What does the word vintage mean to you?
In the dictionary it’s defined as a noun:
1. the wine from a particular harvest or crop.
Or more commonly referred to as:
2. an exceptionally fine wine from the crop of a good year.
Vintage as a style is a defined adjective of:
1. representing the high quality of a past time
2. old-fashioned or obsolete.
3.being the best of its kind
But what really is vintage? It has a strong and specific original definition with the wine industry but in other terms is it “high quality or obsolete?”
Vintage can be obsolete in a sarcastic manner but general consensus believes vintage to be something of quality over 20 years old. In terms of design and style, Vintage is something which actually changes and broadens over time meaning that there is no set style to define vintage.
To consider using vintage as a design style you have to delve further into time and look at specific markets eg. Automotive, fashion, interior design and then look at “era’s” eg. 60’s, 70’s 80’s for research to define your request for vintage. What’s more each country will have their own definition of vintage for those era’s.
There’s variants of vintage design, especially as a brand identity that you could pursue.
Row one: The serifed typeface with a mood of prestige, expense and age
Row two: The more hip and contemporary idea of vintage representing a youthful style
Row three: The curvasive type showing an authentic vintage style
Anyone one of these plus more can be mixed with colour and further design elements to bring across the idea of vintage. It all depends on the message your trying to achieve.
It can work well as a brand design:
It can work for beauty
Drink Or something different altogether
More often then not, in contemporary design, combining all three type styles like the first design is a popular way to bring across an identity of pure vintage.
To reproduce a succesful vintage style today there are three key elements involved.
1.) Style: Pick a style/era of vintage to work with.
2.) Aged: The design must have a sense of age to it, even if it is a clean and crisp design, it must use elements (type, shapes) that connotate with that particular era to show a vintage character.
3.) Shapes & Icons: There are dozens of shapes and icons that instantly recall any era. These shapes can help greatly to produce your vintage look
Why talk about vintage?
Vintage style is great for identity design. Whilst the world moves forward and everyone wants to be modern, vintage is a design style that delivers consistency is business. It’s a look that generate instant memories and relationships with its audience. Its familiar, classy, original and to the point, cutting out a lot of work that a non vintage design has to do.
In addition, its also become a popular for smaller businesses as a way to stay professional and stand out from the crowd with character as oppose to following latest trends.