In the days when graphic design was referred to as “computer graphics,” abstract collages, sprinkle explosions, and geometric shapes dominated the ’80s. This aesthetic was later deemed crude and childish, similar motifs have been permeating the works of the current crop of pop artists. While it’s difficult to give due credit to a single artist from ’80s, it’s safe to say that, in one way or another, the bold and vibrant images we see in mainstream culture today were derivative of design from that decade.
Craig & Karl
A transatlantic partnership that spans from New York to London, Craig & Karl’s work first rose to prominence after a collaboration with hip Parisian boutique Colette. Since then, they’ve worked with several publications, including New York Magazine and Nippon Vogue, and collaborated with brands like Nike, MCM, and Kiehl’s.
Having worked on everything from murals to in-store interiors, textile prints and outerwear, London-based French designer Camille Walala is a joy to follow on Instagram where her feed regularly showcases her work. Her murals have appeared in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Sydney, enliverning retail spaces with her cheerfully clashing prints.
A printer maker and recent graduate with a degree in Illustration from London’s Kingston University, Peter Judson’s bold work has been making the rounds in Tumblr lately. His works vary; sometimes they feature bricks symmetrically stacked together or letters that are emblazoned with intricate detail, and sometimes he has complicated portrayals of everyday objects—houses, cars, interiors, and the like.
In mainstream culture, this aesthetic has even made it’s way into Katy Perry’s music video for her single “This Is How We Do,” while locally, Sunnies Studio appears to share the penchant for quirky, animated approach to décor, as seen in the material that accompanies their brand. Like an artist’s very own adult coloring book fantasy come to life, techniques and taste may vary, and styles, but the overall method itself shows figures and forms that are perfectly filled in the most striking of pigments. Today’s pop artists are proof that sometimes, masterpieces can come from the most seemingly simple lines, dots, and scribbles, and the right coloring materials—so dig up your old grade school textbooks, as you never know how many works of art could be hiding in there.