Design Inspiration

Explore Your Idea Through Vintage Design Variations

  • by Nikolas Noel
  • February 25, 2023
  • 5 minutes read


Vintage design is frequently linked to nostalgia and the past. We already know why this kind of design style is popular until now as we have discussed in the previous article “Vintage Design Age Like A Fine Wine“. This design aesthetic draws its inspiration from a variety of historical eras, including the Victorian era and the 1980s. There are numerous varieties of vintage designs, each with its own special traits and qualities. So we’ll look at some of the most well-liked vintage design styles in this article and what makes them unique and surely inspire you to create one.

Art Deco

In the 1920s and 1930s, a design movement known as Art Deco began. Geometric designs, vivid hues, and an air of opulence and luxury define it. The machine era, Egyptian art, the Jazz Period, and other factors all had an impact on Art Deco. It is distinguished by its geometric patterns, vivid hues, and simple motifs. Graphic design, fashion, and architecture all frequently included Art Deco elements. Art Deco was frequently employed in graphic design for commercials and posters. The mix of bold text and geometric motifs makes the look easily recognizable. As mentioned before in another previous article, one example of the most recognizable Art Deco implementation was The Great Gatsby (2013) movie poster. You can also read more about Art Deco here “Art Deco, An Iconic Movement In Graphic Design“.

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is another that has already been mentioned in “Art Nouveau, Vehicle Towards Modern Art Style“. The end of the 19th century saw the emergence of Art Nouveau, which remained a trend up until the 1910s. Curved lines and complex details inspired by flowers and plants define this design aesthetic. Instead of deliberate adornment, Art Nouveau emphasizes natural beauty. The sharp contrasts in color, elaborate patterns, and a strong focus on young ladies, trees, and flora can be seen in Art Nouveau.


Retro design is a design trend that draws its inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s. Bold color choices, lively writing, and quirky drawings define it. The use of retro design in branding and advertising campaigns is frequently associated with nostalgia. Retro style is also well-liked in the entertainment sector, as movie and album cover frequently feature it.

Mid-Century Modern

Think of retromodern rather than retrofuturistic. Mid-century modern design does not capture how popular culture describes the future, but what is “now” referred to in the mid-20th century (the 1950s and 1960s). Mid-century modern design can be recognized by its clean and angled lines with items that are subtly curved, building a balance that often appears as a softer and rounded form closed in a strong and unchanged enclosure. There are several colors of wood and thin supporting structures for big things in mid-century modern design.

Architecture, furniture design, and graphic design all utilize mid-century modern design. Mid-century modern design is often used in graphic design while making logos and branding materials.

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The victorian design describes the design trends that emerged in Great Britain during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837 – 1901). It is distinguished by its elaborate and detailed designs, many of which were influenced by the natural world. The design itself frequently employs its asset as a pattern. Architecture, interior design, and graphic design all made great use of Victorian design. Victorian design was frequently used in graphic design while creating book covers and posters.


In the 1970s, punk rock emerged as a reaction to what many people perceived as excess in popular music. The mainstream is equally derided in punk design.

The punk aesthetic makes the viewer feel uneasy. Punk rock is translated into punk imagery by using harsh lines, clashing colors, juxtaposition, and commonplace images utilized to make new statements. Just look at the band’s poster above.


The steampunk design style first appeared in the 1980s. Steampunk is hard to explain, it is distinguished by the way it combines mechanical and industrial features with Victorian-era design motifs. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells’ science fiction novels served as inspiration for steampunk design. This type of design was frequently used in graphic design while creating book covers and posters.

Atomic Age

The Atomic Age, another type of retrofuturism, which roughly corresponds to 1940–1963, was characterized as a time of “optimistic, modernity,” with aspects of space exploration, scientific advancement, and futurism. By the use of atomic motifs and space age symbols, Atomic Age design gained popularity and became instantly recognizable.


A relatively recent style of retro design that appeared on the internet is called vaporwave. Primarily a musical style, the aesthetic of vaporwave—smooth elevator music from the 1980s and 1990s—combined with pastel color schemes—found its way into visual art. Vectors and color schemes from that time period, as well as pictures that one could find in a video game or a surrealist painting, are all used in vaporwave design.

Final Words

Finally, vintage design is a trend that has endured through the years. It is a design aesthetic that is influenced by earlier times and is distinguished by the use of subdued hues, strong typography, and straightforward graphics. Graphic design has frequently included the vintage design motifs Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Retro, Mid-Century Modern, Victorian, Punk, Steampunk, Atomic Age, and Vaporwave. Each style has its own distinctive qualities and has influenced the growth of graphic design as we know it today.

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El is a chemistry teacher and graphic designer, two combinations that some people question. Still, graphic design is a skill he enjoys outside of his career as a chemistry teacher. Through the world of graphics, El finds love and relieves boredom outside of the chemical experiments that many of his students are confused about at school. He wants to continue providing the best work amidst other busyness.

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