Many trends are cyclical, whether in the worlds of fashion or web design. And at the moment many people may have noticed a rise in the number of sites which embrace archaic aesthetic touches to great effect.
So called ‘modern retro’ may only reference styles which first came into existence 20 or 30 years ago, but the rapid rate of cultural change spurred on by the internet means that something can become ‘vintage’ far quicker than in the past.
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There is no single defining feature of modern retro web design, rather it is made up of a number of loosely associated elements which are ultimately intended to instil a sense of nostalgia in visitors, especially if they remember the styles from the first time around.
Anything from the early 1970s to the late 1990s is fair game, with classic video games consoles and arcade machines being a particularly common touchstone for this style. Indirect references to popular franchises, whether in the form of evocative images or even stylised interface elements, can be seen in many instances.
So what are some of the things to look out for when seeking out modern retro sites and what tropes should you harness if you want to jump on the bandwagon?
Firstly, pixel art is a sure fire sign that a site is combining the retro with the contemporary. Flat design is also an important aspect of this movement and has even made its mark on entire operating systems, such as the last few years of Apple’s iOS.
Designs which use geometric shapes, sharp lines and isometric interfaces are also in vogue at the moment, which has the potential to improve page load speed, especially on mobile devices which are now most commonly used for browsing – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/mobile-web-browsing-desktop-smartphones-tablets.
Getting a grip on the world of modern retro web design might be tricky if you are not an expert.
Be aware that trends like this will not stick around forever, but if you want to see the biggest impact then it is sensible to strike while the iron is hot and change your site design regularly to ensure that visitors are willing to come back for more.