entries Tagged as [star trek]

Star Trek shuttle: The Kellogg, Loewy, Avanti connection

Matt Jeffries was the production designer for the original Star Trek, but somewhere along the way designer Thomas Kellogg was brought in to develop the Shuttlecraft Galileo – made famous in the episode The Galileo Seven.

Kellogg became well-known for his design for the Studebaker Avanti Coupe while working under über designer Raymond Loewy. One can see the likeness between the shuttlecraft rendering (above) and the Avanti (below).

And read more about all this here.

Here’s an interview with Tom Kellogg.

bauhaus spock

Found via Bad Spock Drawings

Monty Python meets Star Trek

‘Bones McCoy was not a morning person.’

How much for just the planet? was one of the silliest books I’ve ever read. Author John M. Ford (1957-2006) did a lot with this Star Trek thing. And that’s actually him as part of the cover art (above).

Not for purists though, which is why I enjoyed reading it. It was released in 1987. Details (and spoilers) here. Snag a cheap used copy here.

‘A boldly different Star Trek experience’

I read somewhere that this novel sent Gene Roddenberry into a tizzy. Don’t know if it were true, but this book has some nasty religion stuff, nymphomaniac Ensign Sara George, lots of sex and the crew in a nakkid crucifiction in the rain something or other. I remember reading this as a kid and thinking about the rather frank, adult content, This is NOT going to be made into a movie is it? Also thought: This Star Trek thing is pretty damn interesting (teenage hormones speaking, of course).

‘Ensign George was pure, unadulterated, wanton sex.’


This was one of the first original Trek novels, released in 1976. I loved the stark whiteness of the original glossy Helvetica-set cover (now faded); paired with wonderful artwork by Gene Szafran. Unfortunately, future printings ended up with more literal interpretations up front.

Here’s a blow by blow review. Snag a copy here (is this thing even still in print?)

The long lost Star Trek comic strip

In 1979, the week the first movie premiered, Paramount launched a daily Star Trek comic strip. Thomas Warkentin was the first writer/artist to work on the title and I loved his attention to detail.

The strip adapted the production design of the first motion picture and Warkentin even went so far as to put small details on the viewscreens that was often wasted when printed small in the paper. I had a drawer full of the clipped strips, they’d turned a nice gold color over time.

The strip itself has never been reprinted, lost in a world of legal ownership issues. But the entire run can be found here. Though not in the best user friendly format. There’s also links to some great UK-based Star Trek comics from the 1970s. Handy checklist here.

More Trek: Artist Toru Kanamori

When Star Trek first became a global sensation, Toru Kanamori landed a gig illustrating Japanese translations of the original series stories. Wouldn’t it be great to reprint a bunch of these in an art book with text from the Blish novels?

You know, I’d love to design something like that. Somebody call me.

For more about the work of Toru Kanamori, jump here.

Early Star Trek novel design

Author James Blish turned the original episodes of Star Trek into short stories, which have been printed and reprinted by Bantam Books.

The original cover paintings (above) were top notch. Lou Feck’s incredible brush strokes and fanciful landscapes took Star Trek beyond the confines of a television SFX budget (he did #s 4, 7 and 8). Eddie Jones made a blasted Klingon engine look really cool on #10 (Jones did the later numbers in the series, under the pen name S. Fantoni).

And the type: Helvetica Condensed and some ultra bold numbers (you know, like one of my fonts).

Cool design for explorers on the edge of space. Here’s Modern Fred’s Flickr/photoset of the bunch. And while you’re out exploring, check out Fred’s other space age modern snaps.

Star Trek production design of the 1960s

The U.S.S. Kelvin, 2009

J.J. Abrams made a few changes to Star Trek.

Plotwise it had something to do with a black hole or alternate reality time travel singularity cinnamon gumball something or other. Below is what Abrams’ U.S.S. Kelvin would have looked like if it fit the style created by Star Trek’s original designer, Matt Jefferies.

Renderings by Kenneth Thomson Jr.

Star Trek’s 1960s production design is a reflection of its era. Cold War, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit – or Mad Men – in outer space.

Jefferies’ original Enterprise model sported antennas on the engines, a radar dish up front with deliberate nods to the military. I think that triangle thing under the forward hull may be for an anchor. Maybe.

Battleship Wisconsin

The ships from the original series also sported traditional ‘painted’ surfaces – battleship gray hull – plus, identification tags, banners and typography. Port and starboard navigation lights. Just like the Navy. [Read more →]

Star Trek-n-me

Star Trek poster 1966, art by James Bama

Okay, I’ll admit it. I was a trekkie from way back. Sort of lost interest along the way, but I did enjoy the new movie. Which releases in all sorts of formats this Tuesday.

The message of Star Trek is a good one, when it works. A future utopia where humans have gotten past all their petty hangups. President Obama thinks this way. It’s good thinking.

velour: fabric of the future!
Of course, the early design of the show fascinated me. The look changed after its second pilot episode – which featured cast and crew in these really nifty velour shirts (that Kirk could rip at will). I have the original publicity poster framed in my office (above). The art is by the incredible James Bama, great write up at the Drex Files.

The poster really captures the original look, which was a mix of mid-century modern, googie and space age Disney.

In the future, everyone gets a gooseneck video monitor!

It would have been fun if the new movie had the original velour shirts (above) on the bridge of the Kelvin. The U.S.S. Kelvin, at least, had Star Trek’s signature ‘ping’ noise and the lighting was a little bit like the scene from above. Those were a nice touches. [Read more →]

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