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Retro Style Graphics (1000'S Design Style Palettes) Paperback – November 16, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

LONDON, UK - Angela Patchell Books today announced the release of Retro Style Graphics, a book by graphic designer, blogger, and author Grant Friedman that introduces the retro style to a new generation of graphic designers.

Retro Style Graphics is the first in a series of books by Angela Patchell Books called the 1000s of Palettes Series which explores graphic styles in a way that modern graphic designers can relate.

"We wanted Retro Style Graphics to be the first in the 1000s of Palettes Series because the retro style is one of the biggest and most popular trends in graphic design at the moment. We also knew that because the retro style is so deeply rooted in culture that it would be a fun and exciting book to kick off our new series of books," said Publisher Angela Patchell.

The term retro is often used to describe trends in fashion, design, or architecture. It typically describes any item that was inspired by something from the past. Retro Style Graphics looks to the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s for inspiration and contains all of the elements a modern designer would need to create graphics in the retro style. It's important however not to think of Retro Style Graphics as just another clip art book; it is not. Retro Style Graphics is a style guide that also includes a comprehensive collection of graphics, textures, patterns, fonts, colors, Illustrator/Photoshop brushes, and even a design gallery for inspiration.

"This book has it all," said author Grant Friedman, "I wanted to write a book that gives designers all the tools that they would need to produce graphics in the retro style. As a designer, I understand how much time it can take to research ideas, produce, and then implement a design in a particular style. For this book, I wanted to produce resources that would save my readers time while also ensuring that my readers could maintain full creative control over their projects."

Retro Style Graphics is due to be released in the fall of 2009 and is currently available for preorder in the U.S. ($34.95) and U.K. (£18.99).

About the Author

Grant Friedman is a design enthusiast, author and blogger with a wide range of experience in the design industry. His work has been featured in many popular websites and publications. Grant has a degree in Telecommunications from the University of Kentucky with a background in graphic and web design, advertising and communications.

Grant founded in 2008 as a means to showcase his designs, offer his thoughts on current design trends, as well as to deliver professional quality design resources to others. Since then, his website has become a popular destination for designers looking for resources, inspiration and information.

As a blogger, designer and author Grant not only follows design trends but helps to expose those trends to others. Grant sees himself not as just a designer but also a student and teacher. Grant hopes that by providing resources and tools to other designers that he can not only help others but also grow as a designer himself.

To learn more about Grant, visit his website at or follow him on Twitter at


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Product Details

  • Series: 1000'S Design Style Palettes
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Angela Patchell Books,Csi; Pap/Cdr edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906245169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906245160
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,310,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Hasan on November 28, 2009
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I think the title is a little misleading: A lot of the stuff in here would be better described as grungy than retro, necessarily. I was particularly disappointed that--even though the bottom of the cover says "1000s of Photoshop brushes,..."--that there were only two Photoshop brushes (a distressed texture one and a light flares one), neither of which seem particularly retro.

As far as the patterns and vector graphics go, there is some useful stuff, but overall they're rather underwhelming. (I liked the vintage font guide, though.) It also would have been good if the gallery of retro art by other designers used elements from the book. But, then again, since a lot of the elements in the book aren't particulary exciting or even retro-seeming...

I had really high hopes for this book. It's a shame it doesn't live up more to my (understandable) expectations. I'm a big fan of Grant's Colorburned site, and I really hate to give a negative review, but perhaps doing so will contribute to the next one in the series being a bit more up to snuff.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By One Fine Jay on February 12, 2010
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The two reviews so far that state that the book is "low on content" don't get the point of "Retro Style Graphics:" it's a printed sourcebook with a CD packed with resources so that the buyers of this book can get to work with their own creations.

Unlike the Taschen series of books, where we get to see prints and photos for inspiration, RSG helps designers with a quick and easy reference to all the resources offered. Think of it as a Pantone Color Chips book, but for Illustrator and Photoshop brushes, color palletes, fonts and vectors.

Detractors of this book might think it's not worth the low price for which it sells, but when designers are inundated with information, management of digital assets can, more and more, become a chore. RSG is accessible, easy to thumb through, and well-organized. It makes finding the materials on the CD easy. The savings in time, as well as the resources themselves, make this book valuable for all my retro design projects.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob Barr on October 13, 2010
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This review is hard to write because I really wanted to like this book. But it is really hard to find something nice to say about this resource except maybe that it makes a really great bad example. If I wanted to teach someone what a design book shouldn't be, this would be one example of how to not do it right.

I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this volume; I was hoping for a book that would provide some really good materials I could immediately put to work and that would give me some insights on creating the kinds of graphics I remember from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. I didn't get that. As Gertrude Stein said, "there's no 'there' there," and there's little/no retro, and not any real help in the book.

First of all, the graphics and textures do not come with instructions about how they were generated, nor are there guidelines how to apply them to my work. I can hear someone arguing that a good designer wouldn't need those instructions, but that's a mistake; the point of any style book is to answer the question "how to do," and in the absence of "how to," the book just isn't very useful.

There is a fabulous font catalog in the book, but none of those fonts are included on the accompanying disc. The author should have talked to (from whom most of the fonts are sampled) and at least gotten some sort of a "deal" on purchasing the fonts. Perhaps the author could have surfed for similar fonts on free sites and included those fonts on the disc.

Second, what is billed as "retro" is nothing of the kind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Rustad on January 11, 2010
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I adore "retro," though I'm amused at the popularity of a family design that combines graphic concepts created by well-known professional designers as well as concepts some of them reviled. What other "school" of design would encompass both the sophisticated work of someone like Reid Miles and that of some anonymous grunt slaving in studio bull pen creating matchbook art? This book, Retro Style Graphics, is an interesting compendium of patterns, fonts, high-resolution scans of textures such as letter and ledger paper and vector graphics. If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of retro artwork, I'd keep searching, but if you want a great little resource to flesh out your design toolkit this is the book for you.
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By scootser on June 15, 2011
All the wonderful material shown in the book is NOT on the CD included. There are some brushes and patterns but not a single one of the 20 pages of fonts is included. I have to say I'm utterly disappointed with this book and cannot at all recommend it.
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