A cocktail of vintage and innovation: retro style in web design

Once in a blog I already wrote about retro style for the Internet, or rather just published a very interesting collection of retro website designs. Now let’s add a little “theory”, so to speak – retro design, after all, also has its origins, criteria and directions, created under the influence of entire eras and periods.

RETRO from lat .: “back”, “facing the past”

According to the American writer John Steinbeck, most people live ninety percent in the past, seven in the present, and only three percent remain for the future. Well, the calculations of the Nobel laureate in literature are too difficult to verify, but there is no need to dispute the fact that the events of the past are attractive. If you are familiar with the nagging sense of the value of passing time and the attractiveness of antiques, perhaps the retro style in web design will be your strong point. It remains only to think whether the retro concept will satisfy the target audience of the resource. Who will be delighted with the content, masterfully powdered antique? People who nostalgically peer into the symbolism of a bygone era with its fashion, people, cars and other stories, covered with a dusty coating of burnt out passions.

In clothing, automotive or interior design, retro style is quite confidently associated with the time frame from the 20s to the 80s of the last century. It is not so easy to give clear time signs of retro style in web design, because what in everyday life can be considered the past day, in the rapidly changing IT sphere, can be safely called the day before yesterday. And the fact that the thirty-year-old artist still considers relevant and modern, the youth have long written off for scrap. Take, for example, the disappointing results for the producers of the film “Alien”: the gangster romance of the dashing 90s will not excite the soul of a teenager, because retro – everyone has their own.

However, the more interesting and difficult will be the task facing the designer, who decided to work out the style of his site in the retro style. Only knowledge of the characteristic features and characteristics of the retro style, multiplied by a considerable sense of proportion, will allow you not to slip into a banal kitsch.

Most of the time periods that a designer who decides to use the retro style can safely operate are tied to the fashion of the 20th century.

Want to recreate the experience of a website visitor aggressive chic 20-30s – help him remember the muse of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Lilya Brik, and Ellochka the man-eater from The Twelve Chairs will be good too. These were the troubled years of sudden and massive women’s emancipation: women put on trouser suits, shortened their skirts and lit long cigarettes. All these fishnet stockings, knitted hats and bowlers a la Charlie Chaplin, bare arms and shoulders in fur boas during the NEP years, notably excited the blood of the layman. Take olive, black and purple colors as a basis, add the drive of jazz improvisation, the tale of cinematography and airplanes – and you will easily catch the essence of retro 20-30s!

If you prefer restraint and modest eleganceb – look back to the post-war 40s – 50s… The ostentatious pretentiousness and vulgarity were replaced by a new look style invented by Christian Dior. The style is sensual, decadent, recklessly romantic, stylized as a “crinoline” XIX century. These are the arrogantly raised chins of women in dresses made of silk, satin, crepe de Chine. Thin waists, thrilling necklines, elbow-length gloves, wide-brimmed hats and patent leather belts push femininity to the limits of semi-decent pin-ups. Review The Notebook by Nick Cassavetes and The Godfather by Francis F. Coppola, play the recordings of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and grab your tablet as soon as possible. You already got the mood.

retro 50s

Would you like to place a bet sexuality and sensuality – turn the pages of magazines from the 60s and 70s… At that time, the seductive film stars Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren set the tone. The color palette matches the mood – this is the dominant red, pink, blue in the range: flowers, polka dots, check. Car rides in a posh Bentley to the dizzying motives of seditious Elvis. The Beatles are with “them”, VIA “Gems” – with “us”. Denim 70s, platform shoes, dancing to the music of disco and a sea of ​​synthetics in clothes: nylon, nylon, crimplen in wild colors. Lightness, brightness, ease – this is how you can describe the site in the retro style of the 60s – 70s.

retro 70s

Experience with style can be very unusual Soviet culture 80s of XX century – timewhen the cult-enlightened ideology of the ruling party staggered under the chaotic but powerful blows of the protest basement subculture. Russian Soviet rock and punk, which came out of the underground, mixed with broken dance melodies of the disco of the 80s, became the leitmotif of Perestroika. This period has not yet been deeply reworked by web designers, so the decision to use the style of the 80s can bring considerable success.

retro 80s perestroika

retro pattern

Let’s summarize. Retro style is essentially a stable and sought after trend in web design, with its own charm and unique color palette. Whatever you choose: the tragic Nepman 20s, the caramel 50s, the floral 60s, the disco 70s or the nomenclature retro of the 80s, starting from the past, supplementing it with your sensations and actively using the rich capabilities of graphic editors, you able to create a small masterpiece.

Additionally, you can take inspiration from the retro-style color palettes in a small selection of retro designs (for especially interesting specimens, you can follow the links to the original sites and see how everything is done there).

retro website design

retro internet design

Dallas Advertising Agency – very original navigation, music in the background and in general such a military retro style.

retro design

retro style

retro style

Lana Landis – implementation on flash, be sure to look at the photo section 🙂 beautiful vintage photos + wonderful music

retro design

retro style in design

retro website on flash

ThunderFuel – as far as I understand, the company deals with everything from design, animation to games. Having looked through their flash site in a retro style, I would definitely order something, cool implementation and idea.

retro style web design

retro site

Portfolio site of Michela Chiucini web designer – by the way, her past work is hers, we see that she is clearly not indifferent to retro style

web design retro style

Kultika – I do not quite understand the purpose and theme of this site, but the implementation is simply beyond praise!

retro design

Diseño Grafico is a cool retro-style website for a web studio or a freelance developer, it seems to be stretched in a line and when clicked, the picture shifts to the right.

retro style design

Tennessee Vacation – for all Tennessee and local vacation lovers, a very cool retro style implementation where attention is paid to almost every little detail, one of the best similar style sites I’ve seen

Here’s a selection of retro style web designs. In my opinion, very good works are presented here, although, of course, there are an order of magnitude more retro sites. This means that I will definitely find them and publish them next time.

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Author: Clark Douglas

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