Retro Rainbow Tutorials and Design Showcase

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Although often used in the wrong context, the motif of ’70s Retro Rainbow designs seems to occur in many modern designs – from products designs to posters and web designs. The rainbow colors are particularly eye-catching and lively; they may provide the design with a dynamics and help to vividly convey the message of the graphic work. In past few months I came across to many artworks and new concepts of retro designs which gave me a thought to gather few for this inspirational post.

Below you’ll find a showcase of beautiful Retro Rainbow designs and resources. They range from popular Flickr photos to unconventional sources of inspiration, from helpful tutorials to useful related tools. Share your favorite sources of inspiration in the comments.

You may want to consider browsing through the following related posts:

Retro Rainbow Tutorials

Retro Radio Station Advertisement Tutorial5

Retro Rainbow Tutorials6

Amazing Retro Rainbow7

Retro Rainbow Tutorials8

Trendy Geometric Lines Design Tutorial9

Retro Rainbow Tutorials10

Retro Lines Tutorial11

Retro Rainbow Tutorials12

Creating the new retro13

Retro Rainbow Tutorials14

How to Create a Colorful Retro Style TV15

Retro Rainbow Tutorials16

Retro Lighting – Ford Mustang17

Retro Rainbow Tutorials18

Command shape in Illustrator19

Retro Rainbow Tutorials20

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Retro Rainbow Tutorials22

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3D Retro Strip Design – Design Tutorial 2025

Retro Rainbow Tutorials26

Designing a Vexel Banner27

Retro Rainbow Tutorials28

Create a Colourful Abstract Wavy Ribbon29

Retro Rainbow Tutorials30

 

Retro Rainbow Free Vectors and Brushes

Color Harmony31

Retro Rainbow Vectors32

Color Design Vectors33

Retro Rainbow Vectors34

Retrolines Vector35

Retro Rainbow Vectors36

Colorful Vectors37

Retro Rainbow Vectors38

Wavy Vectors39

Retro Rainbow Vectors40

Curved Lines41

Retro Rainbow Vectors42

The Most Retro Line Illustrator Brushes Ever!43

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105 Stunning Retro Tech-Shaped Illustrator Brushes45

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Retro Rainbow Creative Inspiration

by NicholasGuarino47

Retro Rainbow Inspiration48

Retro Rainbow Inspiration49

Retro Rainbow Inspiration50

by mamjed51

Retro Rainbow Inspiration52

by Lovevla53

Retro Rainbow Inspiration54

by jon_mutch55

Retro Rainbow Inspiration56

by majamom57

Retro Rainbow Inspiration58

by francescoporoli59

Retro Rainbow Inspiration60

Retro Rainbow Inspiration61

Retro Rainbow Inspiration62

by deszin.de63

Retro Rainbow Inspiration64

by Anhstar65

Retro Rainbow Inspiration66

by kaneda9967

Retro Rainbow Inspiration68

Retro Rainbow Inspiration69

by grungetv70

Retro Rainbow Inspiration71

by Pheebs! Yeah Baby72

Retro Rainbow Inspiration73

by notdemon74

Retro Rainbow Inspiration75

by mr whiZard76

Retro Rainbow Inspiration77

by Darni78

Retro Rainbow Inspiration79

by sternz80

Retro Rainbow Inspiration81

Retro Rainbow Inspiration82

by FalkPhotoDesign83

Retro Rainbow Inspiration84

by s i a85

Retro Rainbow Inspiration86

by jmgarrido87

Retro Rainbow Inspiration88

by kipishiux89

Retro Rainbow Inspiration90

by moonshinedesign_sd91

Retro Rainbow Inspiration92

by seventhfury93

Retro Rainbow Inspiration94

by Laachi 95

Retro Rainbow Inspiration96

Retro Rainbow Inspiration97

by estheticcore98

Retro Rainbow Inspiration99

Retro Rainbow Inspiration100

Retro Rainbow Inspiration101

Retro Rainbow Inspiration102

Retro Rainbow Inspiration103

Retro Rainbow Inspiration104

by martlucassen105

Retro Rainbow Inspiration106

by pure_arts107

Retro Rainbow Inspiration108

Retro Rainbow Inspiration109

by rikku813110

Retro Rainbow Inspiration111

by W0Ah 0h112

Retro Rainbow Inspiration113

by Matthew Dear114

Retro Rainbow Inspiration115

by billybarker116

Retro Rainbow Inspiration117

by cloud-design118

Retro Rainbow Inspiration119

 

Retro Rainbow Related Blog Posts

50 Mind-blowing Retro-style Photoshop Illustrations120

Retro Rainbow Related Blog Post121

Rainbow based designs122

Retro Rainbow Related Blog Post123

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/07/retro-and-vintage-in-modern-web-design/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/21/celebration-of-vintage-and-retro-design/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/26/retro-and-vintage-typography-showcase/
  5. 5 http://designblurb.com/radio-station-advertisement-tutorial/
  6. 6 http://designblurb.com/radio-station-advertisement-tutorial/
  7. 7 http://www.tutorial9.net/photoshop/amazing-vector-retro-rainbow-curves/
  8. 8 http://www.tutorial9.net/photoshop/amazing-vector-retro-rainbow-curves/
  9. 9 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/trendy-geometric-lines-design-tutorial
  10. 10 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/trendy-geometric-lines-design-tutorial
  11. 11 http://www.giackop.com/?p=70
  12. 12 http://www.giackop.com/?p=70
  13. 13 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/creating_the_new_retro
  14. 14 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/creating_the_new_retro
  15. 15 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-colorful-retro-style-tv/
  16. 16 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-colorful-retro-style-tv/
  17. 17 http://www.adobetutorialz.com/articles/2877/1/Retro-Lighting---Ford-Mustang
  18. 18 http://www.adobetutorialz.com/articles/2877/1/Retro-Lighting---Ford-Mustang
  19. 19 http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/command_shape_in_illustrator/
  20. 20 http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/command_shape_in_illustrator/
  21. 21 http://www.tutorial9.net/photoshop/3d-pixel-stretch-effects/
  22. 22 http://www.tutorial9.net/photoshop/3d-pixel-stretch-effects/
  23. 23 http://photoshoptutorials.ws/photoshop-tutorials/text-effects/retro-text.html
  24. 24 http://photoshoptutorials.ws/photoshop-tutorials/text-effects/retro-text.html
  25. 25 http://www.pstut.info/tutorials/design-a-3d-retro-strip/
  26. 26 http://www.pstut.info/tutorials/design-a-3d-retro-strip/
  27. 27 http://designblurb.com/designing-a-vexel-banner/
  28. 28 http://designblurb.com/designing-a-vexel-banner/
  29. 29 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/illustrator-tutorial-create-a-colourful-abstra
  30. 30 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/illustrator-tutorial-create-a-colourful-abstra
  31. 31 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/color-harmony/
  32. 32 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/color-harmony/
  33. 33 http://qvectors.com/misc-vectors/color-desig/
  34. 34 http://qvectors.com/misc-vectors/color-desig/
  35. 35 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/retrolines-vector/
  36. 36 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/retrolines-vector/
  37. 37 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/colorful-logo-vector/
  38. 38 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/colorful-logo-vector/
  39. 39 http://qvectors.com/vector-swirls/wavy-vector-ribbon/
  40. 40 http://qvectors.com/vector-swirls/wavy-vector-ribbon/
  41. 41 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/curved-lines-vector/
  42. 42 http://qvectors.com/abstract-vectors/curved-lines-vector/
  43. 43 http://colorburned.com/2008/08/the_most_retro_line_illustrato.html
  44. 44 http://colorburned.com/2008/08/the_most_retro_line_illustrato.html
  45. 45 http://colorburned.com/2008/09/105_stunning_retro_techshaped.html
  46. 46 http://colorburned.com/2008/09/105_stunning_retro_techshaped.html
  47. 47 http://www.flickr.com/photos/28674061@N02/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/28674061@N02/2795634602/
  49. 49 http://www.flickr.com/photos/28674061@N02/2738029880/in/set-72157606242949177/
  50. 50 http://www.flickr.com/photos/28674061@N02/2761480687/in/set-72157606242949177/
  51. 51 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamjed/
  52. 52 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamjed/3197586997/
  53. 53 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovevla/
  54. 54 http://www.flickr.com/photos/34115315@N04/3360942980/
  55. 55 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonmutch/
  56. 56 http://www.flickr.com/photos/21573808@N00/2288653285/
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/majamom/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/44687148@N00/698873873/
  59. 59 http://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_poroli/
  60. 60 http://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_poroli/2966393323/
  61. 61 http://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_poroli/2200160230/
  62. 62 http://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_poroli/2199370353/
  63. 63 http://www.flickr.com/photos/34556588@N06/
  64. 64 http://www.flickr.com/photos/34556588@N06/3221350662/
  65. 65 http://www.flickr.com/photos/anhstar/
  66. 66 http://www.flickr.com/photos/anhstar/2304480435/
  67. 67 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaneda99/
  68. 68 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaneda99/206508326/
  69. 69 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaneda99/2420912310/in/set-72157601924713454/
  70. 70 http://www.flickr.com/photos/23805144@N07/
  71. 71 http://www.flickr.com/photos/23805144@N07/2727656369/
  72. 72 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pheebsyeahbaby/
  73. 73 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pheebsyeahbaby/1538400504/
  74. 74 http://www.flickr.com/photos/notdemon/
  75. 75 http://www.flickr.com/photos/notdemon/2114635444/in/set-72157603471712891/
  76. 76 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_whizard/
  77. 77 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_whizard/2909615734/
  78. 78 http://www.flickr.com/photos/darni/
  79. 79 http://www.flickr.com/photos/darni/1450237141/
  80. 80 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sternz/
  81. 81 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sternz/2773568929/
  82. 82 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sternz/2906538987/in/set-72157606803716117/
  83. 83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/swamptech/
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/swamptech/3239986658/
  85. 85 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sia-pictures/
  86. 86 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sia-pictures/3062438623/
  87. 87 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmgarrido/
  88. 88 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmgarrido/3251158174/
  89. 89 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kipishiux/
  90. 90 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kipishiux/3294956228/
  91. 91 http://www.flickr.com/photos/26210918@N03/
  92. 92 http://www.flickr.com/photos/26210918@N03/2555474726/
  93. 93 http://www.flickr.com/photos/14718385@N07/
  94. 94 http://www.flickr.com/photos/14718385@N07/2515886569/
  95. 95 http://www.flickr.com/photos/laachi/
  96. 96 http://www.flickr.com/photos/laachi/2655747416/
  97. 97 http://www.flickr.com/photos/laachi/2677772956/
  98. 98 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/
  99. 99 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/2847259937/
  100. 100 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/2848091496/
  101. 101 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/2848114344/
  102. 102 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/2847261177/
  103. 103 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/2848092556/
  104. 104 http://www.flickr.com/photos/estheticcore/2865135186/
  105. 105 http://www.flickr.com/photos/26434498@N04/
  106. 106 http://www.flickr.com/photos/26434498@N04/2921621872/
  107. 107 http://www.flickr.com/photos/27342675@N04/
  108. 108 http://www.flickr.com/photos/27342675@N04/2551091412/
  109. 109 http://www.flickr.com/photos/27342675@N04/2551090354/in/set-72157605426208314/
  110. 110 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccerniglia/
  111. 111 http://www.flickr.com/photos/23643472@N03/2526930367/
  112. 112 http://www.flickr.com/photos/30908232@N06/
  113. 113 http://www.flickr.com/photos/30908232@N06/3019502329/
  114. 114 http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewdear/
  115. 115 http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewdear/3236810712/
  116. 116 http://www.billybarker.net
  117. 117 http://www.billybarker.net/Design/Design.html
  118. 118 http://cloud-design.deviantart.com
  119. 119 http://cloud-design.deviantart.com/art/Retro-Rainbow-Stripes-113251488
  120. 120 http://psd.tutsplus.com/articles/inspiration/50-mind-blowing-retro-style-photoshop-illustrat
  121. 121 http://psd.tutsplus.com/articles/inspiration/50-mind-blowing-retro-style-photoshop-illustrat
  122. 122 http://www.dezinerfolio.com/2008/10/28/rainbow-based-designs-a-new-trend
  123. 123 http://www.dezinerfolio.com/2008/10/28/rainbow-based-designs-a-new-trend

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Akhtar Sheikha is a freelance web and graphic designer as well as developer. He is the author and owner of 2experts Design, a design blog with great inspirational posts. You can follow 2experts design on Twitter.

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  1. 1

    Great! Very useful

    0
  2. 2

    WOW! I like 5 design and I download to do myself !

    Thanks
    Atiq

    0
  3. 3

    Great list and really useful for designers :)

    Regards

    0
  4. 4

    The link on the very first item links to the wrong page (the link text/caption is also wrong, there’s no 3d pixel stretching going on there)

    (SM) Thank you for the correction, the link was updated.

    0
  5. 5

    Looks like a good collection there. I might have to give a few of them a go.

    0
  6. 6

    Wow, this is great.
    I might use this techniques for our new school logo design.
    Thanks SM

    0
  7. 7

    Thrilled to see my tutorial at the top of the roundup :P Very nice collection!

    0
  8. 8

    thats a nice list! :)

    0
  9. 9

    the colorburned links are wrong also, but great collection!

    (SM) Thanks, the links are fixed now.

    0
  10. 10

    A lot of 2007/2008 trends but some nice tutorials indeed.

    0
  11. 11

    Fourth to the bottom with the tree, by Whoa Oh, isn’t by him – he just has it on his flicker. He even says its not his but he doesn’t know who to give credit to.

    Looks like JP33 to me. He should be included anyway, his stuff uses a lot of rainbows and is better than everything I see here.

    I do like the stuff by FalkPhotoDesign though.

    0
  12. 12

    Thanks a bunch. Some of them are pretty amazing.

    0
  13. 13

    This is a great post for inspiration and tutorials, you can use in soo many ways…..

    Thanks

    0
  14. 14

    Really nice designs, its hard to find vintage stuff like this ^_^

    0
  15. 15

    i made something with rainbows and corel, if anyone’s not rainbowed out http://runningonsentences.deviantart.com/art/In-Joy-116547020

    0
  16. 16
  17. 17

    Wow, that is like WAY cool dude, I like it.

    RT

    0
  18. 18

    Thanks for the feature SM!

    0
  19. 19

    this guy make beautiful retro-futuristic art ISO50

    0
  20. 20

    Hey! Great link but you forgot my rainbow Photoshop tutorial:
    http://www.vladstudio.com/photoshoptutorials/tutorial.php?rainbows_making_of
    :-) Thanks!

    0
  21. 21

    Retro art always has a tendency to come back in some form..but now technology can create such beautifully detailed works..

    0
  22. 22

    WOW!
    This is a very useful list for designers. A great round of applause for writer of the article. I must say, Smashing Magazine has always been on the top for providing such an informative articles.

    0
  23. 23

    to be honest there were some examples that arent up to a SmashingMag-level. I expected a little higher quality. Nevertheless thanks for the work, its a pretty big list.

    0
  24. 24

    Nice! Very nice!
    Thank you.

    0
  25. 25

    This is really useful for web and graphics designers. Thanks for providing such inspiration.

    0
  26. 26

    Robert (InToGraphics @ the forum)

    April 20, 2009 12:08 am

    “Me as my own Superstar”
    It looks like a rainbow afro, and is super cool.

    Thanks,
    Robert

    0
  27. 27

    That is without the doubt the best i’ve seeen !
    Love it !

    0
  28. 28

    Perfect timing. My latest brief is to produce a rainbow inspired page/microsite for one of my clients! Good work!

    0
  29. 29

    Good article but I echo that this list should have referenced ISO50. Scott Hansen’s work is amazing!

    0
  30. 30

    I`m I right or are those images lazy loaded?
    I don`t think it`s good idea, supposing web developers haven`t got limitated internet connection or cache capacity.
    I hate loading!
    But the article is as usual very good :)

    0
  31. 31

    Sweet!

    0
  32. 32

    @Jeff

    You were correct, it is indeed by JP33: JP33.com

    A correction is in order i think

    0
  33. 33

    Christine Cerniglia

    April 20, 2009 6:19 am

    Hey thanks for the feature :)

    0
  34. 34

    awesome, thank you very much, You have done it again smashing magazine! :)

    0
  35. 35

    Great! Very useful

    0
  36. 36

    Beautiful collection, some of them are quite impressive!

    0
  37. 37

    Great and useful post. Although I’m annoyed to find that Adobetutorialz didn’t bother to do research on the car they used before naming their tutorial. I think it’s important for all of us designers to do this before we try and publish any work we do. You don’t want to loose credibility of a designer simply for not taking the time to do a little research. That car is not a Ford Mustang. It’s a 1954 Chevy Bel Air. Sorry to be anal but just my opinion. =) Great tutorial though.

    re: Retro Lighting – Ford Mustang tutorial

    0
  38. 38

    I’m anti-rainbow, so I found no interest in this article.

    0
  39. 39

    Nice design bro, i think i should looks more design from you, very amazing…

    0
  40. 40

    just want so say some thing “great job”

    0
  41. 41

    @ Chris : I’m right there with you, was actually just coming to post that. Being a Mustang enthusiast I was disappointed he put Mustangs with rainbows anyways, but to find that it wasn’t even a Mustang? The twerp.

    0
  42. 42

    @ Thomas Strobl: I would say may be some designs may not inspire me but it doesn’t mean that they are sub standard. Each design has something for someone.

    Nice post, cheers!

    0
  43. 43

    superb list…

    0
  44. 44

    francesco poroli

    April 22, 2009 8:47 am

    thanks for inclunding me in this list….
    cheers :-)
    francesco

    0
  45. 45

    Ghulam Abbas Khatri

    April 23, 2009 2:22 am

    great Akhtar Sheikha… great ..love it..

    0
  46. 46

    @Chris: You beat me to it, even to the year! Being a Mustang owner and having modeled a ’54 Bel Air in Lightwave, I thought I was supremely positioned to make that comment!

    0
  47. 47

    Cathedral Graphic Design

    May 4, 2009 10:55 am

    @ Everybody who commented about the Mustang…

    What kind of American is it anyway who doesn’t even know what a classic Mustang looks like? And does the Bel Air really look like a classic muscle? hehe

    At any rate, it was a great post, I like rainbows in general quite a bit and some of these were very well made! Mr Whizard, etc, great work.

    Moonshine Design was a little cheezy though, the ugly 350Z marred it… good illustration + uninteresting photography of a low-trim-line roadster doesn’t match.

    0
  48. 48

    I’m honored that you chose to list my image among so many greats. Thanks!

    0
  49. 49

    all of them rocks.

    0
  50. 50

    satyajeet prasad

    June 23, 2010 3:14 am

    Nice design. i think i should looks more design from you, very Good……………..

    0

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