Kodak might be the latest global company to revive its original retro logo, but the photography firm’s return to a vintage identity – designed by New York studio Work-Order – won’t be the last.
With UK studio North’s restoration of Co-op’s 1968 clover-leaf logo and Futurebrand’s recent revamp of NatWest’s 1968 3D symbol, not to mention Pentagram’s nod to Mastercard’s 1979 logo in its July rebrand, it’s clear that the trend for retro and vintage logos is on the rise.
In the spirit of looking backwards to go forward, what better time, then, to take a gander at some of the best retro and vintage logos being created today.
We’ve searched high and low to collate some of our favorite recent logos and badges. Some have been commissioned; others are fun, self-initiated explorations – but all are inspiring. Scroll down for a healthy dose of retro logo design eye candy…
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Sweden-based brand strategist and designer Emir Ayouni rebranded Industrial Supply Company in Wilmington, North Carolina, as part of the Forefathers design group. If you like his work, check out his Behance portfolio, where you’ll find a wealth of retro and vintage trademarks and logotypes on show.
Australian studio Rare created this vintage logo for The Drawing Room – a space where artists and doodlers can get together fortnightly – using a clever icon and aging it with some textures. The logo was a finalist in the 2016 AGDA design awards.
Combining retro script type with a wonderful moustachioed character and warm color palette, this fantastic badge design from Austin-based designer Steve Wolf is still in the works. Steve has a whole collection of vintage logos on his site – be sure to check them out.
One of a collection of stunning, vintage hand-drawn logotypes from UK designer Tom Lane, aka Ginger Monkey, Bib & Tucker features strong type and eye-catching, ornamental flourishes.
Vancouver-based designer Riley Cran referenced WW1 elements (‘Doughboy’ being an informal term for a member of the US Army or Marine Corps) and vintage doughnut imagery in his tasty branding for a doughnut-shop client.
Briefed by Hooké clothing collection to design a vintage series of badges that represent the themes of wildlife, adventure & fly fishing, Quebec-based art director and illustrator, I am Carlito, created a retro feel using a monotone, etched aesthetic.
Image courtesy: The Great Discontent
No round-up of the best retro and vintage logos would be complete without reference to the work of logo legend Aaron Draplin. These six logomarks represent a microscopic sample of his gigantic back-catalogue of awesome branding and logo projects – head over to his website for hours of logo design inspiration.
Irish designer David Airey – another logo legend and the author of Logo Design Love – created this elegant, vintage trademark for French wine producer Henri Earhart. He added a modern twist so that the design stood apart from its competitors, and drew on the twists of the vines themselves for inspiration for the monogram.
One of a number of vector logo designs presented to Paper Boy by Düsseldorf-based custom letterer Tobias Saul, this version features a cool retro color palette and embellished, vintage type.
Designer Adam Trageser created this playful branding for Memphis' own cheese-stuffed, smoked sausage co, The Bronson. “I found a few old bluegrass gig posters that had a skewed, imperfect style and wanted to give this some of the same character,” he explains on his Dribbble account.
London-based illustrator, designer and mural artist Tobias Hall created the branding and packaging for Punta Este, a new beer from Estrella de Levante. Central to the design is a stunning vintage logo with an old-world feel.
Another from Emir Ayouni, this retro logomark was designed for Crowned Traders, an online UK company that matches consumers with traders.
Serbian designer Milos Milovanovic specialises in retro and vintage logos. Emperor’s Brewing was created for a family owned brewery in Gent, Belgium; while Ponoi River Co. is for a high-end catch-and-release fly-fishing camp in Northern Russia. Head to his website for more.
One of a number of logos created at Forefathers, this design by Dan Gretta contrasts pared-back type with detailed illustrative elements for a vintage feel.
New York native Jon Contino designed this mark in collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi, Branding for Evolve – a non-profit organization created to instill “common sense, responsibility, and safety in the American gun debate”.
Minneapolis-based designer and illustrator Micah Thompson created this retro logo for the band Hunting Club, which has since been screenprinted onto various merchandise.
This self-initiated mockup for a film studio or production company has a very vintage feel. The monotone logo – designed by Ukraine designer Valerii Baryshpolets – was made to be embossed.
Another vintage, hand-drawn logotype from talented British lettering artist Tom Lane, Antler Playing Cards was initially designed - like all of Tom’s creations - using pencil and paper.
Old school vibes meet modern influences in this eye-catching logo design by senior illustrator Jeffrey Devey. He has all manner of retro and vintage logo designs on his Dribbble account – check them out.
If you’ve been inspired by the retro and vintage logos in this list but don’t have time right now to design your own from scratch, take a look at our Vintage Logo Collection (Vol 2). Included are five high-quality, easily editable, custom logo designs – inspired by the vintage look of factories, autoshops, bakeries and more – that you can quickly manipulate to create an original vintage logo for your next design.