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retrotempo | About-retro-tempo

About Retro Tempo

Decimal Mug, Full cropRetrotempo is a magazine taking a light-hearted and sometimes wry look at the retro decades and those items, fashions, events and people that make them so appealing.  It is an eclectic mix, more typical of a traditional paper based publcation than an on-line media.  That is deliberate- even if Google do not understand the concept!

Retrotempo Magazine includes articles about retro:

  • People
  • Businesses,  brands and packaging
  • Sport
  • Games
  • Leisure
  • Food and Drink and Confectionery
  • Design
  • Style
  • Culture
  • Events
  • Fashions
  • Fads


Retrotempo Magazine covers the Retro Decades – 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. (Plus occasional Vintage elements too).

Definition: Retro, Vintage and Antique

The word “retro” itself needs some definition.  In this Magazine, we make a distinction between something that is:

Retro: meaning in common use during 1950 to end of 1990 – or at least 20 years old.

Vintage:   Meaning, something over 60 years old.  That is, before1950. From the Second World War or before.

Antique:  is something over 100 years old.

So some people will describe a dress as Vintage that dates from as late as 1980. But this is really Retro – at least in this magazine.

Retro Classic or Rubbish?

Items are sometimes described as “Classic”.   A Triumph Stag is a classic car, for example.    Generally, something that is Classic is regarded as well, classy.   But not all items that are Retro are Classic.  “Classic” has a special meaning.  Some retro items are down-right poor or rubbish.  Some would say that shoddy Retro items are best forgotten – but not this Magazine!

The point is that this Magazine will cover both items and styles which, with hindsight, are classic as well as  rubbish.  So items – and even people, can be Retro Classic Icons or Rubbish!   Confusingly, some items would be considered to be so poor that they are Classic.  The Pickwick brand, “Top of The Pops” Albums (LPs to you and me) featuring poor cover versions spring to mind! (See the Crazy Horses story)

The Retrotempo:: Magazine has tons of UK retro content, but it is a pleasure to include the influence of US retro styles too, especially those from the 1950s.  Like Marylin’s look and That Dress, they (mostly) are iconic and beautiful.  And what’s wrong with that?  But again, not everything American is a Classic.

Retro Chic, Retro Cool

In addition, we have a strand covering Retro Chic and the Cool.  That is, the designing of, or manufacturing of items that have a deliberate nod to the retro decades.  For example; updated Lava Lamps and Fibre Optic Lamps, Addias Training Shoes with original three white stripes and items of furniture and wallpaper with design cues from the retro decades.  People themselves can adopt a vintage style of living and outlook on life – and  that is a whole new strand for exploration!


Another feature will be Retrocycling.  That is:  “recycling or reusing items from the recent past to make new items that are contemporary”.  Perhaps the best known example of this is the famous Rover Chair.  Now a feature of the BBC’s Top Gear Programme, but originally a one man design classic.

Public Contributions Welcome!

Finally, the magazine is designed to hold and display contributions from you- the public; thoughts, memories, photos, items, but most of all funny stories about the retro decades.  All are welcome!  Please enjoy and do not hesitate to provide feedback for our readers using a reply comment  on a post or page or post on our Forums.  “Be seeing you”!

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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