From polaroid and neon effects to vintage logo design, find the best retro design templates inspired by the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
Retro design has been having a moment in recent years and it doesn’t look like the styles of the past are going to fade. There’s something about the decades of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s that seems to have a permanent place in our hearts, with themes so entrenched in pop culture that they’re instantly nostalgic – even for those of us that weren’t there to see them the first time.
Retro graphic design, is design inspired by the decades gone by, in particular the second half of the 20th century. We also refer to these styles as ‘vintage design’. Typically featuring bright colors and psychedelia, in the 1960s design encompassed all things earthy and experimental. Think pop art, kaleidoscope aesthetic and big bubbly rainbow colored fonts. The 1970s heralded grooviness with the introduction of jazz, disco and funk into the psychedelic ‘60s vibe. Counter-culture dominated patterns, motifs and themes with disco balls and peace signs. In the 1980s, the future was front of mind, and we welcomed neon, cyberpunk and now, the tropical, electronic music-inspired vaporwave trend synonymous with ‘80s music.
For a more detailed run down of these themes, take a look at our feature on the Retro Design Trends making a mark now, which looks at how to integrate these influences into your designs. We also touched on the resurgence of retro photography in our wrap up of photo trends for 2020.
In the meantime, here’s our pick of retro and vintage design templates available on Envato Elements to get you on the road to the past.
To set the mood at a glance, an old school print gives an instantly classic feel to any project. Halftone Textures by ghostlypixels is perfect for this, and includes ten texture files with transparent backgrounds – ready to give your existing designs a vintage lift.
Nothing says retro like a polaroid camera, and Polaroid Photo Frame by alexdndz does exactly that. With a realistic white photo frame and shadow, these options give an instant retro feel, and can work individually or in a pin-board style collection.
To add a little extra, a simple add-on can go a long way. Vintage Tones by allanthedp give a subtle and elegant vintage look with video and photo color grading inspired by vintage film. If it’s not exactly what you’re after in the first instance, the six files are adjustable to get your video clips and images looking just right.
Instagram is ideal for brand and product promotion, and it’s certainly possible to add some vintage fun while keeping posts professional and clean. This is made especially easy with Instagram Stories Retro by uicreativenet. With editable text and color and easy image placement, these 15 customizable Instagram story templates are ready for you to run with.
For classic artful vintage, adding effects to images is a shortcut way to evoking memories of old photo albums. Retro Film Mockup by CollectiveOffset gives you a high resolution template to do just that, with a layered Photoshop mockup that gives any of your images a textured retro polaroid effect.
A late night, big city feel can quickly draw out a feeling of the crowded streets and back-street bars of everyone’s younger years – no matter the era. And typography can do a lot with a little, as Neon Sign Photoshop Effect by pixelbuddha_graphic proves. Perfect for signs, logos and use in branding, its energy is unmistakably retro, and it’s fully customizable to personalize to your exact liking.
Everyone has childhood memories associated with comics, making it a tough theme to go past when aiming for a vintage look. With a selection of layer styles, patterns and overlays, Vintage Comic Creator by JRChild is a collection sampled from actual comic books, meaning the designs have an authentic feel. Use it for posters and flyers, or any project that could do with an injection of childhood fun, action and adventure.
Think flyers for roller derby and summer music festivals and you’ll be able to bring to mind the retro feel of an ‘80s inspired neon-on-black promo poster. Retro Party by aiyari is a fully editable and print-ready template for exactly this.
Food is deeply nostalgic for many of us, and the menu plays a big part in setting the perfect scene for the food that’s featured on it. Retro Food Menu by tokosatsu lends itself especially to indulgent, mouth-watering comfort food – for example, an old school burger joint or Southern barbecue-style fare.
Often it’s the smallest touches that determine the mood for a brand, and Vintage Labels Badges Logo Templates by Sentavio gives you a quick way to create your own vintage-inspired label, badge or logo. Its 24 templates, all available in black-and-white or color, also include elements like shields, ribbons, frames and symbols – meaning it’s quick and easy to adjust for a bespoke design fit for any type of business.
Like what you see? To take your next project back to the future, get on board with our favorite retro trends by subscribing to Envato Elements.
If you now find yourself reaching for the comfort of coming-of-age ‘80s films and the kapow-action of ‘70s comics, and are feeling inspired to incorporate a retro feel into your designs, make sure you check out our pick of 35 Best Retro 80s Fonts or Top 20 Royalty-Free 80s Music Tracks. To go ‘80s and beyond for all things glitz and glamor, also check out Best Neon Effects for Photoshop.
Like the feature image in this blog post? Our Design team created it using assets by CollectiveOffset and Easybrandz2 available on Envato Elements.