Need non-people 80's pop culture icons
August 24, 2009 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Pop-culture enthusiasts: I am working on a project that will incorporate 80's(ish) themes/icons. But there is a caveat.

No people.

This is an embroidery project and recognizable people are too hard to embroider (at least for my purposes). So is anything that involves shading. For example, an image of Michael Jackson would not work, but a single sequined glove would as it's pretty obvious what it represents. Basically, I'm looking for things that have simple outlines and are recognizable by those simple outlines. This picture of Kermit is perfect.

Ok, now that you know (I hope) what I'm looking for, what can you give me from the years of 1978-1993 or so?
posted by dogmom to Society & Culture (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hm! Well, here's a start:

Cash money
Running shoes
Diamond ring (or something like that) to symbolize "Material Girl"
Pac Man
Rubik's Cube
posted by Miko at 8:51 PM on August 24, 2009

Care Bears
scrunchy socks
the original MTV logo
VHS tapes
posted by amyms at 9:00 PM on August 24, 2009

New Coke
a Swatch
Van Halen logo
posted by mattbucher at 9:05 PM on August 24, 2009

Pac Man. Big Bold "laser lines" of neon color. Checkerboard. Any early 8-bit icon.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Checkerboard Vans
Fingerless gloves
Rubik's Cube
posted by chez shoes at 9:22 PM on August 24, 2009

Freddy Kruger glove?
posted by cazoo at 9:23 PM on August 24, 2009

cassette tapes
walkmans, boomboxes
breakdancer silhouette
Ghostbusters logo
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Lite Brite
neon colored shoes
Prince symbol (barely makes your timeline; introduced in 1992)
posted by desjardins at 9:23 PM on August 24, 2009

You need to see this:
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 9:25 PM on August 24, 2009

Some variation on the 2Tone logo would be nice and simple.
posted by pompomtom at 9:28 PM on August 24, 2009

Absolutely shocked I'm the first to mention Mr. Yuk.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 9:51 PM on August 24, 2009

Legwarmers, shutter shades, piano tie, Delorean , Live Aid , space shuttle , Alf ,
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 10:04 PM on August 24, 2009

"Frankie Says Relax" T-shirts.

Those "happy" faces with the bullet holes were popular where I lived (like Watchmen, but the bullethole was in the middle of the forehead.)

When was the Save The Whales stuff?

How about Perestroika stuff? (Gorbachev's birthmark?)

Misfits skulls (co-opted by snowboarding gear these days, though, so it might not work)
posted by small_ruminant at 10:11 PM on August 24, 2009

Miami Vice blazer/t-shirt
posted by cazoo at 10:55 PM on August 24, 2009

TIE Fighter or Death Star (or Star Wars logo)
Atari logo (or Atari joystick)
Pac Man, as already mentioned
Rubik's cube, as already mentioned
Tetris piece
A vinyl record album would be representative of the times
Apple computer logo (and/or Commodore logo)
I'll bet you could do a video arcade console
Opus the penguin
Trivial pursuit marker and wedges?
Izod alligator
posted by jdroth at 11:55 PM on August 24, 2009

I don't know what half of the things listed so far even are... and I was alive in the 80's. I think. I had to look up "Deelyboppers." :(

Anyway, some pieces I think were missed so far...

Classic Atari Logo
A Smurf
Mr T head (a person, yes, but such an obvious easy cartoon head shape: even a silhouette)
Boba Fett head (ditto)
Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man
Roger Rabbit (harder)
Strawberry Shortcake
"Relax" or "Choose Choice" block letters
Original Pixely Mario from Mario Bros.

And strongly seconding Pac-Man, a Care Bear, the MTV logo and a Rubik's Cube.
posted by rokusan at 11:57 PM on August 24, 2009

Mr Frosty
Nuclear Power - No Thanks
posted by mippy at 4:02 AM on August 25, 2009

I think a boom-box would be perfect.

But also:
16-bit Nintendo controller
Poloroid camera/film
Something written in monochrome terminal text
Original Macintosh computer
posted by mrmojoflying at 4:40 AM on August 25, 2009

Totally Gnarly Answers, Dudes!

I will come back and mark "bests" on all the ones I use (although it may take a bit- hand-embroidery is not a speedy thing).
posted by dogmom at 5:08 AM on August 25, 2009

My Little Pony
posted by knile at 5:19 AM on August 25, 2009

The Whammy
posted by AloneOssifer at 6:10 AM on August 25, 2009

What about the '80s-era Pepsi logo?

And also, the Coke logo with "New!" next to it.
posted by bengarland at 6:26 AM on August 25, 2009

posted by dizziest at 7:33 AM on August 25, 2009

The Noid
Spuds McKenzie
posted by 23skidoo at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2009

Fraggle Rock Dozer
posted by sarahnade at 9:17 AM on August 25, 2009

stirrup pants!
friendship pin with beads on it
jelly bracelets and shoes
folded and rolled pant cuffs (I think this is called “pegged cuffs”)
a can of Aqua Net hairspray
posted by yawper at 9:22 AM on August 25, 2009

You have to use teal and pink as colors w/black accents--plus geometric shapes. Something to represent paint spatter in neon colors or acid-wash...ah, the 80's...ska dancing with my bitchin' asymetrical hair cut and bowling-shirt style top over acid washed jeans and jelly shoes...I'm really glad cameras weren't as prevelant as they are now.
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:04 AM on August 25, 2009

GirlTalk!!!! has the most 80'sriffic packaging ever.

Chairy from PeeWee's playhouse

ET moon sillouhette

Howard the Duck


Sounds like a good project you're working on there...(runs out of work to craft store).
posted by WeekendJen at 10:33 AM on August 25, 2009

almost forgot:

California Raisins

Joe Camel came around in 1987
posted by WeekendJen at 10:41 AM on August 25, 2009

Cabbage Patch Kids
Spuds McKenzie
posted by ainsley at 6:22 PM on August 25, 2009

Does Max Headroom count as a person?
The Memorex guy
posted by Mael Oui at 8:51 PM on August 25, 2009

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