Bringing Back the Classics: Retro-Inspired Logo Trends

April 1, 2023

In the past few years, there have been a lot of changes in the design industry. You may have seen quite a few trends in logo design for instance making their comeback. In 2022, the Y2K aesthetic began to heavily influence visual elements such as colors, typography and icons. This is just one example of popular trends inspiring logo designers today. Many professionals and brand owners are also choosing elaborate designs that bring out nostalgic feelings such as retro designs. Retro logos are more expressive than sleek, minimalist ones and have a classic appeal as well.

This is another trend that has been making waves since quite a while now. While you may think that logo design in this day and age is about ‘less is more’, such brand symbols can still make a huge impact. Let’s take a look at how you can follow this retro-inspired logo trend and bring back the classics.

How Do Retro-Inspired Logo Trends Influence Your Designs?

One of the biggest reasons why you are seeing this trend make a comeback is nostalgia. The elements in such logos, like a quirky illustration or thick typography, can remind people of a happier time and bring back good memories. Businesses or brands in construction, manufacturing, food and beverage and automotive industries tend to choose retro logos to make a positive impression on their target audiences. If you are thinking of creating a construction logo for instance, you can consider bright colors or gradients with elaborate imagery.

This is just one way that retro-inspired logo trends can influence your design. Here are a few other factors that you can keep in mind.

Vintage Font Styles

If you think about it, thick or chunky font styles can bring a vintage vibe to your logo design and catch the eye of the viewers instantly. You can draw focus to a simple wordmark or lettermark with a vintage font style and take people back to the early 80’s or 90’s. This is a good way to keep the design minimalistic and add retro-inspired elements to it. The fonts in your logo play an important role in changing the perception of people about a brand or business.

Vintage or retro styles can evoke positive feelings that may last for a long time. Take the example of a company like Cabelo’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods. If we take the first one, you will find that the letters are big and in flowing script which might remind people of a different time. Despite the retro inspiration, the logo appears minimalistic and can appeal to a younger consumer base as well.

Solid Color Palette

When it comes to bringing back the classics with retro-inspired logo trends, you need to think about the color palette carefully. Now, back in the 60’s or 70’s, designers had limited choices and did not experiment a lot with color. So, if you are taking inspiration from that era, it’s a good idea to stick to neutrals and solid colors like red, earthy brown or blue. With such colors, you can create a design that lasts for years and requires minimal upgrades over time.

Solid colors are a good choice for a vintage or retro-inspired logo as you can rarely go wrong with them. This does not mean that you can not contrast various colors or go with muted tones and pastels. Before designing your brand symbol, you should brainstorm ideas for the palette and conduct research within the industry as well. This will help you figure out the time period that you can draw inspiration from and create a relevant design. Just take a look at the logo of Jack Daniel’s here. The brand has kept its color palette minimalist and chosen a classic black and white contrast to grab the attention of potential customers.

Illustrative Imagery

This is another important factor that can influence your logo design. In this day and age, brands and businesses prefer modern and clean logos with few elements. You may not see a lot of companies using illustrations or elaborate imagery in the brand identity designs. This is mainly because such visuals may not be versatile or look appealing on social media platforms where people are just scrolling through. Since the retro trend has been making a comeback, quite a few businesses and designers are collaborating on such designs. Illustrative imagery is being used to evoke nostalgia and tell a story as well.

Restaurants may choose to include an illustration of a food item or a chef to appeal to their target audience and highlight their specialty. Sometimes, you can also find elaborate imagery in logo designs of sports teams or organizations. It can showcase the origin of a team in any league and send a strong message.

In the example below, you can see how well the illustration of a waffle works in the logo for Press Waffle Co. It stands out immediately and draws attention to the unique selling point of the company as well.

Hand-Drawn Appearance

Another factor that can makes your logo appear retro or vintage is a hand-drawn appearance. Such elements can bring out feelings of happiness and joy, and convince people to take another look too. Bold colors, chunky fonts and flowing scripts can make your logo appear hand-drawn and bring a retro vibe to the design. You can choose old-school colors like pale yellow, orange and hues of brown to create a logo that instantly grabs the attention of the target audience.

Hues of bright blue and yellow can also make a strong impact on the viewer. Consider the example of the logo of Mama Fried here. It’s hand-drawn appearance can stay in memory for a long time and build customer loyalty too.

Wrapping Up

These are a few ways that you can consider bringing back the classics with retro-inspired trends. If you are thinking about creating such a logo, you should keep some of the factors mentioned above in mind.

Author Bio

Alicia Rother is a freelance content strategist who works with small businesses and startups to boost their brand reach through creative content design and write-ups. Her area of expertise include digital marketing, infographics, branding, and graphic design. For service inquiries you can connect with her here.

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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