Radical 80s Resources To Make Your Designs Tubular

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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.”

1980s Metallic Text Pack

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!

Arcade Classic Font

Free Pac Font

Zorque Font

80er Teenie Font

1980s Portable Free Font

Back to 1982 Free Font

Below is a free 80s themed PSD by DeviantART user Royks.

Free Eighties Text

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

80's Icons Vector Pack

80s Retro Icons 80s Trends Icons

80s Gadgets

David Bowie Vector

E.T. Free Vector

Terminator Vector

Prince Vector

Blues Brothers Free Vector

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.

Free Retro Background

StarTron - Free Tetris Style Background

Future Retro Background

Get a glimpse of these DryIcons backgrounds below.

Free Retro Lines Background

Watercolor Swirl Background Vector

Retro Swirl Background Vector

Target Background

Stars Background Vector

Space Background

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.

Gear Brush Set

Converse Shoe Brush

Rock Music Brushes

Swimming Vintage Brushes

Free Jem Brushes

Retro Photoshop Brushes

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.)

Golden Girls 80s

Fruity by Morgmj

Back to the Future

Thriller! by Cheerful Autopsy


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.

Palm Tree Vector

Want more radical textures? There are some listed below.

Denim Vector Frayed

Textures.com has tons of vintage textures to choose from. You’ll automatically get 15 free credits when signing up.

Vintage Wallpaper Texture

Vintage Plaid Texture

Vintage Floral Fabric Texture

Retro Yellow Stripes Texture

Paint Splatter Texture

Graffiti Texture

You may also want to get a load of these free texture downloads at Brusheezy.

Aqua Color

20 Fabric Texture Brushes

Be sure to view this texture pack by britsnpieces on DeviantART

Tainted Love Texture Pack


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.

Retro VHS

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.

Stranger Things Inspired Font

To add the VHS effect to images, you can follow this tutorial for a quick Photoshop how-to.

VHS Effect Photoshop Tutorial

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.

Tron Grid Tutorial

Check out tutorials on how to make your own type here and here.

Metal Font Tutorial

Ode to 80s Text Tutorial

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.

DIY Vintage Photo Tutorial

Or why not make your photo look like an 80s ad? See how to do that here.

DIY Retro Advertisement Tutorial

Want to make your own poster? View tutorials here and here.

DIY Horror Movie Poster

DIY Sci-Fi Poster

Looking for more awesome 80s? Below are resources under $20

Seamless Background 80s

Diamond Pattern

Seamless Pattern 80s

Floral Geometric Patterns

80's Text Effects

80's Retro Graphic Styles

80s Flyer

Vintage Storage Vector

Retro Items Icon Collection

Retro Cassette Vector

Retro Gears

Retro Gaming Illustrations

Neon Paint Splatter Texture

TV Glitch Textures

Acid Textures

Scratch Textures

80s Retro Style Background

Space Backgrounds Collection

Holographic Backgrounds

1980s Vector Backgrounds


Do you have more suggestions on free 80s design tools? Tell us in the comments below!

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