A vintage looking website is often more popular than shiny new websites with the latest sliders. Why is this so? A little probing will lead you to the conclusion that we, as humans, are motivated by our memories. We seek to use our memories to create a future.
It’s only memories, and memories are all we have.
All that we are today, is only because of our past memories. The memories of what we have learned, memories of procedures, memories of people, things we did, things we liked and disliked, memories of ourselves, and of our larger life. These memories help in using stimulus to create an appropriate response.
For example, when you look at a cat, you notice its shape, its ears and then your brain matches this information with what is stored in your brain, and then you conclude it is a cat. This process happens so quickly that you don’t realize all these cognitive functions taking place. Recognition, such as recognizing the cat as a cat, depends on memory too. With all this in mind, it only makes sense to create websites that may evoke pleasant memories. Pleasant memories usually take us back to childhood or adolescence, and these sorts of memories evoke a very strong emotional response, the kind that would make people do things that they otherwise might not.
For example, a website that reminds someone of the time they spent in the 1970s at a rock club will resonate more with someone in his 50s or 60s. If you are building a website for this target audience, it makes sense to rely on various cultural references from those ages. Likewise, different age groups can be encouraged to take action when their nostalgic memories are invoked.
In this article, let us take a look at 5 fundamental reasons why vintage graphic design is important.
Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion. When design inspires nostalgia in a person, he or she is more likely to succumb to the temptation of taking action. A nostalgia-provoking design usually borrows from pop culture references such as the Archie’s comics, Sherlock Holmes, etc. They may also borrow form, color, shape, illustration, etc. All these things evoke nostalgia, encouraging a person to view the design positively.
Authenticity is what originality is. A lot of hipsters like authenticity and originality that come with certain things. These people tend to be more amenable to design that scream ‘authentic’. In order to ensure authenticity, use vintage graphic design to inspire yourself while designing a web page or anything else. Originality is something that is lost over time, and it might seem counter intuitive to find inspiration in what has already been done.
A lot of youngsters today like things that are vintage. A close look at comments on YouTube videos, where youngsters point out that they would have preferred to be born in a different era is a testimony to this fact. By finding inspiration in vintage graphic design, you stand to attract Generation Z, who are much younger than millennials and will be the next purchase-oriented group.
Most importantly, retro and vintage design is different. It stands out from today’s design. This helps you to grab attention of the viewer, regardless of the age. Once you have their attention, your content can help in making them make a decision. Thus, vintage graphic design can act as a bait to lure people to your content.
What we must really remember is that vintage and retro design is classic. These design ideas are timeless and will always remain in vogue. Even if current trends go out of fashion, vintage design will continue to remain in popularity, helping you to remain relevant even after years. Certainly, this is one of the better ways to grab people’s attention.
How to find inspiration in retro design?
To find inspiration in retro and vintage graphic design, notice how they are always about shapes and illustrations. Circles, squares, rectangles and cubes were all very popularly used back then. Geometrical shapes help elicit psychological responses than non-symmetrical shapes. People did not have much money for printing back then. Full color printing was very expensive and thus, many designers chose dual-toned illustrations. These not only provided color but also saved money.
You can create a contemporary design in a dual toned manner, which unconsciously will remind viewers of a distant past. Pay attention to typography and borders too. There were always borders in the past, and types were very simple. Bring some noise and layers to your pictures. Layering and texturing helps to create a vintage feel to your contemporary website. Lastly, you can use badges too, to evoke memories of a distant past.
As you can see, memories play a very important role in people’s emotions and the way they behave. In fact, memories are everything that fuels our thoughts and emotions. It makes sense to use vintage and retro design techniques to evoke pleasant memories of the past. This helps in evoking nostalgia, which is a very strong emotion. This helps in attracting older groups.
Authenticity is another aspect of retro and vintage graphic design. This appeals to modern hipsters who like all things original. Moving on to younger generations, a lot of youngsters like old things because it sets them apart from their own generation. They find retro design cool. Another important fact to note is that retro design is inherently different from what is available today. Most importantly it is timeless.
Find inspiration in retro and vintage graphic deigns by noticing shapes and illustrations. Move on to dual-tone coloring techniques and pay attention to vintage typography and borders. Find inspiration in layers and textures. All this will help when your business makes use of vintage graphic design in a smart way, without com[promising on fluidity and responsiveness of your website.