Nostalgia in Web Design: Does It Work?

Nostalgia is a Greek word coined in 1688 that literally means “a painful yearning to return home.” Why would someone use it in web design? The digital market in Australia today is constantly growing. It’s evident in the Content Marketing Brisbane firms practice these days. Different gimmicks and tricks are used in algorithms to stabilize digital businesses.

The content marketing Brisbane has these days birthed many digital ad agencies, but the few good ones are doing it right. No matter what the platform is, engaging with audiences is the primary goal of businesses. A “50% discount” or a flashy slogan may instantly catch their attention, but the real aim is to keep it.

People always appreciate things that are well-thought of, familiar, and caring.

If web designers use nostalgia in visual design to connect with the audience, will it work? To get a better perspective, a curious web designer should look at traditional advertising—TV and print ads.

Nostalgia in Advertising

Mad Men, a famous US TV series about the golden age of advertising in the 50s, showed a great example of using nostalgia in a season 1 episode.

The protagonist, Don Draper, was pitching to the Kodak clients about their new product, the Carousel. It was a slide projector that displays photos on a screen.

At that time, the Carousel, or the “Wheel” as the Kodak people sadly called it, didn’t really excite people. So the clients were condescendingly doubtful that Don and the ad men would not get it, but the clients later changed their minds after hearing his pitch.

His pitch was simple but very powerful.

“It’s called a carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels, around and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved.”

By completely dismissing the term “The Wheel”, he implanted an idea in the client’s minds that a Carousel was an exceptional device for people to reconnect with themselves and their loved ones through photos. Check Digital8 for more details.

“It’s not a spaceship. It’s a time machine.”

With his charm and ad intellect, Don Draper ultimately nailed the pitch and left the clients’ jaws hanging and a co-worker crying.

Using it in Web Visual Design

Web visitors to websites are what audiences are to TV ads. Similarly, both audiences look for that emotional twinge and familiarity in content, regardless of the platform.

This is further supported by Dr. Filippo Cordaro, a researcher of Nostalgia. He found similarities between a person reminiscing about the past and the level of belongingness they feel in social situations.

Does this mean retro graphics and nostalgic design is effective in connecting with web visitors?


Nostalgia with Purpose

You can use nostalgia in web visual design, but don’t overdo it or put it for the sake of familiarity. Do so with purpose as what you would design with other types of concepts.

For example, the content marketing Brisbane has these days should be meticulous of the 90s-styled content they put on their websites. It might put off web visitors or become over-the-top, which is the equivalent of overbearing advertising.

If you’re a small business in Brisbane, look for digital ad agencies that prioritize connecting with people. For example, companies like Digital8 web design Brisbane don’t work with clients who don’t care for customers.

Be good with your audience, connect with them, have a heart—at the end of the day, it’s what matters the most. For more info, visit