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Free Quality 40’s and 50’s Style Retro Dingbats

By Jennifer Farley



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A friend asked me if I had some good links for free retro style clipart for a blog post. The kind of cartoon style used in ads from the 1940’s and 50s. I didn’t have any decent free clipart links but there are some very nice and fun dingbats available for download. I like dingbats because even though they work as fonts, they are essentially vectors that can be blown up to any size you want without loss of quality and perfect for using in Photoshop, Illustrator or any graphics program that let’s you use type. You can create vector outlines and edit them further if you want. As always, check the license for usage terms, they’re all free but not necessarily for commercial use.

It’s important that they are good quality to start with though. If there are major artifacts in them, then the problem just gets bigger as you blow them up. There are a few slightly dodgy drawings in some of these fonts but in general there is enough good stuff to make up for the bad. So this list is some of the retro clipart I’ve got in my design bag that you might find useful for creating vintage designs on your web site or for print work. I’d love to see more, so please add links if you’ve come across them.

Retro Bats One


Return Of The Retrobats


Glamocon Retrobats


Hey Kids


Magic Catalog – there’s two different sets available for download here.



Finally, Tackorama have tons of nice retro fonts and you can see them all on this page. There’s everything from people to furniture to alien mushrooms all in a very cool 50’s retro style.



Have you come across any other retro dingbats that you thought were interesting?

Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

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