50 Fantastic (Nostalgic) Retro Website Designs

Tara Hornor
Tara Hornor
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While coming up with this research, I struggled with the concept of “retro.” What is retro, really? Retro is the Beach Boys, World War II posters, psychedelic designs, and vintage 1940s and 50s Chevy ads. While I can’t put it into so many words, I can definitely show you what I think the idea of retro is in terms of web design. This collection of retro website designs is just one perspective on the retro genre. You could go in many different directions with lots of different retro concepts, and this collection hopefully touches on most of the main themes. What kinds of retro elements do you reach for when you want to give something an older look and feel?


1. Dilly Deli


2. Visual Republic


3. Bean Exchange


4. Pointless Corp


5. Mister Aero


6. Go Live Button


7. Macaroni Bros


8. You Know Who Design


9. Forefather’s Group


10. Fred Perry


11. Big Sweater Design


12. Sprocket House


13. Time For Cake


14. Revolution Church


15. Target Scope


16. Thigpen Designs


17. Thrush Exhaust


18. Thunderfuel


19. Radio: The New York Moon


20. Small Stones Recordings


21. Eric Henning


22. Level 2 Design


23. Custom Design


24. Devotchka


25. Forty Seven Media


26. Cotton Seed Oil Tour


27. Jeff Sarmiento


28. Media Boom


29. AdaptD


30. ZZZ Drink


31. Jared Campbell


32. Walking Wall of Words


33. Peter Nappi


34. Jolly Duck Hunting


35. Forever Heavy


36. Web-O-Matic


37. Cabedge


38. Brock Kenzler


39. Trailer Park Truck


40. Shoshorov


41. Robedwards


42. Retro Edge Design


43. Black Moon Design


44. i Avion


45. Big State Festival


46. Web Designer


47. Dollar Dreadful


48. 1927


49. Mom and Popcorn


50. Lanikai Properties


Do you have any retro web designs to share? What does “retro” mean to you?

Frequently Asked Questions about Retro Website Designs

What are the key elements of a retro website design?

Retro website design is characterized by certain key elements that give it a nostalgic and vintage feel. These elements include typography, color schemes, textures, and imagery. Typography in retro designs often includes fonts that were popular in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Color schemes are usually bold and vibrant, often using colors that were popular in those decades. Textures such as grainy or scratched surfaces, paper textures, and vintage patterns are also common. Imagery often includes vintage illustrations, photographs, and icons.

How can I incorporate retro elements into a modern website design?

Incorporating retro elements into a modern website design can be done subtly or more overtly, depending on the desired effect. You could use a retro color palette, vintage typography, or old-school icons and graphics. However, it’s important to balance these elements with modern design principles to ensure the website is still user-friendly and functional. For example, you could use a vintage font for headings, but stick to a modern, easy-to-read font for body text.

What are some examples of successful retro website designs?

There are many successful retro website designs that beautifully incorporate vintage elements. Some examples include the website for the film “The Shape of Water”, which uses vintage typography, a muted color palette, and old-school illustrations to create a nostalgic feel. Another example is the website for the restaurant “Big Daddy’s”, which uses bold, vibrant colors, retro fonts, and vintage diner imagery to create a fun, nostalgic atmosphere.

How can I ensure my retro website design is still user-friendly?

While it’s important to incorporate retro elements into your design, it’s equally important to ensure your website is user-friendly. This means ensuring the website is easy to navigate, with clear headings, easy-to-read text, and intuitive navigation. It also means ensuring the website is responsive, so it looks good on all devices.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when designing a retro website?

Some common mistakes to avoid when designing a retro website include overloading the design with too many vintage elements, which can make the website look cluttered and confusing. It’s also important to avoid using too many different fonts or colors, as this can make the website look messy and unprofessional. Finally, it’s important to ensure the website is still modern and functional, despite its vintage aesthetic.

How can I make my retro website design stand out?

To make your retro website design stand out, it’s important to use unique and original vintage elements. This could include using rare vintage fonts, unique vintage illustrations, or creating your own vintage-inspired graphics. It’s also important to have a clear and compelling message, as this will help to engage visitors and keep them on your website.

What are some resources for finding vintage elements for my website design?

There are many online resources for finding vintage elements for your website design. These include stock photo websites, font websites, and graphic design websites. Some popular resources include Dribbble, Adobe Stock, and Google Fonts.

Can I use retro design for any type of website?

While retro design can be a fun and unique aesthetic, it may not be suitable for all types of websites. For example, a corporate or professional website may not benefit from a retro design. However, for creative businesses, personal websites, or websites for vintage products or services, a retro design can be a great choice.

How can I learn more about retro website design?

There are many resources available for learning more about retro website design. These include online tutorials, design blogs, and design books. Websites like SitePoint, Webflow, and Awwwards often feature articles and tutorials on retro design.

What are some trends in retro website design?

Some current trends in retro website design include the use of bold, vibrant colors, vintage typography, and grainy textures. There’s also a trend towards using vintage illustrations and icons, as well as incorporating vintage elements into modern, minimalist designs.