Let's take a trip back in time! The 70s were a great time for worldwide evolution and development in graphic design. There were many interesting counterculture movements that influenced psychedelic graphics, groovy logos, and advertising. In this article, we'll talk about graphic design and the 1970s logo design style.
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1970s Logo Design
The 1970s saw a push for cultural and societal change, and these movements influenced graphic design in a big way. Photography was popular and was used in magazines as collages. Typography evolved greatly in the 1970s, with new typesetting technology. Punk was one of the big musical influences and was where the grunge era started. Many of the graphics for album covers and posters were in black and white and had a DIY feel.
When it came to colors, we saw more colorful designs than in previous decades. In the 1970s, colors were taken to another level. The iconic gay pride parade pushed designers to use different colors and multiple colors in a single design. This style represented a happy and uplifting vibe.
Typography was often combined with photography and used bold and bright colors. Designers were trying to move away from the International Typographic Style, a movement that was famous for its rigidity and cleanliness. Fonts from 1970s logo designs were flowy and organic, often taking inspiration from Art Nouveau. There were plenty of bubble-style fonts, reverse contrast characters, and scripts.
Arcade games were introduced in the early 1970s, and Space Invaders came in the late 70s. This famous 70s logo design features a bold sans serif font that's squarish in form, which helps emphasize the digital quality of the game. The drop shadow is a popular 70s logo design element.
The famous potato chip brand Ruffles came up with a logo that's fun and playful. The characters are off the baseline, which is a great trick for conveying playfulness. Meanwhile, the actual typography is uneven, and the last "f" looks as if it has a white outline superimposed over the "l". The name "Ruffles" comes from the ridges that potato chips have, and you can slightly see this on these two superimposed letters.
One of the most iconic logos of this era is Nintendo. The brand had already changed its typeface and only polished it slightly. The sans serif was precise, expressive, but intelligent, like the gaming brand. To make the 1970s logo even more impactful, the red color is the only one used. While the company started with a logo that contained Japanese characters, its move to appear in America and Europe pushed the brand to change the characters to the Latin alphabet.
The famous swoosh that we all know started here. This is the original logo was designed by Carolyn Davidson for a price of $35. Back in 1971, she was a student helping out later Nike founder Phil Knight. The swoosh indicates fluidity and movement, perfect to go on the side of the shoes. While we know it today with slight changes, this is one of the most recognizable logos in the world.
Kodak replaced a triangular logo with this square shape. The reason for choosing a solid logo is that it communicates stability and trust. In the 1970s, Kodak was a well-established brand for photography. The typography used for the 70s logo design was a slab serif, typical of the 1970s. Besides establishing stability with the square shape, the chunky serifs on the typography emphasized that even more. This logo, like many in the 1970s, pushed the boundaries with bright colors.
This is one of the most iconic logos from HBO, and it hasn't gone through many changes since this. The only difference from the current logo is that the "O" is superimposed over the "B". This is another logo designed by a woman, Betty Brugger. She used a very bold typeface for the iconic wordmark, and the key move came when she added another circle within the "O" to resemble a power button on a remote. The slogan at the bottom features a slightly rotated "e", another key move for 1970s logos.
Another gaming brand that took over in the 70s was Atari. In the early 70s, Atari entered the world as the leading arcade game. Designer George Opperman created the logo with what looks like a stylized "A". His concept was that two players were on either side of the middle line, and the line in the center was the court from their most famous game, Pong. The colors on the graphic at the top are a true representation of 70s logo design. While the typography was mostly rounded with shard baselines, most typefaces that developed during this era mixed rounded and sharp edges.
70s Retro Logo Design Inspiration
Retro Text Effect (EPS)
This retro text effect features a bold sans serif font that represents the 1970s logo design. The colors and the gradient effect as a shadow are also key elements that were used during the decade. Most of the brands that used this feature were brands related to digital technology. Old screens would briefly show many different colors when turned on, and this is where the inspiration came from.
70s Retro Logo 3D Effect (PSD)
While many brands chose to keep their logos as flat as possible, others wanted to make them attractive by implementing a number of effects, such as the extrude or 3D effect applied to flat logos like this one. The typography featured here is a script font, and its roundedness displays that fun and friendliness that were so iconic in the 1970s.
The 70s were full of different styles: groovy, disco, funky, you name it. This text effect is a perfect example of the bubble-style typography that was used back then. Different tones of yellows and browns with cyan make the perfect color palette.
Saturday Night Font Family (OTF, TTF)
The Saturday Night font is distinctively rounded, exemplifying the bubble-like retro style that was super popular in the 1970s. This would make a great logo to communicate groovy and good old times. This image is also so representative of 1970s logo design because of the color scheme. Bright and fun colors that pushed boundaries were key amongst the youth.
The Popstone Groovy Logo Inspiration (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
The Popstone font features the so-called bubbly and groovy style. This type of attractive font is great for a design that wants to communicate the true vintage 70s logo style.
Kish Quirky Display Font (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
Reverse contrast fonts were also popular amongst vintage 70s logos. This decade allowed for exploration in handmade fonts, and this is a great example of the experimentation that was done then. The font is quirky, has contrast, and it's playful—awesome for a 70s-inspired logo.
Thick curves are also part of retro logo design and typography. This is a softer option for a font similar to the Kodak logo. This type of font was also featured in magazines where longer text needed to be read clearly.
Groovy (OTF, TTF)
Famous retro typography was the inspiration for this groovy script font. Fun fonts that featured movement and long swashes were typical of this decade. This font also includes the typical extruded effect, which was used to create dimension and emphasis in 1970s logos.
Long Summer (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
Reverse contrast was big in the psychedelic scene. More experimentation allowed for more fun, and in this case handmade fonts that challenged readability. There's a correlation between this style and Art Nouveau—the fonts and graphic styles during that era were hand designed. Much of the 1970s took inspiration from there.
Randone (OTF, TTF)
Designers moved as far away as possible from the International Typographic Style of the 60s. Ramdone Script features curly ends like the ones on fonts from 1970s logos. This fun, bold, and flowy font would make the perfect retro logo design. It includes countless alternates and swashes to explore.
Summer of '76 (OTF, TTF)
Nothing screams vintage 70s logos like a font that resembles neon lights. This multiline font was popular for discos and Saturday Night Fever inspired 70s inspired logos. This type of fresh and bold font would be great for a 70s logo design.
Your Groovy Font (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
Psychedelic, retro, and inspired by funk psychedelic styles, this font is the perfect fit for a 70s style logo. This type of font was seen in poster design for music festivals, album covers, and much more.
In this article, we looked at awesome 1970s style logos and their influence. This psychedelic era had major counterculture influences. From a design perspective, this decade was also a reaction to the clean International Typographic Style. Groovy logos, disco fonts, and handmade Art Nouveau inspired forms helped shape this iconic decade. Which was your favorite 70s-inspired font?
Don't forget to check out Envato Elements if you're looking for thousands of high-quality assets for a small fee. You can find anything from groovy logo designs and fonts to retro logo design inspiration. If you're looking for a quicker option for groovy logo makers, try Placeit, where there are plenty of 70s-inspired logos ready for you to use!
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