The Best Vintage Design Styles

The Best Vintage Design Styles

When it comes to material products, “vintage” refers to any design style that is more than 20 years old but less than 100 years old – this is considered antique. The term can be used more freely in design, although it still refers to an earlier style created during previous times. We examine a few popular historical design styles and schools of thought that contemporary designers should be familiar within this post.

How Is Vintage Design Defined?

What does it imply when you are requested to give a design or picture a ‘vintage’ look? The term ‘vintage’ refers to a broad spectrum of styles spanning decades and design disciplines. We will walk you through some of the most popular retro design trends in this concise tutorial so you may reproduce an old-fashioned appearance with greater authenticity and attention to detail.

Nouveau Art

Natural shapes, notably the curving lines of plants, trees, and flowers, influenced the Art Nouveau style. This influenced the design style, which is organic and energetic. Between 1890 and 1910, this highly ornate style was at its height of popularity.

The Best Vintage Design Styles
The Best Vintage Design Styles

The style has been revived several times during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, most notably during the 1960s psychedelic design phase. While Art Nouveau is well-known for its adornment, modern designers pare down this antique style to essential components for a more minimalist aesthetic.

Art Deco

Art Deco is a geometric style that was prominent in the 1920s and 1930s. It is a stylistic reaction to Art Nouveau. It draws inspiration from various sources, including Cubism, Ancient Egyptian art, and transportation design. Art Deco is defined by luxurious materials and colours, abstract shapes and symmetry, and an overall glitzy atmosphere.

Because Art Deco is linked with the 1920s’ ‘boom’ period, it is a frequently-revisited vintage design style by designers wanting to add a touch of luxury to their creations.


The Bauhaus movement began in 1919 in Weimar, Germany’s progressive art Bauhaus School. As with Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the Bauhaus was a “complete” design movement that influenced various artistic disciplines, including architecture, graphics, typography, theatre, and furniture.

With the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus occurring this year, many contemporary designers are reflecting on the history of the German art school, rediscovering its timeless ideals of simplicity, practicality, and modernity in the process. The Bauhaus historical design style is characterised by simple geometric forms, restrained colour palettes, and sans serif typography.

The Bauhaus also left a significant legacy in the form of primary colours and pared-down typography. Red&Grey’s advertising and brand design for the International Literature Festival Dublin makes most of Bauhaus’s utilitarian legacy.


Retrofuturism is a similar movement that is not limited to Victorian allusions in that it develops views of the future from an earlier era’s perspective.

Retrofuturism, frequently influenced by 1950s graphic design, mid-century illustration, and vintage 1970s graphic design, exaggerates the real historical shape of things frequently associated with space flight, abstracting them to produce a more comical look.


If you want your antique designs to have a more elaborate, detailed appearance, Baroque is the style to strive for. Baroque is a design style that was highly popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is marked by exaggerated characteristics such as elaborate gilding and intricate ornamental embellishments made of natural components such as shells and plants.

Baroque is also synonymous with Rococo, a historical design style that alludes to the Late Baroque’s excessively ornate and romantic aesthetic style. To incorporate the aesthetic into your own work, search for elegant typefaces, antique floral illustrations, and frames and borders inspired by France. It is a lovely design for more formal goods such as wedding invitations.


Letterpress is one of the earliest printing forms, employing a type of relief printing to achieve an etched colour appearance. The effect imparts an attractive hand-crafted quality to designs, making it an ideal complement to vintage-style layouts.

Although letterpress has been popular throughout history, it is most associated with vintage design from the 18th and 19th centuries, when the letterpress process was frequently employed to print books, posters, and pamphlets.

While letterpress is a printing method, its distinctive appearance has elevated it to a distinct design style. Designers add to the retro feel of the collection by using subdued hues, antique-style artwork, and old-style fonts.


Victoriana is a design style that is inspired by the years 1837 to 1901 when Queen Victoria reigned over the United Kingdom. Victoriana draws inspiration from the ornamental arts and design styles prevalent throughout the Victorian era. Due to the 60-year span of the Victorian era, the Victoriana style is broad, and the appearance may be accomplished by referencing a wide variety of design influences.

Today’s graphic designers may interpret Victoriana using circus-style fonts, text-heavy layouts, and military motifs such as medals and uniforms. In many respects, contemporary ‘vintage’ graphic design is largely influenced by Victoriana aesthetic and has grown into comparable forms.


In the 1960s, young counterculture found a new voice through musicians such as The Beatles’ psychedelic music. Psychedelic art evolved with this music to visually express the songs’ hallucinatory character.

Posters from the psychedelic era often used swirling patterns, vivid colours, and illusions to evoke the impact of hallucinogenic substances such as LSD. Additionally, designers recreated Art Nouveau in unconventional ways, fusing old influences to produce an even more mind-boggling impact.

In Vintage Design, How Do We Perceive Aging?

Consider a gleaming contemporary digital print, and you are likely to associate it with recent production. You could identify the 1950s or 1960s era of a print with slightly more pixelation and duller colour. A print with fading, curled, or torn edges and significant evidence of deterioration or decay appears to be much older—possibly from the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries.

When recreating antique design trends, we may attempt to imitate the appearance of these ageing processes in order to give the design a more realistic appearance. By including a vintage-inspired texture or backdrop into your designs, you can quickly infuse them with immediate retro appeal. Check out the graphic design course by Blue Sky Graphics for more information regarding graphic design.