When talking about the past trends with can say for sure that they are definitely coming back. The famous saying “everything old is new again” is back again. We are witnessing flashbacks of the design trends from the past and hearing the old tone.

We can say that this trend is becoming more than a simple thing and it’s growing into a modern pop culture aesthetic. This type of visuals is extremely flexible and it finds its own way across todays large number of mediums. The new touch is inevitable to miss because its massive presence, from web design to poster and print layouts.

This new growing trend is inspired by not so far period in the past. We don’t need to forget that in the 90s the field of graphic design had an experimental wing. The main themes are often borrowed from the popular design patterns, objects and shapes from the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s. The style is often related with nerds and geeks, so its also called a nerd culture. 

So, wherever you love it or hate it, nostalgic retro design is making a comeback now.

As a main objective this trend caries a twist of nostalgia elements that can make a fast connection between the product and the user. The purpose of this element is to glimpse into the memory lane of the consumer and evoke similar feelings as in the past and make them feel the hint. Most of the designs are fun and bold, making them look light and easy and at the same time modern.

There are a lot of characteristics that show that a particular design is a part of the modern retro wave. For example today we see a lot of simplification and detail removal reminiscent to the past when the clean abstract illustrations featuring people but not faces were a thing. Maybe you realized that flat design without a lot of extras and silhouette shapes and icons are widely used today and of course this type of style is also inspired by the look massively used in the 1980s animations and graphic design.

The decades from 1970 to 1990 are often misseen as not a digital era, bit in fact the very beginnings of computers, computing and gaming had a large influence on design. The impact they had on television graphics and graphic design is hard to be missed.

Today, in the modern retro wave this type of style translates to a bit of nostalgic taste in the design where the designers are creating graphics and graphical elements that aren’t as good as they can be. These looks have a lot of over-dramatized pixels and blocky lettering. It can be an extreme challenge to create something that is not as “clean” as current standards, while in the same time preserving the message that the design is finished and usable.

This style tends to correlate with the designers who were growing up during the years when these trends were popular, as with the users, people who have a connection to this style will feel most comfortable around it and will tend to design with elements of the modern retro wave.

Beyond the fact that large number of marketers and the designer enjoy this style, there are some pros and cons regarding of using this aesthetic or not.

On the pros side we can consider that this style is bright and fun and the simplicity of the shapes and forms is a good attention grabber. The techniques that were made popular by flat design, in terms of color and iconography are an evolution of the looks used in the past. 

On the other side retro design is for a very specific audience, because it is not considered recognizable by a lot of people. This style also tends to be a standalone style that doesn’t mix well with a lot of other trendy elements and there is always the risk that this trend can go out of “fashion” quickly and you don’t wanna have an outdated web-site or a product.

In conclusion, we can say that touches of this trend are everywhere! From our personal obsession with superhero movies and their modern remakes to playing games featuring the old consoles interfaces and graphics, this trend for sure will remain present for a long time ahead. 

According to this, what do you think about this new aesthetic, will it be a part of the design history for today or just a passing trend?

Please feel free to write your points of view in the section below. 

Till the next time, squareONE.