Sometimes overlooked, but in truth one of the most important elements of web design is the typography style employed. The right choice can change the so-so into an attractive and elegant work of art. Far from being outdated or unattractive, retro typography has become one of the most recent and popular design trends.
Even though they may be unaware of it, aside from the fact it looks cool, a retro style font can engender nostalgic feelings and awaken memories in some web users. The retro style is one example of how a font style can be used to convey a certain message to the viewer. This is also true of vintage fonts, which harken back to the 1940s, 50s, and 60, while the retro style goes back to 1910 – 1930, including styles we associate with the Roaring 20’s.
The use of these font styles is coming in to increasing favor in small and large corporate web designs, blogs, online stores, and portfolios. These old-style fonts produce an appealing and creative effect that stands out from more contemporary styles. Many of these retro fonts are yours for free, although in many cases their use is restricted to your personal use.
These free fonts can definitely add a sense of uniqueness to many projects, including projects of your own. Their use has become a growing trend among web designers because of the way in which they can viewers really sit up and take notice.
A Selection of Free Vintage and Retro Fonts
Blacktroops Inline can be downloaded free for personal use only, or purchased for commercial use. Uppercase only, with numerals and special characters.
The broad stroke is present in every letter, uppercase and lowercase, and in the numerals as well.
In this Tyler Finck design, the lowercase characters are the same as uppercase, but small cap. A nice selection of special characters, including numbers, is included.
The characters have the appearance of having been forged. Slight imperfections make this font especially useful for branding purposes.
Designed by Lauren Thompson, this free for personal use font can also be used commercially by giving a donation.
This design by Manual Ramos is copywrited. A donation is appreciated, and one is required along with contacting the designer if it is to be used for commercial purposes. This font definitely takes you back to the Roaring 20’s.
Designed by Typodermic Fonts, the lowercase characters are small cap versions of uppercase.
Definitely modern for the 1930s, a combination of retro and modern for today.
In name at least, this font is inspired by The Great Depression. Free for personal use only. Contact KC Fonts for commercial use.
And a Few More
Why Retro Fonts?
Retro fonts can be ideal when you are attempting to create compelling and highly innovative designs. In fact, their very use leaves the viewer with a sense that innovation has been a major factor in your design. There are a large number of retro font styles available for downloading, free use, or purchase, and the constant demand means that you can always plan on new designs being released for you to choose from.
Adding the retro style definitely gives your designs an old-timey feel. Retro designs were the latest trend nearly 100 years ago, and then dropped out of sight for much of the latter part of the 20th century. Now, they are back in style, and have been since the 1990s.
Just remember, that when you use a retro or vintage fonts, you need to make sure that other design elements, especially color, texture, and background, either match, or are for the most part compatible. It’s always good design practice to see that a good balance exists between design elements, and that applies to retro style art or design as well.