20 Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials

by Julia Sagar December 15, 2016

20 Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials

Creating top-class, super-affordable illustration tools that make your design workflow faster and more efficient is just one part of what we do at RetroSupply. The other part is inspiration: we’re dedicated to producing and finding the best creative resources out there – from tutorials to pro tips, tricks and techniques – for becoming better designers and illustrators.

That’s why we’ve collated this list of the very best retro and vintage tutorials for Adobe Illustrator, which we’ve divided into the following categories for ease of use: retro and vintage techniques, logos, effects, characters and typography. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something here to help take your skills up a notch.

We’ll be adding to this list regularly, so make sure you bookmark this page for next time you have the opportunity to invest in your skill set.

Scroll down for our hand-picked selection of the best retro and vintage tutorials for Illustrator…

Also read:


Retro and vintage techniques

 

01. Create a retro T-shirt design in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: retro T-shirt illustration

Design some cool retro graphics for a T-shirt by creating simple vectors and textures in Adobe Illustrator, with this step-by-step guide. Key skills covered include how to use the Pathfinder panel to knock out and combine shapes, and how to apply vector textures to shapes.


02. Create a Bird's-Eye View of Retro Cars in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: 1950s cars

Get to grips with basic shapes, gradient, blending modes and the Pathfinder panel in this intermediate Illustrator tutorial, which walks through how to make a retro 1950s ‘Greased Lightning’ car.


03. Create a Set of Simple Line Icons

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: create simple line icons

Produce a set or retro icons in less than 20 minutes with this intermediate Illustrator tutorial. Topics covered range from creating basic Shapes to using the Arc tool and Blob Brush tool.  


04. Design retro isometric artwork

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: isometric artwork

Illustrator Mark Oliver shares a recipe for transforming shapes to fit a predefined isometric projection without having to do any calculations, in this retro Illustrator tutorial.



05. Create a retro-style comic in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: retro comic

From initial sketches to a polished piece of final artwork, illustrator Toby Leigh walks through how to develop a narrative-based artwork in his retro graphic style, using Illustrator and Photoshop.



06. Design a Vintage Book Cover

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: vintage book cover

Recreate the look of a clothbound, vintage book cover and decorative spine with woodcut-style illustrations and calligraphy in this intermediate tutorial, which uses Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.


Retro and vintage logos


07. How to Create a Distressed Retro Logo in Illustrator and Photoshop

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: distressed logo design

Craft a 1940-50s-style logo design in this step-by-step to creating a distressed retro logo in Illustrator and Photoshop.

 

08. Create a Retro Badge/Emblem Style Logo

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: Retro Badge/Emblem Style Logo

Build a circular motif in Illustrator, before giving it an aged vintage appearance with some final touches in Photoshop.



Retro and vintage effects


09. How to create a trippy kaleidoscopic effect

 Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: kaleidoscopic effect

Find out how to add a sense of motion to your work by creating vector illustrations in Illustrator and combining them with Photoshop's Pen tool to create a kaleidoscopic effect.



10. Create a Retro Triangular Pattern Design in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: retro Triangular Pattern

Find out how to create a retro pattern design made up of a limited color palette, and lots of squares and triangles, in this step-by-step Illustrator tutorial.


11. How to Create a Pencil Pattern Brush in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: Pencil brush

This beginner Illustrator tutorial shows you how to create a pencil pattern brush in Illustrator, from setting up a simple grid to creating a simple text effect with your own, handmade brush.



Retro and vintage characters


12. How to Design symmetrical character art

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: symmetrical character art

Dutch creative duo LouLou & Tummie reveal how to create perfectly balanced characters in Illustrator. They explain how to hone your use of the Pathfinder tool to build new shapes, and tweak lines to give them a sense of flow.



13. Create symmetrical vector character art

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: symmetrical vector character art


Combine shapes and textures with vectors and symmetry to striking effect in this Illustrator tutorial by xxx-based illustrator Jonny Wan.



14. Create vintage vector textures

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: vintage textures

Designer Ben Steers walks through how to create your own vintage characters in this retro Illustrator tutorial, while also explaining how to achieve a handprinted effect and use halftone patterns effectively.


15. Create a Character Kit in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: character kit

This beginner-level Illustrator tutorial explains how to create different elements of character design from scratch, before using these elements to create different characters.

 


Retro and vintage typography


16. The Easy Way to Roughen Your Typography in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: grunge, aged typography

Add an aged, grunge effect to your designs as we walk through how to roughen your typography in Illustrator.

 


17. How to create vintage type styles in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials:  vintage type styles

Type artist Bobby Haiqalsyah explains how to create a stunning piece of retro typography in Illustrator using the Blend and Offset Path functions.



18. How to Create a Light Bulb Text Effect in Illustrator

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: light  bulb text effect

Create a light bulb text effect in Illustrator, covering key skills that include: setting up a simple grid; using the live corners feature; mastering the Appearance panel and Transform effect; and basic blending effects.

 


19. How to Create a Wood Block Print Text Vector

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: wood print text vector

Find out how to quickly edit any text to look like a wood block print text vector design, in this intermediate Illustrator tutorial.


20. Create vector type with an animal theme

Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials: vector type animal theme

Marcus Reed walks through how he creates letters with an animal theme in Illustrator and Photoshop, using his L is for Lion print as an example.







Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

Author

Julia is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously a commissioning editor for Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, net, 3D World and Imagine FX magazines, she’s been writing about design for 10 years. Tweet her: @JuliaSagar


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