I’ve been really looking forward to the beginning of each new month lately, and not just because it’s an arbitrary excuse to reset my goals and try to get more done than in the previous month. No, it’s mainly because it means I’ll get to see a new batch of the brilliant Star Trek episodic posters artist Juan Ortiz has been serving up for a while now. This month is no different.
Here’s the skinny: Ortiz set out to create an original, retro-style poster for each and every one of the Original Series Trek episodes. It’s a monumental task, but it’s definitely been worth it in the opinion of this humble Trek fan. Check out the February posters, along with Ortiz’ comments from StarTrek.com, below.
The dragon’s fire certainly serves several functions. Did you plan that, or did you start with fire and expand it to the face and on upward?
Ortiz: It was planned, but I didn’t plan on how well it turned out. With the red coming out of the face, it looks as if he’s contemplating his destiny in the stars.
You also have an unusual amount of copy down below. What led to that choice?
Ortiz: When I was done with the art, I felt the bottom of the page needed something to ground the dragon with. While I was designing the poster, I imagined it as an advertisement in the old TV Guide magazine. I was going to write down the time and channel info, but I went instead with something that T’Pau, the Vulcan elder, had said in the episode.
”Day of the Dove” is next. What were your inspirations for that?
Ortiz: This one was loosely inspired by Saul Bass’ Spartacus (1960) movie poster. My original idea had the glowing red entity hovering above the Enterprise, but I felt that a Klingon element needed to be added.
We love the colors and graphics you employed on “Operation: Annihilate.” It’s all very stylized, from the uniform to the phaser fire. Take us through your choices…
Ortiz: I never know where the ideas are going to come from. This one was inspired by crate labels for oranges. A lot of the stylizing was done so that the phaser would be highlighted, almost framed within the illustration. Kirk’s collar, the phaser fire and the hand all draw attention towards it.
“Is There in Truth No Beauty” is evocative and stark, and pretty much just black and white. What were you aiming for with this one?
Ortiz: This one was inspired by Saul Bass’ Birdman of Alcatraz movie poster. Originally, I was going to have the visor on Spock, but I felt that it was covering up too much of his face. I was hoping for a feeling of solitude. Spock always seemed like a lonely figure to me, always in thought.
Is that image of Nimoy/Spock a photo, from footage or something you created? The angle of the eyes, the prominence of the eyebrows and the evenness of the lips speak volumes. Take us through your decisions…
Ortiz: The image started out as a photo of Spock from an episode. I pumped up the contrast in photoshop to where it’s mostly just shapes. Then I transferred the image to illustrator where I deleted parts of it and added texture and color. I knew the poster would work well from a distance, but the texture and color was done so that it would at least seem interesting up close.
If you were going to hang one of these on your own wall, which one would it be and why?
Ortiz: This is a tougher choice than last month, but I might have to go with “Amok Time.” This one is a bit on the conceptual side, as you can probably tell by the image of the Enterprise. I think the added elements, like the dragon helps to expand upon the TOS universe, the way the Gold Key comics did. The dragon can also be viewed as a representation of Spock’s “burning” need.