Sunday 14 July 2019

2019 #11 Topic Introduction: Retro Colour Palettes

 2019 Topic 11: Retro Colour Palettes

Hello everyone, Keren here with a blast from the past; quite literally! One of the great things when researching new topics is learning new things. Looking into Retro colour schemes meant a decent definition of 'retro' was needed to be found.
This descriptive term has been used since the 60's. It tends to be used in two ways; either describing something entirely new but referencing to characteristics of a previous era's style, or products/ colours/ styles that are more recent but seem like they're from the past. Looking back at history, it seems that so many artists and designers have often 'borrowed' from the past. Because of the blurring of definitions and also as we're looking at colours, I have included strictly retro examples and also colour schemes that are directly from different decades.Hopefully there are colour combos to inspire all of us!
Lotte Kristensen is starting us off with a subtle colour scheme and using Kim Dellow stamps for PaperArtsy.

As we progress through the examples, you'll probably notice a trend of flatter, less saturated colours. In fact you'll be forgiven for thinking we've added an Instagram filter over the post! This is probably the sort of image and style many of us would jump to in our minds. This gorgeous geometric design dovetails with the colours so perfectly.

Colours can have an emotional impact and often connect with memories we associate with a time or image. This is indicative for me of the 70's and early 80's; reminds me of Raleigh bikes, BMX's, party dresses and more!

Orla Kiely is a perfect example of true retro. From the colours, the designs and styles of image, she perfectly encapsulates an era. This is one of her colour combos, but is a welcome brighter palette.

This artist uses a muted palette for many of their prints. Seeing the gorgeous domino colours also reminds me of another piece of art work; Eric Carle's 'The Hungry Caterpillar'!

It's incredible that this book (which is still supremely popular) is 50 years old. The strong yet muted colours are calming yet familiar. I can imagine creating this sort of look using PaperArtsy Infusions!

Design is everywhere and this clothing design is reminiscent of the Atari brand stripes. Love the gradual colour change.

You can see the translation of colour combination from that last example to this one with the addition of a ubiquitous 'retro colour'; brown. The pattern here looks a whole decade or more before and it's interesting that combinations of colours are so recognisable to a particular period of time.


There are so many quirky prints linked with retro and I love the fabric design and brighter colours here.

Fashion is a great place to scout out combinations. You can imagine 1000's of people looking exactly like this woman. It's a slight shift in the colours we've featured so far.

As the trends changed over time, so did the colours. This modern print encapsulates the retro look perfectly.

Home decor styles have always changed with time, and this colour palette and image could easily have been in vogue in the past. The style of lampshade and even the sideboard are reminiscent but with a slight modern twist. If you follow the link, there are a whole bunch of inspiring retro schemes.

Mustard tones (or Spiced Honey) fits in well with many retro colour schemes. Fresco Finish Mustard Pickle has all the right retro tones and would go perfectly with Fresco Finish Pine Grove, Mulled Wine, Mahogany, Mermaid and so many more! The retro look below plays with shapes, fabrics, pattern images and so much more! 

Pippa Shaw is a contemporary designer, whose designs have the perfect retro feel; current in look yet with a distinct previous era's stamp on them.

Leandra reminded of one very retro feeling colour scheme; Avocado. We had a bathroom suite in that colour when we moved into our current house. You might be surprised to find that it's making a (partial) comeback. Could this be the ultimate retro scheme?!

We'll finish the romp through retro with an example that screams retro, with perhaps a little adorable kitsch thrown in for good measure!

Hopefully the variety of schemes we've showcased have got you thinking about a set of colours that might call your name!

You're going to love the projects we have coming up for this topic. We are not doing the linked challenge  for 2019, so if you want to create along with us and this topic, please share on our social feeds so we can see what you get up to. The best places are Instagram @paperartsy or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world! 


Miriam said...

Ooh great topic. I love the inspiration you've found Keren.

Lucy said...

Great topic intro, Keren. In a house with an avocado bathroom at the mo!

Lucg x

Craftyfield said...

Not the most attractive colour schemes! What were they thinking off last century...

Etsuko said...

Fabulous topic and lovely samples Keren!. xx

Keren Baker said...


A Pink said...

Terrific topic and a great intro post full of inspiration to suit! Took me back seeing some of them :) x

Chris said...

Lol re avocado, I've had to get rid of several bathrooms in that colour but I love it in paint 😁! Fantastic post Keren! x