Anyone familiar with the work of Mini Moderns will not be surprised to discover that they’ve held a lifelong appreciation of Pop Art. Perhaps more surprising is how their fascination with this movement took root. Because, from an early age – long before they’d developed an interest in consumer culture and all things graphic – Mark and Keith both used to love reading the romantic comic strips in their older sisters’ magazines.
These somewhat one-dimensional tales of love and loss endured in their imaginations, and though they were a guilty pleasure, the pair couldn’t help but be inspired by the artwork. For Keith, this obsession was further fueled by a happy accident. “Two renowned comic artists, Trevor Metcalfe and Robert Nixon, both just happened to live in my home town. Trevor Metcalfe rather took me under his wing and would allow me to watch him work as he created characters for Whizzer and Chips and Krazy Comic”.
No surprise, then, that a wallpaper has long been brewing at the back of the design duo’s minds. Getting the drawing style just right was a challenge, as Keith explains: “What we loved about the original artwork was the way the illustrations could veer from beautifully detailed, to quite naïve. Getting the right balance between sophistication and simplicity was key to ensuring the result would be easily recognizable as a romantic comic strip of the period”.
Mark points out that the design features a hidden treat for Mini Moderns fans: “We couldn’t resist bringing our iconic logo to life, so some of the action takes place at a telephone box outside the Mini Moderns bungalow”.
In keeping with the theme of the latest collection, True Romance tells the story of a typical Saturday night in suburbia. It depicts a romantic encounter rescued from near disaster. After making a date, our heroine misses the bus, and the couple miss the film, but they overcome adversity to enjoy a lovely Saturday night…. at last!
True Romance is the fourth print to launch from the forthcoming Mini Moderns collection, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, in which the design duo revisit the cultural influences that shaped their design aesthetic during their teenage years, growing up in the North during the 1980s.
True Romance is available in 4 colourways: Welsh Slate, Snow & Gold, Tangerine Dream, and Lido. £50 per roll. Available via www.minimoderns.com.