50 Stunning Vintage Fonts Sorted by Historical Era They Belong In

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From Ancient Times to the 90s: Best Vintage Fonts by Historical Era

Best Vintage Fonts by Historical Era

Graphic design
June 10, 2022
15 minutes

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There are many terrific ones, but what is a good vintage font for your brand design? If you’re overwhelmed by the number of options, start by choosing the historical era and browse through some of the best vintage fonts we have selected!

What is a vintage font? These days, it can be challenging to say. On one hand, some fonts have been consistently used for decades, and we forget their origins, sometimes dating back to the beginning of the 20th century or even much further back. On the other hand, skilled graphic designers are constantly finding new ways to reinvent old fonts and give them a modern twist.

Whether you want something totally authentic or a font reminiscent of old styles, here are 20 glorious options to consider. To make things easier, we’ve categorized these vintage fonts according to the historical era they belong to.

Antique fonts

Probably the most famous font from this group is Papyrus. Unfortunately, this font has gotten a bit of a bad rep due to unsuitable uses, including the now-notorious Avatar movie logo.

However, these fonts inspired by ancient civilizations (Greek, Roman, and Egyptian, mostly) can be a terrific choice for businesses such as spas, beauty salons, or museums. Basically, anywhere where the nod to these ancient times makes sense.

Let’s look at some options.

1. Forum (free)

This font is a wonderful option to consider if you want something that exudes tradition and professionalism. The elegant letters mimic ancient Roman typography. The writing is legible and suitable for a number of uses and industries, but primarily legal, health and accounting.

2. Cretheus($14)

For a more artsy feel, consider this gorgeous font. As you can see from the example below, it looks terrific on busy backgrounds, so you can use it on banners, posters, and colorful printed materials.

3. Requiem (free)

Who would have thought you could get this awesome bold vintage font for free? Although the designer encourages you to make a donation to the Koala Hospital in Australia, which I find to be an added bonus for choosing this stunning typeface.

It’s slightly less versatile than the previous two examples. Still, if you want to emulate that ancient feel, this font won’t disappoint you.

4. Celtic Hand (free)

Let’s move on from Greco-Roman styles to explore this stunning typeface inspired by Celtic typography. It’s cool and fun without being overly cartoonish, and I think it would be a terrific fit for a cool beer logo.

5. Paleo (free)

And how about something even more creative? If you want to travel back to the past, you probably can’t go further than this font. It’s inspired by ancient cave inscriptions. Surprisingly, due to the minimalist design, it has a refreshingly modern look that would suit trendy businesses. It’s a rare find, and best of all: you can get it for free!

paleo vintage font.png By Gray Ng

6. Ancient Geometry ($16)

What is a good vintage font for a logo? I’d say we have a winner right here! The totally unique lettering on this one will ensure you have a creative logo design, even with very few alterations.

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Blackletter & calligraphy fonts

Blackletter (also called Gothic or Old English) typefaces are inspired by Medieval calligraphy. They are dark, usually with thick lines, and have a compelling old-timey look. However, used in contemporary designs, they can contribute to a powerful contrast and eye-catching visuals.

7. Olde English (free)

These letters remind me of the opening credits to Disney’s Robin Hood and Sleeping Beauty. You might think this kind of typography firmly set in a particular historical era has few uses. For example, museums, historical publications, or medieval theme parks.

However, remember that many metal bands have used this typography, and it’s pretty common to see it on a plain black t-shirt. Contrast creates memorable design!

olde english vintage font.png

8. Alte Schwabacher (free)

Similar to the previous example, this is more German-style. Other ideas on how to use these free vintage fonts differently are on all sorts of merch, website banners, and even coffee shop branding. Remember to pair the letters with minimal design elements to convey the message.

alte schwabacher vintage font.png By Dieter Steffmann

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9. Glaive ($16)

Yet another delightful option marries a distinctly vintage feel with a more modern flair. The letters aren’t overly ornamented, which helps with legibility. But you still get that badass gothic look if that’s something you fancy.

It’s available with an Envato Elements subscription that starts at $16.50 per month. However, you can also get it with a free 7-day trial!

glaive vintage font.png By Dieter Steffmann

10. Bajern (from $5)

Speaking of more modern takes, here’s yet another excellent contender. The designer behind this one was inspired by old blackletter styles but made this font geometric and more contemporary. The clean look and excellent readability make it a font with vast use.

bajern vintage font.png By Hökis Bokstavsfabrik

11. Candle Bright ($16)

By now, it may seem that all Gothic fonts have that slightly ominous, stern look. But, there are always alternatives. This lovely calligraphy font is very flowy and gentle. I could easily see it as a perfect wedding invitation font!

candle bright vintage font.png By Ana’s Fonts

12. Darklands ($16)

If you’re looking for an ideal typeface for a book cover design, this might be it. Darklands is a combination of playful and slightly ominous, just like the original Grimm fairy tales. It’s surprisingly legible, so you could consider using it as a body text font. However, its unique look might seem overbearing that way.

darklands vintage font.png

13. Aceking ($14)

How good does this font look in gold? It’s practically made for any business wishing to convey a sense of luxury. It would pair perfectly with a sleek black business card.

aceking vintage font.png

  1. Mythshire ($19)

Want something a little different? Get this beautiful script font that looks like quill writing. It’s sure to add a dose of mystery and elegance to your designs!

mythshire vintage font.png

15. Rozex Bold ($16)

This hand-lettering Gothic font is sure to be a statement piece in any design. Get a graphic designer on board to create this stunning 3D effect for added impact. The example below, using trendy pastel colors, demonstrates perfectly how creative you can get with a font like this!

rozex vintage font.png By Maulana Creative

Wood type & Victorian fonts

What is a vintage font? As you can see, there’s no single answer to this question! We’ve traveled through ancient times and the Middle Ages. Now, let’s head over to the 1800s, the Wild West, and the beginnings of the industrial age!

16. Mesquite (free)

You wouldn’t think free vintage fonts can be as creative as this one. Still, you can grab this one free from Adobe Fonts and use it for all personal and commercial projects. It has a very unique look, so it’s definitely not suitable for anyone and everyone. But, it would make an organic fit on a logo for a Mexican restaurant, liquor bottle labels, and different types of food packaging.

mesquite vintage font.png By Joy Redick

17. Brim Combined (from $10)

Vintage fonts can be limiting; that’s very true. But then again, remember that many terrific alternatives provide a more subtle nod to bygone eras while still appealing to a contemporary audience. This font family is like that. A skilled designer could undoubtedly adapt this cool sans serif lettering to your needs. You can purchase individual styles or the entire font family for all your branding needs.

brim combined vintage font.png By Jamie Clarke Type

18. Durango Western (free)

This vintage font is as “Western” as they come. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it would fit a woodworking logo perfectly.

durango western vintage font.png

19. Carnivalee Freakshow (free)

It’s definitely one of the more memorable free vintage fonts. Still, Carnivalee Freakshow is much more versatile than it might seem. The playful lettering would look stunning in many contexts. Put it against a dark background or a wood, and it’s got that evident Wild West/old circus feel. The letters could look elegant and decorative against a soft pink or pastel background. Context is everything!

carnivalee freakshow vintage font.png

20. Blue Angel ($17)

Speaking of decorative, here’s a Victorian font that will bring out everyone’s soft side. The gorgeous ligatures and the contrast between thick and thin lines make this vintage font dynamic and truly remarkable. It comes in three alternative styles, so if you’re brainstorming branding ideas, this one is definitely worth a bookmark!

blue angel vintage font.png By creativemedialab

21. HavaShine ($16)

This display typeface is both eye-catching and rather elegant. Use it against a simple background for a more subtle effect or something glitzy and glamorous to exude a sense of prestige and luxury.

hava shine vintage font.png By Storic Type

22. Sea Horse ($19)

Want statement typography? We hear you. Consider this stunning Victorian font that you can get for under 20 bucks! If your target audience appreciates all things vintage, this font will definitely appeal to them!

sea horse vintage font.jpg) By Alterzone

23. Victorian Parlor (free)

There aren’t many free vintage fonts where you get lots of different variations, but this one’s one of them. If you’re working on your business branding, a font family like this can be used for all your designs. Still, this font does have a very noticeable vintage feel, so it might not be the best choice for everyone. .

victorian parlor.png

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Art Nouveau fonts

Art Nouveau is an art direction that emerged at the turn of the 20th century. It took inspiration from the natural world and was widely popularized by artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, and Toulouse Lautrec. These days it’s one of the most consistently popular vintage styles, thanks to its beautiful aesthetics.

Here are some lovely fonts that are reminiscent of this historical era!

24. Runy Tunes Revisited (free)

This font would look terrific as a display font for a movie poster or a banner. It comes in OTF and TTF file formats.

runy tunes vintage font.png

25. Art Nouveau Caps (free)

If you go for a display or a very ornate font, ensure you’re also considering suitable font pairing. This glamorous flowy font in all caps would pair perfectly with a sharp serif font.

art nouveau caps vintage font.png By Dieter Steffman

26. Amarante (free)

Amarante is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile fonts on our list. The clean, minimal lettering is suitable for contemporary uses, although it retains a strong Art Nouveau feel.

art nouveau caps vintage font.png By Karolina Lach

27. Nerea Regular (free)

Classy and elegant, Nerea is a vintage font for those who like to keep things subtle. It’s probably better suited to print rather than web use, but then again, if you have an online beauty store or a website for a beauty salon, it could work quite well.

28. Trinigan Fg (free)

This font has an unmistakable Art Nouveau aesthetic. Suppose you’d like to use this as an inspiration for other branding elements (product packaging, interior design, etc.). In that case, this free font is for you!

trinigan vintage font.png

29. Alathena ($28)

If you’re looking for gorgeous and versatile Art Nouveau-style typography, we have a stunning option right here. The font package includes 6 different weights and alternative ligatures for beautiful calligraphy

30. Sunflower Yellow ($13)

Sunflower Yellow is a terrific modern alternative for lovers of Art Nouveau. The serif lettering has subtle arms (strokes at the edges of the letter). If you’re constantly doodling flowers like me, you will love this affordable font that includes 30 custom floral elements to enrich your designs!

31. Briar Neue ($29)

This gorgeous font combines a distinct vintage look with a modern twist. It could be used in virtually any industry, from beauty to innovative SaaS companies.

Art Deco fonts

Emerged right after Art Nouveau, Art Deco is its stylistic counterpart. It’s characterized by sharp lines and geometric forms. You can immediately see how this style can be perfectly incorporated into modern, minimalist designs.

32. Catallina (free)

Speaking of modern takes, Catallina is a perfect example. It’s a sharp, geometric font with slight variations on specific letters (i, o, and q are particularly eye-catching).

catallina vintage font.png By Mariano Diez

33. Komi (free)

This vintage typeface plays with the idea of geometry to deliver something quite unique. It’s also one of the rare free vintage fonts that also supports the Cyrillic alphabet!

komi vintage font.png By 2D FUNS

34. Adelios (from $5)

We’ve already included plenty of stunning free fonts on the list. Although you are required to purchase some typefaces in this font family, there are a few that you can get for free or for as little as 5 dollars! The entire font family is also affordable at $69, although I advise you to choose 3-4 fonts that work with your branding best.

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35. Decolot ($12)

Geometric fonts can sometimes seem a bit rigid, but this is not the case with Decolot. The first thing you notice about it is a sense of movement, which can be a tremendous way to make your graphic assets stand out.

36. Lempicka ($28)

I’m a sucker for elegant, thin lines, so I find this font absolutely gorgeous. Although you have to pay for it, the price includes OTF and TTF format, web font files, and source files (EPS and AI) for the ornaments included in this font pack. Under 30 dollars, it’s definitely worth a purchase!

37. Park Lane NF (free)

Just looking at this font tempts me to do my best Katherine Hepburn impression! It’s got that elegant feel that would appeal to all vintage lovers. It’s legible in larger font sizes but use it sparingly in smaller sizes as it’s not the most legible.

park lane vintage font.png

38. Coventry Garden (free)

Here’s another lovely font that delivers that sense of flow and movement. Although it looks rather luxurious, it’s free for personal and commercial use.

coventry garden vintage font.png

1960s fonts

The 1960s might be my favorite historical era, at least in terms of fashion and music. When it comes to typography, 60s fonts were fluid and playful. If you’re looking for a glamorous or formal font, this isn’t the place for you. But, if you want something that will appeal to younger, fun-loving audiences, make sure you browse this section carefully!

39. Action Is (free)

I’m a child of the 90s, but I still remember watching old cartoons from the 60s and 70s, which all had similar typography in the credits. This is a terrific option if you’re looking for that playful, childish feel.

action is vintage font.png

40. Keep on Truckin (free)

Groovy tunes, anyone? This vintage font captures the feel perfectly. The chunky letters deliver a powerful impact, but are thankfully quite legible.

keep on truckin vintage font.png

41. Oregano Regular (free)

Oregano has a fantastic handwritten quality that will give designs a casual feel. It’s not as “on the nose” as some of the other nostalgic fonts in this section.

oregano vintage font.png

42. Psychedelia HM (free)

Speaking of obvious choices, what’s more 1960s than psychedelia? This 60s font is evocative of hippies and the flower power era, and it’s a reference most people will immediately grasp. So, it’s not suitable for businesses with a more serious front.

psychedelia vintage font.png

43. Desultory (free)

If that wasn’t entirely out there enough for you, this creative font would excite you. It has two variants and is free, but you must contact the designer directly for the files. While you may think it’s only suitable for retro designs, you’d be surprised how amazing it looks on modern designs such as apps or posters. Check out the Behance project to see!

desultory vintage font.png By 60 Kilos

44. Antipoda (from $19.50)

Antipoda is a lovely retro font, inspired by the 1960s English mod subculture. Although it’s unmistakably retro, it’s an entire font family with diverse styles that can fit virtually any use.

90s Fonts

Still with us? Terrific! We’re entering the last stage of this typography trip to the past. If you’re a fan of the 90s edgy grunge styles, these are the fonts for you!

45. Okami (free)

Brush fonts often don’t score high on legibility, but Okami’s not one of them. Although it’s got that edgy, rugged feel that was popular in the 90s, the lettering is still quite useful for a variety of use cases. Of course, brush fonts work best in big formats such as signage, posters or large web banners.

okami vintage font.png

46. Wasted Youth (from $16)

It sounds like a Nirvana song, so there’s no doubt this is a staple 90s font. The rough brush stroke effect gives it a very unique look. Although it’s not common for many display fonts, this one does come in upper and lowercase, allowing you to get creative. You can also get this one for free with an Envato Elements trial.

wasted youth vintage font.png

47. Gumzilla ($14)

Let’s switch gears for a second. This fun font reminds me of Pacman and other beloved 90s video games. Still, the chunky retro letters are present in today’s graphic designs, so this is a fantastic vintage font to incorporate into modern graphics.

gumzilla vintage font.png

48. Bee Dee Groovy (free for personal use)

If you have a millennial audience, this awesome font will make them nostalgic about their childhood. Emotional marketing is a powerful tool, so don’t underestimate the impact a simple font choice can make! This casual-looking font is cute and versatile, so purchasing a commercial license might be worth it if it fits your style.

bee dee groovy vintage font.png

49. Bronxos (from $16)

Inspired by 90s posters, this post-punk, grunge font is a perfect choice for edgy designs. Get it with an Envato Elements subscription, or a free 7-day trial.

bronxos vintage font.png

50. Spot (from $29)

The last entry on this list is a subtly vintage font perfect for contemporary branding projects. It could make a terrific logo font. The bold lettering with rounded edges gives the font a more casual quality.

spot vintage font.png

Final thoughts

We hope this list has given you some food for thought and a few font ideas for your vintage designs. For more inspiration, check out our selection of vintage logos and this list of quirky and cool steampunk fonts.

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Danica Popovic

June 10, 2022

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.