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    What’s the difference between Vintage and Retro?

    What’s the difference between Vintage and Retro?

    We’ve recently been asked what the difference is between vintage and retro and so we thought we would write a post on the subject and welcome anyone reading to make their comments too.

    In this picture you will see a vintage 1952 Yonezawa toy car, currently worth nearly £7000! The Blue Wooden Race Car is retro and from one of our Brands, Candylab Toys, who are inspired by 60's Americana Modernist style but with a modern twist. And currently only worth £32! 

    Lets take it back a little further…..

    According to Wikipedia  ………..An antique (Latin: antiquus; “old”, “ancient”) is an old collectable item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.  An item should be at least 100 years old to be defined as an antique.

    Generally speaking if the item is no older than an antique but not less than 20 years, it falls under the term vintage.  I have heard the term ‘true vintage’ as being at least 50 years old.  Interestingly however, the term vintage relates primarily to wine and is an altered form of the French word vendage, meaning “the grapes picked during a season.”

    What can sometimes be confusing is that items that are vintage are often described as retro and so there is a one sided overlap of the two terms.

    Wikipedia describes Retro style as “a style that is consciously derivative or imitative of trends, modes, fashions, or attitudes of the recent past. It generally implies a vintage of at least fifteen or twenty years. For example, clothing from the 1980s or 1990s could be retro.  Retrostyle is an outdated style or fashion that has become fashionable again.  The word “retro” derives from the Latin prefix retro, meaning “backwards, or in past times” – particularly as seen in the words retrograde, implying a movement toward the past instead of a progress toward the future, and retrospective, referring to a nostalgic (or critical) eye toward the past”.

    Retro items don’t have to be old, they can be brand new, but would have to be made in the style of the time or item they are trying to replicate.

    So, perhaps the best way to think about the difference between retro and vintage is that vintage refers to the acutal construction, whilst retro refers to the appearance.

    Someone once told me that you can describe a vintage item as retro but never a retro item as vintage!

    It’s interesting if you ask people their interpretation!  Generally speaking I have found the consensus is that vintage conjurs up images of antiques, dresses, lace, pearls and florals whilst retro implies geometric shapes, mod and iconic design led items.

    Terms also used are vintage style and retro style.  But surely they are the same thing?

    Confused still? If so, head over to our Toys & Games section to see some great Retro items

    Artist Spotlight – Ingela P Arrhenius

    Artist Spotlight – Ingela P Arrhenius

    We are very excited to share our interview with one of our favourite illustrators Ingela P Arrhenius and very grateful to her for taking the time out of her  busy schedule to be a part of this blog post dedicated to her amazing talents.

    Can you tell me about your work studio and where it’s based?

    I share a studio with around 10 other people. We are illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, journalists amongst others.  It´s quite big so I have a big space which is necessary since I have a lot of stuff around me. It is situated right outside Stockholm and within walking distance.

    What does your typical day involve?

    My typical day involves first saying goodbye to the kids when they go to school then saying goodbye to my husband when I leave the house since he works as an author and works from home.

    I go on a bike ride to my studio which is very close. I work until around four then I go home. I might run with my dog then.  My day never involves cooking since I am lucky enough to have a husband that does that!  After dinner I often work a couple of hours more, by the kitchentable. Then I read a book and fall asleep after ten minutes.

    What products/collection of your brand is your favorite?

    I like the wallpaper I´ve done for Ferm Living, the salt and pepper cellars for OMM Design, the City Prints for Lagom and the card board cases for La Marelle Editions.

    How do you gain inspiration for your work?

    The best places to find inspiration is either at flea markets or in an antiquarian bookstore. Small findings from places like that inspires me a lot.

    Whose work in the field do you admire and why?

    I admire Lily Scratchy since it is so very playful!

    How would you describe your style?

    Graphic, retro and colourful. And made with joy.

    How did you get started down this route and what did you do prior?

    I started at an advertising agency doing everything from serving coffee to being an art director assistent.  Then I went to art school and studied graphic design and advertising.  But when I graduated I realised I wanted to be a full time illustrator so I started to freelance the day after. And that is 22 years ago…

    But I was also very into languages and studied French in Aix-en-Provence and German in Berlin.

    What are your goals for the future?

    My goal is to continue doing what I am doing.  I am exactly where I want to be, working with products.  I worked more with advertising and editorial assignments before, and still do but not as much anymore.

    Most of my time I design for the product business and I love it!

    What did you want to be when you were a kid?

    I recently found an old book where I had written what I wanted to do when I grew up and it said “hairdresser or illustrator”!

    melamine plates                 

    You can find our many Ingela Arrhenius products in our Mealtime & Games sections - go check them out now! 


    Miffy & Dick Bruna - A Retro Fave

    Miffy & Dick Bruna - A Retro Fave

    We have a soft spot for Dick Bruna and for those of you who don’t know,  he is the Dutch man (author, artist, illustrator and graphic designer) behind the wonderful and charming Miffy creation.

    Miffy (Dutch: Nijntje, pronounced [ˈnɛɪ̯ncə]), is a small rabbit drawn with heavy graphic lines, simple shapes and primary colours.  The original Dutch name, Nijntje, is a shortening of the diminutive konijntje, “little rabbit”.  The first Miffy book was produced in 1955 and almost 30 others have followed.  In total they have sold over 85 million copies.

    He's one of our fave characters here at Retro Kids - our Miffy Night Lights are the perfect addition to any kids Bedroom. Shop our full range of lighting with loads of other fun characters here.