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Vintage illustrations can be a great asset for designers who need to implement nostalgic sentimentalism. An illustration is the best thing to derive inspiration from, especially for graphic designers. The illustrations can be about a product, a human being, food, and beverage, traveling, or anything else.
This blog post rounds up some great-looking vintage illustrations from various sources that will inspire you when creating your own classic, old-school illustrations.
Get ready to be inspired. Here we go!
Vintage Illustrations to Inspire Graphic Designers
Below we have selected some great examples that can be used for your own designs or just to inspire you. There are both free and premium illustrations available.
To start things off take a look at this classic set of illustrations from Envato Elements. The creator of this collection put these illustrations together based on a “borderline obsession” with vintage ad illustrations and vintage books.
Included with this set are 22 vintage vector illustrations based on old books and ads in EPS, AI, and RGB formats. Also included are raster PNG and ABR brushes of all 22 illustrations with transparent backgrounds. Another nice thing about this selection is it comes with a bonus of 9 tileable seamless PNG pattern tiles that are 600x600px along with matching JPG papers of 12×12 (300dpi, RGB).
Get started today with this excellent set and see how you can enhance your vintage designs.
If you’re in need of some vintage photography vectors, then you should seriously consider this photography vintage illustration collection. It consists of restored 19th and 20th-century graphics from catalogs and books. The illustrations are engraved-style graphics that include 40 vintage photography equipment like tripods and lenses along with classic old cameras.
This choice is perfect for so many types of projects including branding, packaging, scrapbooking, logos, websites, and all web and print applications where photography is the focus.
The files you’ll receive are transparent in the AI and PNG file formats. You can’t go wrong with using this vintage selection. But if you don’t, most likely you will be inspired by your own designs.
This is a retro poster that says, “Action is the foundational key to success” in typography that feels ancient and vintage-like. The words are written in different fonts, the kind of fonts that were used in the olden times. This illustration is available on the website called Vecteezy for free. The text written on the black background is pretty neat and immaculate.
It gives a feel of faded colors and background as time passes by. This kind of vintage illustration can be used as a wall piece, website background, or motivational wallpaper. You can edit the file using applications like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
With the black backdrop and bright-colored text, the illustration looks clean and elegant. There are various ways to use this illustration. The file is in PSD format, which makes it modifiable in the software mentioned above. This makes it easy for you to change the illustration in a way that suits all your requirements.
Overall, this image has a green color background in floral patterns, which gives it a green-colored appearance. It features a white flower on the right side while the leaves surround it.
When you pay close attention to the image, you can see that there is a reflection of the flowers in the background. The entire image gives a retro feel to the photo, and you can use this picture as a background for various projects, be it commercial or personal.
This image is available on the website called Freepik, and when you download the package, you receive a PSD file. The PSD file can be modified on the same website, or you can edit the file in applications like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. You can download the package for free from the mentioned link without any user registration. The website doesn’t ask any questions while you press the download button.
This is an illustration of a milkmaid who is seen pouring milk from the pot to another wide-mouthed vessel. With a faded image, it looks like the image was captured decades ago. You can download this illustration for various purposes from the website called RawPixel, without any cost. The illustration is available in JPEG, as well as the TIFF file format.
You can download this illustration in three different resolutions. With the original size selection, the image dimensions are 4226 x 4745 px with 300 dpi print resolution. When you select a large size, the dimensions of the image are 3117 x 3500 px. And if you choose web size, the image dimensions are 1069 x 1200 px with 300 dpi print resolution. You can download the illustration of any measurement according to your requirement. Images of all sizes are free.
Newfoundland Dog is an illustration of a dog standing by a lake that is surrounded by mountains. This illustration, made purely in black and white tones, dates back to 1749-1833 and has been created by an artist named Reinagle Phillip. He created various animal illustrations for the book called The Sportsman’s Repository, and the book was published in London by Henry G. Bohn.
This illustration is in the form of a landscape. This illustration was created by a method called metal engraving, yet it looks like it has been made with a pencil on paper.
Newfoundland Dog illustration is available in various resolutions like 768 px, 864 px, 1200 px, and 1600 px. It is also available in the form of a raw scan of the illustration. Illustration in all the dimensions is available for download for free.
Since it is in black and white form, it appears as if it is vintage and irrelevant to the history of its creation. In this case, since it is made decades back, it looks like it is ancient.
Man with fruit is an illustration that is merely made into a pencil sketch. The illustration is from around 140-year-old sketchbook. It is a sketch that depicts a man that has tropical fruits hanging from his head. Another tropical fruit seems to be growing out of his chin through his beard. And the chap looks like he is enjoying the stance.
The sketch owner has removed the brownish spots and smears that appear when the paper grows older. Moreover, there are other places where the sketch seems to be smudged. But the drawing looks smudged, which may have happened with the artist’s own hands.
The dimensions of the illustration are 2229 x 1665 px. You can modify the illustration using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator according to how you want to use it. You can access the large version of the illustration by clicking the image. It opens into the original size of the illustration.
This illustration is available on a website called Reusableart. You don’t require any website registration to download the illustration. Moreover, this illustration is available for free download.
Housewife is another illustration from a website called FreeVector and can be downloaded for free. It overlooks a woman who seems to be standing with a cooked meal in her hands. We can also spot the dining table, the faucet, and the house’s windows in the illustration. A housewife is one who seems to spend time cooking meals and cleaning the house. And she is the one who keeps the house organized and the family well-fed.
You can use this illustration to emphasize the importance of a woman in the family and the home. Moreover, the websites that talk about woman’s empowerment and growth can use this illustration.
The furniture’s arrangement and the woman’s hairstyle in the illustration make it look like it is a vintage illustration. The size of the file is 49.6 KB, and the image dimensions are 1268 x 597 px.
When you are a designer, you know how good you feel when you can lay your hands on a set of resources. It is always a good thing when you have multiple sources for designing a project instead of only one.
The vintage illustration pack is a set of 14 illustrations that are focused on fruits and vegetables. These illustrations have been carefully restored from books that date back to the 19th century. Hence, they look like illustrations that offer a retro feel to them.
You can use these illustrations for branding, menu design, fabric design, apparel printing, and more. These illustrations can also be used for educational purposes. Moreover, there are innumerable uses for these illustrations, and you can be creative to use them.
You can download the pack of illustrations from the website called Graphicgoods. The pack is free to download from the website, and you don’t need to register on the website to access the package. This package includes EPS and PNG files, which can be modified using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
As the name suggests, Vintage motorbike is an illustration of a motorcycle club that dates back to the year 1987. It indicates that it is a club of motorcycle riders like we have the ones for Thunderbird Bullet bike these days. The illustration is made with a grayish-white backdrop, and the text and graphics are in black. This way, it depicts the meaning and the message behind the illustration clearly.
You can download this illustration from the website called AllFreeDownload. The size of the file is 9.45 MB, and the dimensions of the image are 2765 x 2765 px. When you download the package, it includes AI and EPS files. These file formats can be used in applications like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. You can also modify the illustration using the applications mentioned above.
This illustration is available on the website free of cost on the given link. You can take a look at the illustration on the link and then see if you like it. There is no requirement for user registration on the website before downloading. The illustration is accessible as is.
Vintage Feather pattern is an illustration of the feathers that have been formed in a golden shade that fades into black from left to right. The illustration has been made with a white background. This makes the pattern in the foreground stand out.
You can download the illustration from the link mentioned above. Moreover, you can use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to edit the illustration in a way that suits your requirements. This illustration can be used as wallpaper, as graffiti, as a wall piece, as a piece of art, website background, and in so many other ways.
This illustration can be downloaded without any charges or any user registration on the website. The dimensions of the image are 2000 x 1600 px, and the size of the image is 2.01 MB. With this kind of feathery pattern, it is widely used to design various types of things.
Vintage Minibus is the illustration of the kind of minibusses that used to exist years back, and in some cases, decades ago. This kind of illustration can be used by websites that deal with traveling, tourism, or people running food trucks. You can use this image as a website background.
It can also showcase the stunning photo that associates itself with traveling. Since it is a vehicle, it can also be used by businesses that deal with cars. This illustration can be downloaded from a website called Unsplash. The picture has been captured in a way that the photo looks like it is vintage.
This picture has been clicked on an Apple iPhone, and the image dimensions are 4548 x 3412 px. The photographer has used filters to make the image look like it has been clicked years ago.
There is no need to explain what this illustration means; it talks about mother’s day. You can find this illustration on the website called Vecteezy, which is free to download without any kind of user registration. The illustration has a pink background, and the message is written in white along with white decorations.
This kind of illustration can be used by websites that deal with online greeting cards. The faded pink color at certain places gives it a look of a vintage illustration. With the image dimensions being 1400 x 980 px and the size being 321 KB, the illustration is perfect for use in the creation of greeting cards.
You can edit the illustration using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator according to the requirements. This illustration can be downloaded without any charge from the link given above.
Vintage Illustrations to Inspire Graphic Designers – Summary
These illustrations are perfect when you want to take up a retro or vintage theme. When you design a comic book that is based on characters from old times, you can use these illustrations at someplace or other. This blog lets you access the vintage illustrations in your commercial or personal projects. All the illustrations are free for use, and you can use them for free.
Some websites can let you download illustrations in various resolution sizes. The files in the package can be modified using applications like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. You can modify the files in your way according to your requirements. With these tools, you can recreate the existing illustration. You can choose to create a new illustration while deriving inspiration from the existing one.