21 of the best free retro and vintage design resources
That’s why we’ve pulled together this collection of high-quality free retro and vintage resources. If you’re a designer or illustrator who simply doesn’t have time to trawl the internet every time you need to source a quality free font, brush, vector, action or more, this list will save you hours – we’ll be adding to it regularly, so bookmark it if you’re often in this situation.
Of course, free resources rarely stand up against paid-for alternatives. If you need a first-class design tool for an important piece of client work or dream personal project, you’ll find a huge range of popular, ridiculously affordable retro and vintage resources for your libraries right here:
- The RetroSupply brush guide for illustrators
- Best bargain retro and vintage fonts
- Time-saving retro and vintage actions
- Tactile retro and vintage textures
- Logos and vector art
- Retro and vintage layer styles
And for all those design and illustration projects that don’t have a big budget, here are 21 of the best free retro and vintage resources that we’ve seen on our travels…
There’s a wealth of free retro and vintage design resources on our freebies page. Sign-up to our newsletter and you’ll get a sample of our most popular font Palm Canyon Drive, high-res Industrial Grunge textures, premium vintage Photoshop brushes and a whole load more, all for free.
For fantastic free retro and vintage fonts, look no further than our hand-picked selection covering the best of the web. From 60s signage-inspired lettering to pixel-style typefaces, decorative typography, retro-futuristic brush fonts and more, you’ll find a decent free font for any design project.
One really great high quality free vintage resource for designers and illustrators is on this website, which sources images from antique catalogs, books, magazines and other printed material. These images have been carefully restored and brought to you to add some fun to your designs.
Check out Pixeden for free vectors. This set of 14 retro outline ribbon vectors is just one of a huge pile of free vector graphics on the site, which include everything from handy infographic elements to Easter eggs to cartoon vector characters.
On the topic of type, the excellent Typewolf website has a useful section, Free Font Lists, which collates 40 of the best Google Fonts - you’ll need to scroll down the homepage to find it. If you sign up to Typewolf founder Jeremiah Shoaf’s monthly newsletter, you’ll get a free 14-page PDF that reveals 10 of the best free fonts that aren’t on Google Fonts.
The right texture will take your work to the next level, adding depth, warmth and personality to an otherwise flat image. From grungy textures to concrete samples, halftones, bokeh and beyond, you’ll find a wide range of free textures in this collection.
Love the old vintage ornaments you see adorning book covers and business signs? Then this is a great collection for you! This bundle contains 70 different intricate elements that really add a special vintage look to anything, get creative and use them up in different posters or fun logos.
Berlin-based communication designer Julian Hrankov created this set of stripped back, vintage-style icons for a university presentation. “Feel free to use them in any way, shape or form,” he says, adding that they’re free for both personal and commercial use.
If you’re after retro and vintage illustrations then this freebie pack from GraphicGoods is perfect for you! It comes with 14 different fruit and vegetable engravings that add just the right touch to posters or designs. These cool engravings might just leave you wanting a fruity treat!
Speed up your workflow with these 10 free actions for creating retro and vintage effects in your designs. Whether you’re looking to create a quick halftone, 1930s glitter text, old parchment effect or more, there’s a wide selection of free actions for Photoshop and Illustrator in this collection - plus a few ridiculously affordable premium options too.
Death to Stock will send you beautiful high-res photos for free every month, which is great if your retro or vintage design requires a photographic background.
(You’ll also find a tutorial for converting a photo into a vintage background in our article, 40 Inspiring Retro Character Design Tutorials - it’s number 30.)
When it comes to free retro and vintage design resources, there’s nothing like a good pattern to take your images back in time. Graphic designer and art director Seth Nickerson created six pattern variations using a base tile and made them available for personal and commercial use. “You can also roll your own,” he adds.
Online creative resource Design Instruct makes new freebies available fairly regularly, from high-res landscape photography to retro icon sets, vintage paper textures and more.
This free condensed slab-serif was inspired by small towns and home-cooked meals. We’ve given it an old ink bleed effect by slightly rounding the corners – it’s ideal for all kinds of retro design, from branding to packaging.
Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, this scalable vector set contains a variety of free vintage stamps with a nautical theme.
16. Free icon set
A wide range of objects are covered in this free set of 32-pixel icons created by London-based designer Visual Idiot. From keys to coffee and padlocks to pencils, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.
17. Flat Icons
Of course, if you’re after free icons then Flat Icons should be one of your first stops. With over 300,000 thousand vector icons, the resources covers everything from business to music, education, outdoors and more. For free design resources, it’s a winner.
Sign up to Creative Market’s newsletter and you’ll get six free design resources. The options change each week – you might get some retro textures, a handmade font, icons and more.
19. Eighties font
Designer Marccio Reis shared this super cool retro font that is perfect for giving a vintage movie introduction feel to any projects. Click the link to his Behance profile to find this font among other cool resources and free goodies for your designs.
There are four free business card mock-ups in this freebie from designer Alex Andr. The templates are high res, with smart layers - so it’s easy to make changes - and there are two dimensions for each file: 90x50 and 85x55.
21. Retro and Vintage tutorials
Finally, when it comes to the best free retro and vintage resources, tutorials can offer a valuable way to up your skills. Here’s a list of some of our favorite tutorial resources:
- 40 Best Retro and Vintage Photoshop Tutorials
- 20 Best Retro and Vintage Illustrator Tutorials
- 40 Inspiring Retro Character Design Tutorials
- How to Draw and Paint - 95 Pro Tips and Tutorials
- 50 Amazing Vector Art Tutorials
- Corel Painter Tutorials
- 49 InDesign Tutorials to Level up Your Skills
- 82 Top-Quality Typography Tutorials
- After Effects Tutorials
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