- A sample two-page spread from Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz, with an unsharpened pencil to give scale. (Click to enlarge.)
Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz is a book of posters. Ortiz, an illustrator and graphic designer, challenged himself to come up with one movie-style poster for each episode of the original Star Trek series—80 posters in all. The challenge is to make 80 unique, compelling images with a limited set of symbols. How many ways can you twist the shape of the USS Enterprise, the Starfleet logo, or Spock's face and still make an image that has its own design language?
Not every page of Star Trek is memorable, but there are a lot more winners here than losers. Ortiz pays homage to Saul Bass, Jack Kirby, Russian propaganda posters, Jackson Pollack, and many more influences throughout the book. Sometimes his posters look more like those great old sci-fi paperback covers, or psychedelic band fliers from the 60s. They each reference at least one plot point in the Star Trek episode they're representing, making it an ideal gift for the Trek fan who's seen every episode of TOS multiple times.
Ortiz's art aggregates into a narrative that runs underneath all the posters: It's the story of a Star Trek fan who decided to revisit one of his favorite shows, but this time as an artist, in the hopes of finding something new to enjoy. I think the story has a happy ending.