It’s official; we’re proud of the 80s again. Time to find the old cassettes, load up on John Hughes movies, and finally dust off that picture of your mom’s mullet. With a resurgence in side-scrollers, synthesizer beats, and visual throwbacks, artists have the opportunity to create work that is both fresh and nostalgic. Below are resources (most of them free!) to give your designs that bangin’ 80s flair.
Flaunt your Font
Once you’ve chosen your palette, why not add some incredible 80s text to it? Below are metallic, laser-based, and arcade fonts sure to make your text say, “Showtime, Synergy.”
This Lazer Font is currently available on Behance.
This old-school Arcade Font is available on 1001 Fonts. See 1001 Font’s other awesome type options below!
Below is a free 80s themed PSD by DeviantART user Royks.
Choose Awesome Icons
Once you have chosen your perfect font, why not choose some fitting icons? You can find various icons for 80s gadgets, retro fads, and even social icons to fit the feel of your creation.
Below are designs by Vecteezy
Support your Design with a Retro Background
Time to tie together your designs with a throwback-ground. (Get it?) These retro backgrounds are sure to make you reminisce.
Get a glimpse of these DryIcons backgrounds below.
Use a Photoshop Brush to Get your Nostalgia Going
What’s your 80s thing? Rock? Aesthetic? Sci-Fi? Check out the brushes from DeviantART and Brusheezy below.
Find the Perfect Retro Palette for your Design
COLOURlovers provides an endless variety of color palettes to inspire your work. Check out their list of retro palettes to get an idea for your own retro art. For instance, I chose one of the retro palettes for a Golden Girls theme. (You can see some of the other color themes I’ve chosen below.)
Texture it Up
While we’re on the subject of The Golden Girls, the beachy style of their Miami home is actually pretty amazing. If you’re going for a beachy 80s style, you may want to consider this Palm Tree vector for your texture needs. If you’re like Blanche, you may even want to cover your walls in it.
Want more radical textures? There are some listed below.
Textures.com has tons of vintage textures to choose from. You’ll automatically get 15 free credits when signing up.
You may also want to get a load of these free texture downloads at Brusheezy.
Be sure to view this texture pack by britsnpieces on DeviantART
Go Above and Beyond… with VHS
For a truly 80s feel, you may consider adding a VHS effect to your content. If you are looking to transform your videos, you can download the app, Retro VHS. You’ll get the look and the timestamp you probably never thought would be cool again.
For those of us who experienced the transition from VHS to DVD, going back to that grainy, fuzzy image seems sort of counterproductive. There is a certain nostalgia in the aesthetic, though; not to mention you won’t have to edit tape, which is a definite win.
Want to make your own stuff instead? Below are free tutorials!
Have some coffee and contemplate this Stranger Things text tutorial, available here on Vandelay.
To add the VHS effect to images, you can follow this tutorial for a quick Photoshop how-to.
For the sci-fi 80s fans, you may be interested in this tutorial on how to make your own Tron Grid. You’ll feel like you just walked into a word processor.
Photos are usually edited before going live on a website or design, but why not give your photos that classic, film look? With this tutorial, you can instantly make your digital photos look like they were shot on film.
Or why not make your photo look like an 80s ad? See how to do that here.
Looking for more awesome 80s? Below are resources under $20
Do you have more suggestions on free 80s design tools? Tell us in the comments below!