Even though technology continues to advance, there’s something special about design elements from the past. Maybe it’s the feeling of “the good old days,” maybe it’s simply the familiarity. Either way, retro design elements are a big hit right now, and there’s a large abundance of free resources out there just waiting to be downloaded!
Like anything, the key to pulling off a retro design is to be intentional about it. For example, do you want to go all in on a vintage feeling, or would you rather use it as a stand-alone element for a single campaign or easter egg on your site? Does it fit within your current brand guidelines, or does it break some barriers to create something new?
Once you know what exactly you’re trying to achieve with a retro design, it’ll be easier to identify what elements you might want to add to your site. For example, are you looking for a full retro site design or will a vintage font get the job done?
When you’re ready, we’ve compiled a whole bunch of our favorite freebies. Use these link to jump directly to what you need, or take a look at the whole list of free retro design elements!
The best free retro backgrounds
There’s nothing like a good ol’ vintage background to start creating a retro feeling on your site. Whether you go all in for a full background or use it for a small container element, these patterns will pair perfectly with the content on your site! There are also plenty of opportunities to make them your own by changing the colors, manipulating the patterns, or combining different elements.
80s geometric pattern
Retro colored sunburst
Retro grunge background
Retro grunge pattern 1
Retro grunge pattern 2
If you haven’t found quite the right retro background yet, I recommend looking at Vecteezy. That’s where several of these vintage backgrounds are from, and there are a lot more options!
The best free retro fonts
Searching for a retro typeface to spice up your site? Look no further than these 80s-inspired fonts. They’re great for making a big impact with a little line of copy! While they won’t work super well for long paragraphs, they’re great for creating that retro vibe with a headline or call to action.
Plus, vintage vibes are making a comeback in this year’s design trends. All of these fonts were used in our 2018 Design Trends course. If you’re interested in learning more, you can sign up for the free email course here!
Mistral and Outage
The best free retro icons
At some point or another, almost every website could use an icon or two. Whether it’s to display your social channels of choice, to describe the services you offer, or just to accompany some copy, icons are a great way to break up text and add more visuals to your site. If you’re interested in adding a retro design element to your site but don’t want to go overboard, some vintage icons are the perfect way to tip-toe into this trend!
Retro drink and food vector icons
Retro style social media icon set
Vintage design icons
Bonus: Download 3 free retro PSD assets by joining our Design Trends email course!
We love retro design elements – in fact, it’s one of the trends mentioned in our free 2018 Design Trends course! When you sign up, you’ll get access to exclusive PSD files, like these free 90s tech devices! Sign up now with the form below, or get more details here.
Thanks for joining our Design Trends course!
Download this file to receive the Photoshop template with three of our favorite pieces of 90s technology!
How to use this Photoshop resource
This file is much more than just the pieces of technology – it allows you to replace the screens with whatever you like! There are lots of layers to play with, allowing you to achieve all of your retro design dreams.
What do you think of adding retro design elements to websites? Let us know how you plan to use this trend in the comments below!
- Design inspiration
- Design trends
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February 2, 2018