Compared to today’s CGI-laden sci-fi shows, the original Star Trek was about as minimalist as it gets: the sets were cardboard, the aliens all rubber and grease paint, and the uniforms little better than sweatshirts. In homage to the original spirit of Star Trek, graphic designer Mark Gonyea has launched Minimal Trek, a new Kickstarter of 78 minimalist poster designs for every episode of the original series.
According to Gonyea, Star Trek was his first graphic design muse. “I have great memories growing up, spending Sunday afternoons sitting on the floor too close to our TV, sketchpad and pencil in hand, watching Star Trek reruns,” he remembers. “It fueled my imagination and later in life as I became a graphic artist, it inspired my aesthetic of what I think good design is: simpler shapes, bold colors, and high contrasts.”
Gonyea has since gone on to launch seven successful Kickstarters, including two mathematical series of previously featured on Co.Design. When it came time to choose his next project, a tribute to Star Trekl seemed like the perfect fit, especially since the series’ 50th anniversary is coming up next year.
Minimalist Trek is partially inspired by Juan Ortiz’s mock movie posters for the original Star Trek. Where Ortiz’s designs were all shades of Saul Bass, Bill Gold, or Joaquin Pertierra, though, Gonyea favors a much simpler, pared-down aesthetic, trying to distill each original series episode into one simple image.
“When I started each design, I’d think back on the episode and just jot down some ideas. What images, concepts, and emotions that have stuck with me over the years?” Gonyea says. “I’d flip on Netflix and re-watch a particular episode, working on and tweaking the designs as it played. Although the images were going to on the simplistic side of design, I still wanted them firmly rooted in the show and to not rely entirely on memory.”
Available now on Kickstarter as a series of posters and postcards starting at just $10, Minimalist Trek has some of the same problems that all minimalist posters do: most of these designs won’t mean anything to you if you’re not already a Star Trek fan. But if you are, each of Minimalist Trek’s three posters is like a whole season of memories to hang on your wall.