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20+ retro fonts for nostalgic branding and graphic design

Sep 14, 2023 | Branding, Fonts, For Designers

In the dynamic world of design, trends come and go, but some styles stand the test of time. Retro fonts, with their bold charm and vintage flair, have the unique ability to transport us back in time while breathing new life into modern designs. These fonts can infuse our designs with a sense of nostalgia that resonates deeply with audiences.

In this blog post, we’ll discover 20+ curated fonts that bridge the gap between past and present. Whether you’re a professional designer or a business owner seeking to cultivate a nostalgic essence for your brand, these retro fonts may just spark the inspiration you need for your project.

Best retro fonts

In no particular order, here are some of the best retro fonts available. The inspiration for these fonts ranges from the art deco style of the 20’s to the electric 80’s. Whatever nostalgic vibe you’re going for, there’s something for everyone in this collection.

1. Recoleta

Haley Web Design Mockup

Recoleta is a popular retro font brought to you by Latinotype. It primarily draws inspiration from 1970’s typefaces such as Cooper. Available in 15 weights, Recoleta is a highly versatile typeface that is well suited for logos, headlines, and posters.

The image above shows Recoleta in use on my client Haley Johnson’s logo and website.

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2. The Cardila

The Cardila Font

The Cardila is a bold, retro script font inspired by the 1960’s. This typeface would work well for logos, signage, magazines, posters, and greeting cards with a fun and playful vibe.

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3. Vacation Display

Vacation Display

Vacation Display is a bold, uppercase font designed by Stable. The font is reminiscent of the Trader Joe’s logo and evokes the psychedelic era of the 60’s and 70’s. Use Vacation Display for applications such as casual restaurants (think food trucks and taco joints), graphic tees, stickers, and postcards.

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4. Earthgate

Earthgate font

Another featured retro font by Letterhend Studio is Earthgate, a bold script typeface. This expressive script immediately calls to mind vintage logos, signs, and product labels. It’s also a great choice for book covers or greeting cards with a vintage theme.

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5. Rambler

Rambler font preview

Rambler is a unique, wide serif inspired by classic car emblems of the 1960’s. With its short and wide letterforms, Rambler is best suited for eye-catching displays such as logos, labels, and packaging. Avoid using this typeface for small applications such as body text. As shown in the example image above, Rambler pairs well with a simple sans-serif.

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6. Brice

Brice font

Brice is a bold and playful font inspired by 1980’s pop culture. With a total of 30 different styles available, it’s a versatile font family that can be used for a variety of applications, such as logos, merch, posters, and much more. Bring some 80’s nostalgia to your designs with Brice.

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7. Retro Lettering

Retro Lettering Font

True to its name, Retro Lettering by Nirmana Visual captures the spirit of vintage signage and hand-painted craftsmanship. The typeface is bold and friendly, inspired by the free-spirited 1970’s. Use this font for logos, menus, merch, and other playful graphic design projects.

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8. Pure Psychedelia

Pure Psychedelia font

Pure Psychedelia blends Art Nouveau and 1960’s psych to create a groovy font for your retro designs. This bold typeface is best suited for niche projects such as art prints and advertisements with a hippie aesthetic.

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9. Beach Club

Beach Club Font

Looking for a retro font that evokes the 1980’s? Beach Club by Sam Parrett immediately calls to mind, well, beach clubs. Think neon lights, geometric patterns, shoulder pads, and big hair. This font is great for energetic brands and 80’s themed graphic designs.

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10. Superfreak

Superfreak font

Superfreak by Nicky Laatz brings us back to the 1970’s with its bold letters resembling bellbottoms. The font is playful, friendly, and perfect for conveying a nostalgic vibe. Use this font for merchandise, art prints, and greeting cards to bring a smile to someone’s face.

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11. Magical Night

Magical Night font preview

Magical Night is a retro serif font reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s. It comes with many alternates and ligatures to help you add a creative flair to your design. With its bold, rounded letterforms, this typeface is certain to help your design stand out.

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12. Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Canyon Drive Script Font

To bring your design back to the 40’s and 50’s, use a monoline script font like Palm Canyon Drive. This unique font feels smooth, classy, and very retro. It’s the type of font you’d expect to see at a classic diner or on an old Hollywood poster.

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13. National Forest

National Forest Font

Looking to bring a bit of the outdoors into your retro design? National Forest is the font you’re looking for. Inspired by US national park signs, it has a bold and rugged look that immediately transports you to your favorite park. Use this font for adventurous brands and designs.

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14. Soul Wave

Soul Wave Groovy Font

Feeling groovy? Soul Wave is a bold and playful retro font that transports you right to the 60’s and 70’s. This display font is ideal for logos, stickers, packaging design, t-shirts and apparel, or any other retro design application.

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15. ITC Souvenir®

ITC Souvenir® Font

Some of the retro fonts on this list are a bit “out there.” For a more classic look that still feels nostalgic, consider ITC Souvenir. This font was initially designed in 1914, but was revised in the 60’s and 70’s, when it became extremely popular. Although it may have been overused in the past, it’s now making a comeback among designers aiming for that smooth, retro feel.

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16. TAN Memories

Memories Font

Memories is a classic serif font inspired by a more recent decade, the 2000’s. With tight kerning and smooth letterforms, it’s a beautiful and versatile font ideal for logos and large headings.

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17. ITC Conduit®

ITC Conduit® Font

According to its designer Mark Van Bronkhorst, ITC Conduit is “the kind of lettering you might find on boilers, assembly diagrams, and desiccant packets.” In other words, it’s a retro font with an industrial vibe. It’s simple and grid-based, but not boring. With 14 styles available, there are many ways to implement this crisp and legible font.

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18. Pacifico

Pacifico Font

Pacifico is the only retro font on this list that’s free for commercial use. This brush script is a great choice for adding character to a logo or design with a nostalgic aesthetic. Because of its boldness, it’s best used sparingly.

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19. Beale

Beale Font

Beale is a retro display font brought to you by Hoodzpah, a design studio that excels at retro design. The font is inspired by Memphis, more specifically by Blue’s and Rock ‘N’ Roll records. It’s a fun and unique font that’s sure to make your design stand out.

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20. Suerte

Suerte Font Preview

Suerte is a unique and standout display font with Italian and Spanish influences. With its bold letters and Tuscan serifs, this retro font is sure to add a lot of personality to your designs. Consider using it for large displays such as packaging and product labels, merchandise, and signage.

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21. Nulshock™

Nulshock™ Font

Nulshock is an industrial display font with mechanical curves. Personally, it reminds me of the iconic Star Wars logo from the late 70’s. This font is a great match for high-tech or industrial brands with a retro aesthetic.

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22. Twentieth Century™

Twentieth Century™ Font

Twentieth Century is a geometric sans-serif developed back in the 30’s. It’s similar to uber-popular Futura, which was released about a decade earlier. Overall, Twentieth Century is a clean and highly versatile font that has withstood the test of time. It’s suitable for both large displays and small body text.

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Conclusion

Throughout this exploration, we’ve witnessed how retro fonts bridge the gap between eras, infusing a sense of nostalgia and authenticity into modern designs. Whether you’re crafting a brand identity, designing a poster, or creating playful merchandise designs, these fonts can add depth, character, and a touch of vintage charm.

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Looking for support in creating a timeless and unique visual identity for your business? I specialize in crafting elevated brand identities and websites for small businesses. Click here to learn more about my services.

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