Nostalgic typefaces are trendy and more varied than ever. Discover the story behind vintage typography from the 60s to the XXI century.

This is the second part of the story. To read the first one, click here. Also, check out our quick note on really old fonts from XV to XIX centuries on Medium.

Here, we’ll discuss the fonts made from the year 1960 to the 2000s and those influenced by them. We’ll go through them decade by decade to see which fonts were created in each era and how they influenced modern typography. We will also take a closer look at the use of fonts in real designs and check some illustrative examples for inspiration.

Oh, and at the end of the article, you will find a list of useful sources to browse for fonts!




The defining words of the 1960s were love, peace, freedom, and unity, all manifested in curvy, chunky, friendly typefaces.


At the same time, space exploration of the 1960s fuelled the development of retrofuturism. Slim, square fonts reminiscent of the cold metal of the spaceships started to emerge.

Fonts created in this era

  • Roberta by Robert Trogman (1962)
  • Eurostile by Aldo Novarese (1962)
  • Davida by Louis Minott (1965)
  • Handel Gothic by D. J. Handel (1965)
  • Village & Orbit by Ed Benguiat (1968)
  • Bauhaus by Joe Taylor (1969)

Modern fonts inspired by this era

  • BD Retrocentric by L. T. Le (2009)
  • Groupie by Giuseppe Salerno (2020)
  • Solvent by Erica Jung (2022)

Visual pairing

Being crazy enough, fonts from the 60s match perfectly with bold color palettes and “bizarre” (in a good way) illustrations. Take a look at this poster concept, where we matched the Solvent font with a fun and “weird” Flamenco illustration style:

1970s — free-form typefaces

Swirly serifs, funky bubble fonts, and extra thick disco fonts took over. Fonts of the 1970s were ornate, extravagant, and striking. As opposed to some of the earlier typefaces of the century, they were about expression rather than plain functionality.

Fonts created in this era

  • Pump by Bob Newman (1970)
  • Avant Garde by H. Lubalin (1970)
  • Stripes by Tony Wenman (1972)
  • ITC Bottleneck by T. Wenman (1972)
  • Motter Ombra by O. Motter (1972)

Modern fonts inspired by this era

  • Mostra Nuova by M. S. (2009)
  • Cheee by James Edmondson (2018)
  • Outfit by Rodrigo Fuenzalida (2021)
  • View Display by R. Gataud (2021)

1980s — futurism and sci-fi

Thanks to the rapid development of technology and personal computers, there was even more experimenting with shapes, strokes, colors, and textures in the 1980s typefaces than before. This era brought about pixelated fonts, typefaces imitating metal surfaces, fonts with optical effects, and others.

Fonts created in this era

  • LCD by Alan Birch (1981)
  • Arial by Patricia Saunders (1982)
  • Cartoon 12 by Steve Capps (1986)
  • Avenir by Adrian Frutiger (1988)

Modern fonts inspired by this era

  • Pixelity Sans by S. Justprince (2023)

Graphics idea

80s are full of fonts that convey digital display aesthetics. LED icon pack would be a perfect fit for the fonts like that.

LED icons match with the font in the style of 80s

Also, a set of letters, numbers, and typography symbols in LED style is available on the Figma community for free in vector form. It looks especially great in the dark mode.

LED symbols freebie on dotted background preview

1990s — goofy pop fonts

Though it’s only a couple of decades away, this decade is already considered retro. The 1990s typography was goofier and cartoonish, heavily inspired by the rapidly developing pop culture of that time. Movies, TV series, cartoons, music, and other media challenged graphic designers to come up with something different each time.

Fonts created in this era

  • Poplar by Barbara Lind (1990)
  • Georgia by Matthew Carter (1993)
  • Showcard Gothic by J. P. (1993)
  • Comic Sans by V. Connare (1995)

Modern fonts inspired by this era

  • Blow Up by H. von Döhren (2010)
  • Eckmannpsych by J. E. (2018)
  • Puffin Arcade Nerf by P. V. R. (2021)

Where and how to use retro fonts

Retro fonts are an enormous, diverse group of typefaces. Consider using retro typefaces in your design if you need:

  • a nostalgic vibe
  • something extra and even flashy
  • something plain and non-overbearing with a subtle hint of nostalgia

Modern branding also relies heavily on nostalgic typefaces. Designers often use the actual retro fonts or custom retro-inspired ones.

Posters and covers

Modern posters are the ultimate ode to retro typography. Retro fonts are widely used in political, event, movie, and other types of posters. They frequently become a part of an otherwise modern design, creating a fascinating contrast.

The use of retro fonts in book covers and music album covers will always stay trending. Since music albums regularly reference earlier records or pay homage to earlier music genres, retro fonts on their covers hint at their nostalgic vibes. A similar principle applies to book cover design. A retro font on the cover is the quickest and easiest way to tell the readers the story is set in the past.

Digital marketing

Nostalgic fonts are popular across digital marketing, from website and app design to email newsletter design. Some brands, like Kiehl’s, opt for retro fonts as a symbol of their long history. Others use them to emphasize that they value tradition or take inspiration from the renowned brands of the past.

Physical marketing

Just like with digital marketing, the use of retro elements in physical marketing can convey a specific message. Implementing retro fonts into packaging design or signboard design reinforces a brand’s vision by bringing it into the real world. Nostalgic packaging and signboards are an excellent way to stand out and instantly grab a customer’s attention.

That’s pretty much it! In case you missed it, check out the first part of the story and our quick introduction to the ancient typefaces from XV to XIX centuries on Medium.

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