80’s Graphic Design Examples: The Golden Era of Design

By Ludmil Enchev

1 year ago

The 1980s were game-changer in every aspect you may think of. The decade is famous for the technological innovations that changed the world we live in. In the 80s the world met Macintosh and Microsoft Windows – this was the start of a whole new era, the era of Digital Art.

Game Boy, camcorders, disposable cameras, and CDs came out that changed the vibe of the decade. MTV aired to change the music industry forever, and digital synthesizers became popular and added a futuristic sound to the music.

The 80s can be described with one word – “futuristic”, and it reflected every aspect of design – graphic design, interior design, product design, etc. Let’s see some real examples of this intense design decade.

With the start of the digital era, the graphic design changed drastically as can be seen in Metalica’s album cover design from the mid-80s, and with the second poster for 1985’s celebration. You will see a huge difference from the third example in Memphis style from the early 80s.

The following examples are perfect to visualize the futuristic look of the 80s. The Synthwave or ’80s deco designs became a huge trend in the middle of the decade. Let’s take a look at some of them.

With the technology revolution these days, there was one trend back then that is still associated with the decade – yes, the futuristic ’80s neon graphic design. Let’s see how digital art changed the look of the designs.

80s avant-garde graphic design finds its place in the rising popularity of VHS video cassettes, as well as creative 80s typography design experiments. Take a look at some of the video cassettes covers from the decade.

As with anything else, the 80s were game-changers for movie poster graphic design. In the early 80s, the posters were made by illustrations in most cases, and by the end of the decade, they were designed all digitally. With real images, photo editing, and adding effects – the movie posters started to look like today.

The movies themselves experienced dramatic change – from the way the story was told, and the way they were shoot, to the brand-new visual effects capabilities. We will remember the 80s with movies like Terminator, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Tron, Aliens, E.T., The Shining, Die Hard, Indiana Jones franchise,  and many more… classics that we cannot forget 40 years later. Let’s see some great graphic design posters from 80’s:

The 80s also gave a start to the video games era – an industry that is still expanding today. With the introduction of Atari, Sega, and Nintendo, young people went crazy. More and more games were introduced and game design became a thing. 80s video game graphic design was completely different by today’s standards, but back in the day, it was a revolution.

Sports were also marked in the 80s. Take a look below to see how the sport event posters and covers looked back in the 80s.

Now it’s time to take a look at some popular brands and check how they promote themselves back in the day. We will see Mcdonald’s and their ads design, Mcdonald’s comics with cartoon characters, and M&M’s huge hit colorful mascots. 80s Illustration design was really popular.

Back in the 80s, newspapers and magazines dictated the flow of information – combined with TV, they were the main source of news, information, and trends. Below you can find what some of those magazines, and comic book covers looked like back in the 1980s.

Below you can find an 80s magazine graphic design cover with the popular back then Memphis style with rich colors and patterns,  as well as the first phone advertisement, and we couldn’t miss Mickael Jackson’s Moonwalker cover.

To complete our list with amazing examples from the 80s, we will take a look at some TV ad collections that will give you the authentic vibe of the 1980-1989 period.


Final Words

The 80s gave us so much, and design is not an exception. These crazy years changed everything, and design evolved to look more like we see it today. These were exciting times with a lot of innovations and changes(even globally), and if you compare 1980 to 1989, they don’t have anything in common. Every household looked completely different, and so many styles were born that are still popular today, so many creative artists gave something to the community. We love the 80s and we truly admire the creatives’ ideas back then.

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