Every generation has it’s own unique cultural signifiers, aesthetic, and visual tropes which eventually become commodified. Today’s “hipsters” are no different. With Wired Magazine publishing articles like “How to Make the Perfect Hipster Logo in 6 Easy Steps“, hipsterism has become so mainstream and self-aware (or is that self-referential?) that everyone is now getting in on the fun by letting the air out of the balloon. I also thought it was clever of Wired to critique how derivative and formulaic this aesthetic has become, by embedding it in the notion of a “tutorial how-to”. So much of what designers do today has become formalized and repeatable, due to the ubiquity of sharing information online. Perhaps this is why so many youth brands employ similar fonts and styles. (Continued)
I wanted to take a crack at deconstructing what makes hipsterism what it is, in order to employ some of it’s visual tropes towards a loftier goal—irony & humor, which when used in the right way, can be used to provoke critical thought. Branding is about the visual embodiment of a commodity’s true nature. Youth culture always begins by making it’s own mark, which is then fed back to it in order to sell cars, electronics, and lifestyle products. I wanted to flip the switch on this and make these formulas reveal a more frank portrayal of the fleeting nature of youth culture and coolness, as well as the half-truths that are often the currency of branding, and the dissonance of selling “authenticity” as a quality of mass marketed materialism in a capitalist society. I utilized a more hand-made, less digital aesthetic, in order to bring some authentic immediacy and edginess to the work which is often missing from the more domesticated forms of hipster culture.