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35 Beautiful Vintage and Retro Photoshop Tutorials

With the recent post on retro and vintage in modern web design1, it’s time to put the theory into practice. We’ve scoured the Web to find some impressive Photoshop tutorials that can help you achieve an "old-fashioned" look-and-feel in your designs. In this post, we go back to the 1900’s all theway to the 1980’s to showcase a variety of vintage- and retro-inspired designs that involve poster art, collages and graphical elements. Whether you’re into print design or web design, you’ll find something you can use or build upon.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Without further ado, we present 35 high-quality vintage and retro Adobe Photoshop tutorials that may help your design… well, travel back in time.

Vintage and Retro Photoshop Tutorials Link

Colorization Tutorial
This short tutorial showcases a method for colorizing a black and white photo to achieve an aged, vintage look.

Colorization Tutorial

Wicked-Worn Vintage Pop Art Design7
Mesh vintage pop art with grunge to create a unique mash-up of the two popular design styles.

Wicked-Worn Vintage Pop Art Design

Retro Grunge Poster
Wield the Pen Tool and utilize some free brushes and textures to achieve this retro-grunge hybrid look-and-feel.

Retro Grunge Poster

Vintage Film Style Video8
Use a stock image of an old TV and Photoshop CS3 Extended to play vintage-style video clips inside the TV.

Vintage Film Style Video

Give Your Photos a Retro Comic Book Effect9
Here’s another method for creating a retro-stylec comic book effect to your photos using Photoshop.

Give Your Photos a Retro Comic Book Effect

WWII Airplane10
Recreate the World War II airplane brushed-metal texture and paintings in this excellent Photoshop tutorial that involves using Noise and Blur filters.

WWII Airplane

Cool Vintage Collage Design
11In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to use old advertisements, hand-written text, and patterns to create a vintage design.

Cool Vintage Collage Design

Pin-up Effect
12This video tutorial showcases how you can create the classic 50’s pin-up effect using some Photoshop filters and Blending Modes.

Pin-up Effect

Radio Knobs/Dials of the Past
13Learn how to design old-school radio knobs/dials in this Photoshop tutorial by skillfully using of the Marquee Tool in Photoshop.

Radio Knobs/Dials of the Past

Turn of the Century Vaudeville Poster
14Create a beautiful turn-of-the-century poster geared towards intermediate to advanced Photoshop users.

Turn of the Century Vaudeville Poster

Virtual Letterman Jacket
15In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to design retro-style varsity/letterman lettering using some ingenious Layer Styles.

Virtual Letterman Jacket

B-movie poster art
16In this tutorial, you can learn the techniques involved in recreating B-movie posters from the golden age of cinema.

B-movie poster art

Gigposter Design17
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a retro-styled poster using Photoshop and Illustrator.

Gigposter Designfigure>

Vintage Polaroid Effect
This photo treatment tutorial shares a method for creating a vintage look using modern, colored digital photos.

Vintage Polaroid Effect

Photoshop Vintage Effect18
Learn how to age modern digital pictures by adjusting contrast, saturation, and Curves in this short step-by-step Photoshop tutorial.

Photoshop Vintage Effectfigure>

Vintage Fifties Letter
19Create this aged letter envelope by following this Photoshop tutorial that’s aimed at intermediate Photoshop users.

Vintage Fifties Letter

Vintage Truck
In this short Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn some techniques on how to use colored digital stock images to give it a vintage/retro look-and-feel.

Vintage Truck

Make it worn20
Learn how to create a worn look-and-feel web design background, using detailed from scanned book pages.

Make it worn

Comic Book Photo Effect
21Learn how to take ordinary photos and give it a retro-styled, pop art comic book effect.

Comic Book Photo Effect

Vintage collages in Photoshop
22In this tutorial, you can gain insights and learn useful methods on how to achieve a vintage collage.

Vintage collages in Photoshop

Make your own pop art
23Learn the techniques involved in creating your own classic 50’s style pop art.

Make your own pop art

Hot Chick on a Muscle Car
24Create a retro-styled post card using stock photos that are linked to by the author of the tutorial.

Hot Chick on a Muscle Car

Retro Wallpaper/Poster
This step-by-step tutorial walks the readers through the process of creating a retro wallpaper/poster.

Retro Wallpaper/Poster

Retro Style Game Controller25
Illustrate an old-school gaming console joystick using Photoshop with this wonderful tutorial.

Retro Style Game Controllerfigure>

Retro Stars
26Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to create stars and then add multi-colored streaks to it, to achieve this popular ’80’s look and feel.

Retro Stars

Sweet Radio Station Advert Design
Learn how to create a radio station advertisement with retro curves with the help of Illustrator (or download them from vector stock sites).

Sweet Radio Station Advert Design

Pop Art Inspired by Lichtenstein
27Create Lichtenstein-style pop art design by studying this Photoshop tutorial geared for intermediate designers.

Pop Art Inspired by Lichtenstein

Retro Lighting – Ford Mustang
28You can utilize the Custom Shape Tool for elements of the design to recreate this 70’s inspired design.

Ford Mustang

Mix Cool Retro Curves into Your Photographs
29Combine retro with modern design styles and elements to create this stunning photo effect.

Mix Cool Retro Curves into Your Photographs

Photoshop Serigraphs
30Learn how you can take a portrait to recreate this Andy Warhol inspired pop-art.

Photoshop Serigraphs

Retro Sunflower Design
31Remake this sunflower-themed retro wallpaper using ready-to-use Photoshop brushes, the Ellipse Marquee Tool, and custom shapes from the Custom Shape Tool.

Retro SunFlower Design

Retro Summer Poster Illustration
32Utilize some of Photoshop’s vector tools to create a summery retro poster illustration.

Retro Summer Poster Illustration

3D Retro Strip
33Use the Pen Tool to create 3-dimensional retro strips.

3D Retro Strip

Abstract Retro-Pop Wallpaper
34This tutorial shows readers how to design a colorful retro-pop wallpaper using stock photo for texture and the RNS Bobo Dylan Font35.

Abstract Retro-Pop Wallpaper

Further Resources Link


Footnotes Link

  1. 1 /2008/10/07/retro-and-vintage-in-modern-web-design/
  2. 2 /2008/10/28/40-beautiful-grunge-photoshop-tutorials/
  3. 3 /2008/07/15/70-beauty-retouching-photoshop-tutorials/
  4. 4 /2008/12/07/50-excellent-digital-photography-photoshop-tutorials/
  5. 5 /2008/11/03/photoshop-tutorials-to-improve-modeling-skills/
  6. 6 /2008/04/03/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-rainbows-glows-and-light-effects/
  7. 7
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  11. 11
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  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36 /2008/12/07/50-excellent-digital-photography-photoshop-tutorials/
  37. 37 /2008/07/15/70-beauty-retouching-photoshop-tutorials/
  38. 38 /2008/11/03/photoshop-tutorials-to-improve-modeling-skills/
  39. 39 /2008/10/28/40-beautiful-grunge-photoshop-tutorials/
  40. 40 /2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
  41. 41 /2008/04/03/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-rainbows-glows-and-light-effects/
SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions, a web publication for web developers and designers, and the Deputy Editor of Design Instruct, a web magazine for designers and digital artists. He has over seven years of experience as professional web developer and web designer and has written a book on JavaScript.

  1. 1

    Very nice collection, I’ve been trying to locate a decent collection of retro-style tutorials!
    1st post! Sweet!

  2. 3

    These all are so great. I’ve been looking for things like this

  3. 4

    Excellent. You guys never fail to bring the good stuff.

  4. 5

    Is it me or these long collections of design things are becoming a bit boring? Has this website lost its essence somehow?

  5. 6

    I personally think it is great to have those long collections of design, Internet is so vast and it is time consuming to do such a research, I find it really helpful to have these kind of articles and search for them into smashingmagazine rather than on the whole web.

  6. 7

    Nice collection of vintage art. I might try few of these to improve my photoshop skills.
    amazing effects.


  7. 8

    Anyone have good tutorials on creating different types of note paper and sticky notes in photoshop?

  8. 9

    Thank you! i love these retro styles…

  9. 10

    awesome, thanks

  10. 11

    I love retro & vintage !

  11. 12

    Herbert Berends

    October 14, 2008 11:02 am

    Nice list. Very useful! I was surprised to see that they have used my picture/illustration of an old TV! I had no idea of this new function in Photoshop CS3…

  12. 13

    Awesome Collection. Thanks For…

  13. 14

    thank you, not so much for the tutorials but for the collection itself. it’s always useful.

  14. 15

    Awesome retro tutorials. Can’t wait to try some of these out.

    Jad Graphics

  15. 16

    LOL @ the “Ford Mustang” tutorial. The car used is definitely not a Mustang…

  16. 17

    Thanks for featuring my tutorial. Great list you have here, I hadn’t seen a few of these before :).

  17. 18

    Hey, thanks for the mention!

  18. 19

    Great list, thank you! I’ve done a few of these tuts with fantastic results (and learn a thing or two in the bargain).

  19. 20

    Thanks for including my tutorial, great collection, Very Useful!

    Stevie :D

  20. 21

    I thank them for putting it all in one place and making sure I don’t have to trawl the internet trying to find stuff. Cheers!


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