Business owners are always on the lookout for a logo which makes their brand memorable. We have all seen businesses starting from scratch and becoming global sensations in a matter of years. One word and you can recall what the logo looks like – McDonald’s, KFC, BMW, ESPN, Coke and even the Olympic Games.
This is what businesses aspire for – one symbol that says it all. Recently, with the widespread acceptance of Netflix shows and pop-culture intermingling with our daily lives, retro and vintage designs started becoming famous. Pop-culture is generally inspired by vintage themes, and that’s what brought the norm into business logo designs as well. It’s believed that a vintage element in a business logo can make it instantly recognizable.
What is vintage logo design?
The basic rules of designing a vintage logo are almost the same as those of other logo types. The first thing you need to understand is the message you want to portray to your customers when they look at your logo.
When you cover these aspects, you are sure about the visual representation of your brand and can move forward to decide which elements you require. This is a common practice before choosing any logo. Next, you begin with a rough outline of the logo you wish to see. Either you get the outline made by a designer, or perform this task yourself. In any case, the following steps can be covered:
• Note down a few points about the kind of logo you require, be it a sketch or just some abstract elements you wish to see in the logo.
• Perform thorough research on your niche, this requires in-depth knowledge of vintage trends and how they can be incorporated into modern design while still portraying a strong message.
• Refine your concept with detailed sketches of the desired logo, with and without vintage elements.
• Revise this sketch and polish it to shape the final product.
• Move the final sketch around and ask people/employees/partners for their feedback.
It doesn’t matter if you are using a vintage logo maker or getting the job done by a designer. These basic practice stay the same. However, for those who require a vintage theme, firm knowledge of vintage symbols is necessary. Your logo design process will be different from that of another business, because every business is unique. The steps mentioned above are going to get your creative juices flowing so you can learn more about adopting the full vintage theme, element by element. Let’s look at the key elements required by vintage logo design:
Choosing the right color palette for your logo design is essential. The theme of your logo revolves around the color palette. You want the colors to portray a message to the audience. The colors should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also accomplish the task of attracting people to your brand.
The last thing you want is your logo to look like another company’s or gives an obscure message. While selecting the color scheme, learn more about the psychology behind colors. Each color invokes a certain emotion. They can even make people act on certain impulses. Once you have a strong understanding of the color theory, you can make smarter and more effective choices about your logo’s color palette.
• The color yellow is a symbol of warmth, joy and friendliness.
• Orange gives off friendly, confident and happy vibes, making people want to smile.
• Red color is bold, strong and makes people feel attracted to it.
• Purple is a color which portrays creative vibes.
• Blue is the color of trust and credibility and is mostly used in fields such as finance and law.
• Green is the color of nature and is used by charity organizations and insurance companies to depict growth and health.
• Black and white are the colors which depict neutrality and grey portrays soberness and calmness.
These are some basic facts on color psychology, rules of logo design which every business owner should keep in mind. When talking about vintage themes, the same principles apply.
However, there are some twists in the design which make vintage themes stand out. The 1960s and 70s retro style uses a lot of bright and shocking primary colors. Same is the case with the 1950s. Just look at some car logos or sports brand logos for reference.
If you want the logo to depict 1920s vibes, then choose softer, relatively dull colors which border on pastel shades. These pastel shades will serve the purpose better. Complementary shades are also very important which means you combine pastel shades of a different contrast.
Font is something which can make or break the theme of your vintage logo. Vintage fonts are an entirely different universe, and don’t come close to today’s modern fonts at all. Picking the correct typeface for the font is very important.
Century Gothic and Helvetica are some fields where you should never wander because they are modern fonts and don’t portray vintage feel. They are also very sleek, something which vintage fonts do not represent.
On the other hand, fonts like Times New Roman and Baskerville Old Face are considered too vintage, even though they are old-fashioned to the core. The best pick is something very stylish, but existing just in between these two extremes to give your logo the right vintage feel. Whatever you choose, don’t make it hard to read.
Any extra curve or extra design elements which hinder the logo’s readability will go against your branding. You definitely don’t want to confuse people with your design.
The best practice in a vintage logo is to choose the perfect balance between two fonts. It should not be too messy or too dull. However, you should have bold typography. It can be mixed, slightly cursive and give a clean, retro vibe. Businesses that want to look different from everyone else in their niche should go for a customized logo which is a mix of various fonts. If you come across a font you really like, make sure you figure out ways to customize and tie it in with your logo. Here are some popular vintage typefaces:
• Hill House
• Upper East Side
• Park Lane
• Blessed Day
• Candy Inc.
These are only a few examples, because there are way too many fonts if one decides to research vintage themes. In the end, you know what suits the personality of your company and complements your color palette. Never hesitate to use a customized font for your logo which mixes clear lines and bold elements.
The details and other elements you put into the logo are going to further underline its vintage charm. Think along the lines of something classic but very eye-catching. It sounds far-fetched when you haven’t locked down the font yet, but it is within your grasp.
Adding vintage effects is very easy, especially with a design tutorial or an experienced logo maker who knows the deal. Vintage effects are kept classy by fading them out a bit or making them transparent. A scratch filter can be applied to make the logo look faded. Some other tricks include; implementing sepia tones or just going with black and white accompanied with some bright retro colors.
If you want the best vintage logo for your business, go for authentic logos from the era of your choice. Look at logos of popular car companies, cafes, restaurants, beers, wineries and candle companies. For inspiration, search the web for companies that have given a vintage vibe to their modern enterprise. Vintage beer logos and gas station logos are some of the best places to borrow ideas from.
You will notice that there is a lot of contrast between the different vintage designs that are incorporated into modern themes. Look at the spectrum’s and shades, the sizes and logo elements which define a theme. There are specific locations and very captivating positions in every vintage logo. The fonts and layouts always offer something unique for every brand. Another common technique is framing, which is found in every other vintage logo. Lacy design elements or square frames were popular for framing the logo back in the days.
It is a bold yet wonderful balance of design elements when you go vintage-themed for your business. Nostalgia tugs at the heart strings when you look at these logos, so why not revolve your entire branding campaign around it?
Vintage style began appearing a few years back and had become quite widespread by 2016. It is an ideal mix of the flat and minimalistic style of today and the shapes and design elements that were popular back in the day.
It’s just like designing a fresh logo while staying true to traditions. This way, your business can combine elements from a new and old design and depict something the world has never seen before.
The mid-century modern graphic design is known for its ability to take complex concepts and distill them into simple visual forms. It pares down a design to its most essential elements and in this way, promotes clear visual communication. For this reason, it remains a favorite of many graphic designers because it is the epitome of ‘graphic’ with its bold and reductive visual style.
After looking at the steps required to build a vintage logo, most of you must be thinking that it’s just like building a modern logo. The only thing which sets the process apart is the retro vibe. To keep up with the changing tastes of today’s customer and impress them with a hint of nostalgia, vintage logos achieve what modern logos may fail to attract in a long time.
A brand can lose their message by being too minimalistic and cutting down design elements while another brand can gain more traction by going back to its former roots. People love to relate to old stories and things, and if your company logo is offering them that feel, they may very well be up for it. Here’s an example;
Popular brands like Kodak, Natwest and Co-op went retro lately. They chose to go with their old logos, rather than design a new one. Why? Because it is a solid branding strategy. It is successful because it sets a lasting impression which shows the customer that the brand is an experienced player in the market since long. In the photo below, look at the evolution of the Kodak logo, and then the shift back to retro;
“I wouldn’t say it’s about nostalgia. Rather, it’s a return to a company’s foundation and roots, showing a commitment to mission,” says Keira Alexandra, from Work-Order. “If the foundation is strong, and/or has a valuable legacy, use it. It’s simply logical to keep one of the world’s most famous marks at the forefront of the company’s image and identity.”
Brands have been valuing the importance of their rich history and like to celebrate their history by bringing back old logos. It’s a win-win strategy which brings back old customers and makes new ones as well.
Nostalgic designs arise feelings, awake memories and better manage to a involve broad range of readers even although they don’t really realize it. Furthermore, retro can look cool and offer readers or visitors something they haven’t expected at all.
In the end, the decision to choose the logo rests with you and your nature of business is going to be the best criteria for this choice. It is essential to keep the design rooted to your branding and establish your presence as a trusted player in the market.
Vintage logos are all the hype right now and since they provide you the opportunity to create something completely new from scratch, you should invest in a vintage logo. However, if your company wants to achieve the same goals while staying true to modern design elements, you can follow minimalistic approach to cater to the millennial audience. Here is an excellent article on the categories of design which suit various business purposes for you to gain inspiration from.