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Focus On Male Cards - Retro Trend
Rewind & Repeat
With the reboot and revival of vinyl records, Soda Stream (recently bought by Pepsi), the Polaroid camera, shell and boiler suits (rebranded as ‘utility’) and break dancing, proposed as an Olympic sport in Paris 2024, the current haze of 1970s and 80s nostalgia is thicker than the moody mist in Prince’s Purple Rain video. As we reach for a safe, wistful rock in turbulent times, it may be time to don a Tom Selleck moustache, kipper tie and woolly tank top, although, so far, these fashion styles haven’t quite reached the current male card designs that are sporting the retro trend. Some ‘Time Bandits’ publishers reveal why they feel 70s/80s icons are ‘flaring’ up on male card designs.
Showcasing British menswear, London Fashion Week Men’s catwalk in January, strutting Autumn/Winter 2019 collections, had a flavour of 70s, 80s and even 90s revival. Not to be outdone by women’s bellbottom flares, hippy midi dresses and cord skirts, for men there was a distinct 80s tailoring with over-size coats in checks, plaids and tartans and smart suits - think Michael Douglas in the 1987 film Wall Street. And also ‘brokering’ this visual and emotive market of retro icons are male card designs. "I think nostalgia has a huge part to play when it comes to us blokes. Most of us have fond memories relating to the 70s/80s/90s, ranging from video games through to mix tapes. You just have to think of the vinyl revival and the retro Above left: An old skool beat box from Lola Design’s Rocky range. Right: Think of Me’s Zephyr male range has lots of retro gadget designs. Left: Vinyl revival – a new addition to Rosanna Rossi Debonair range.
PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE
Right: The purple popstar, Prince, on a Tango Rose Designs’ Icons card. Below: New from Molly Mae in the ‘It Rocks’ range are designs for male birthdays.
arcade games you see when you visit a Brew Dog pub or Urban Outfitters,” believes Frank Mountain, operations director for Lola Design, adding, “We decided to take a slightly retro direction with some of our Rocky male cards based on what we think is cool, because not all blokes are into golf and fishing. Our beat box design is a bit of a homage to the old skool, think Beastie Boys, and who doesn't love a good mix tape?" So rewinding to those heady days of beat box breaks and Walkman music mobility, BMX bunny hops, Raleigh racer cool and Chopper cruising, and not forgetting Subbuteo goal triumphs, rainy caravan holidays in Wales and VW Campervans, there’s a vintage valley of childhood memories to tap into for male orientated iconography on cards. “I think essentially the retro 70s and 80s trend is about taking us back to our childhood. Birthdays, and birthday cards, are all about marking the passing of time, so retro imagery lends itself well. It’s also true that guys love their gadgets, so retro tech, such as cassette tapes and Polaroid cameras, seemed like a good fit for some of the designs in our new male range Zephyr,” says Dan Kane, managing director of Think of Me Designs. Splurging our pocket money on the cherry eating boom of 80s computer and arcade games, such as Donkey Kong, PacMan, Track & Field and Pole Position, just as the video games themselves, life seemed much simpler then, and although it’s probably not true, it’s fun, even poignant, to reflect on joint childhood experiences. “With technology advancing so rapidly, and with the popularity of such things as music-streaming services and digital photography, it’s fun to be reminded of what went before, and how we physically interacted with it in a way that just isn’t possible with today’s technology,” says Dan.