The use of the latest tools and cutting-edge technology to create a website that looks dazzling is what most companies look forward to. But have you thought about going retro with a design? Applying the design techniques to make your website look like it was developed some 20-25 years ago. Sounds interesting? There is a common notion that it is akin to presenting old wine in a new bottle. But retro web design is much more than that.
Marvel launched a great little retro website for its Captain Marvel movie, and the result was delightful. It shows that it doesn’t take much to make a website that is pure old school and offers a vintage experience for the visitors that is exquisite in nature.
We can borrow design concepts from yesteryears and come up with a theme that is reminiscent of the era gone by. Surely, it isn’t easy as not just copy-pasting from a 20-year-old design or ad would work for you. Much research is needed to mold the design according to your product so that it can connect with your target audience.
Millennials and Generation Z may not have an idea about what the web was like 2-3 decades ago. And that’s what can make a retro design really work as we all look for something new and unique.
Let me offer you some of the best designs that are on offer and why they are such a hit with the audiences.
Throwback to the Good Ol’ Days
Going retro is not limited to a particular era. In fact, designers can borrow ideas even from the 1970s or 1960s. It all depends upon their creativity to make things work for a specific brand, as an idea from the 90s can also work wonders if appropriately adapted.
You can start with antique designs with pre-20th century design also a possibility. Design elements from the Victorian era and classical Rome and Greece can be used. The design needs to tick with the audience, so it needs to gel well with the product in the first place. See the design from The Dollar Dreadful Family Library and The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely.
Early 20th Century Designs
The designs from the early 20th century have largely been influenced by the movies and musical plays of that era and some of the early comic books. The era of the Great Depression has also been depicted aptly in many designs. Take a look at the web designs of The Ernest Hemingway Collection and Team Fortress – The Sniper Vs. Spy Update.
Design from Post World War II
The web designs here use fonts from this era and vintage color schemes. The use of cars, radio, and television can also make a website sound as much nostalgic as possible for the audience. Take a look at the website of Small Stone Recordings, Rocket Club, and Carrozzeria Verga.
Designs from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s
1970s: The use of muted color and bold typefaces define the swinging 70s era with music and movies a good inspiration. The music bands like The Beatles (formed in 1960) and movies like the James Bond series were a cultural phenomenon of this era. So, the web designs related to this era use more than just a hint of these pop culture icons.
1980s: We got MTV, and video games from the ‘80s and retro websites based on this era usually feature the a lot of neon, songs, and games/characters.
1990s: Designers use lots of references from the new digital age that was started back then. The use of visuals and graphic designs make up the websites based on the ‘90s.
The designs mentioned below are examples of using block-style design, The Most Decisive Game, and the use of rich typography, texture, and gradients in the Hovland Creative Writing website. And then there is an example of the 70s sweet theme, Sweet Magnolia Gelato.
Retro design is a derivative of the lifestyle, trends, and art forms of yesteryears. Lots of other aspects can be included in the list as I have mentioned some of them in the blog like music, fashion, etc. The nostalgia associated with a product of the past, like design, evokes a lot of positive emotions. If designers use nostalgia intelligently in their UI design, there are high chances of your audience falling in love with your website. With a unique flavor, retro web design offers something unique to the visitors that they don’t usually experience on the Internet.
Images, graphics, or even videos used in creating a retro-themed website must always complement the product or service being marketed. There is no need for you to come up with a retro-designed website if you can’t sync it nicely with the current marketing trends and how to engage your target audience.
If you want to know more about any aspect mentioned in this blog or think that you can add something valuable to this blog, you are more than welcome. Please use the comments section below to speak up, and I will get back to you.