The best 50s fonts for iconic retro typography design
Finding the best 50s fonts can be difficult, regardless of whether that’s for album covers, vintage designs, or book covers. But rather than that being because there aren’t any high-quality options, it’s because you have many choices.
You can choose from several free fonts, but there are some great options if you’re willing to spend extra money.
1950s fonts are for those who want a modern design with a bit more classic style. They’re a great choice for businesses selling deco-style furniture and those that focus on the design world from this area.
Graphic artists who want to stand out to possible employers and companies wanting to work with them might also wish to choose something a little more retro.
You can use several beautiful 1950s fonts for personal use, which work just as well in commercial projects. Some feature a caps font format purely, whereas others are primarily lowercase letters. Regardless of your desire, we will help you make the right choice today.
This guide will cover fonts with a retro charm across multiple websites and platforms. Whether you’re looking for something like Palm Canyon Drive or an option you may never have heard of, you should find something in this guide that interests you.
Now, without further ado, let’s get into the swing of things.
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Access a vast selection of fonts with a subscription to Envato Elements. The affordable monthly subscription service costs just $16.50 per month and includes unlimited access to a phenomenal font library and over 50 million design assets. Alongside fonts, you can find everything from stock effects and element packs to images in one convenient place.
Where can I find 50s fonts online?
You can find the best fonts from this time period in several places online, along with a selection of stylistic alternates.
Several stock websites, such as Canva and Envato Elements, have retro-style text formats that let graphic designers, marketers, and many other types of individuals create a unique design.
Some of these websites, such as Canva, are free. However, you can also upgrade to a premium subscription — and when doing that, you’ll often receive unlimited downloads or a reasonable monthly allowance.
Where you look for retro fonts depends on whether you want something that’s better suited to commercial use or for professional design projects. For those that fall into the latter category, you’re definitely better off — in most cases — getting a paid subscription for the platform you use.
Canva is perhaps the best starting point, and Canva Pro will offer many different styles that you can choose from. You can read our review of whether Canva Pro is worth buying if you’re on the fence about investing your money.
The 1950s was well-known for its iconic typefaces, many of which featured Hermann Zapf typography. Sunset Strip font styles were also possible, and their usage will work better in some cases than others.
For example, if you’re into art deco from this era, you might want to consider going for commercial-use fonts in the Sunset Strip category. San Serif fonts will also work for a mid-century modern style, as will Bold Serif.
For businesses in the hospitality and creative spaces, going for something with common handwritten imperfections might be a better option.
It’s also worth thinking about how you’re going to display your typography. If you’re using your content on social media, for example, you’ll want something that instantly stands out to your audience.
A title screen will similarly need something that helps you become more recognizable to your audience.
You don’t necessarily need to stick to one family of typefaces, but you should ensure that what you choose works well together.
What are the best 1950s fonts?
Now that you know a bit more about the best 50s fonts and how to choose them, let’s look at your best options. To make choosing mid-century modern fonts easier for you, we’ll break the following sections down into different websites.
When using Envato Elements, you can find a good choice of 50s fonts for your new ideas. Here’s a selection of our favorite choices.
Post-World War II was a prosperous time for the entertainment industry, and we saw movies and programs emerge in several categories that would later become classics. Science fiction, also known as sci-fi, was one prime example of this.
And if you’re interested in that particular genre, Space Rocks! is well worth looking at. This versatile font has a bold typeface and is a great choice if you need something that’ll work on your films’ title screens.
The font is also a perfect choice for your social media profiles if you’re into sci-fi.
Space Rocks! features a mix of capital letters and lowercase characters, and it’s best used with a neutral color — such as black, white, or gray. The font style will work with your personal projects and is also handy if you’re performing client work for film and other creative companies.
To use the Space Rocks! font, you can subscribe to Envato Elements. When you do, you’ll get millions of other creative assets to choose from for future projects.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of movies, you’ve probably watched — or at least heard of — Grease. The film remains a classic to this day, and so is the fashion you see in the movie. While Rockabilly Romance is different from the fonts used in Grease, it’ll still likely remind you of the film.
And if you’re into pop culture from the 50s, it’s definitely worth thinking about using.
Rockabilly Romance epitomizes the “well-dressed guy in a leather jacket” aesthetic, and as you might have guessed from the name, the font is synonymous with rock music from this era.
This versatile font has a good degree of customization options, including the option to add bits of color within the text.
You can also decide whether you want a strong shadow and background or not.
If you decide to use Rockabilly Romance, you can do so in several scenarios. It works especially well when you need to create posters and menus, and you can also be a bit more daring with your design.
This is the perfect typeface to consider if you’re looking to get a bit more daring with your colors and whatnot.
Another of Envato Elements’ 50s fonts you can check out is Carosello — which is also one of the most famous cursive fonts. You have probably seen this vintage display font in adverts from the 1950s, and if not Carosello, you have certainly seen similar options.
The font is a great choice for promoting consumer products from the 1950s, such as hair wax that allows people to replicate a hairstyle that was common during this decade.
Carosello has a solid degree of versatility when you use the font. You can choose whether you want to fill your text with color; if you simply want the outlines to feature, that is also a possibility.
This versatile mid-century font looks great if you use neutral and darker colors, but it works just as well with brighter options.
For the latter, you’re probably better off using the font with just the outlines — and for the former, you can fill out the inner part of your writing.
Besides posters, Carosello works if you need something for your titles or website landing page. It’s also a good option for printed menus, along with packaging for 1950s-themed niceties.
To round up the list of our favorite 50s fonts on Envato Elements, let’s look at Hucklebuck. Compared to Carosello, this is more of a bold font. You can use this fifties typeface in both upper and lowercase, and it’s the perfect font for those looking to stand out online.
In addition to using Hucklebuck on your website, you can think about trying it out in any infographics and similar kinds of online content that you produce. It’ll also work well in graphics on Instagram and your other social media profiles.
This vintage script font works best when you use black or a similar color. The lowercase letters are all joined together, whereas the capital ones are standalone.
It has less of a rounded finish than Carosello, meaning that you’re probably better off using Hucklebuck in situations that are a little more formal.
For example, if you’re an events company that specializes in 1950s themes, you’ll likely find that this is the perfect option.
Canva offers several free vintage fonts, but you’ll also find a good selection of design elements that are included in the paid version. Below is a selection of our favorite 50s fonts on this app that will help you take your designs to the next level.
Harlow Solid is arguably the best 50s font in Canva, and it has a lot of resemblances to the likes of Carosello.
The main difference, however, is that you’ll mostly have the letter color filled in completely; for something a little different, you can always try the ordinary version of Harlow instead.
With Harlow Solid, you’ll get more of an italicized finish than is the case with Carosello and similar fonts. Moreover, when using Canva, you can pick from several customization options.
If you want to use Harlow Solid, you’ll find plenty of places in which it’s useful. For example, you can use it on advertisements for retro-style products — and it’ll also work well when completing a graphic design project for a diner.
In other cases, you might want to use it as a logo for a sporting company, along with on mugs and T-shirts.
Harlow Solid is an excellent choice if you want to create title sequences, too.
To use Harlow Solid, you only need to sign up for a Canva account. It’s available with both free and premium versions of the platform.
Are you on the lookout for 50s fonts that err more on the playful side? If so, you may find that Nectarine is your jam (pun intended).
Nectarine is one of the best vintage fonts if you’re going for something that looks a bit dreamier; the font could fit perfectly on the front of a Gorillaz album.
It’s also an ideal choice if you want to design a t-shirt, and this is a superb option if you want to create a design that features lots of interesting colors. It’ll work particularly well with the likes of yellow, red, and orange.
The Nectarine Font can also work as a heading on your website, especially if you’re in some kind of music group. Similarly, you can find significant use in this font if you’re a music producer or in some other kind of freelance role within the industry.
If you’re in another kind of creative fields, such as photography or graphic design, you may also wish to utilize this font to its strengths.
Like Harlow Solid, you can use Nectarine on versions of Canva away from your computer. The app is available as a free download on your smartphone or tablet, so — if you’re editing on the go — you may want to consider adding it to your suite of apps.
Tropika Script is more of a subdued font than Nectarine, and it bears a lot of resemblances to Hucklebuck. The font has a sleek finish and is italicized; in Canva, you’re not able to control either this or how bold it is.
You can use Tropika Script in many of the same places that you’d use Hucklebuck, such as on headings for menus and in title sequences for movies.
You might also want to think about trying it with T-shirt designs, and it could also be a good option if you’re creating a calendar for yourself.
The Tropika Script font works best if you use it with darker and more neutral colors. You can use it as a sub-heading or in the main body of text, but it works better as an H1 or title instead.
When customizing your text in Canva, you can choose to underline your writing — along with adding strikethroughs if you think that it would make your design look cooler.
Pacifico has a lot of similarities to Tropika Script, but it’s slightly wider — and we’d argue that it works better in situations where you want to let your brand’s playful side come out. As is the case with Tropika Script, you’re not able to customize how italicized and bold it is.
However, you can adjust the color and size of your text. You might want to use Pacifico if you’re designing social media headers, and it can also work well when used for the main text in your company logos.
You may also wish to use Pacifico when designing digital products, such as planners.
Besides commercial designs, you can also use Pacifico in a broad range of other situations. For example, it’ll work in many scenarios where you need to create presentations for your coworkers and classmates.
If you’re looking for something thinner than Pacifico, Yellowtail is a viable alternative. This beautiful casual script font is an excellent option for those who want something where the text isn’t as in-your-face, and you may find that it’s a better choice for sub-headings and similar forms of text than Tropika Script.
You’re better off using Yellowtail for online designs, such as graphics and landing pages. It could work on print advertisements, but it might not be the best option when designing physical products.
Yellowtail has a sleeker finish than some of the other fonts included on our list, meaning that it’s an ideal cross between something older and your choice of more modern designs. It’s included with a free Canva sign-up, so you’ll have no problem adding it to your content.
As we come toward the end of this list of 50s fonts, let’s next look at a selection from Monotype Fonts. Below is a group of our favorite options that you’ll find on this website.
Madina Script is a hand-made font that you’ve probably seen in multiple vintage projects. It’s very similar to the last couple that we covered in the Canva section, and you’ll find that it’s especially handy when designing digital products.
For example, if you’re creating a coloring book — or your brand orients around drawing and illustration — you should strongly consider using this font.
You can also use Madina Script if you want to create a blog or YouTube channel about art, along with several other scenarios. For example, this is something that will work great on mug designs and posters.
The font is pretty good if you keep it in black, but you can change it to other colors as well — such as red or blue. So, it’s a pretty versatile option.
Retrouvailles is another of many 50s fonts that you’ll find on Monotype Fonts. Retrouvailles has a strong focus on handwriting, and you’ll find that it’s a great companion for many of those that we’ve already covered. For example, it’ll go especially well with Madina Script.
This midcentury typeface is a good alternative to those with a large size, and it blends well within multiple scenarios. You can use Retrouvailles for simple and minimalistic designs, especially when you have a powerful message to tell in only a few words.
You can also use Retrouvailles when designing social media headers, and it’ll work well within an app interface — as long as your brand is consistent. It’s better to keep this font in either black, white, or gray — depending on the background you pair it with.
If you want one of the best 50s fonts in the San Serif category, Maxwell Sans is an ideal choice for achieving a vintage feel. The typography strikes a good balance between being more modern and serious, at the same time managing to stay more retro and playful.
You can choose whether you want all-caps letters or a mix, and it’s a great option if you need to make greeting cards for loved ones.
You’ll also notice that Maxwell Sans works well in most scenarios where you need to create a title. Opening sequences for movies are one example, but you may also want to think about using this font in logo design.
On top of that, you can try Maxwell Sans as a cover for your newsletters — along with when designing covers for books and albums. You can use the font in different colors, though it’s best to stick with more neutral and muted options.
Fonts.com is another website where you’ll find several 50s fonts, and to help you decide on the best option for your next project, we’ll include some of our favorites below.
Midway Retro tussles with Nectarine for the most playful font we’ve included on this list. You’ll probably have noticed similar styles in ads from the 1950s, and it’s also a good choice if you want to create vintage-style posters.
You’re better off using Midway Retro with bright and vibrant colors; pairing these with black shadows will be a superb combination in many designs.
The font is a great choice for outward-looking clothing logo designs, and you should also consider using it on blogs dedicated to 50s design and fashion. Other instances in which you may want to use the font include older-style bike manufacturers and 50s-themed diners.
National Forest is another font that you’ve probably seen in one form or another.
It’s an ideal option if you need to design signs and posters for nature areas, and you may also want to use it in nature documentaries. You can even pair your design with an older style of filming, such as using a grainier camera or adding an ND filter to replicate the mid-century look.
The National Forest font works better against backgrounds in colors like brown and green, and you can be playful with what you use as the main color for the text itself. Consider trying beige or peach, for example.
Try out the best 50s fonts in your next design
If you’re looking for 50s fonts to help create amazing design projects, you can find your preferred choices in several places online. Design today is diverse, and you’ve got many customization options to make yourself stand out.
Some of the fonts we’ve included allow you to alter the colors, and you can adjust other areas — such as shadows.
While you can pick from a broad selection of free fonts, upgrading to a paid subscription for some services might be worth upgrading. And when you download fonts for your designs, make sure you have the right to use them for your design style.
Fonts are one important component of consistent branding, but picking the right photography is also crucial. Why not check out our professional brand photography guide to ensure you’re on the right track?
Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.