The Gen Z Aesthetic - The Death Of "Premium Mediocre" and The Birth Of "Intentional Ugly"

I'm keen to champion fellow Elphas wherever I can and wanted to share @lucymort's fantastic article on the Gen Z aesthetic. Designers, dreamers, thinkers, believers -- what are your thoughts on this shift? What, if anything, do you foresee this meaning for the future of design, branding, advertising and business? Looking forward to hearing from you.
lucymort's profile thumbnail
Thanks Rachel! If anyone is interested in building for Gen Z, hit me up : )
anayanakieva's profile thumbnail
Just sent the article to one of my founders - he's building infra around labour marketplaces on demand for gen Z, will flag it!
isla's profile thumbnail
It's fascinating to me to see the 90s computer aesthetic cited as a genZ thing (and I'll admit they do use it most) when it's a derivation of the Chillwave and Vaporwave aesthetic which came from millennials engaging in "ironic" nostalgia. [Small rant/essay below]For those curious, I've provided some music examples below:CHILLWAVE: Washed Out - Feel It All Around - MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー | - TANUKI - BABYBABYの夢 - REMIX OF A 1980s SONG: Mariya Takeuchi's Plastic Love Remix - Astrophysics - key differentiating factor in the divide between the generations seems to be summed up in a GenZ classic: Homestuck, wherein the character Dave describes his relationship with the concept of "irony". A quote which is put in contrast to the actions of his elder brother who is himself a stand-in for millennials:"But as usual with your bros's exploits, this is no ordinary irony, or anything close to a pedestrian TIER 1 IRONIC GESTURE which is a meager single step removed from sincerity. This is like ten levels of irony removed from the original joke. It might have been funny like eight years ago to joke about Mr. T and how he was sort of lame, but that was the very thing that made him awesome and badass, and that his awesomeness was also sort of the joke. But in this case, the joke is the joke, and that degree of irony itself is ALSO the joke, and so on."Millennials - when it comes to this kind of aesthetic - appear to have a need to wrap our relationship with things like WordArt or 90s-style art and music into something "ironic" wherein we don't completely allow ourselves to embrace or accept things from that era without first putting them within some kind of distancing package. GenZ, in contrast, holds no such qualms. They will never be accused to trying to "relive their childhood" with instant cameras and grainy instagram filters because they weren't alive at the time those things were real.
rachelclifton's profile thumbnail
jlsigadel's profile thumbnail
Interesting article.. Of course as a 90's kid/millennial it's easy for me to see where a lot of this came from. Feels like a mix of early internet and Tumblr-esquq aesthetic imo. What's old is new again, I guess!
abbyrose's profile thumbnail
I wonder if the '80s will continue to make a resurgence every 40 years or so...
silviaem's profile thumbnail
What's different stands out - the Internet's recursing on itself. Loved the examples, thanks for sharing.