This article was contributed by Sarah Mitchell who is a Social Media Marketing Specialist at VideosGrow.
Just like everything else in life, aesthetics on YouTube evolve. Look at YouTube videos from 10 years ago; they look different than now. Following the design trends can help you gain more YouTube likes, views, and comments. But what are the current design trends? Let’s look at some of them to see how you can apply these to your channel and stand out in the large sea of competition.
We don’t know how old you are. Maybe you’re a Millennial who remembers VHS fondly or a Gen-Zer who grew up in a household that didn’t get DVDs until much later. But even if you aren’t, you probably know what VHS effects are. The static, glitching, the deterioration, the lower quality.
YouTubers may implement VHS effects when discussing something in the past or as part of their overall look. A channel that talks about retro things may use this quite a bit since it fits their brand. If you focus on more modern trends, this might also work as a nice throwback.
So, why are these popular? For a few reasons. For the Millennial audience, VHS effects give nostalgia. Technology has changed quite a lot, but adding these effects can provide some sense of familiarity.
Meanwhile, the younger crowd loves them for their aesthetics. Lo-fi, analog horror, vaporwave, and other music and video genres utilize these effects to take them to a world that feels familiar but one they’ve never experienced.
One design trend that has been popular for the past few years is asymmetry. This is where you present information or have a graphic design on your channel that is not relatively even. It’s common to see drop-down information presented in a way that zig-zags or goes in other unique directions.
Why is this popular? Well, YouTubers don’t like to look entirely professional. There is a bit of chaos to their methods, and asymmetrical designs reflect that. Another reason this design choice is popular is because it gets people’s attention much easier. When you see something drop straight down, it’s not as eye-catching as something that moves in a bendy direction or in a non-traditional way.
As a kid, you’ve done a collage before. You combined several clip-out images to make a giant-themed picture or combined everything you found interesting in one place. Collage animations follow the same principle. It showcases several things using animation that can visually appeal to your users.
One reason collage animations are so appealing is that they are visually attractive. Just when you’ve digested one image, the next one is coming. Collage animations can also be a great channel intro, showcasing your many adventures. Plus, they once again evoke an emotion you should always take advantage of: nostalgia.
This is quite similar to the VHS effect, where one evokes nostalgia. Retro styles can come in many forms. For example, you may have a 1980s banner with bright neon colors and fonts. If you’re a gaming channel, you may use pixel art resembling games from your childhood.
Retro styles can be from any decade. Some will go even further and have a style from the 1950s, especially if the channel talks about that era.
Dreamcore and Weirdcore
If you’ve been searching YouTube and fell down a rabbit hole, you may run into videos about liminal spaces, the backrooms, and other eerie locations. Dreamcore and weirdcore are attractive aesthetics for weird channels, utilizing images from places that seem familiar but aren’t. They tend to use surreal, low-quality photos. Expect to see pictures of abandoned buildings that you swear you’ve been to or old photos that look normal, but something doesn’t feel right.
This is popular because of nostalgia, creepypasta, and the trend of searching for lost media from one’s childhood. Dreamcore focuses on the tip-of-your-tongue feeling you may have when recalling an old place you used to go to or the unsettling sensation you feel when stepping into an empty mall. If you don’t understand this, check out some videos about lost media, the Mandela Effect, and liminal spaces, and you can get an idea.
Finally, another style you may wish to consider is cottagecore (these sound like odd music genres, don’t they?) This aesthetic gives off the vibes of romanticized country living. Imagine living in a cottage with a garden, some farm animals, and more.
Cottagecore became popular in a generation raised with technology, a pandemic, and unaffordable housing. The idea of wanting to throw it all away and live in the country can be tempting. Imagine waking up, not checking your phone, and making a meaningful life with your land and family.
Yes, we know there is hypocrisy in wanting a simple life while still using technology, but modern life is an inescapable hole for many.
What Most of These Trends Share in Common
Several YouTube trends have been popular in the 2020s, and you may notice a theme with most of them: the feeling of nostalgia.
Some evoke nostalgic imagery, like the VHS effects or the retro game aesthetics. Others tap into your childhood’s weird or forgotten side, such as dreamcore. Others long for a simpler life but cannot obtain it. The younger crowd may be fascinated by a time without the Internet, where retro aesthetics come in.
Millennials and Gen-Zers have been through quite a bit in their short lives, from life-changing world events to rapid technological advances. Therefore, a channel that evokes familiarity, stability, and nostalgia is widespread.
We expect these trends to continue into the 2020s. Of course, they may change as Gen-Alpha grows, but with that said, having a retro yet modern look can make your channel succeed.
We should mention that your channel does not need to choose any of these trends explicitly. You may have your aesthetics that fit your channel, or you may take inspiration from all of the above. Regardless of your choice, we hope this article was helpful for you.
About the author
Sarah Mitchell is a Social Media Marketing Specialist at VideosGrow, a leading YouTube promoting service. With a profound passion for digital marketing and a talent for unlocking the true potential of YouTube, Sarah has become an invaluable asset to the VideosGrow team. She excels in designing strategic YouTube promotion campaigns that enhance channel visibility, engage audiences, and accelerate the growth of content creators.