Discover Why the Retro Vaporwave Aesthetic Is Trending

Vaporwave Visual Trendbook

This post is sponsored by Wondershare. Our partners are handpicked by My Modern Met’s team because they represent the best in design and innovation.

If you long for the days when RoboCop, TRON, and Escape from New York dominated the big screen or are wondering why the 80s and 90s aesthetic seems to be everywhere these days, we have one word for you—vaporwave. Vaporwave originated as an electronic music genre in the 2010s, when samples of popular 80s and 90s songs and lounge music were used to compose songs. But now, it's also become an aesthetic that has bled over into music videos, films, and television. Curious to learn more? Wondershare, the creators of Filmora video editing software, has put together a visual trend book that explains everything.

Featuring vibrant color palettes—think neon pink and cyan—vaporwave is a vision of what we once thought the future would look like. Drawing inspiration from VHS tapes, Game Boy, Atari, old-school fashion, and early web design, vaporwave's charm lays in the nostalgia it conjures up. Reminding us of simpler times, it's a retro look at the future.

Even if you still can't fully picture what vaporwave looks like, you've probably already seen it plenty of times. Elements of vaporwave can be seen in popular TV shows like Stranger Things and Black Mirror. They can also be spotted in music videos from artists like Drake, whose Hotline Bling used vaporwave to deliver his message, or Ed Sheeran, whose Cross Me video includes vaporwave effects.

Vaporwave Visual Trendbook

The film Drive starring Ryan Gosling is an incredible example of how vaporwave aesthetics translate to cinema. Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, the 2011 film uses glowing neon to bring the story to life. The cinematography is key to the film, as there is little dialogue. And this movie wasn't Gosling's only star turn in a vaporwave film. His 2017 film Blade Runner 2049 is laced with vaporwave effects to bring the neo-noir story to life.

So what do you do if you're a creator who wants to add trendy vaporwave effects to your content? Wondershare has you covered. Thanks to a host of different vaporwave effect packs, you can enhance your visuals in no time. This includes laser art to enhance your title sequences, as well as the vaporwave pack that gives you everything you need to create a trendy masterpiece. Not only does it include vaporwave transitions, overlays, and elements, but it also has carefully curated audio clips to complete the mood.

What is Vaporwave

Wondershare loves helping creators bring their vision to life and always has its ear on the ground for new trends. By releasing add-on packs to enhance their video editing software Filmora and Filmstock video stock library, they keep creators on trend with them.

To celebrate this new trend, Wondershare is asking users to get involved. Just create designs with vaporwave elements, then share them on social media by December 10, 2022, using the #CreatewithWondershare hashtag and tag @Wondershare. Wondershare's favorite entries will receive a creative fund of $200 toward their next project, as well as have their project featured on the Wondershare website.

Vaporwave is a trending aesthetic based on nostalgia for the 1980s and 1990s.

What is Vaporwave

Learn all about how you can incorporate vaporwave into your content with Wondershare's visual trendbook.

What is Vaporwave

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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