You’ve got to get uncomfortable to get comfortable, right? So, we did! Harry and I, put ourselves forward for Leeds Digi Festival and did our first ever Studio talk, right here at the Hatch Office in Leeds. If you missed us, here’s a little recap.
We asked the big question… “Is Gen Z Shaping the Creative Industry?” … and it was a big question. We looked at the generation split, and all things that stereotyped them. In a nutshell, Gen Z is the generation that has never had to deal with the dial-up of the internet or a brick phone. They’ve been born into a digital world which has only grown more and more with them in the center of it all. They are commonly referred to as the “creator” and “internet” generation, for the obvious reasons that they grew up in a heavy digital age, but we learnt that Gen Z look beyond the screens, they want to break off from the world and connect from afar.
After analysing data of trends in the workplace, we found that Gen Z prefer flexible and creative workplaces, kitted up with all the latest tech. As a given, they are digital natives, having grown up in the presence of technology – they haven’t known a life without it. But we got the gist – Gen Z grew up with tech and they’re savvy about it, but we found that there’s so much more to them than that. We discovered that they’re facing an uncertain future, with pressing issues like global warming and economic downturns amongst other reasons, which fuel their motivation for change.
As for the visual impacts they are creating in the creative industry, we have highlighted four trends which we’ve handily listed below, which have been developed from influences, characteristics and core values found within Gen Z. So, what do we think?
Encapsulates Gen Z’s FOMO and craving of the past. They haven’t experienced a world without technology so instead of mourning that past this is their way of trying to redeem it in a way that feels comfortable for them.
The next frontier. This is Gen Z taking that extra step into the digital future and embracing it. With a digital world on the horizon who better to put their mark on it and unravel its potential than those whose whole life has been geared towards this.
The importance of broad representation and inclusivity is increasing; this is just one example of how Gen Z focus on forging a fairer and better world for everyone. With technology bridging gaps in the world, it is a lot easier to interact with those who are different, so with this there is a wider understanding and a want-to-know-more. This is made possible by making sure all voices are heard and represented.
Similar to Modern Nostalgia, Organic Digital is the process of keeping the real, physical, and analogue alive. It’s a reminder for Gen Z to snap out of digital trance and step back from technology and leave their own mark on the future of visual communications.
There are a lot of misconceptions, surrounding all generational stereotypes, but for Gen Z we need to stop miss-understanding them and start looking at the ways they can help the rest of the world to continue to adapt and evolve to create something better. What we have discovered is that Gen Z are merging the physical and digital world – we are calling it “Phyigital”. We are even seeing the practice of this merged approach in our everyday working life, like hybrid working for example. We found that Gen Z attractive to employers, as they are a generation who are constantly evolving and looking for new ways to evolve and change to improve, in all aspects of life.
But it’s not black and white and one thing we don’t want to be is hypocritical. We’re not wanting to continue stereotyping generations, so it’s important to point out that although Gen Z is known for being one of the most creative generations to date, we know that not everyone will be a creative person but they have the opportunity to be more creative than other generations before; due to the given fact that they have access to creative platforms and have the space to express their creativity (I’m sure you’ve heard of TikTok?). As a generation they’re creative, but they are a mix of creators and curators.
What now? Well, let’s cut the sh*t … Moving forward we need to see how we can shift values and align them with the present issues and get creative on how we address them in terms of social change. The bottom line is that Gen Z are shaping the creative industry, by aligning their core values and beliefs which are being shaped by the pressing issues that we face today and addressing them for better change in their own creator generation way. So, whether you are a Gen Z’er, looking to break into the creative industry or an employer who wants to understand the newest recruits to the workforce remember these four key takeaways:
- Don’t stereotype
- Don’t be a hypocrite
- Try new things
- Be open-minded
If you’d like to speak to us about how your brand should be engaging with Gen-Z, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org