Vintage-inspired designs, when done well, can end up looking even more current and relevant than an entirely new and modern design. Whether it’s only taking inspiration for your typography, color scheme, or other elements, or whether you create a design that would feel entirely at home in the 1950s, 1920s, or any point before, using vintage and retro styles can be fun and challenging.
Below are forty designs inspired by retro, vintage, and antique elements. They range from campy to completely professional, and everything in between. Use them as inspiration for creating your own vintage designs.
Here are more retro and vintage related articles we’ve previously published:
Full list after jump.
Antique and Pre-20th Century Inspired Designs
The most common eras antique-inspired websites take design cues from seem to be the Victorian era and classical Rome and Greece. The best designs tend to be formal-looking, and evoke a sense of propriety without looking stuffy. In some cases, they imitate broadsheet newspapers or other items from the times they’re inspired by.
Early 20th Century Inspired Designs
The early 20th century (through WWII) has inspired numerous designs. Some are influenced by the Film Noir and detective movies of the 30s and early 40s. Others pull from Depression-era pop culture (including children’s toys and games). And others take their cues from WWII-era military and civilian artwork and posters.
Five Cent Stand
Post-WWII and Later Designs
Designs inspired by the mid-20th century (post WWII up through the 60s) pull mostly from the popular culture of the era. Fonts inspired by the era are particularly popular, along with vintage color schemes. Fashion also seems to be a big influencer, as are vintage radios, cars, and televisions.