Star Trek Retro Posters Give Captain Pike And Balok Their Moment In The Spotlight

By David Wharton | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the finish line. Back in August 2012, artist Juan Ortiz was a man on a mission: to create an original, retro-style poster for every single one of Star Trek’s Original Series episodes. Over the ensuing year and a half, Ortiz has experimented with style, color, and visual shorthand to present a truly remarkable collection of art that any Trekker should be proud to wallpaper their home with. Now has posted the latest batch, along with sad news…it’s the next to last group of the posters, meaning the project will reach its end in March.

Still, we came to praise Ortiz, not to bury him, so let’s all dry our eyes and check out his latest four posters, representing the episodes “The Corbomite Maneuver,” “Friday’s Child,” “The Cage,” and “Who Mourns for Adonais?” As is SOP around here, we’ll include info about how you can order copies of the prints down at the bottom of the story. Engage! (Wait, wrong Trek.)


Up first this month is “The Corbomite Maneuver.” What appealed to you about this particular episode, and how did that translate to the retro art you created?

ORTIZ: When taken into the context of the sixties, mankind was in the process of taking baby steps into a new frontier. So it seemed like the writer wanted to tell a story about just how far mankind still needed to go. My image could be Balok’s hand or it could also suggest the hand of mankind reaching out to the stars, reminiscent of the apes from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

How much thought did you give to going with an image of Balok or his ship before settling on the child’s hand?

The ship was a big reveal in the episode, so I didn’t want to give it away on the poster. Balok would have been equally revealing, but by just hinting at him, I hope to generate some interest from the new viewer.


Are we right in saying we see a Saul Bass influence in “Who Mourns for Adonais?” If so, what was it about Bass’s work that appeal to you?

Yes, you’re correct. I like when there’s a fine line between design and illustration. Picasso is also a major influence for this one and other posters.

What was the toughest part of getting this one right?

I think the colors play a big part in this one. I can almost imagine this painted on a wall of an Italian restaurant. Right down to the olive Enterprise.


Who or what inspired “Friday’s Child”?

The work of Joaquín Pertierra was the inspiration for this one. Specifically his Graphic Eye cover from April 1967.

How did you settle on purple and yellow as the main colors for this piece?

There’s a lot of back and forth with colors, sometimes for days. I was also mindful of the posters that came before and after, and whether or not it needed to be more colorful.


How surprised were you to be asked to include “The Cage” among your TOS art prints?

I wasn’t too surprised, but (instead) thankful. It was a fun poster to work on and after doing 79, I was eager for more.

Since the episode was not officially part of the series, was it a chance to do something completely different and unlike any of the other 79 TOS art prints?

Yes. Although I may have been able to work this into the ‘Menagerie,’ the style of the art wouldn’t have been the same.

Who or what inspired the art?

I had always admired Shag’s work and since this episode wasn’t shown until sometime in the 80s (not including the ‘Menagerie’), I was able to go more contemporary with it. I thought it would be the best one to mention Alexander Courage, as well.

Of the four for this month, which would you put on the wall in your house… and why?

Tough choice, but I would pick ‘The Cage.’ It’s simple but has a lot going on.

You can order copies of these latest Trek prints, as well as the ones that came before, via the shop. Each print is 18×24 inches on “100-pound, aqueous-coated, satin-finish paper.” I’m just going to assume all of that is a good thing. The set of four will cost you a mere $34.95. If you’re in the UK, you can purchase the prints via,, or You can check out our previous coverage of the posters right here. You can also purchase a book featuring Ortiz’s Trek prints on Amazon.

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