Categories / Inspiration
7 Vintage Logo Design Trends
Creative Market March 31, 2021 · 4 min read
BadgesThe badge concept lies at the very heart of vintage logo designs. These designers typically shoot for a nice, simple shape that can be stamped anywhere and on anything. Circles are by far the most popular shape for these badges, but you’ll also find plenty of hexagons, shields and diamonds. I love ThunderPixels Store’s usage of objects like bike chains and thorny vines to bring in some extra visual flair.
Hand DrawnThe hipster movement embraces all things handmade, so logos that have a sketchy or hand drawn look fit really well into this aesthetic. The artistic talent in this category is really impressive. Though vintage logo collections tend to be quite masculine in appearance, it’s nice to see shops like MakeMediaCo. pushing back against this trend with complex floral arrangements and beautiful, muted colors.
IndustrialAs we look back at early to mid 20th century design, we see simple logos without gradients, feathered shadows, or 3D renders, but they still managed to make bold visual statements. The graphical icons of the day were hammers, axes, wrenches, and factories, not clouds and wifi signals. I think it’s natural for our tech savvy generation to be drawn to visuals that remind us of the industrial revolution. From our desks, we have a quiet respect for the men and women who built the modern world through sweat and labor instead of keystrokes and mouse clicks.
Land and SeaFor whatever reason, vintage logo treatments often feature animals with antlers: deer, moose, elk, it doesn’t matter. If it has antlers, it’s in. This goes hand in hand with the overall outdoorsy trend in these types of logos (mountains, trees, tents, etc.). Nautical themes are extremely popular as well. Anchors, fish, and ropes make for some really attractive graphical elements.
Beer and CoffeeTime marches on, empires rise and fall, but some things never change. Mankind’s love for beer and coffee is one of these things. This shared affinity with our ancestors makes these two liquids prime subjects for vintage art.
Logos On PhotosLook back at how logos were displayed ten years ago and you typically see a solid background or maybe a gradient. The bright, colorful and complex Internet logos of the time looked too busy for anything else. These days, our monotone, hipster logos are simple enough that they look fantastic when overlaid on top of a great photograph. If you’re looking for a way to make the logos in your shop look even better, give this a try.
Line ArtIt’s always interesting to see how current design trends change how we create vintage graphics. When skeuomorphism was the trend to follow, vintage artwork used heavy textures (paper, leather, rust) and maybe some ink brushes. Now that flat design is the way to go, vintage logos often use thin lines and greatly simplified illustrations. Here are two of my favorite items that leverage this style.
Go Your Own WayI absolutely love studying design trends. It’s always fascinating to see how the design community both latches onto and drops certain ideas in tandem. If your clients want something trendy and popular, you can use the ideas above as inspiration for your own awesome vintage products. Or, if you want to blaze your own trail, you now know what’s already being done. Go make something unique and show us in a comment below.