25 Vintage Inspired Art Pieces That Will Make You Want To Travel Back In Time

The term vintage is often used incorrectly. Sometimes people use it to describe objects or art that are not old at all. On top of that, the labels “antique” and “retro” make it even more confusing. Last but not least, what is vintage-inspired art?

It doesn’t matter if you are a designer, who loves to experiment and familiarize himself/herself with cool trends, or you are just an enthusiastic art lover, this article will help you tell the difference between these terms and to offer you a great collection of modern, vintage-inspired art.

What are Antique and Retro?

First, we will start with what vintage is NOT. We can safely say, that retro items are less than 20 years old, or close to that period. For example, cassettes or records are not falling into the vintage category. Yet. Now let’s go briefly through what an antique is. Most authorities consider an item antique if it can be proved that is more than 100 years old.

Another definition you can find on the internet is old retro and modern retro styles, where the first refers to pieces inspired from the early 1900s to the 60s. Subsequently, modern retro styles are designs influenced by later years.

What are Vintage Art and Vintage Inspired Art then?

Well, it got a little bit confusing, but don’t worry, we will clear this out in just a minute. Let’s look at the word “vintage”. It originates from the french vendage, meaning the grapes collected in a certain year, or moreover, a period of origin, manufacture of something. From this we can conclude, as other designers did, that vintage art is art, created in certain eras and reflects the spirit of the time. Such an example are the covers of Normann Rockwell for the Saturday Evening Post – one can easily feel the mood, style and the aesthetic of this time by looking at the art.


Cover for Saturday Evening Post, 1939 by Normann Rockwell

Authentic vintage art are 19th century postcards, prewar movie posters, World War II-era aircraft nose art, Victorian-era cards, Depression-era works and propaganda posters, because they are clearly reflecting the time, when they were created, and they are older than the 60s. It all started back in 1870s, when the three stone lithographic printing process was introduced and the use of color in printing was made possible. That opened a lot of opportunities for the marketing and advertising worlds, and companies started promoting their travel offers with colorful, exotic posters, movies attracted audience with beautiful, eye-catching designs…

There is a saying, that when something is imitated, it  is a big compliment. So what better flatter for vintage art than redisovering it by contemporary designers? Finally, let’s enjoy the collection of Vintage Inspired Art we carefully curated from Behance artists’ portfolios. The artists’s portfolios are versatile and definitely worth checking them out!


Encuentro Único by Ignacio López Arambarri

Winning first prize amongst 2000 works of Argentinian artists. Awesome process sketches and details – you can see them in the artists’ Behance portfolio. How to find it? Easy! Just click on the pictures, or the names of the authors – we made links to Behance. Enjoy!

vintage inspired art unico


San’s Parents Album Artwork by Daniel Long

If you are curios about the artists’ process and how this beautiful pieces was created – check the whole Behance project out. The artists also explains how he achieved the vintage feel of the piece.

vintage inspired art pilot


Bon Voyage by MUTI

Thee beautifully executed illustrations of travel destinations, that will make you dream! They are resembling vintage postcards and impress with beautiful composition and warm tones.

vintage inspired art travel


Retro characters by Oscar BC

Several male characters with different personality and professions. Bright color, simple lines, bold design solutions. It is fresh, check it out!

vintage inspired art man character


Clube Yyes by Rodrigo Kormann & Vitor KormannElisa Baasch de Souza

Beautiful short animation, check the whole Behance project to enjoy beautiful color and style.

Art Direction & Animation: Rodrigo Kormann
Storyboard & adapted script: Rodrigo Kormann & Vitor Kormann
Character Design: Elisa Baasch de Souza
Set Design: Vitor Kormann
Post Production: Rodrigo Kormann
Script & Speech text: IGD
Voice and Sound Design: Júlio Henrique Miotto

vintage inspired art


Various by Peter Donnelly

As the names suggests – collection of various artworks, all in fresh colorwith a lot of movement and humour.

vintage inspired art creature


We ♥ Mom by Noveri Mandey

Adorable, simple and elegant illustration.

vintage inspired art love


Vintage Lady Paper Sculpture by karin arruda

We just love the layering and texture in this artpiece. It has a lot of personality and makes you look at it again, thanks to the beautiful execution and cute expression ot the girl’s face.

vintage inspired paper art


Vintage Christmas Card by Sara Macedo

Illustration made for clothing store. Simple with clever color pop. Sometimes less is more!

vintage inspired art postcard


Baking Day, The Women’s Weekly by Ali J

Very feminine illustrations with a lot of texture, layering, unique style and delicate crafting, worth checking out!

vintage inspired art housewife


Mi Changuita by Carlos Go-niji Loera Orozco

Illustration logo for Mexican restaurant  inspired from the 20s animation.

vintage inspired art chanquita


Fashion Resolutions by Sergey Banityuk

Three beautiful illustrations of male and females, dressed with style. Great illusion of volume, depth and eye-catching color.

vintage inspired art fashion


Since 1885 by Stavros Damos

We just love everything about this piece! Check the project out – the detailing and organization of line in this piece will make your jaw drop!

vintage inspired art man character


Fake Japanese Vintage Ad Characters! by Juan Molinet

Fun characters that will concince you that imagination has no limits! Here is the artist’s website too: www.lebureau.tv, we are speechless, definitely worth checking out!

vintage inspired art japanese


Créme de l’Orange by Claire O’Brien

Very girly and sweet! Check the artist’s portfolio on Behance for more beautiful projects!

vintage inspired art girl


Grand Goose by Anna Redko

Goose can bike and goose can look awesome in vintage clothes. The illustrations proves our point. The rest of the artist’s projects are equally beautiful, check them out!

vintage inspired art goose


Champagne 1920 by Betowers Illustration

The artist shows the refference photos used for this illustration – it is always cool to look “behind the scenes”. Great portfolio, check it out!

vintage inspired art lady


Blackicornius! by Juan Carlos Paz -BAKEA-

It is glorious and fun. Very creative portfolio, different and surprising with each one of the projects. Check it out!

vintage inspired art funny unicorn


The Circus : Vintage Collection by Piti Pravichpaibul

Illustrations of different circus artists – there is something about this artist’s experimentation in style, that brings you back in time and is somehow santimental. What is your impression?

vintage inspired art circus


Luxury Biscuit Packaging by Peter Donnelly

Beautiful packaging for chocolate bisquits. This is a proof, how a exquisite package can make you buy a product. Irish artists, if you fancy this piece, we are sure you will love the rest of his portfolio. Great style, thumbs up!

vintage inspired art party


Cheers! by Diego Riselli

Very smart and provocative illustration, done in Adobe Illustrator. Italian artist with preference to dramatic heroes and characters.

vintage inspired art poster


Like a vintage print Tee “CALI” by AKIRA yonekawa

Inspired by vintage T-shirt printing. Portfolio with carefully picked colors and prefered comic style. Check it out!vintage inspired art skeleton


October together by Robbie Thiessen

Digital designer from USA, who nailed this vintage style inspired art.

vintage inspired art boy


The Monarch by Giulio Rossi

We love this artist’s female characters and digital paintings. We think that his mastery is in carefully selecting details and accents for his pieces. Check him out!

vintage inspired art feminine


Amazing stickers by Sveta Shubina

Great stickers of various characters – males, females, of different age and occupation. The textures are great and we love the artist’s portfolio, check her other projects out!

vintage inspired art sailor

We hope you liked this article and you are all filled up with inspiration for your next design and art projects. We want to ask you, which is your favorite style from past times? Can you think of a favorite art piece that reinvented it?

Well, we can’t wait to hear from you! Happy New Year and let’s see what the hot design trends and come-backs will be in 2017! Meanwhile, if you are hungry for a more colorful and vinatge-inspired design, check our Pin-Up vector collection out!

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Bilyana Nikolaeva

Bilyana is an inspiring content writer and illustrator at GraphicMama with years of experience in art and design. When she’s not busy writing for the blog, you will usually see her working hard on new illustrations and graphic resources.

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