James White's surreal, retro artworks will take you to another world

James' personal project for his own Signalnoise studio is both futuristic and nostalgic.

Since the start of his professional design career in 1988, James White has had no real shortage of agency work, but it is his ceaselessly blossoming personal creations that brought about Signalnoise Studio and drew the likes of Toyota, Google and Nike to the Canadian designer.  

James’ recent experimentation with neon-infused art projects – works sparked by memories of his 80s childhood – is shown off beautifully in ‘NeoWave’, a celestial series of illustrations channelling the decade’s psychedelic leanings and cosmic dreams. 

The shining, strangely coloured alien landscapes featured in this series are mind-bending enough alone, but blended with the fantastical, extravagant geometric shapes James has stabbed into the desert or sent floating above the heads of dwarfed silhouetted people - well, that’s just mesmerising. 

Architecture and nature, futurism and nostalgia, are jarringly but gorgeously fused in this series. And – even better – it’s all in deep, enticing cosmic colours.

The 1980s is less remembered for its style - more for the lack of it - but James loves the decade.

Other personal, 80s-inspired work from James includes an unofficial poster for the film Drive, the branding for UbiSoft’s Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon game, plus a range of posters for explosive action flicks and slasher horror movies, print ads and yet even more neon art.

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James has drawn since he was 4, much to the irritation of his teachers. And not much has changed in the way he approaches his creations– allowing his personal work to grow has meant James can play with ideas without constraint. 

Signalnoise grew around client work, not instead of it, so James is pretty busy. Unsurprisingly, then, his resulting portfolio of work is colossal. 

Check out more of James’ work on his Behance and his Tumblr, which is dedicated to inspiring “badass 80s visuals”.

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