Cocktail vintage and innovation: retro style in web design
Once I wrote in a blog about retro style for the Internet, or rather I just published a very interesting selection of retro website designs. Now let’s add a bit of “theory”, if I may say so – retro design, too, has its origins, criteria and directions, created under the influence of entire eras and periods.
According to the American writer John Steinbeck, the majority of people are ninety percent living in the past, seven now, and only three percent remains for the future. Well, the calculations of the Nobel laureate in literature are too difficult to verify, but one cannot dispute the fact that the events of the past are attractive. If the pressing sense of the value of the passing time and the attractiveness of antiques is familiar to you firsthand, perhaps the retro style in web design will be your fad. It remains only to think whether the retro concept will satisfy the target audience of the resource. Who will be delighted with the content of the masterly powdered antique? People who look nostalgically at the symbolism of a bygone era with its fashion, people, cars and other stories covered with a dusty bloom of burned-out passions.
In clothing, automotive or interior design, the timeframe is confidently tied to the retro style from the 20s to the 80s of the last century. It’s not so easy to give clear temporary signs of retro-style in web design, because in everyday life it can be considered the last day, in the rapidly changing IT-sphere you can safely call it the day before yesterday. And the fact that the thirty-year-old artist still considers it relevant and contemporary, the youth has long since written off as scrap. Take, for example, the results of the movie “Alien” that are disappointing for producers: the gangster romance of the dashing 90s does not excite the soul of a teenager, because retro is unique for everyone.
However, the more challenging and more difficult will be the task of the designer who has decided to work out the style of his site in exactly the retro style. Only knowledge of the characteristics and features of the retro-style, multiplied by a considerable sense of proportion, will allow you not to slip into a banal kitsch.
Most of the time periods, which the designer who decides to use the retro style can safely operate, are tied to the fashion of the 20th century.
Do you want to recreate the feeling of aggressive chic of the 20-30s by the visitor of the site – help him remember Vladimir Mayakovsky’s muse Lilya Brik, Ellochka-cannibal from the Twelve Chairs will be good too. These were the alarming years of sudden and massive female emancipation: women donned trouser suits, shortened skirts and lit long cigarettes. All these stockings in a net, knitted hats and bowlers a la Charlie Chaplin, bare arms and shoulders in fur stoppers during the NEP years notably stirred the blood of the inhabitant. Take the olive, black and purple colors as a basis, add a jazz improvisation drive, a cinematograph and airplanes’ tale – and you will easily catch the essence of retro 20-30s!
If you prefer restraint and modest elegance, look back at the post-war 40s – 50s. The new look style, invented by Christian Dior, has replaced the ostentatious pretentiousness and vulgarity. 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. This is a thin waist, exciting neckline, gloves to the elbow, wide-brimmed hats and lacquered belts that force femininity to the limits of a semi-pin-up. Review the Diary of Memory, by Nick Cassavetes and The Godfather by Francis F. Coppola, turn on the recordings of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and quickly grasp the tablet. You have already caught the mood.