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Lost Trapper Keeper Style Unearthed (in France?)

It seems like every year since 1997 there has been some reincarnation of the 80s. The “Buggles” would be playing on some radio station’s “Classic 80’s Rewind!”. Bands started sounding like Joy Division. The 808 bass made it back into hip-hop not long ago (thank god!). I even saw skinny ties being worn by hipsters on some blog. But through all that, there was a particular aspect of the 80s that seemed forever lost.

The art of the trapper keeper.

In case you’ve forgotten:


It’s taken a good 25 years or so for humanity to have enough nostalgia to appreciate this painfully glossy disaster of a graphic design movement. And it’s all the fault of the French (with some help from Germany). A German graphic design duo known as “The Zonders” has been relentlessly pumping out a body of trapper keeper work for French artists for a few years now.

Their most notable work has been for the “Valerie Collective.” Yes Valerie – could there be a more 80s name?

Look at that intense, lipstick scrawled logo!

Apparently French kids in the 80s grew up watching a lot of American TV and Movies. Here’s a post on the Valerie blog that explores the CHiPs soundtrack – AWESOME!

And as bad is it is, I find myself adoring it. Please, more airbrush, more reflective orbs in space, MORE SPLATTER!

Most of this stuff I can happily admit to being a guilty pleasure but one artist’s work has really taken this style to the next level:


Or more accurately the person who does Onra’s design: Practice & Theory.

This is stuff I would hang on my walls. Onra, who Synconation recently interviewed, still has the harsh angles, the mash of gradients and sunsets, but somehow manages to present it with restraint. It’s like we’re getting a glimpse of what 1989 could have looked like if the bad 90s stuff (Alf? Color Me Bad? Boys II Men? – I dunno) had never happened.

Here are some videos to keep you in that world…

COLLEGE – “She never came back” from Frantz Lasorne on Vimeo.

4 thoughts on “Lost Trapper Keeper Style Unearthed (in France?)”

  1. Brenton says:

    To think, I passed up the Countach trapper keeper in my youth! Love the way the design has been incorporated into the Onra covers.

  2. Cadet001 says:

    I had the trapper keeper with the palm tree on it.

    Wait, Did you just say that ALF was bad?

  3. Michael says:

    I had that palm tree one too. I liked it so much I drew it…. in pencil. Now I want to redo it in color. Anyone have a clear picture this design??

  4. Donal says:

    Thanks for the props!
    Practice & Theory

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