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

Share this article

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 image Return Of The Retrobats image Glamocon Retrobats image Hey Kids image Magic Catalog – there’s two different sets available for download here. image image 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. image image Have you come across any other retro dingbats that you thought were interesting?

Frequently Asked Questions about Retro Dingbats

What are retro dingbats and how are they used in design?

Retro dingbats are unique, decorative elements or symbols that are often used in graphic and web design to add a vintage or nostalgic touch. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as to create borders, dividers, or embellishments in your design. They can also be used to replace bullet points in lists, or to add a visual element to a block of text. The use of retro dingbats can add a unique and creative touch to your design, making it stand out from the crowd.

How can I download and install retro dingbats?

Downloading and installing retro dingbats is a straightforward process. Once you’ve found a dingbat font that you like, simply click on the download button. This will download a zip file to your computer. Unzip the file, and you’ll find a .ttf or .otf file inside. This is the font file. To install it, simply double-click on the file and click on the ‘Install’ button. Once installed, the dingbat font will be available in your font library and can be used in any design software.

Can I use these retro dingbats for commercial projects?

The usage rights for retro dingbats can vary depending on the source. Some dingbats are free for personal use, but require a license for commercial use. Others may be free for both personal and commercial use. It’s important to check the license information for each dingbat font before using it in your projects. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to contact the font designer or distributor for clarification.

What is the difference between retro dingbats and modern dingbats?

Retro dingbats are inspired by the design styles of the 40s and 50s, and often have a nostalgic or vintage feel to them. They may include elements such as vintage cars, old-fashioned telephones, or retro-style stars and shapes. Modern dingbats, on the other hand, tend to have a more contemporary design, and may include symbols or icons that are relevant to today’s digital age, such as social media icons, emojis, or computer-related symbols.

How can I incorporate retro dingbats into my design?

There are many ways to incorporate retro dingbats into your design. They can be used as decorative elements, to create borders or dividers, or to add a visual element to a block of text. You can also use them to replace bullet points in lists, or to create unique patterns or backgrounds. The key is to experiment and have fun with it. Remember, the goal is to enhance your design, not to overwhelm it, so use dingbats sparingly and in a way that complements the rest of your design.

Can I edit or modify retro dingbats?

Yes, most dingbat fonts can be edited or modified using vector editing software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. This allows you to change the color, size, and shape of the dingbats to suit your design needs. However, it’s important to check the license information for each dingbat font, as some licenses may restrict modifications.

Are there any specific software requirements for using retro dingbats?

Retro dingbats are typically provided as font files, which can be installed and used on any computer or device that supports fonts. This includes most design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and others. Some dingbats may also be provided as vector files, which can be opened and edited in vector editing software.

Can I use retro dingbats in my logo design?

Yes, retro dingbats can be a great addition to a logo design, especially if you’re going for a vintage or retro look. They can add a unique and creative touch, helping your logo to stand out. However, it’s important to ensure that the dingbat you choose is appropriate for your brand and target audience, and that it complements the rest of your logo design.

How can I find high-quality retro dingbats?

There are many online resources where you can find high-quality retro dingbats. Some popular options include Adobe Stock, FontSpace, iStock, and VectorStock. These sites offer a wide range of dingbat fonts, many of which are free to download and use. When choosing a dingbat font, look for one that is well-designed, easy to read, and suitable for your specific design needs.

Can I create my own retro dingbats?

Yes, if you have the necessary design skills and software, you can certainly create your own retro dingbats. This can be a fun and creative project, and it allows you to create dingbats that are perfectly tailored to your design needs. You can use vector editing software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape to create your dingbats, and then save them as a font file for easy use in your designs.

Jennifer FarleyJennifer Farley
View Author

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.

typographyvector graphics
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week
Loading form