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Inspiring Retro Design Projects

Inspiring Retro Design Projects

Too often these days the word ‘Retro’ is associated with the Retro Futurism design movement. Whilst I love this movement, it has become a little over-used in recent times. Also, it makes me think – just what happened to plain old Retro?

Today I bring you several awesome projects showcasing retro style design. These focus less on bright colors and light effects, and more on old-school product design, faded colors, old typography, pop art etc… We hope that you enjoy going back in time with these effects, and find some inspiration in them for your day’s work!


“What would you do if you could travel back in time? Assassinate Marilyn Monroe? Go on a date with Hitler? Obviously. But here’s what I’d do after that: grab all the modern technology I could find, take it to the late 70′s, superficially redesign it all to blend in, start a consumer electronics company to unleash it upon the world, then sit back as I rake in billions, trillions, or even millions of dollars.”

I love this project, as Alex Varanese (a favorite artist of mine) takes modern technology and fits it into old-school retro designs. It’s amazing how well these sleek modern designs fit into a retro design theme, complete with grungy faded colors and typography:

Alex Varanese: Elektrotrash: A Found Art Typeface

Another great project from Alex Varanese. This time he designs his own retro style typeface. This is constructed from various retro objects, artifacts and patterns/textures. Because of this each letter becomes a highly detailed work of art, whilst the wider constructed words are hugely stylish.

Fred: Vrac

This is one of my all time favorite retro projects. The artist has clearly done his research, as each piece shows a tremendous amount of retro authenticity. Even the simplest designs have ever letter, colors and blur applied perfectly to achieve a convincing retro result!

John Mattos: Selected Works

John Mattos uses a combination of political, social and technological motifs as a basis for his retro-styled works. The majority of his work uses vector techniques, yet his color-choices and work with adjustment layers gives them a very retro feel. Impressive stuff!

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. HD Guy says:

    Amazing works, I really love the vintage retro look

  2. xpmatrix says:

    Very nice, thx

  3. Lee says:

    I’m in the process of redesigning my site to pay homage to either the 50s or 80s (yeah, quite a range there!), and I definitely appreciate the history from past designs. I especially like Alex’s work, as I wish I still kept my original Atari 2600 for keepsakes!


  4. Very Inspirational list of retro examples. Is there any good tutorials you can share for learning these kind of designs.

  5. web design says:

    nice work keep up the good work

  6. Some great retro artwork and a great source of inspiration. I really like Alex’s artwork as he has done an amazing job of combining new technology with a vintage retro look. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Tom says:

    Thanks for the great comments guys!

    I love all of these artists, but I have to admit that Alex’s artwork consistently blows me away.

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