Is Vaporwave the next big design trend for 2023?


Is Vaporwave the next big design trend for 2023?

Thu, 30 May 2024

You may, or may not, have heard of Vaporwave, a design trend that has emerged from the electronic music scene and made a big impact in creative construction and many other areas. It uses an arrangement of digital layers to create what can seem like a chaotic aesthetic but which is actually often very intentional. Today Vaporwave is increasingly being used across industries, from art and design to fashion and entertainment – as we go into 2023 it could well be the next big design trend to watch.

What is Vaporwave?

It’s a visual movement that brings together a lot of different elements, which is why it can seem chaotic to the unfamiliar eye. Within Vaporwave you’ll find everything, from neo-vintage and nostalgia to very cutting edge designs. It encompasses the retro, techno and futuristic in one simple trend, which makes it vibrant and interesting – and a great way to communicate. The way that Vaporwave breathes new life into the past is very appealing for many. It has a strong sense of nostalgia but it is also entirely up to date and delivered in ultra creative ways.

What elements are you likely to see in Vaporwave?

There are a lot of visual elements from the 1980s and 1990s, such as old school logos, anime and pixelated text, 16-bit gaming graphics, video glitches and a whole range of cyberpunk themes also tend to make an appearance. You might also see VHS tapes alongside the odd Greek bust, Chinese and Japanese characters and geometric shapes used liberally. The colour palette is very distinctive too – plenty of neons as well as pastel colours. It’s a fascinating tool to work with in a creative construction context, and beyond.

Where are we seeing Vaporwave emerging as a trend?

  • Fashion. The world of fashion is always one of the first to jump on a new visual trend and many brands have already started to embrace Vaporwave – Nike has even released an entire Vaporwave collection. Many of the most recent catwalk shows revealed a Vaporwave influence, including JW Anderson and Louis Vuitton.
  • Virtual reality design. You don’t have to look far in the world of VR to see a wealth of Vaporwave influences. From VR games through to VR working environments, the visual elements and colour palettes of Vaporwave are everywhere.
  • Gaming. Of course it hasn’t taken long for Vaporwave to emerge in the gaming world and there are some experiences that are entirely delivered in this theme. For example, see the neon racing adventure Data Wing.
  • Motion graphics and video. Vaporwave particularly lends itself to graphics and video design because it has the potential to be so eye-catching. Some of the most visible examples of the influence of Vaporwave can be seen in the TV show Black Mirror and the Dua Lipa video Cool.

Vaporwave is potentially the next big design trend for 2023 and has huge potential when it comes to creative construction and general design. Get in touch to find out more.

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