Vintage and innovation cocktail: retro style in web design
Once on a blog, I already wrote about the retro style for the Internet, or rather just published a very interesting selection of retro website designs. Now let’s add a little “theory”, so to speak – retro design also has its origins, criteria and trends, created under the influence of entire eras and periods.
RETRO c Lat .: “back”, “facing the past”
According to American writer John Steinbeck, most people live ninety percent in the past, seven in the present, and only three percent remain for the future. Well, the calculations of the Nobel laureate in literature are too difficult to verify, however, it is not necessary to dispute the fact of the attractiveness of the events of the past. If you have a first-hand sense of the value of the passing time and the attractiveness of antiques, the retro style in web design may turn out to be your skate. It remains only to think whether the retro concept will satisfy the target audience of the resource. Who will be delighted with the content, masterfully powdered antique? People who nostalgically peer into the symbolism of a bygone era with its fashion, people, cars, and other stories covered in a dusty coating of charred passions.
In clothes, automotive or interior design, the time frame from the 20s to the 80s of the last century is quite confidently tied to the retro style. It is not so easy to give clear time signs of retro-style in web design, because in ordinary life it can be considered the last day, in the rapidly changing IT sphere it can safely be called the day before yesterday. And what the thirty-year-old artist still considers relevant and modern, young people have long written off as scrap. Take, for example, the disappointing results for the producers of the movie “Alien” for the producers: the gangster romance of the dashing 90s will not excite the teenager’s soul, because everyone has his own retro.
However, the more interesting and more difficult the task will be for the designer who decided to work out the style of his site in retro style. Only knowledge of the characteristic features and characteristics of the retro style, combined with a considerable sense of proportion, will not allow you to slide into a banal kitsch.
Most of the time periods that a designer who decided to use the retro style can safely operate are tied to the fashion of the 20th century.
If you want to recreate the site visitor’s sensations of aggressive chic of the 1920s and 1930s, help him remember Vladimir Mayakovsky’s muse, Lilia Brik, and Ellochka, a cannibal from The Twelve Chairs, will also be good. These were the alarming years of the sudden and massive female emancipation: women put on trouser suits, shortened their skirts and lit long cigarettes. All these stockings in a net, knitted hats and bowls a la Charlie Chaplin, naked arms and shoulders in fur boas during the NEP years, notably excited the blood of the average man. Take olive, black and purple colors as a basis, add a drive of jazz improvisation, a fairy tale of cinematography and airplanes – and you can easily catch the essence of retro of the 20-30s!
If you prefer restraint and modest elegance – look back in the post-war 40s – 50s. The ostentatious pretentiousness and vulgarity was replaced by a new look style invented by Christian Dior. The style is sensual, decadent, recklessly romantic, stylized as a “crinoline” XIX century. These are arrogantly raised chins of women in dresses made of silk, satin, crepe de chine. These are thin waists, exciting necklines, gloves to the elbow, wide-brimmed hats and patent-leather straps, which force femininity to the limits of a semi-decent pin-up. Review the Memorial Diary of Nick Cassavetes and The Godfather Francis F. Coppola, turn on the recordings of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and quickly grab the tablet. You have already caught the mood.
If you want to bet sexuality and sensuality – turn over the pages of magazines of the 60s and 70s. At that time, seductive film star Bridget Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren set the tone. The color palette corresponds to the mood – it is the dominant red, pink, blue in the assortment: flowers, peas, cell. Car rides on the chic Bentley to the dizzying motives of seditious Elvis. The Beatles have “them”; VIA “Gems” have “us.” Denim 70s, shoes on the platform, dancing to the music of disco and a sea of synthetics in clothes: nylon, nylon, crimped wild colors. Lightness, brightness, ease – that’s how you can describe the site in the retro style of the 60s – 70s.
A work experience in the style of Soviet culture of the 80s of the 20th century, a time when the cult-enlightenment ideology of the ruling party has stumbled under the chaotic but powerful blows of the protest basement subculture, may turn out to be very unusual. Out of the underground, Russian Soviet rock and punk, interspersed with broken dance tunes of the 80s disco, became Perestroika’s leitmotif. This period has not been so deeply redesigned by web designers, so the decision to use the style of the 80s can bring considerable success.