, a Dell monitor, an Epson printer, an LG air conditioner, a retro Motorola mobile etc. The execution and attention in the detail is amazing and Araújo has even designed a small gif animation for some of the letters .

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