What is Modern Retro Graphics Design Style?

You might have heard this a lot that, ‘History is repeated, at least once\’. Not only with the historic events or wars but this is true even for graphics designing and trends.

While the medium may be different, many old styles, fonts and color combinations come back into trend and boom the industry. An example of such trend is the Modern Retro Graphics Design Style.

In this article, we are going to have a look at all about modern retro designs and how you can make most out of it. The best thing about this is that it works across all the available mediums.

While you can notice them on the website, i.e. in web designing, modern retro adds a special touch to the printing projects such as poster designs, invitation cards, brochures, business cards, etc. Today we will have a tour of all this will let you know how can make the best use of these retro designs in your project to make them more attractive and classy.

Modern Retro Graphics Design: Intoduction

Modern Retro, as the name suggests, is a style that throwbacks us to the past and reinterpret the designs of the 1970s, 1980s and so on.

They use the hints and take ideas from those old projects and reinterpret them to make the new project marvelous. All this is done on the basis of the type of project. So not only this is applied to the clothes or jewelry but the designs as well.

The best thing about the retro is that it comes with some nostalgia that makes a connection or attachment between the user and the designs.

Even without any brands or anything like that the modern retro design should be made in such a way that user says, \”Yes, I remember it!!\” Many designers focus on fun styles of design so that they feel light and simple and look attractive as well so that they have an almost early teen flair.

Characteristics of Modern Retro Graphics Design

Along with the modern retro, there are many other vintage and retro growing rapidly. There\’s something really special about them that designer is latching on it today. There are a few characteristics that make sure that the project completely looks like modern retro. So they give us the feel of that era with hints and other types of different styles.

Here we have a few characteristics that will make everything clear about the modern retro graphics designing:

  • Line styled user interface elements without a lot of colors.
  • Simple animations that almost seem to skip at times and don\’t move too fast.
  • Rich color palettes with plenty of \”happy\” hues, such as golden yellows, oranges, and reds
  • Clean and abstract illustrations featuring people
  • Flat elements, from lines to shapes and to icons, modern retro does not use a lot of extras
  • Bright colored line art and squiggles
  • Geometric shapes with thick strokes
  • A lot of custom typefaces and blocky slab serifs that popular video game, television or movie\’s titles have a lot.
  • Tech themes featuring old-school computers
  • Pixel-based illustrations that look alike the early video games
  • Neon style everything, from neon colors to elements and to neon lights too.
  • Music themes with turntables or tapes or boom boxes

Digital Influence

If you have lived in or read about the digital era of the 1970s to 1990s, then you might be well aware of the fact that it was the time when small-sized computers, along with digital computing and gaming was been designed.

All this had a pretty distinct influence on design. Also, the effects used in movies television are a part of graphics designing that had a distinct influence on the digital era.

And what\’s the reason behind this digital influence, because it is not fine. It is a challenge to many designers to design something that does not match the current standards.

Be aware of the dangerous trap of half finishing the project as it will look odd and the majority of users will find it unfinished. They will still know that it is not usable and is half designed instead.

The design should look alike and have hints and little looks of those old designs and designer when that particular went viral. The users who are attached to those designs will feel more comfortable with it.


The style of modern retro graphics is the uncomplicated designing.  It is all about creating a user-driven experience. You would have probably noticed this with brands like Google, Starbucks, etc. keep changing their logos and make it looks more simple and flat. And that\’s what you need to look when using this theme.


If you have noticed some newly made house, hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. then you would have seen that they are moving towards the bold colors of the 1980s that highlights that how much this trend is growing.

Don\’t be afraid at first while using any color; instead, use it in designs with exciting new and creative techniques. Mix, match and play well with the neon colors along with the special light and dark combinations and never hold back.


Bring those epic shapes and designs in your logos, icons, backgrounds, posters, brochures, cards, etc. You can do this by simply repeating the patterns or just develop a new icon that is easily memorable to the users. In this way, the audience will find your projects and designs more interesting and attractive and different from others\’ designs.


If you want to do mastery in retro graphics designing then the first thing you need to do is to look at the designs of the very first computer, PC, video games, smartphones, cellphones, etc. Especially have a look at the pixel arts of these things along with space themes for inspiration.

Technology is one of the biggest parts of this retro graphics designing so try to include those old and epic designs of PCs, video games, etc. in your projects to make them more comfortable for your audience.


How odd would the design look if you don\’t think about the font and apply any usual and basic font in your design? So try to include the old fonts of the 80s and 90s as you might have noticed that with the rapid growth of retro designing, more and more typefaces and fonts of 80s and 90s are being adapted. But this does not state that you should not use the current trending fonts such as Roboto. Instead, make a better combination of old fonts and interpret them with current standard designs or vice versa.


  • Pixel designs based styles can easily communicate with that era better than ever.
  • Fun, light style
  • Modern retro is the evolution of the techniques that were made popular at that time in terms of color and iconography
  • Retro styles are a fun way to try something new
  • Themes such as music and tech are easy to work on and users find it more interesting.
  • Easy shapes and bright colors can be attention-seeking.


  • Many modern retro styles don\’t use a lot of visual imagery such as photos or video
  • These designs may look unorganized or get sloppy because of all the shapes, color, and typefaces
  • Modern retro is a standalone style that doesn\’t gets mixed with a lot of other trending elements
  • Trends like this may come and go rather quickly and you don\’t want users to think your site is old or outdated, so take care of it.
  • Custom and semi-custom typefaces are not always web-friendly
  • Some of the color palettes can cause readability concerns and can be tricky as well.
  • Retro isn\’t for every audience and some people might not \”get it\”.

Modern Retro Graphics Design Style: Final Verdict

Modern Retro Graphics Designing is becoming more and more popular day by day and will definitely grow rapidly in the coming future. So try some designs with this style and show your projects to your clients to make a better impression on them. If you are a freelancer or do the job at some company, it doesn\’t matter.

The thing is that history is repeated and so will be done by you. Try to design new designs and include styles, fonts, shapes, colors of the retro designs to make them look more like retro designs.

We have covered almost everything about the modern retro graphics designing from font, shapes, color, etc. and also told the characteristics along with the pros and cons. I think all this would have made you well aware of the modern retro graphics designing.

So what are you waiting for? Go and give this designing a try and include them in your projects. Do let us know about your experience with the retro designs and how you like them. Thank You!!

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