When you need some killer 1980s patterns for your next TV show, who you gonna call?
So there I was sitting on my sofa relaxing into the new season of Stranger Things, everything as it should be with its perfect 80s styling and production design. The Starcourt Mall appears in episode 2. “Wow, that looks cool” I thought. Those fashions are bang on and kinda remind me of the patterns I made for the 1980s Megamix Bundle pack. Then BOOM, there it is, my familiar pattern on full display all over the Flash Studio storefront (see pic below).
I’ve seen my stock images used in films and TV shows before, most notably for Boardwalk Empire, but the surprise and excitement of seeing my work pop up in one of the best shows of the last few years was a real jolt. Within seconds a hastily made snapshot went out across social media with an accompanying “!!!!!”.
Research is everything, and that means watching lots of 80s movies.
One thing that holds Stranger Things apart from other 80s based shows it how well observed it is. The affection for the period and it’s pop culture was a key factor for the show from day one. While season three’s Starcourt Mall definitely ramps up the 80s fashions, it excels in recreating what we all love about 80s movies. In researching my own graphics I the picked the movies, music and graphic design of the period to match the feelgood vibes that I wanted to recreate. Bill and Ted’s excellent Adventure, The Legend of Billie Jean, Risky Business, Perfect, Flashdance and Breakin’ 1 and 2 Electric Boogaloo are go-to films for anyone seeking a happy 80s time – and they all come a killer soundtrack too. If you scan through the pattern names below you’ll find lots of references to the movies I watched during those long nights nailing the perfect neon paint swoosh.
While my own pattern graphic is just one of many contributing to the overall production design of the Starcourt Shopping Mall, I can’t help but admire the work that’s gone into this whole sequence – a perfect homage to the 80s shopping montage from pre-internet teen movies of old.
Once the work is out in the wild, you never know where it ends up.
The pattern that was used to decorate the Flash Studio storefront in Episode 2, is called ‘Not On This Shirt’ which (if I remember rightly) is reference to something Arnold Schwarzenegger says in The Running Man regarding the Hawaiian shirt ‘disguise’ he’s wearing to dodge the cyber-cops. It was released a couple of years ago as part of the graphics bundle The Complete 1980s Megamix and contains a collection of logos, patterns, illustrations and design templates available for anyone to download and use in their own projects. It’s proven to be one of my best-selling products and is the perfect example of what I do here at Wing’s Art Studio. Find an interesting subject, research it like crazy, distil the parts I like and create new and original assets from that research. I’ve used the same approach to creating Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Egyptian themed packs, with more coming soon.
Once a product is finished and released in to the wild i’ll only ever see a small percentage of how and where it’s used, so seeing my work pop up unexpectedly like this is always a thrilling experience. Appearing in Stranger Things may just be the pinnacle so far, but who knows what’s next!
Try them yourself and nail that perfect 80s look.
Along with the matching logo templates, poster templates and illustrations these assets are available in one complete graphics pack. If your project calls for an authentic eighties look, you should check it out. Everything is provided in fully editable vector format plus additional layered Photoshop files and Jpgs. Change, swap and alter to suit your needs. Click on the images below to find out more.