Vintage Logo Design Inspiration & Examples of Retro Logos

“Out with the old, in with the new.” That’s how the saying goes.

But what if these words aren’t true? What if old is the real gold?

Those flapper dresses and beehive hairstyles never lost their charm, do they?

Modern marketing trends have indicated that retro logo designs are gaining popularity in the recent era.

These logos use nostalgic art deco to symbolise a time gone by.

With the right design tools and guidance, you can also create a retro-styled or vintage logo design for your business that creates a nostalgic effect for your targeted audience.

If you are looking for vintage design guide, you have come to the right spot.

To quench your thirst for vintage logos, we have gathered a few tips that might give you vintage logo design inspiration.

You might have come across modern logo design tips before, let’s look at the flip side with the vintage logo tips now.

Design Elements to Consider Before Creating Your Logo


When selecting colours for your vintage logo design, it’s essential to choose ones that will still give your logo a vintage feel.

Traditional colours associated with such designs are often natural tones, such as brown, beige, olive green, or even pale blue.

These colours often look faded just to give the overall logo a past look.

The trick is to use vintage colours, yet fit the identity of your brand.


Decades ago, designers used to create geometrical art using a variety of simple shapes, from triangles to hexagons.

The vintage designs are mostly based on simple sketchy symbols.

On top of this, vintage logos are touched up with intricate patterns or textures to add up the layers.

Symbolising your own business in this way can give it a vintage feel.


The font is one of the most important aspects of any design.

You can find many different font styles, from retro script to monoline, vintage wedding font to pixel typeface, to give your design a vintage feel.

Often retro logos will use a combination of block and slanted lettering to create a nostalgic impact.

Occasionally, vintage lettering echoes popular historical businesses such as saloons and bars.

Noise Effects and Animations

Modern technology has allowed businesses to make their logos multi-dimensional with sound effects and animations.

Using effects that embody the era that your design represents can make your logo design more dynamic and vigorous.

It’s also another way to take a retro look and transform it into one that’s modern.

Elements Associated with Retro Design

Hand Drawn Sketches

Hand-made art is always adored, be it scarves or pottery; retro logos are no exception.

Hand-drawn designs are perhaps one of the classic examples of retro logos.

This often involves including highly detailed, hand-sketched imagery that can fit well into the vintage aesthetics.

These styles give the design an authentic look and provide you with an opportunity for you to exhibit your artistic talent.

You can also search for more hand-drawn inspirations on the internet and get amazed by the artistic feel.

Scout Badges

If you are not artistically inclined, making your logo look like a traditional scout badge can also have an impact.

Although the most common shape is circles, you can have fun with a variety of geometric designs like hexagons and diamonds.

If you want to keep your logo compact, this retro style is the right pick, as it won’t need much space.

These logos are simple, attractive, and artistic in their own way.

Floral Backgrounds

Sometimes, vintage designs may seem more masculine because they’re often used by companies associated with tools, cars, and nature.

This does not mean that if you sell feminine products, you should drop the idea of having a vintage design.

Using bright floral patterns in your logo can give it a feminine edge, catchy look, fun detailing, and retro-like persona.

Classic Textures

Patterns and textures are also often associated with retro designs.

One of the most common examples is making your logo look like a stamp.

Other than this, giving your logo a brushed look or even making it look like denim can be creative ways of adding a unique touch to your design.

Polaroid Photos

If you are not into the floral look, but you still want to use faded imagery in the background of your logo, you can always use a blurred polaroid.

This is a great way to keep the colours of your logo monotone so that it is not too busy or bright.

It also has more of a modern feel, while still dating back to an earlier era, particularly the early 2000s.

Space Age Iconography

Have you seen the movie The Incredibles?

In the end credits, the animators used a retro art style that is reminiscent of the 1950s.

The blockish, simple Industrial imagery is effective because it is easy to create, but it is bold.

Using the same sort of geometrical Avant Garde imagery can echo in your own logo.

It emulates classic comic book examples that can give your logo a vintage feel as well.

Different Retro Styles To Consider

Since vintage logos are differentiated from other logotypes based on visuals, getting the visual style right is essential.

Here are a few of the main retro styles that you can choose for your logo.

With the right balance between vintage elements and modernism, you can come up with a logo that looks vintage, instead of outdated.


Inspired by the Victorian period that spanned around 60 years, Victoriana style offers a wide assortment of decorative styles.

In the present-day era, designers can use circus style fonts, heavily textual designs, or military objects like uniforms or medals to portray Victoriana-styled vintage logo.

This chalkboard design created by Dana Tanamachi is an excellent mix of Victoriana and modern style.

Steampunk and Retrofuturism

Having roots from Victoriana style, the steampunk design style mostly portrays the 19th-century industrialism mingled with post-apocalyptic cultural references.

This style refers to the fictional work dated as far back as the 19th century.

It gives a bizarre and unique twist to the overall style.

You can create a steampunk-inspired design by using cogs, rich colours, and metallic textures.

Retro Futurism, similarly, portrays how people in the past saw the not-so-distant future.

Do you remember The Jetsons cartoon?

It was a fictional cartoon series based on a utopian future.

It portrayed the imagination and fantasies related to floating cities and personal robots.

In retro-futurism style, these imaginations are used as art pieces.


One of the oldest printing techniques known to humankind, letterpress style has an engraved colour effect.

Thanks to the scratchy effect, the designs get a hand-drawn look, which makes these designs a perfect collection in the armoury of vintage style logos.

These days, artists have been using digitised letterpress effects to mimic the look on the computer digitally without having a specialised printer.


Centred upon details and ornaments, this 17th and 18th-century style comprises of exaggerated and detailed decorative elements such as shells and plants.

You can seep your design out into this design by using ornate fonts and French orders.


Popular in the medieval period, the Gothic design style encompasses decorative and architectural styles.

At present, the Gothic style portrays the dark, natural atmosphere of the buildings in the Gothic era.

You can give your design a Gothic look by using an old calligraphic font.

How to Put It All Together?

Using a program such as Adobe Illustrator allows you to create your retro logo design without having to hire a designer.

Deciding on your design elements can make the process easier.

It is all about researching the identity you are trying to reflect and embodying this in your logo design.

Decide on A Plan

Before putting the figurative pen to paper, you need to decide on what sort of brand you are trying to represent.

This is the point where you pick out your colours, graphics, and fonts.

It is vital that your design choices still fit with your visual brand identity, even if you are going for a retro look.

At the end of the day, you are still trying to appeal to a specific target group.

During your planning stage, you should even consider sketching your logo design plan.

This will help you with your dimensions when you want to make it digital.

The Last Word

Your retro logo is supposed to be fun.

When potential customers look at your design, it must grab their attention so that they remember it long after seeing it.

Part of its effectiveness is the nostalgia it creates.

Whether your image is more 50s Diner or Wild West, it should make customers long for a time gone by without compromising your company’s place in a modern era.

With all types of design, it takes a lot of trial and error.

Try to research different styles and examples as much as you can.

It might even take a few sketches before you find the one that is perfect for your business.

Once you step into the vintage side of the graphics industry, you will be blown away by how artistic things can be.

Are you ready to turn the past into the new future?

Originally published at on June 6, 2019.

Inkbot Design a Creative Graphic Design Agency in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Experts in Logo Design and Branding.

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