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What makes a design RETRO? and Retro Style graphics collection for your inspiration

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Using retro themed web designing templates is the latest trend in web designing. Retro templates are characterized by period icons, vivid graphics and pale colors. This popular theme is not only showing its presence in websites but also in paintings, ads and fashion designing. Let us find out the reasons behind this growing popularity of retro web designing.
Reasons of popularity: Retro designing transcends time, styles, tastes and ages. Web designing templates having retro style are well accepted by customers from different countries. Retro designing usually focuses on certain eras or pop cultures but enjoys a loyal group of followers across several countries. Color schemes and graphics are neither too dull nor too colorful.
Interweaving of modern graphics with old designs helps in creating a vintage appeal. People have a tendency to associate “value” with old things. Retro designing aims to reap this normal tendency. While value element helps in drawing visitors, modern designing elements keep them hooked. As such, retro designing offers the site owners best of both worlds – vintage looks with modernigning.
Retro designing has brought a touch of romanticism in web designing. Most web surfers are guilty of romanticizing old things. Most of us have a feeling “how green was my valley”. They feel life was much simpler, less stressful and relaxed when they were in schools and colleges. This is probably where a retro design takes us. It takes us to those sweet and memorable days when life was more relaxed.

What makes a design RETRO? and Retro Style graphics collection for your inspiration

Elements of retro designing

characters vintage

Retro web designing has several approaches to theme and certain elements are often repeated. Handwritten scripts are very popular. Some designers use old cars, retro product models, old fashioned photographs, early electronic devices and other such old images for creating retro look.  Some web pages reflect the celebration of sixties to space travel while others prefer to highlight post-war optimism and ad campaigns of ‘50s. Some web designers use the military themes like old war planes and badges and some like to use images of pin-up girls of that era. There are several crucial elements that contribute in making a design retro. Let us explore some of them.

1. Using shapes and illustrations

simple retro shapes squares

Simple shapes works wonder in creating a retro look. Circles of different sizes are commonly used for this purpose. Going through designs of different famous eras revels how simple shapes were used by designers to create maximum impact. In addition to simple shapes, some of them also opted for a floral background. Bright colors were used in such cases for drawing attention. These techniques are widely adapted by many designers for creating separate space of different content within same area.

2. Color schemes

vintae colours

Limited use of colors is the prominent trait of retro designs. Full color printing was very expensive in the past. This prompted many designers to limit the use of colors in their designs. Two toned coloring was predominantly used by retro designers. Sometimes designers selected a focal color and blended it with few selected colors to create a unique theme. 


3. Typography

fonts in retro design

Typography has always played a vital role in designing a retro site. Designers of the retro eras used simple techniques like repositioning of fonts, duplicating and pixel strokes for adding unique flavor to a design.


4. Borders

Borders in retro websites

Use of borders is a fascinating part of retro designing. Borders can be used for framing a picture, highlighting content or creating focus areas. They can have ornamental designs or matching solid colors.

5. Textures and noises

Use of textures in vintage webdesign

Subtle use of texture and noise in the background helps in creating a visually appealing retro design. While some offer a canvas type background having worn out look, others love to use poster artwork with subtle colors. From blending of brush works to stained structures vintage designs are a treat to watch. Drop shadows and pattern overlays are used for creating retro look of a web page. Retro textures are usually simple to create with help of Photoshop.

6. Badges and logos

brand identity

Badges and logos play a crucial role in creating a retro feel. Badges are usually round shaped with a fluttering slim banner over them. Subtle and contrasting colors are used on retro logos and badges. Most of them can be created with Photoshop.


Using retro elements in web designing is an attempt to bring back the memories of past. When a designer purposely develops an old design and blends it with new services and technology we get true retro effect. Retro designs are void of older designing techniques, making them technologically compatible with modern site designing. There are several retro elements that may not fit with our modern web designing approach. Extensive use of Flash, horizontal rule lines, large rainbow fonts, hit counters are avoided by modern designers. Background images and music along with scrolling tickers used in earlier days of web designing may create problems in modern web designing. These elements should be avoided while designing and developing a retro website. 

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