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Playing with the Elements (8 total)

You may remember France-based graphic designer and illustrator Stéphane Massa-Bidal (aka Rétrofuturs or Hulk4598) as the one who cleverly turned some of our favorite websites turned vintage book covers. Looking through his large body of work, you'll find even more wonderful designs and illustrations that all have that same vintage modern feel to them.

I recently came across his Elements series (below) and was immediately smitten. He uses bold typography and vintage photos layered with more modern ones to create original and eye-catching patched-up pieces. He has a way of making ideas feel current even when he borrows images from the past.

I got in touch with Rétrofuturs to ask him more about work. Read that short interview, below, after enjoying Elements.

As a designer, were you completely self-taught?
My background consists of a Bachelors in Chemistry, some literary education, and research on Semiotics in human-machine interfaces. In terms of art, I just read, watch, and analyze.

How has the Internet helped you with your career?
I'm an Internet artist. I'm not really known, at the moment, for work in magazines or newspapers. The Internet has changed everything. People, like me, can express their talent without a diploma. My illustrations are made with graphics, but are primarily artistic.

What was your idea behind the Elements series?
It stemmed from work on my previous series Space Relationship. I wanted to continue with these types of images. I came across two pictures of earth and was inspired. The idea is to gather them together for a dialogue, making it emerge on its own.

I love how you layer vintage photos over modern ones - who are you inspired by?
Vintage modern is fashion. I like working with landscapes with an approach to the manner of Magritte. It's a constant dialogue in Magritte's images; he worked on the language. My art is influenced by his.

What's the best part of your job?
Thinking. I like to think, to mix ideas. I like to have ideas which comes from just listening to the news or music. For instance, in Helvestica, I was listening to Elvis and thinking about Helvetica...I like to have an idea and then create a series, like Elements or Figures.

Is there any advice you'd like to give to aspiring graphic designers and/or illustrators?
Work, work, work! Ideas are just the beginning. Believe in what you do and persevere.

Thanks for the interview, Rétrofuturs. Love your style.


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