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A Full Guide To Retro Logo Design In 2024 – Tips, Ideas, and Proven Strategies

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

Join me at the forefront of web design and digital marketing innovation. I am obsessed with web design, business philosophy and marketing performance.
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Retro logo design is making a comeback in 2024. It’s a hot trend, but the sudden pivot to retro aesthetics can feel challenging if you spent years mastering modern minimalism or sleek contemporary looks.

Crafting great vintage logos requires more than just a good eye for design; it demands a deep dive into the past, an understanding of historical context, and the skill to marry that with modern expectations.

If you’re tired of staring at a blank screen without knowing where to start with retro logo design, I have good news. Mastering this style is entirely within your reach.

In this guide, I’ll introduce you to five trending retro styles in 2024 that you can use as inspiration. Then, I’ll guide you through creating your own retro logo designs step by step.

You’ll find the inspiration needed to jumpstart your retro logo design projects and gain the confidence and skills to navigate this trend with ease. This will allow you to diversify your portfolio and attract more clients eager for retro website design. Let’s start!

Table of Contents:
Retro logo design

In 2024, we’re witnessing a fascinating resurgence of retro styles in logo design.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the top five retro logo design trends for this year.

Hopefully, exploring these trends will help you understand what’s capturing the modern audience’s attention right now and inspire you to develop unique retro logo design ideas.

Trend #1: Minimalist Line Art Is A Popular Choice For Retro Logo Designs Across Various Industries Right Now

Minimalist graphic design is still prevalent in 2024, and one of the styles that many logo designers are turning to is minimalist line art. 

Minimalist line art revolves around using clean lines, geometric shapes, and white space. If you want to make your retro logo designs look uncluttered, I recommend experimenting with this style.

It combines the best characteristics of minimalism and geometric graphic design to subtly evoke powerful emotions.

Minimalist line art is also very versatile, making it a universally appealing choice for brands looking to infuse a retro vibe into their visual identity. 

Trend #2: Art Deco Style Is A Go-To Choice For Luxury Brands In 2024

Art Deco logo example

If you love the aesthetic appeal of the 1920s Jazz era and graphic design styles that evoke a sense of luxury and sophistication, you should definitely try creating an Art Deco logo.

Although it draws inspiration from over a hundred-year-old designs, this style is making a big comeback in 2024 as more and more luxury brands demand it.

Retro logo designs inspired by Art Deco are characterized by:

  • A restricted color palette (usually gold and silver)
  • Symmetrical patterns
  • Complex decorations with a variety of shapes

Art Deco retro logos have found their perfect place in luxury branding. You’ll often see this type of retro logo in luxury website designs, where their ability to evoke timeless glamour aligns with the expectations of a discerning audience.

If your goal is to imbue your retro logo design with the luxurious spirit of the past while maintaining a modern edge, you won’t make a mistake by exploring Art Deco style.

Trend #3: ’80s Inspired Logos With Neon Colors

80s retro logo design example

The 1980s are well-known for their bold fashion, music, and, importantly, distinctive color palettes. It’s this era’s vibrant essence that’s making a noteworthy return in 2024’s retro logo design scene, with neon colors leading the charge.

This trend draws on the ’80s iconic, energetic vibe, infusing logos with a sense of nostalgia yet feeling entirely contemporary.

Neon colors offer a dynamic range of hues that some audience segments find hard to ignore.

While neon colors might evoke a sense of playfulness and flamboyance, when used thoughtfully, they can create logos that are both memorable and sophisticated. This trend is especially appealing for brands looking to convey energy, innovation, or a forward-thinking attitude.

Trend #4: The Classic Retro Logo Badge Style Is Making A Comeback

Badge style logos, first gaining popularity in the early to mid-20th century, have been a staple of design for various organizations, from automotive companies to sports teams. These logos were initially designed to signify membership, authority, or achievement, embodying a sense of trust and authenticity.

Now it seems that classic badges are making a comeback as retro style is becoming one of the main logo trends 2024.

This comeback is driven by a desire for logos that convey heritage, craftsmanship, and reliability. The badge style’s distinct circular or shield-like shape provides a perfect canvas for intricate details and symbolism.

Brands are embracing the badge style to tap into a vintage aesthetic that resonates with audiences looking for authenticity and nostalgia. And it seems like not only older generations find this retro style logo design aesthetically pleasing. Badge logos are popular among younger audiences, too.

Trend #5: Designers Are Turning To Abstract Illustrations Within Retro Logo Design

Abstract illustrations in logo

Abstract illustrations allow you to step away from traditional symbolism while still maintaining retro style logo design. This departure from literal imagery to more conceptual representations enables brands to convey their identity in a unique and memorable way. 

Through geometric abstractions and expressive colors, this type of retro logo design offers a fresh perspective, marrying modernity with vintage charm.

Abstract illustrations also pave the way for experimental typography. Designers are blending abstract art with inventive text effects. This helps them create logos that are a feast for the eyes and that resonate on a deeper level with audiences.

This trend shows that retro design can evolve and stay relevant in today’s market.

How To Create A Retro Logo – 6 Key Steps

Now that we’ve sparked some inspiration with trends in retro style logo design, you might be wondering about the next steps. How exactly do you bring these vintage visions to life?

In the following section, I’ll guide you through six essential steps that my team at our Los Angeles web design agency consistently follows to craft successful retro brand logos.

1. Choose A Decade And Industry That Best Match Your Desired Aesthetics

Graphic design styles have seen significant evolution across the decades, offering a rich palette of retro styles suited to various industries.

Before putting pen to paper or mouse to screen, it’s crucial to take a step back and consider your target audience and brand guidelines. This initial analysis will help you pinpoint the decade and industry that align best with the aesthetics you aim to achieve.

Notable decades to draw inspiration from include:

  • 1920s Art Deco: Characterized by luxurious and geometric designs, perfect for brands aiming for sophistication.
  • 1950s Mid-Century Modern: Features playful, optimistic designs with a touch of simplicity, ideal for family-oriented or lifestyle brands.
  • 1960s Psychedelic: Known for its vivid colors and swirling patterns, it is suitable for creative industries seeking to make a bold statement.
  • 1970s Groovy: Embraces bold, fun typography and earthy colors, great for evoking a sense of nostalgia and warmth.
  • 1980s Neon and Digital: Marked by bright neon colors and futuristic motifs, fitting for brands looking to convey innovation and energy.
  • 1990s Grunge and Internet Boom: Incorporates rugged, textured designs and early digital art influences, appealing to edgy or tech-focused brands.

Selecting the right decade and industry as your source of inspiration is a foundational step in creating a retro logo design. It sets the tone for the entire project. It also ensures that the final design resonates with your audience while staying true to your brand’s core identity.

2. Use Sketching To Explore Various Concepts And Ideas For Your Retro Logo Design

Jumping straight into digital tools like Figma or Illustrator might seem like the most efficient route to designing your retro vintage logo. Yet, focusing too much on the details too soon can actually slow down the process.

It’s disheartening to realize, after all that time perfecting every pixel, that the concept doesn’t resonate as you’d hoped. You’ll have to repeat the whole process, risking the same outcome again.

I found sketching to be a crucial step for a smooth retro style logo design process. Sketching allows you to freely experiment with various ideas, layouts, shapes, and styles without the commitment to digital perfection. 

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your sketching phase:

  • Keep it Loose: I always advise my designers at Alpha Efficiency to allow their hands to move freely. Don’t worry about making perfect lines or shapes. The goal is to capture the essence of your ideas.
  • Quantity Over Quality: Generate as many concepts as possible. This is the time to explore all your ideas, no matter how outlandish they may seem at first.
  • Use References: Have images or elements from your chosen era at hand. These can inspire shapes, typography, and motifs relevant to your retro theme.
  • Think in Black and White: Focus on the form and structure before considering color. This ensures your logo is versatile and impactful without relying solely on its color palette.

After exploring a range of concepts through sketching, you’ll be in a much better position to select the most promising idea. Now, let’s move on to the next steps to make your retro logo design pixel-perfect.

3. Borders And Frames Can Help You Achieve Retro Logo Design Style More Easily

If you’re struggling to achieve the retro look for your logo, try adding borders and frames. These elements give logos a structure and a sense of completeness that is often associated with vintage styles.

Borders can also encapsulate various elements of your logo, tying them together into a cohesive unit. This is especially helpful if your logo includes multiple types of imagery or typography.

Moreover, different styles of borders and frames can evoke different time periods. For instance, ornate, decorative borders may hint at the lavish Art Deco era, while simple, thick frames might bring to mind the boldness of the ’60s and ’70s graphic design.

However, the thickness and complexity of your border should balance the logo’s internal elements. Too thick or busy could overwhelm the design, while too thin or sparse might look underwhelming.

Also, don’t limit yourself to traditional rectangular or circular frames. Explore shapes that might echo the theme of your logo or the era you’re drawing inspiration from, like hexagons, shields, or even more abstract forms.

4. Implement Symbols, Shapes, and Textures To Evoke Desired Emotions

Once the general layout of your retro logo is in place, the next step is to infuse it with symbols, shapes, and textures that align with the retro aesthetic you’re aiming for. 

Using noisy gradients can help you achieve a retro look, and they’re a go-to choice for many logo designers. These gradients can mimic the look of old television screens or printed materials, instantly transporting viewers to a bygone era. 

However, don’t hesitate to venture beyond gradients for texture. Experimenting with shadows, flares, and sheens can add a dynamic feel to your logo, suggesting movement and energy reminiscent of the retro period you’re channeling.

You can also try layering different textures to add richness to your design. Just be sure to maintain clarity and readability.

5. Create Custom Retro Fonts To Add Unique Touch – Typography Is Key To Successful Retro Logo Design

Typography is a powerful storytelling tool. The right font can evoke emotions, convey values, and tell a story at a glance.

While you can probably find various retro typefaces online, I recommend exploring the principles behind retro font design to create custom fonts that match your brand identity.

Custom fonts offer a level of uniqueness and brand specificity that off-the-shelf fonts simply can’t match.

6. It’s Best To Stick To Minimal Color Palette For Retro Logo Design

Adding the final touches to your retro logo design means it’s time to think about color. In my experience, a minimalist color palette often yields the best results for retro designs.

Historically, this approach roots itself in the limitations of past printing technologies. Back in the day, designers and printers didn’t have the vast array of color options available today. As a result, most retro and vintage designs featured only a few colors.

A minimalist palette also helps you ensure your logo remains versatile and easily recognizable across various mediums. 

That being said, don’t be afraid to experiment with more vibrant hues, particularly if you’re channeling the ’80s retro vibe known for its neon and bright color schemes. Again, consider your target audience and the goals you want to accomplish with your retro logo design.

Final Thoughts

I t’s clear that the retro style is more than just a trend – it’s a timeless approach that continues to inspire and captivate.

I encourage you not to stop here. Beyond the nostalgic allure of retro, there are many other graphic design trends in 2024 that are making a big impact on the industry. Mastering these trends will help you open up additional career opportunities and ensure your skills remain relevant in the future.

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