Mighty Fine has got this Star Trek thing down to a T -- as in T-shirts. The company has been turning out cool Star Trek-themed T-shirts for years, but now they’ve really outdone themselves. And here’s how. To their Trek line they’ve just added three brand-new shirts: Lt. Uhura, Yeoman Rand and the Orion girl, all from The Original Series and all in the sexy, brightly colored Art Deco style of the legendary Patrick Nagel. Priced at $25, the shirts were designed by Arty Perez, one of Mighty Fine’s staff designers, who created the Nagel-esque Trek tees based on the R&D team's suggestions following the success of other entertainment properties given the Nagel treatment.
StarTrek.com recently traded emails with Perez to elicit some scoop on creating the latest Trek shirts. So, here goes:
What excited you about creating Nagel-inspired designs?
Perez: I have been a fan of both Star Trek and Patrick Nagel since I was very young. I remember going to the beauty salon with my aunt to get her hair done, and thinking that those drawings [used in salon window displays, based on Nagel's work] were rad.
What elements of Nagel's style did you feel you needed to capture in order to do the designs justice?
Perez: I didn't think about it too much. (I) just compared Nagel's paintings to the source images and worked from there. It needs to look like the character but have the clean lines and colors that Nagel worked in.
Which Trek character most quickly/easily fit the Nagel style? How/why?
Perez: Uhura. She's a sexy, butt-kicking lady. She was the obvious choice.
There's a generation that grew up with Nagel, with his posters, work for Playboy and the Rio album cover for Duran Duran, and a younger generation that's possibly never heard of him. What kind of challenges did that dichotomy present?
Perez: I didn't think about that. I was just really excited to work on these designs. I guess it doesn't matter (if someone knows Nagel's work or not). If they like it, then they will respond.
Did you create the designs, in terms of colors, to go with certain color shirts, or will any of your Trek designs fit on any color shirt?
Perez: I usually design on white first, but then our merchandisers choose shirt colors based on the color palette of the design.
If you do more Star Trek shirts for Mighty Fine, what other characters, creatures, etc. would you like to bring to life on a shirt?
Perez: I may do a topless Geordi La Forge someday.
For additional information and to purchase the Nagel-inspired Star Trek shirts, visit WeLoveFine.com or click here. And keep an eye on StarTrek.com for news about future additions to Mighty Fine’s line of Star Trek-themed shirts.
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