vintage template designs

Vintage template designs will always POP and catch your audience’s eye… here’s why!

Many moons ago, graphic designers sat on raised stools in front of real drafting tables, creating brilliant compositions under incandescent architect lamps. Pencils twirling, they came up with classic typefaces and some of the most iconic logos ever conceived. Thomas and John Knoll came along and changed all that in 1987 when they invented Photoshop, but you can still use retro elements and vintage template designs to give your marketing campaign a nostalgic edge.

The Allure of Yesteryear

Muscle cars, cotton candy and classic architecture take people back to a time of innocence. Vintage graphics allow viewers to retreat into childhood or to recall a time of abundance, if only for a moment. Wholesome and inspiring, retro artwork provides a welcome escape from the daily grind, mainly because most of us romanticize the past. It’s also an extremely trendy design strategy.

Contrary to popular belief, however, the appeal of vintage design isn’t based only on its ability to stir up sentimentality. Sure, retro movie posters and promotional campaigns make people feel warm and fuzzy inside, but they’re also technically effective. Before widespread television advertising, burger stands, hairdressers and Hollywood movies alike depended heavily on persuasive printed marketing materials.

Classic colors, geometric shapes and compelling motifs dominate retro logos and other graphics, making them ideal message-delivery systems. You can leverage these efficient design elements to make your flyer more impressive and expand your consumer base or grow the audience at your next show.

Vintage Typefaces

Originally designed by hand, the bold headline text you see in vintage magazine ads took many hours to perfect. Nowadays, a litany of digital fonts exist, which can help you save time as you come up with a stellar concept. You might choose to make a vintage typeface the centerpiece of your flyer, or you could decide to use a retro font to embellish period photographs and other graphics.

Silencio Sans: Originally created for Creative Artists Agency in 2014, Jessica Hische’s Silencio Sans evokes a strong Art Deco feeling and works beautifully for flyer design. If you want to channel Old Hollywood and need a central motif, you won’t go wrong with this font.

Matchbook: Simon Walker thought of jeans when he created the Matchbook font, but this typeface also makes an ideal addition to Wanted poster-style designs. Wide and blessed with a generous x-height, this typeface modifies easily and remains legible from a distance.

Americano: Designed by Opus Nigrum, Americano embodies the most appealing features found in hand-drawn type. Ideal for folk art and retro logotype, this font makes vintage branding much simpler.

For an in-your-face look, make your retro font a single color and use it sparingly. For a more subtle effect, try rasterizing your typeface and layering texture on top via a clipping mask. Play with the blend modes in Photoshop until you like what you see.

Vintage Graphic Styles

Minimalism, cubism and surrealism all have one thing in common: captivating graphics. With a little Photoshop magic, you can emulate those motifs and make them work in your design. For inspiration, read a visual synopsis of your chosen epoch and then put together a color palette. Make a list of common shapes seen in printed marketing materials from your era and then produce a few quick sketches on paper to get started.

During the Atomic Age, which began in about 1940 and ended circa 1960, artists used abstract organic forms to create adventurous two- and three-dimensional designs. Globes, tessellated squares and other geometric shapes took center stage in everything from architecture to lamp shades and beyond. You can use similar structures to craft a 1950s-era flyer for your next event.

Vintage Photographs

Interesting and sometimes provocative, vintage photos help create atmosphere and give your flyer design a credible touch. Human figures add an especially authentic feeling, which is why they feature so heavily in retro-style posters. Particularly popular in the 1940s, pin-up girls work well for a range of designs and are easy to cut out using various tools available in Photoshop.

You can collect an array of period photos by visiting New Old Stock, which showcases copyright-free snapshots from the public archives. Simply click through to view your chosen picture and save it to a specific folder on your hard drive. For artistically rendered vintage-style photographs, check out Pexels, which hosts a royalty free smorgasbord of classic imagery.

Bringing Your Design Together

Organization is the key to a great retro concept. As you put your flyer together, think of the era you want to highlight and try to combine graphics, photographs and typefaces from that particular decade. The 1940s, for example, saw both World War II and a dynamic period of post-war growth. Jazz and Art Deco influences collide with patriotic red, white and blue in 40s-style designs, which also include plenty of Silver Screen charisma.

Generally speaking, bold vintage fonts are best reserved for headlines, so try to use them sparingly and stick to a simpler sans-serif for paragraphs, dates, times and prices. Sweeping curves and block letters pop nicely when contrasted against plainer type. Readers also find sans-serif text easier to digest and you’ll enjoy a higher conversion rate if you make vital information accessible.

You may find it helpful to keep a few genuine vintage posters and small-format ads on hand as you work. Try to emulate your examples’ ratio of images to text and add interest to blank spaces with geometric shapes. Borders work well for Old West-style designs, while crisp edges look good on 70s-era concepts.

Perennially appealing, vintage template designs help you weave retro elements together for compelling results in record time. Take potential customers, party guests and clients on a trip down memory lane using old photographs, classic typefaces and Googie-flavored flair and watch your ad campaign flourish. Thanks to the wonder of Adobe, you won’t even need a paper and pen to bring your idea to life.

Check out some of our best vintage flyer templates here!

Or splurge on our 2017 Retro Flyer Bundle today!

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