Star Trek Retro Prints Serve Up Doomsday Machines And Nazi Spock

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

The Doomsday Machine

Once again, we’re back with another batch of the marvelous Star Trek: The Original Series retro prints created by the talented Juan Ortiz. If you’ve missed us raving about them for, oh, the past eight months or so, Ortiz has taken on the daunting project of creating new retro-style poster designs for every single episode of the original Star Trek series, which ran from 1966 – 1969. They are uniformly gorgeous, and I’m seriously considering wallpapering my entire house with them, just as soon as I can convince my wife or at least get her out of the house for a few days.

As in SOP for these, the new batch of prints premiered at, along with a short Q&A with Ortiz explaining his thought process and approach to each design. If you’ve missed the earlier installments, you can play catch-up with our earlier stories right here. First up, here’s Ortiz discussing his design for “The Doomsday Machine,” which you can see up above.

First up for April is “The Doomsday Machine.” What were you aiming for with this print?

Ortiz: Not really a redesign of “The Doomsday Machine,” but a more stylized approach.

When did you develop your fascination with skulls?

Ortiz: Maybe it began at an early age, reading Ghost Rider comic books. When I use a skull in a poster, it’s usually to convey death or danger. In the case of this episode, the Doomsday Machine has killed billions, but it’s easy to forget or overlook that information because we don’t really see it. I think it’s a major part of the story and worth depicting. I believe that six out of the 80 Star Trek posters that I’ve created have a skull in them.

Patterns of Force“Patterns of Force” is extraordinarily stark. What was the inspiration for this one?

Ortiz: It is a bit stark, but it started out a lot busier and almost cartoon-like. My original design had the Enterprise zooming down upon a planet with a large swastika on it, similar to WPA posters during WWII. My design was interesting, but I felt it lacked substance. I decided instead to go with an image of Spock in a Nazi uniform. The result has a bit of Yin and Yang look to it. I liked the subtleness of the final piece.

You’ve accentuated Spock’s features: ears, eyebrows, eye, mouth and shaded half his face in black. How evil did you want him to look?

Ortiz: I wasn’t really trying to make him look evil. Since Spock was in heavy shadow, I had to accentuate his features in order to make him recognizable. I didn’t think this poster would go over well until I saw the poster for the movie Flight a few months later.

Elaan of TroyiusInteresting color choice for “Elaan of Troyius.” What is that boysenberry-esque color actually called and what made it work for this print?

Ortiz: Boysenberry would be a good way to describe it. It’s really an Earthtone with the CMYK percentages adjusted. I played around with different color, but the violet color just worked best for me.

What else would you point out to our readers about this piece?

Ortiz: My original design had the likeness of the actress that played Elaan, but because of legal issues I had to change her features.

The Paradise SyndromeOur personal favorite this month is “The Paradise Syndrome.” What inspired this one?

Ortiz: My goal was to carry the angle shape of the obelisk throughout the design. I was lucky enough to find a font that resembled an ancient lettering.

How did the piece evolve from initial concept to finished product?

Ortiz: This one originally had more of a love-story feel to it with Shatner and the name of the actress that played Miramanee. But once again, due to legal issues, I had to leave her name off the poster.

Which of the four would you want most in your own home?

Ortiz: I would go with “Elaan of Troyius.” Having watched it again during my research, I discovered what a great episode it actually is.

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