Design: Targeting Gen-Z

BY:ThinkBAG POST IN:ARTICLES #Digital Marketing, #Graphics Design, #Social networks

For all professionals of marketing and advertising Generation Z is a challenge.

What are the design trends that could contribute to the success of an advertising campaign or at least start an interaction with Gen-Z through social media?

Firstly, let's see who are the people who belong to Generation Z:

Anyone who belongs to this generation has been born between 1995-2012. These people have a vast amount of knowledge concerning digital technology, since they have been browsing the internet from their early childhood.

They dedicate up to 8 hours a day to browsing the internet, which is their main source of information, they socialize through social media and they watch a lot of videos. They don't watch TV, they don't listen to radio broadcasts and they don't read any form of printed press. Therefore, the «Traditional platforms» of advertising and communication are out of the question (TV, Radio, Press).

This generation, however, is consisted of activists, who fight for what they believe in, love and want to protect. They express this attitude by pressing hard for change, in a social context with equality, respect to human rights, diversity, taking action for the protection of the planet and world peace. Main components of their identity are authenticity, breaking down stereotypes and the fluidity of sexes and genders, which are essential to their prosperity.

Authenticity then: If we want to approach Gen-Z we need to touch their hearts with an honest way and not with «soulless» corporate campaigns.

So, let's see 5 basic design trends that can easily be used by graphic designers to «charm» Gen-Z:

  1.  Love for the Vintage
  2.  Hyper-Visualization
  3.  Meta-Experience
  4.  Goth to the Bone
  5.  Breaking down stereotypes


1. Love for the Vintage:

Gen-Z seems to be attracted to designs which were loved by a younger generation, almost two decades ago. A romantic design which combines a wide range of vintage and retro influences: Torn papers, Polaroid style photography, or with halftone film raster effect, Windows 95 fonts or fonts with sheathing of linear designs and natural colors... All of these design elements emit an aesthetic of nostalgia.

2. Hyper-Visualization:

This generation is exposed to thousands of images daily, which results in the sharpening of their optic nerve.

A designer will have to use «intense» design elements to get Gen-Z's attention: bright, pastel colors such as violet, yellow, pink and purple etc., rainbows, whopping and ambiguous images, fluid concerning gender or from animations like animé and typography like R&B from the 2000's or 3D fonts style from Word Art. In general, if you don't choose pink for brands that address women you are in a very good way!

 3. Meta-Experience

If we want to be able to design something which will catch Gen-Z's eye, we will need to wrap our heads around the idea of the meta-verse and the NFT’s market (Non Fungible Tokens) which flourishes today.

The idea of the meta-verse was born in videogames: A virtual, digital world, meta-universe, which will not be separated from our real world - which will have digital meta-economy of its own, where users will be able to create, purchase and sell products. In this world, property will be measured in tokens (e.g. bitcoin) that will correspond to clothes, cars, works of art, even houses and NFT technology will be the digital proof of ownership.

Consequently, Gen-Z will be the generation that will create the «meta» and can't wait to live through the Meta-Verse experience in this online stage that is to come. Therefore, designers are called to make good use of video game logic through avatars, animation and creative humorous culture. Graphics and images should have a pop art aesthetic, humor, impulsiveness, creative exaggeration, light mood, intense color style contrasts and generally rejection of the traditional.

4. Goth to the bone:

Gen-Z is growing up in a fast- changing world and Goth fashion affects this generation inspiring them with darker emotions. Horror movies, vampires, zodiac cycle, paganism, mystical and spiritual practices (magic, tarot cards, etc.) are some of the influences that refer to something mysterious, scary and exotic. The typical Goth style combined with the Emo culture of the 90's mixed with plenty of anarchical Punk spirit are expressed through dark hair, nails, eyeliner and black clothes. Thus, if you choose a Goth aesthetic, cyclothymic images or androgynous style, intense graphics, extra bold typography in the black-color-spectrum you are ok.

5. Breaking down stereotypes:

Gen Z is cautious with brands who don't touch, even a little, issues that address equality, fluidity of genders, racism, feminism, peace and climate change. As we mentioned previously, Gen-Z is a generation of activists who press for social change. Consequently, the designers who want to get the attention of a Gen-Z viewer for a long time, they will have to create campaigns that break down stereotypes and projects with an authentic and honest way of approach of the advertised brand, involving social and environmental issues.

Do you feel ready enough to approach Gen-Z in a designing manner?
If you are successful today, you will create long relations that will be fruitful in the future as well.

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