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Don’t You… Forget About 80s Design Trends

They’re back.

They’ve been sneaking their way in for the past few years, but this year, they’re back hard. I’m talking about scattered geometric shapes, pixelation (thanks MineCraft), variations on primary colors, crazy illustrated letters, and of course, those sprinkle/confetti squiggles that showed up on my glossy folder in second grade. That’s right. The 80s design trends are back in full force.

Sidenote: I am officially old enough to see fashion come back around again. But I digress…

So I have to be honest: As a child, I really did not like some of the design trends (though I wouldn’t have known how to articulate it), but I am digging some of the new spins on the style, which is being dubbed “Modern Retro”.

The color palettes seemed to have been bridged up to our decade a bit, and I can appreciate the lack of drop-shadows.


 Check out Office Milano’s notebooks:

This poster for Paris Climat 2015 has some 80s/90s elements:

And we can’t miss the Washington Post’s cover from last year:

Don’t be surprised when you see these elements slowly creeping into your everyday life. For those of you not convinced that this is a good development, I feel your concerns. Rest assured, there are far more popular design trends in the air that don’t look remotely like the 80s (not at first glance, anyway).


So why the uptick in design elements reminiscent of the 80s at this moment in time?

Could it be that the somewhat young folks in the design world are seeking comfort in imagery that harkens back to their safe childhoods during this slightly tumultuous era for our nation? Or is it the 30 and 40 year old consumers who are buying things that feel solidly familiar? Perhaps it’s that the youngest folks in the design world think these trends are cool since they’re all from before their time? Regardless, the old adage seems to be true: the only thing that ever changes is fashion, and even that comes back around again.

Disclaimer: Use trends with discretion. If you need assistance, please contact Cassel Bear, we’ll be happy to help.