The '80s design aesthetic is defined by bright pastel colors, bold overlapping patterns, and simple geometric shapes. This look originated with a group of mostly Italian-based designers who called themselves the Memphis Group (named after Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again," which was playing during a meeting.) The group's leader was Ettore Sottsass (1917 – 2007), who is best known for designing the Olivetti Valentine typewriter, which was a symbol of the post-war rise of Italian design.
This excellent 6-minute Vox video traces the origins of the Memphis Group and its enduring influence.
(Carla and I bought the ZoLO playset in the 1980s, which epitomized the Memphis Group look.)