The Resurgence of '80s Design

People remember the 1980s for its unique style, use of bright neon colors, and playful, geometrical design. In fact, that very influence is reaching the surface in all kinds of modern examples like interior design, architecture, sound, and digital marketing. You can still easily find modern examples of this aesthetic all around us today, and while some people may wish it would go away, one thing is clear: 1980s style is still here to stay. Below are a few ways that the decade is resurging.

Interior Design

One of the most prominent ways that 1980s design is coming back is in interior design. People fell in love with the simple yet stylish décor with expansive, durable materials and flashy colors. There is an emphasis on geometric shapes and extravagant accessories. Retro lighting is another way that the 1980s is returning. Who doesn’t like wacky neon lights that are as bright as they are cogent?

Whether it's a European take on postmodernism or a throwback American vibe of leather and wood, 1980s interior design is unique and versatile. Vintage items and symmetrical patterns evoke the decade without being overwhelming. With '80s design, you can be influenced by the style without being corny and over the top.

Business Marketing

Another way that 1980s design is resurging is marketing; you'll especially notice the '80s influence with digital marketing and online advertising. Companies from various fields are using this style to evoke nostalgia or appear accessible and approachable.

And there is a creative twist on this. Modern mid-sized cities are becoming the home to marketing companies creating original marketing campaigns with 80s style. For example, a creative agency in Nashville like Volt Creative can help all kinds of businesses trying to utilize 1980s influence in their design, advertisements, and overall brand building through marketing.

Events & Festivals

All kinds of events and festivals are embracing the 1980s. Whether it’s fashion design, automobile events, or grassroots businesses, corporate and do-it-yourself events are leaning into the nostalgia and style of this diverse decade. Whether it’s focused on the new wave and goth music of the 1980s, showing popular films, or celebrating the pop music of the time, all types of events and festivals are using this style to their advantage. People love the colors, shapes, and easy-going aesthetic of the decade. It’s no wonder that all kinds of festivals and events have noticed this.

Sound Design

Whether it’s the sound of a movie or the reverberated drums of rock music, 1980s sound design still influences the modern world. Synthesizers, drum machines, and affected instruments are all popular again. Much of what was popularized in the '80s is now utilized in all kinds of different ways. Musical acts are heavily influenced by the music of the time. Movies are scored in the style, bands are reviving the genres, and the overall sound of the decade is unmistakable.

Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


While interior design is popular, so is the style of 1980s architecture. The simple style of the houses is still around. People have more successfully updated the homes of the time and have adapted them to modern sensibilities. Geometric shapes, as it turns out, are very versatile. They can be painted and repurposed with the original bones of the house. Some see the architecture style of the 1980s as grim, but the ability for these buildings to be made modern is quite high.

Design is a multifaceted and dynamic area of expertise. So much can be designed using 1980s styles. With bright and dense colors, frequent use of shapes, symmetrical patterns, and jagged corners, the decade has influenced all kinds of designers. While the '80s are often unmistakable, the aesthetics can be used in contemporary interior, architectural, marketing, and sound design.

Some people didn’t take to the idiosyncrasies of this dynamic period, but it won’t go away. There are basics about the way people created designs in the 1980s that are satisfying. It’s no wonder that the way people did things back then is still around and augmenting the future of artistic, business, and practical design choices. Whether you like it or not, the style of the '80s remains.

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