When a new trend arrives it generally infiltrates all facets of the creative world, which is why it is not surprising that graphic design is giving a nod to the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Late-20th Century nostalgia has filtered into fashion where we’ve seen high-rise jeans make a comeback and graphic print tees pay homage to Guns ’n Roses and their 80s rock peers. The film industry has followed suit, offering reboots of classics like Beverly Hills 90210 and 21 Jump Street, and more recently, the 80s-inspired series, Stranger Things. In the graphic design world, this nostalgia has resulted in Modern Retro, which we are seeing in everything from packaging and fashion spreads through to websites and flyers.
The Modern Retro trend has three main characteristics:
1) Bright colours that pop – while millennial pink does bring a modern twist, think bold colour schemes and shocking neons. Similarly, neon light effects are also making a comeback.
2) Early tech iconography like cassette tapes and boom boxes, and illustrations referencing the first computer graphics.
3) Patterns – look to squiggles, waves, dots and abstract shapes popular with MTV and other teen media at the end of the last Century.
(Insert images: memphis-color-01-1024×1024, Pinterest, Magdiel Lopez, Christie, donut, WS-FLY-pack-bassa_preview, Bliss)
Photo credit: magdiellopez.com
Photo credit: behance.net
Of course, you can also take Modern Retro to the extreme like Arcade Fire. The group’s website for Everything Now will leave you thinking you stepped into the DeLorean and went back in time with its Windows 98 pop-ups. Maybe some things are better left in the past.