Ever since I started uploading my own designs to print-on-demand websites like TeePublic, I’ve noticed these cool 70s retro dark children’s book style designs climbing up the t-shirt charts. They are funny and dark and fantastic. And I am a fan.
I’ve seen them in other places on the internet as well. I may have even seen them in some brick and mortar stores (but I can’t verify this at the moment).
This week I finally learned the name of the guy who makes them. His name is Steven Rhodes. He’s a designer/illustrator from Australia. I feel like a dummy for not knowing this sooner. I just sort of always assumed that the designs were made by a team of corporate honchos trying to zero in on “what the kids like”. I don’t know why I thought that. I should have known better. Well, at least I know now!
I imagine a lot of people out there try to “steal” or “copy” Steven Rhodes’ design style. I wonder how he feels about that. I also wonder if he is somehow affiliated with the Fender Rhodes piano (I’m hoping Fender sponsors him).
Last summer he published his designs in a shiny new book — My Little Occult Book Club. You should buy it and leave it out on your coffee table so your friends will think you are cool.
My Little Occult Book Club is a hilarious collection of Steven Rhodes’ parody book covers for the aspiring occultist, exorcist, necromancer, and more, illustrated in his fan-favorite artistic twist on retro ’70s and ’80s children’s books.
He also does a line of vintage movie-inspired designs. Here are a few of my favorites: