20 Retro Fonts for Designers That’ll Blow Your Socks Off

May 20, 2023

Are you looking to take your designs back in time? Let retro fonts be your time machine! Many retro fonts are available for creatives, from classic '50s styles to '90s pop culture trends.

This article will discuss the best free and paid retro fonts to blow your socks off. These fonts will catch people's attention and take your designs to the next level.

We'll also go over the main things you need to know regarding font licensing, how to use these fonts the most effectively, and more! 

So let's hop on board and explore how these fantastic retro fonts can add a unique edge to your designs.

Understanding Font Licensing

Font licensing refers to the legal rights granted for using a font. You need to obtain a font license when using it for anything more than personal, non-commercial projects.

Personal font licenses allow you to use these fonts for non-commercial projects.

Meanwhile, commercial licenses allow you to use the fonts for profit-making designs.

Here are some specific licenses that need to be purchased depending on their use and context:

  • Desktop license: You can install and use the font on print or static images.
  • Web Font license: You can embed the font onto a website or email. Recently many AI Art tools started using various fonts.
  • Embedded font license: You can use the font on physical products like devices, cars, or software applications.
  • Mobile app license: You can embed the font into a mobile application.
  • ePub license: Allows you to use the font in e-books.
  • Server license: You can use the font on cloud-based services, and SaaS use cases.

The prices for these font licenses can vary significantly. So, buy the appropriate license for your specific use case! 

If you plan on using it for personal use and experimentation and don't plan on profiting off of the font, download it for personal use, which is often downloadable for free.

Types of Fonts

There are various font types, each with unique characteristics. 

Knowing the differences between each font type is vital to know which is best for your project!

  • Serif fonts: These font types have small lines extending from the edges of characters and are often used in text-heavy documents such as books and magazines.
  • Sans serif fonts: These fonts have clean lines without any extensions (hence the "sans," which is the French word "without") and are great for logos, titles, and posters.
  • Script fonts: Feature an elegant, calligraphic look perfect for invitations and certificates.
  • Display fonts: Decorative and eye-catching designs best used for headlines or other large display applications.
  • Monospaced fonts: These have equal spacing between all characters, resulting in a mechanical look that you can use for programming or data tables.

Best Websites for Retro Fonts

There are plenty of websites where you can source excellent free and paid retro fonts. Here are some of the most popular!

  1. creativemarket.com
  2. 1001fonts.com
  3. dafont.com
  4. fontspace.com
  5. 1001freefonts.com

Free Retro Fonts

Here are the best free fonts with a vintage flair:

  1. Mexcellent
  2. Codigra
  3. Engage
  4. Richsten
  5. Majestic
  6. Kitschy
  7. Riesling
  8. Recognition
  9. Saint Carell
  10. Sugar Peachy

1) Mexcellent

Price: Free for personal and commercial use

Mexcellent font sitting on a photo of a lake.
Image Source: typodermicfonts.com

Mexcellent is a modern, smooth typeface inspired by the multiline typeface called "Azote" used in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Its striped style is reflective of classic disco typography from the 1970s.

The font family consists of two styles: go with Mexcellent Regular for a simple flat aesthetic or make it pop with Mexcellent 3D. 

Both feature rounded corners, bold lines, and sharp angles, making them playful and dynamic!

Best uses:

2) Codigra

Price: Free for personal use; Various licenses available from $21.00

Codigra font on top of a photo of a woman wearing a hat outside.
Image Source: prioritypeco.com

Codigra is a clean, modern, fun display typeface inspired by vintage typography. This retro display font is free-flowing with rounded corners, almost as if it was painted with a giant paintbrush.

It's modern and retro all at once with its smooth round curves. 

Pair it with a script font or a simple thin sans serif font, and you've got yourself a real winner.

Best uses:

  • T-shirts
  • Poster headlines
  • Packaging
  • Logos

3) Engage

Price: Free for personal use; Various licenses available from $15.00

Engage font on a dark blue font surrounded by different orange textures and graphics.
Image Source: 177studio.com

Engage is a sophisticated and delicate serif with a classy feel. It looks hand-drawn, almost like someone wrote the letters perfectly with a fountain pen.

This typeface is classic and timeless and will catch anyone's attention with its organic thick and thin strokes. 

It pairs perfectly with hand-drawn illustrations and bold graphics!

Best uses:

  • Logos
  • Headlines
  • Branding
  • Packaging
  • Packaging

4) Richsten

Price: Free for personal use; Various licenses available from $19.00

Alt text: Richsten font on a vintage purple and orange gradient background.
Image Source: creativefabrica.com 

Inspired by Art Deco vintage lettering sign art, Richsten is a Victorian aesthetic with a bold look. 

The tall narrow glyphs give them a feeling of dominance, and their sharp lines and striking curves make the letters sophisticated and strong.

Best uses:

  • Labels
  • Headlines
  • Greeting cards
  • Packaging

5) Majestic

Price: Free for personal use; Various licenses available from $39.00

Majestic font in white on a black background.
Image Source: billyargel.com 

Majestic is a romantic and feminine handwritten typeface. It blends sharp lines and subtle curves for a balanced yet sophisticated look, making it suitable for any design for added elegance. 

The strokes are smooth and flow together elegantly.

Best uses:

  • Packaging
  • Signage
  • Headers

6) Kitschy

Price: Free for personal use only; Personal and commercial licenses available for $15.00

Kitschy retro font in orange on a beige background next to cartoon characters.
Image Source: creativefabrica.com 

The word "kitsch," originating in Germany, refers to designs, art, or objects that have poor taste in an ironic or knowing way.

Known as a classic "groovy" font, Kitschy is a playful typeface inspired by a vintage design. 

Its thick lines and smooth curves perfectly pair with line illustrations to make your projects stand out!

Best uses:

  • Posters
  • Packaging
  • Branding
  • Logos

7) Riesling

Price: Free for personal and commercial use

Riesling retro font in white on a flat dark blue background.
Image Source: dafontfree.io 

Riesling is a versatile serif typeface inspired by 19th-century German wine labels. 

Its sharp angles add perfect balance and contrast, and its smooth curves give it a modern yet timeless look.

At its core, it embodies luxury and elegance. Add it to any of your projects for a touch of classiness!

Best uses:

  • Labels and elegant packaging
  • Invitations and weddings

8) Recognition

Price: Free for personal use; Standard license available from $15.00

Recognition retro font in black on a grey background.
Image Source: befonts.com

Recognition is an elegant typeface with thick and thin lines that create unique shapes inspired by vintage letterforms. 

The variations in these lines create great contrast and catch the eye of the onlooker.

Your design will attract attention with its distinctive bold lines and sharp angles.

Best uses:

  • Branding
  • Advertising

9) Saint Carell

Price: Free for personal use; Various licenses available from $69.00

Saint Carell font in gold on a textured black background.
Image Source: mansgreback.com 

Saint Carell is a retro serif font inspired by Victorian letterforms and cassette music album covers from the '70s and '80s. 

It features crisp, clean lines and balanced proportions with a classy look.

Saint Carell is perfect for adding a luxurious style to your retro designs!

Best uses:

  • Labels
  • Invitations
  • Headlines

10) Sugar Peachy

Price: Free for personal use; Various licenses available from $17.00

Sugar Peachy font on a purple swirly background with graphics surrounding it.
Image Source: dafontfree.io 

Soft, fun, and quirky, Sugar Peachy is an inviting typeface with an optimistic aesthetic. 

This '70s-inspired retro font is bound to open the door of wonder with its irregular letterforms and playful, whimsical style.

Best uses:

  • Branding
  • Product packaging

Paid Retro Fonts

Here are the best paid retro fonts:

  1. Vienna Woodtype
  2. Omfug
  3. Nuraga
  4. Reinhart
  5. Thunderstorm
  6. Sarcastic
  7. Moodinan
  8. Narnia
  9. Your Groovy Font
  10. Broadway

1) Vienna Woodtype

Price: $50.00

Vienna Woodtype in dark blue on a pink background.
Image Source: creativemarket.com

Vienna Woodtype is a classic, wood-type-inspired typeface based on real prints made of linocut, a technique that uses sheets of linoleum to cut out a design. 

It features clean and rough glyphs for a more classy or vintage-grunge aesthetic.

For a timeless, bold, and strong style, go for Vienna Woodtype!

Best uses:

  • Packaging and labels
  • Advertising

2) Omfug

Price: $14.00

Omfug font in yellow on a picture of a girl lying on a field of yellow flowers.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Omfug is a bold, groovy sans-serif typeface inspired by graffiti in the 1970s and 1980s. It's loud, bold, and expressive, perfectly reflecting a classic hippie style.

Best uses:

  • Posters
  • Magazine covers
  • Branding
  • Logos

3) Nuraga

Price: $20.00

Nuraga retro font in beige on a flat black background.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Nuraga is a modern serif typeface inspired by classic vintage letterforms commonly seen on posters in the 1960s. 

Its thick straight stems and curved terminals make it perfect for a powerful statement.

Best uses:

  • Posters
  • Headlines
  • Book covers
  • Labels
  • Logos

4) Reinhart

Price: $15.00

Reinhart in black on a grey background with a forest.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Reinhart is a funky retro script font that is modern and classy, inspired by traditional signage. 

It's the perfect combination of an elegant yet groovy typeface with its curvy thick, and thin lines.

As it is a script display typeface, make sure you use it in bigger contexts to make it legible.

Best uses:

5) Thunderstorm

Price: $17.00

Thunderstorm retro font in bright pink on top of blue, pink, and yellow geometric shapes.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Thunderstorm is a handmade brush typeface inspired by music from the 1980s and 1990s. Its strong angled lines give it quick movement and energy reminiscent of lightning.

Best uses:

  • Cover art
  • Packaging
  • Posters

6) Sarcastic

Price: $15.00

Sarcastic retro font in black on a yellow background.
Image Source: creativemarket.com

Inspired by classic posters, Sarcastic is a handmade display typeface with a sophisticated yet whimsical feel. 

It has different variations, including Hardline, if you're looking for something that looks more dominant.

Best uses:

  • Posters
  • Labels

7) Moodinan

Price: $15.00

Moodinan font in dark green on a light grey textured background.

Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Moodinan is a modern sans-serif typeface inspired by American Vintage fonts. 

It features assertive letterforms without any flourishes for a timeless, strong look.

Best uses:

  • Labels
  • Logos
  • T-shirt designs
  • Posters

8) Narnia

Price: $20.00

Narnia font in white on top of a photo of a sculpture.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Narnia is a psychedelic vintage font inspired by nature and the world of fantasy fiction. 

It features bold, curved lines that lend a unique and whimsical feel, making it perfect for design projects with an ethereal or dreamlike quality.

Best uses:

  • Headlines
  • Posters
  • Logos

9) Your Groovy Font

Price: $14.00

Your Groovy Font in blue, orange, and green on a photo of someone playing guitar.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Your Groovy Font is the grooviest font of all. This modern script font is inspired by vintage art, music, and culture. 

It features a bouncy, playful style with added ornamentation that give it a unique and vibrant look for designs that need an injection of retro.

Best uses:

  • Music festival posters
  • Logos
  • Headlines

10) Broadway

Price: $17.00

Broadway in light brown on a black textured surface.
Image Source: creativemarket.com 

Broadway is a vintage script display font with a touch of modernism. It features sans serif, script, and rough variations to capture the perfect feel for whatever type of design project you need it for.

Best uses:

  • Magazines
  • Invitations
  • Movie posters
  • Branding


What are retro fonts?

Retro fonts mimic past design styles, particularly from the 1950s to the 1990s. These fonts often feature bold, curvy lines, unique serifs, and an overall vintage aesthetic.

What is the history of retro fonts?

Retro fonts draw inspiration from past typography, including Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, and other design movements of the 20th century. These fonts became popular in the 21st century as designers sought to evoke nostalgia and create a sense of vintage charms, such as poster designs, album covers, and more.

What are the best uses of retro fonts in graphic design?

Retro fonts can add a touch of nostalgia to a design, making it perfect for branding or advertising campaigns that want to evoke a sense of vintage charm or nostalgia. They can also be used effectively in digital projects like web banners, mobile app interfaces, and gaming logo introductions on platforms like YouTube to give the design a retro or nostalgic feel.

What are 70s fonts called?

People often refer to the 70s font style as “groovy.” They have a distinct look characterized by bold letterforms, thick strokes, and decorative flourishes. Popular 70s fonts include Cooper Black and Avant Garde.

What are good retro font pairings?

Font pairing is when you choose no more than three fonts to be used together to create contrast and hierarchy. Generally speaking, you'll want to pair a Display font with a more basic serif or sans serif.

Here are some font pairings from the retro fonts listed in this article:

  • Mexcellent & Optima
  • Codigra & Helvetica
  • Engage & Frontage Condensed
  • Richsten & Bethaine
  • Saint Carell & Bodoni


From free-flowing "groovy" fonts with round edges to distressed retro lettering, these retro and vintage fonts have something for everyone. 

With this list of the best retro fonts and helpful tips for utilizing them in your designs, you have all the tools and resources to create a masterpiece.

Which retro font will you use for your next project? Whether it's a vintage script or an art deco typeface, there's no wrong answer.

No matter which typeface suits your fancy, these retro fonts will make any project epic and bring your wildest design dreams to fruition!

Author Bio

Janine Heinrichs has B.A.s in Art & Media Communications and a certificate in Graphic Design.

After completing a 365-day design challenge, where she (humbly) accumulated over 150K followers, she decided to share everything she knows about design, digital art, creative tech, and more on her website janinedesignsdaily.com.

Her work has been featured on popular design sites like Creative Boom.

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