An enthusiastic generation of designers are reinventing the wheel but with a whole new vengeance. In pre-digital years, any desire to lay stripes, dots, mezzotints, woodgrain or other exotic half-tones into an illustration first required a trip to your local commercial arts supply store. Sticky backed sheets of film under the names Zipatone or Letratone came in an endless array of effects that could be had for a paltry sum for application to your art. No surprise that vintage design books are rife with logos displaying some pretty spiffy gradients leaving designers curious about this alien technology.
Marks shown in this trend are retro channeling the ‘70s, not only in style but in adoption of tonal technique. Forget dropping in a 40% tint of black or your selected color from your swatch tab. The use of an over-scaled tonal effect is what rings true to the era. To a consumer, this only harkens back to a less demanding time in a subconscious manner. It’s an effect that designers home in on immediately as a bit janky but definitely a product of the way-back machine. An A+ for nostalgia but still a challenge if plans call for the mark to be scaled down. Too tight of a screen eliminates the charm, and at that point it might as well be gray.
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