Hipster Graphics – on trend or ubiquitous?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015


If – like us – you enjoy keeping a tab on social trends, then witnessing the rise and rise of ‘Hipster’ graphics in the last few years has been an entertaining pastime.

What are the elements of a hipster graphic?

It’s the kind of graphic you’ll see on a retro café menu, or adorning the side of a food truck. It’s the perfect way for players in the food and hospitality industry to align their values with everything artisanal and handmade, all aimed at your inner-city ‘locavore’. Just keep an eye out for the centred layout, script fonts or bold caps, flattened illustrations, washed out graphics, woodgrain effects, and an encyclopaedia of symbols (especially stars, crosses, arrows, moustaches, bikes, crests, ribbons).

If you’d like a visual cue to all that is hipster, there’s this lovely tongue-in-cheek effort by Tim Delger: http://hipsterlogo.com

Is Hipster still hip?

In 2013, SBS2 re-launched the channel with a deliberate focus on 16 to 39 year old ‘hipsters’. Earlier this year, SBS broadcast a series investigating the urban hipster. Samuel Johnson brought his gentle humour and keen sense of irony to a trend that itself began as an expression of irony. One interviewee declared “you’re 4 years too late”.

We agree – there are books in our resource library illustrating this trend from around 2010 or earlier. By definition, a niche trend that represents differentiation for passionate individuals is on the wane once it is adopted by mainstream corporate culture. Enter the Jamie Oliver promotions for Woolworths. Or the recent Macca’s promos: https://mcdonalds.com.au/mymaccas

So where to next?

It’s all about standing out from the crowd, isn’t it? Melbourne is a fabulous place for the development of individualism and subcultures. We applaud a world in which individuals are willing to stand up and be counted.

Trend and counter trend. The counter trend is known as ‘Normcore’  – a fashion which focuses on mainstream conformist aesthetics. Think Seinfeld and you’re on the money for the casual aesthetic and ethos. We’ll be keeping our eye on how Normcore is interpreted in typography and advertising.

We advocate a design process that embraces differentiation.

At G4 Graphics, market differentiation is at the core of our design research.
A brand that is too closely aligned with a particular trend is likely to have a short lifespan. Nevertheless, a brand refresh from time to time does offer an opportunity to redefine and reaffirm brand values.

We take the time to understand your business, your client and customer demographic and the focus of your marketing communications. Before we put pen to paper, we evaluate the visual presentation of your competitors and prepare an analysis of colour usage and typography. We also audit the range of your brand applications to evaluate scale and legibility requirements. From favicon to sky sign. From horizontal website header to vertical street banner.

We then prepare design options illustrating how your brand can stand out visually from your competitors. Now that’s individuality. And brand sustainability.

For more information about how we can assist you with brand differentiation, please drop us a line at: rg@g4graphics.com.au

We’d love to hear your thoughts!