Retro 51 Design Your Own Tornado Art Contest

UPDATE: November 21, 2022

From scores of talented entries, Retro 51 and Goldspot Pens picked the four finalists. You may now vote on the four designs to choose the winner of this contest and pick which pen will be made into a Retro 51 Tornado rollerball pen in 2023!


The deadline for voting in this contest is November 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. We will announce a winner on December 1st, 2022.

We will update this page with the winner.

Zombies! Spaceships! Airplanes! Avocados! Coffee, and more!
Throughout its 30-year history, the Retro 1951 pen company explored a wide range of themes, making pens for all types of interests.

Now, it’s your turn.

For the second year running, Goldspot Pens is hosting a "Design Your Own" Retro 51 Tornado art contest.

All you need is your imagination and the Retro 51 pen design template you see on this page (Download PDF file here). Dream up the perfect Retro 51 pen and make it become a reality. You may use any type of medium (paint, ink, watercolor, pencils, etc) as long as you can digitally upload and e-mail the finished design to us at

Attach the finished art file to your e-mail and use the subject line "Entry for Retro 51 Art Contest."

A couple of guidelines about the artwork:

  • Suggest not using any gradients
  • Use only solid colors
  • Crosshatching is ok, but too much and it could lose the quality in printing
  • Keep in mind that your artwork will be scaled down to fit on a pen and that smaller details will be lost.

We will accept submissions throughout the month of October. On November 1st, 2022, Goldspot Pens and Retro 51 will select the top three submissions. Richard at Retro 51 will convert the artwork into a virtual mock-up to show what the design would look like on a Retro 51 Tornado rollerball pen. Then, we will post all three virtual designs on the Goldspot Pens blog and put them to a vote.

Pen fans will vote on their favorite design they would like to see made into a real Retro 51 limited edition pen. After a week of voting, we will tally the results and announce the winner.

Now, here’s the fun part - the winner will receive the artist’s proof (AP) model as well as the final product in the specific edition number of their choosing. Plus, a $300 Goldspot Pens gift card. The winning pen will become a limited edition available for purchase exclusively through Goldspot Pens in early 2023.

If you need inspiration, please feel free to browse our current Retro 51 limited editions and exclusives for ideas. You may also want to look at Retro 51's Popper back catalog to see which themes have already been explored in the past.

Most importantly - have fun creating!

No purchase is necessary to enter the contest. Each person may enter more than one design. The submission deadline is October 31st at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time. No late submissions will be considered. The submitted artwork must be an original creation and cannot contain any clip art, copyrighted or trademarked properties. The winners are selected at the discretion of Goldspot Pens and Retro 51.

Above, you'll see a digital mockup of last year's winner "Tangled Garden" by Sandy H. You can find the finalists for 2021's contest in the image slideshow below. Best of luck to you all. Get creative and have fun!

DISCLAIMER - This contest is open for fans to have fun creating art on the Tornado pen with the opportunity for the winner's artwork to be displayed on the Tornado rollerball pen. Unless you are the winner, Retro 51 and Goldspot will not use your art beyond promoting this contest. Please be aware that Retro 51 and/or Goldspot may already be developing similar concepts to be used on future pen designs and that does not entitle you to any compensation or a prize.

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