Retro Photoshop Brushes: 50 of the Best

May 16, 2017 1 Comment

Retro Photoshop Brushes: 50 of the Best

It’s easy to find retro Photoshop brushes online. Picking high-quality ones, however, is an entirely different story. The internet is littered with free Photoshop brushes – some better than others – and finding the best for your collection can be a time-consuming process.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best retro Photoshop brushes for designers and illustrators. After all, having healthy libraries of high-quality resources is key to speeding up your workflow – but they can be tricky to curate when you’re facing tight deadlines, demanding clients or a crippling case of creative block.

Some of the retro and vintage Photoshop brushes in this selection are free for personal and commercial use; others come bundled with tutorials and freebies at a bargain price. We’ve highlighted the usage rights for each, and split the list into handy categories:

  • Retro era Photoshop brushes
  • Grunge Photoshop brushes
  • Abstract Photoshop brushes
  • Retro lettering, paper and books
  • Vintage Photoshop brushes
  • Steampunk
  • Other retro effects


Whether you’re using Photoshop CS or CC, there should be something for you here. Read on for our top 40 retro Photoshop brushes...

 

RETRO-ERA PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES

 

01. AD Stippling Brushes for Photoshop

Retro and vintage brushes: AD Stippling

By: Alex Dukal/RetroSupply
Cost: $19

Create stippling effects in seconds with this pack of over 50 Photoshop Brush Presets by illustrator Alex Dukal. Organized into nine sections - including Single Stipple, Stylographic, Shading, Freehand, Cluster, Mottled, Stick Stipple, Subtle, Big Stipple and Color Dynamics - it’s easy to build up layers with ease to create rich texture and depth.

 

02. Industry Press: tool presets

Retro Photoshop brushes: RetroSupply Standard Industry brush set

By: RetroSupply
Cost: $15.00

Create intricate, authentic 1870s engraving-inspired design, or add line and crosshatching to shade your work, with our pro set of Photoshop tool presets. Compatible with Photoshop CS4 and above, the Industry Press set includes tool presets, seamless line patterns, high-res overlays, and an organized instruction guide.

 

03. Stamp-O-Matic: Photoshop Seal and Stamp Brushes

Retro and vintage Photoshop brushes: Stamp-O-Matic

By: DesignerCandies
Cost: Free

Created using images from The British Library’s Flickr Stream, this pack of 56 vintage stamps and seals will give your designs some one-click vintage magic.

 

04. Dirigibles

Retro Photoshop Brushes: Dirigibles

By: Nadine Pau
Cost: Free for personal use

Get that Around The World in 80 Days feel with this set of 13 vintage Photoshop brushes, by Russian artist Nadine Pau. Brush size ranges from 1144px-450px.

 

05. 1960s news ads

Retro Photoshop Brushes: 1960s news ads

By: bashcorpo
Cost: Free for personal use only

Free for non-commercial work only, this set of vintage Photoshop brushes works with CS versions of the software and will instantly date your designs with an old-school newspaper vibe.

 

06. SpaceRanger Photoshop brush kit and tutorial pack

Retro Photoshop brushes: RetroSupply SpaceRanger

By: Brad Woodard, Brave of the Woods
Cost: $19.00 (save $10.00)

Create classic 1950s and 1960s-style illustrations with this set of 20 Photoshop brush presets including technical pencils, form builders, standard pencils, conté crayon, print textures and more. The kit also comes with three step-by-step SpaceRanger tutorials by illustrator Brad Woodard.

 

07. 1920s sport Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage sport

By: FidgetResources
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

DeviantArt member FidgetResource loves all things retro and vintage. Her collection of 1920s sport brushes are mainly sized around 1,500-2,000px, and are free for both commercial and non-commercial use. Tally ho!

 

08. AD Cartoonist Brushes

Retro and vintage Photoshop brushes: AD Cartoonist

By: Alex Dukal
Cost: $16

Emulate retro black-and-white comic strips with this set of over 200 Photoshop brushes. From splatter brushes to vintage line-styles, crosshatching, fountain pens, texture brushes and more, you’ll have everything you need to create character-filled cartoon strips.

 

09. 1940s Cosmopolitan brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: 1940s Cosmopolitan

By: moolis
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

There are 48 high-res Photoshop brushes in this set, which was created from a vintage 1940s copy of Cosmopolitan magazine that Brusheezy member moolis bought at a garage sale. The creator asks that you favorite and give credit if you use them. (See full details on the Brusheezy page.)

 


 

 

GRUNGE PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES

10. Standard Issue Subtle Brush Kit

Standard Issue Subtle Brush Kit - Demo from RetroSupply on Vimeo.

By: RetroSupply Co.
Cost: $15

You get 24 of our subtle grunge brushes with this bundle, plus an easy reference PDF, seven bonus brushes for use on the edges of your work, the RetroSupply three-step Texture Formula video tutorial (a detailed 10-minute video showing you how to get rich layered textures with crisp details and vivid color), and three additional bonus brush collections. Bargain.

Want to try before you buy? Download three of the Standard Issue Subtle Brushes free.

 

 

11. Scratchy

Retro Photoshop Brushes: Scratchy

By: Michael Moloney
Cost: Free for personal use

Add a retro-reflect to your designs with this set of scratchy grunge Photoshop brushes, created by Boston-based creative Michael Moloney.

 

12. Vintage grunge brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage grunge

By: Alex16
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

This vintage grunge Photoshop brush set by Netherlands-based DeviantArt member Alex16 is free for commercial and non-commercial use - just watch the brand logos, which remain protected by copyright law.

 

13. 50 subtle grunge brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: Subtle brush set

By: Liam McKay
Cost: Free for personal use

Boasting 50 retro Photoshop brushes that add a worn look to surfaces or text, this is the second set in designer Liam McKay’s popular collection of subtle grunge brushes, which he shares on Dribbble.

 

14. Subtle Photoshop brush set 3

Retro Photoshop brushes: subtle

By: Liam McKay
Cost: Free for personal use

Another bundle of retro Photoshop brushes by Liam McKay, the Subtle Brush Set 3 is free - just send him a link if you use it. “Feel free to rebound anything you make,” he says. “I'm always interested in seeing these put to good use!”

 

15. The Analog Ink Foundry: Photoshop pack

Retro Photoshop brushes: Vintage and Grunge Photoshop Brushes, Textures and Templates

By: RetroSupply Co.
Cost: $19.00

Our ultimate set of vintage and grunge Photoshop brushes, textures and templates is the closest you’ll get to inky effects without actually inking up your work in real life. It comes with an easy-to-use template with brushes for custom strokes, several Smart PSDs for the quick and easy jobs, textures and additional brushes (for more control and to use outside of the template in any PSD file).

 

16. Vector grunge brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vector grunge

By: famousx
Cost: Free for personal use only

These free vector grunge Photoshop brushes are available to share and adapt for non-commercial work, under a Creative Commons license. So far, they’ve been downloaded from QBrushes over 33,000 times.

 

 

ABSTRACT PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES

17. Photoshop smoke brushes

Retro and vintage Photoshop brushes: smoke

By: Niño Batitis
Cost: Free

There are 13 free Photoshop smoke brushes in this collection from digital artist Niño Batitis. They’re high-res, so get experimenting with some smoking’ hot new techniques in your artwork.

 

18. Retro abstract circles

Retro Photoshop brushes: retro abstract circles

By: Jacob Gube
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Each of the 15 retro Photoshop brushes in this set has a 2,500px-diameter. The collection is perfect for adding funky, abstract, 70s-inspired decorative ornaments to your designs and artwork.

 

19. Retro vector Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: retro vector

By: Enigma-Design
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

The second in Enigma-Design’s retro series, this set of nine high-res Photoshop brushes is well-suited to large projects. It’s free, but the makers suggest a donation of $1.50 to enable them to continue creating quality resources for the creative community.

 

20. The Scrappin Cop: funky retro circle Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: funky retro

By: debh945
Cost: Free for personal use

For bold, vibrant patterns, look no further than this set of retro Photoshop brushes from DeviantArt member debh945. Huge funky circles collide with cute, tiny shapes to give a disco pop to your designs.  

 

21. Retro funk 2: Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: retro funk

By: ardcor
Cost: Free for personal use

For a retro geometric vibe, have a look at the Retro Funk 2 collection. It includes 44 dynamically generated brushes that are compatible with Photoshop CS, CS2 and CS3.

 

 

RETRO LETTERING, PAPER AND BOOKS

22. The Hand Lettering Toolkit

Retro Photoshop brushes: RetroSupply Hand Lettering Toolkit

By:
Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn and RetroSupply Co.
Cost: $19.00, $29.00 or $39.00

Level up your game with The Hand Lettering Toolkit, which has three different price-points to best suit your budget. The $39.00 option is overflowing with goodies, with 67 brushes, six helpful time-lapse videos showing illustrator Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn at work, four PSD files of completed hand-lettering work that match the videos (so you can see how they were made), a four-page PDF packed with ideas you can use in your lettering work, instructions for installing and seven bonus brushes.

For $19.00, meanwhile, you’ll receive 20 Photoshop brushes (including sketch pencils, inking pens, 2B, 4B, 6B, calligraphic pens, markers and tons more), plus a brush cheat sheet, a PSD file of completed hand-lettering work and instructions for installing your brushes.

 

23. Hand Lettering 101 Kit

By: Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn and Retro Supply Co.
Cost: Free

Illustrator and hand-letterer Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn’s super-brief guide to hand lettering is free. The video tutorial comes with a written step-by-step version to follow too, if you prefer (just hit the link above, and scroll down), and a free six-pack of bonus Photoshop brushes to walk through the techniques she shares.

 

24. Antiquities

Retro Photoshop Brushes: Antiquities

By: AutumnsGoddess-stox
Cost: Free for personal use

Age your work instantly with these 13 Photoshop brushes from Deviant Art artist AutumnsGoddess-stox, which have a beautiful ethereal quality.

 

25. Old Paper Brushes III

Retro Photoshop brushes: Old Paper Brushes III

By: Lailomeiel
Cost: Free for personal use

One of a three-part set of Photoshop brushes from Deviant Art member Lailomeiel, if you’re looking for a vintage paper effect these are a good place to start.

 

26. Vintage French scripts 1: Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage French Scripts

By: 2LilOwlSgtudio
Cost: £11.34

This set of 35 large brushes is created from vintage French papers, and includes script brushes, beautiful engraving details, invoices, old receipts and seals to give your artwork an elegant vintage twist. They’re compatible with Photoshop CS2-CC, and Elements 9 and upwards. 

 

27. Vintage paper Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage paper

By: fiftyfivepixels
Cost: Free for personal work only

If you’re looking to create a retro or faded look in your artwork, this set of 19 high-res Photoshop brushes are just the ticket. Composed from scanned and photographed vintage papers, they make an atmospheric background to your layouts and should work with any CS version of Photoshop.  

 

28. Old Bookie Goodness part 1: Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: Old Bookie Goodness

By: remittancegirl
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

For dark, dank, vintage book-related bits and pieces, try this brush set from DeviantArt member remittancegirl - it’s perfect for artwork that requires a slightly sinister feel.

 

 

VINTAGE PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES 

29. Old signs

Retro Photoshop brushes: old signs

By: RubelCreative
Cost: Free

This collection of old vintage signs has been converted from photographs - taken around the artist’s home town in Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN - into medium-res photoshop brushes.

 

30. Vintage brush kit

Retro Photoshop Brushes: vintage brush set

By: Matt Borchert
Cost: $12

Minnesota based designer Matt Borchert took 30 of his favorite textures from his vintage texture packs and refined them for use as versatile, high quality, vintage Photoshop brushes. Taken from  documents over 100 years old, these brushes will quickly add an aged effect to your work.

 

31. Architectural ornaments

retro photoshop brushes Architectural ornaments

By: Nadine Pau-stock
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

For elegant architectural elements, look no further than NadinePau-stock’s 17 high-res vintage Photoshop brushes, which, say, say, are from the “family archives”. All she asks is for either a link back to her DeviantArt page, or for you to share your work link with her.

 

32. Vintage floral and dragonfly Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage floral and dragonfly

By: Popsock
Cost: £7.56

Curated from multiple historic books, magazines and catalogs, this collection of 25 Photoshop brushes and 25 PNG images features vintage illustrations of florals, blooms and dragonflies. There are a few restrictions on commercial use - you can sell up to 500 pieces featuring this set before having to purchase a commercial or extended use license (full details on the site).   

 

33. 14 map Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage maps

By: Webtreats
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Want to create a vintage map effect? There are 14 high-res Photoshop brushes in this set of assorted maps, which have been downloaded from MyPhotoshopBrushes over 150,000 times so far.

 

34. Vintage hat Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage hats

By: Nadine Pau
Cost: Free

Everyone loves a quirky vintage hat, and this collection of 25 hat Photoshop brushes from Nadine Pau should help you find what you’re after. They’re sized between 232-702px, and were created in Photoshop CS3.

 

35. 12 vintage bicycle brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage bicycles

By: FidgetResources
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

FidgetResources’ cheerful set of 12 vintage bicycle and motorcycle brushes aren’t high-res, but they will add a Victorian feel to your designs.

 

36. Stamp Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage stamps

By: Sandy
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Brusheezy member Sandy uploaded this set of 80 vintage stamp brushes from her stamp collection. An image pack is included, and they’re free to download, edit and remix for personal and commercial use - as long as you credit Brusheezy. (Full usage details on the website.)

 

37. Vintage postcard set 1

Retro Photoshop brushes vintage postcards

By: FidgetResources
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Another from FidgetResources, this set of Photoshop brushes comes from her personal collection of vintage postcards. Again, they’re available for both commercial and non-commercial use, but the creator asks that you comment or favorite the set if you use them.

 

38. Retro Photoshop brush set

Retro Photoshop brushes: retro brushes

By: vwake
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Indian artist Vivek Dhage put together this cheeky set of retro Photoshop brushes. He says that they work with Photoshop 7, and adds that a credit would be nice.  

 

39. Mightee Mouse assorted Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: assorted

By: Mightee Mouse
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

From grunge boarders to old letters, scrolls, birds, butterflies, scatter stars and more, this varied collection of vintage brushes was made in Photoshop CS3, and is free for commercial and non-commercial use.

 

 

STEAMPUNK PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES

40. Steampunk machine brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: Steampunk machine brushes

By: necrosensual-art
Cost: Free for personal use

Created with Photoshop CS3, these steampunk-flavored brushes will add a vintage mechanical feel to your designs/.

 

41. Retro photoshop brushes: steampunk bizarre

Retro Photoshop brushes: Steampunk bizarre

By: hogret
Cost: Free for personal use

You won’t find cogs and wheels in this fantastic set of 31 steampunk Photoshop brushes. As creator hogret explains, you can "easily find those elsewhere".

Instead, these brushes - which range in size from 2,270px to 150px - include all manner of: “bizarre contraptions, strange industrial revolution devices, vintage engineering diagrams, and some weird and quirky oddities”. There’s even a Victorian urinal stashed away in the pack somewhere. As usual, a comment or like would be appreciated.

 

42. 25 steampunk Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: Steampunk brushes

By: Fidget Resources
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Created from a vintage 1900s atlas, these retro Photoshop brushes range from optics and mechanics to hydraulics, and will add a steampunk feel to your designs.

 

 

OTHER RETRO EFFECTS 

43. Chalk Brushes for Photoshop

Retro and vintage Photoshop brushes: Chalk

By: Rachel Irving
Cost: $5

Rachel Irving’s pack of chalk brushes for Photoshop is aimed at designers, crafters, scrapbookers, artists and creatives. Inside, there are seven Photoshop chalk brushes - suitable for CS5 and upwards), 11 high-res chalk illustrations and a high-res chalk background.

 

44. 18th Century French Print Ornaments

Retro Photoshop brushes: 18 century print ornaments

By: popstock
Cost: $5

Curated from a historic, out-of-print publication, this collection of intricate, floral print ornaments and frames is offered as both a Photoshop brush set and 300 DPI PNG files. It includes floral swags, an ornate frame, borders, ribbons and lots of detail.

 

45. Rolled Paint Set 1: retro Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: rolled paint

By: FudgeGraphics
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Freelance graphic designer, letterer and all-round good egg Franz Jeitz created this set of 10 high-resolution ‘rolled paint’ Photoshop brushes. They can be used to quickly grunge up a design, or to create distressed borders. Alternatively you can vectorize them and use as a scalable mask.

 

46. Bokeh Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: Bokeh effects

By: YouThedesigner
Cost: Free for personal and commercial use

Add a retro blur effect to your designs with this collection of high-quality bokeh Photoshop brushes, created by Philippines-based illustrator Kerby Rosanes.

 

47. CU funky Paisley brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: paisley

By: The Scrappin Cop
Cost: Free for personal use; $2 per commercial-use download

Paisley isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you’re after a funky collection of paisley brushes and PNGs, then this set is for you. It's free for personal use, and you can head over to the site for full commercial use license information.  

 

48. Vintage ornaments

Retro Photoshop brushes: vintage ornaments

By: gojo23
Cost: Free for personal use.

A quick way to add a vintage feel to your artwork is with an ornamental flourish - so try this set of 26 old-fashioned Photoshop brushes, which include everything from frames and corners to scroll-work and headpieces.

The collection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, which means you can use it non-commercially as long as you credit the artist. Check the website for full details.

 

49. Vintage lace Photoshop brushes

Retro Photoshop brushes: Vintage lace

By: fiftyfivepixels
Cost: Free for personal use

For vintage lace, look no further that this set of 24 high-res Photoshop brushes. Based on vector illustrations of vintage clothing, christening gowns, table and bed linen from around the 19th century, these retro Photoshop brushes make brilliant backgrounds, borders and decorative elements.

 

50. Vintage border curlicues

Retro Photoshop brushes Vintage borders curlicues

By: Lyotta
Cost: Free for personal use only

Need more retro ornaments? Try these beautiful high-res border curlicues by DeviantArt member Lyotta. She requests that you credit her with a link if you use them in your artwork.





1 Response

Dameon Williams
Dameon Williams

December 27, 2016

Thanks for compiling such an awesome collection of design additions.

Leave a comment


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