The oldest documented form of graphic design dates back 40,000 years with the discovery of cave art along Spain’s Cantabrian Sea coast. Some styles, it seem, never go out of style.

The handprints outlined in red paint by Neanderthals remain preserved in those subterranean caves, a reminder that simple statements can be lasting and powerful. And often copied.

Toyota, Coke and Newport are all brands that have incorporated handprints into their campaigns. And it’s not just handprints that we continue to recycle as we strive to take something old and make it new again.

History continues to provide Inspiration for modern graphic design. Hand drawn books from medieval times, playing cards dated in 1294 with detailed intricate designs and Roman shields from 1300s can all be seen in today’s designs. Every era has slowly come back in style, just as clothes do in the fashion world.

Here are some new designs in posters and advertisements that have gone retro and examples of the styles they have influenced them:

Vintage – Inspired by retro vintage signs from the 1950’s.

vintage graphic design

Material Design – Pixel art, bright colors and lots of video game feel.

90s graphic design

Geometric Shapes – Flat bright colorful shapes and lots of squiggles!

80s graphic design