Visual Bits #417 > Beaches, Birds, & Bettys: Vintage

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Step Back in Time with These Fashionable Illustrations

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In my last article I mentioned “artistic tributes” to the show Mad Men. Well, although these illustrations aren’t specifically based on that series, many of the fantastically drawn examples from London based Jack Hughes certainly harken back to that mid-century appeal. Over bold background gradients and two-tone blocks of color, Hughes illustrates fashionable people from bygone eras: from the flapper craze of the 20s, right up to hip 70s kids sporting Native American threads.

Mad Men or Mod Men? Comparing the Show to Now

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It’s only a matter of 26 episodes before the phenomenon that is Mad Men ends… so it’s only appropriate to reflect a bit on how the show has effected our culture. Because of the gorgeously styled and expertly acted mid-century series, we’ve seen endless artistic tributes, design influences, and throwback fashions. The 21st century has a serious love affair with the 60s, and since we’re currently so enamored with that era, the cool folks at Shutterstock recently asked just what the 21 st century version of the long running show would look like. Their resulting images are entertaining and even a bit revealing.

Vintage Predictions of Life on Other Planets

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In 1939, we knew much less about our solar system, so much less that these illustrations by Frank R. Paul may have really made people wonder about what strange life may be living on other planets. His drawings were some of the first images seen by science fiction writers Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Forrest J Ackerman, making him one of the greatest influences on the early pieces in the genre. Using what little knowledge scientists had about the compositions of each planet, Frank R. Paul drew his predictions of what humans might find should they try to inhabit the other planets.

Visual Bits #405> The Cats Meow: Wacky Vintage Photos

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Visual Bits #402 > In The Eyes Of A Photographer

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Glimpses of a “Lost Nigeria” from His Mothers Eyes


Do you remember watching family photos on slide film? It was all the rage back in the beginning in the 50’s and into the 70’s. Today, it’s quite easy to display photos on a big screen, but in the past, using a slide projector was one of the few ways to really display images on a large scale. While use of slide film and its projectors have significantly declined, it doesn’t excuse the fact that there are still many archived slides gathering dust in boxes across the world. Senongo Akpem decided to digitize his Mothers slides documenting life in Nigeria during a unique period of history for the country.

London Underground Posters at the Transport Museum


The iconic London Underground is celebrating its 150th year of operation this year. The “Tube,” which opened all the way back in 1863, still serves the city with trains packed to capacity at rush hours, shuttling people to places both central and more remote. Almost as famous as the trains themselves is the design that has sprung up alongside the long running system – so to celebrate the anniversary, the London Transport Museum is showcasing 150 Underground posters from the past.

Found in the Cupboard: Hungarian Matchbook Covers

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Sometimes, hidden in long forgotten cupboards, there are treasures to be found. That was the experience for London based designer Kristian Bodnar, who discovered a small leather bound book full of vintage Hungarian matchbox covers tucked away in his grandmother’s house. The approximately 300 tiny images were meticulously collected by Bodnar’s father, Zoltan Bodnar, in his childhood. At the time, the images were glued to matchbox covers and could be soaked off by children to enjoy. You can imagine, for a designer, it was like finding pure gold.

Visual Bits #397 > How It Was Back Then: A Vintage Era

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