You may have heard of it but still wonder, what in the world is cyberpunk? Now, if you are thinking futuristic stuff like flying cars, neon lights, futuristic landscapes and all, then you aren’t far from the truth. But cyberpunk is more than just high-tech innovations and locations.
The Cyberpunk genre is believed to be a science-fiction one that takes place in a futuristic world. With violent events and dystopian situations, this genre has become popular among fans of certain cultures that wish to escape into something better. But what is the entirety of cyberpunk? Let’s take it piece-by-piece to really understand what cyberpunk is.
WHAT IS A CYBERPUNK THEME?
As the name implies, cyberpunk is a genre of science fiction that has become a subgenre because it has been so popular. It is set in the future and features a high tech and often dystopian setting where computers and humans are closely linked. This genre also typically features information technology items such as implants or chips that have made humans superhuman by enhancing their physical capabilities. Cyberpunk is different from other science fiction genres due to its focus on how technology affects the human condition.
The term cyberpunk was used for the first time in a novel called "Neuromancer" by William Gibson. The novel, published in 1984, was very influential - both on cyberpunk literature as well as on other genres like science fiction and fantasy.
WHAT MAKES A CYBERPUNK?
Real cyberpunks are strong and confident and have a unique quality of style that is all their own. They know how to use the technology available to them, they are savvy and smart, and they have a rebellious attitude that is bound by their belief of the truth. Cyberpunks believe that being diverse is key to the evolution of the population.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CYBERPUNK & SOLARPUNK
Solarpunk is like cyberpunk. It’s a kind of speculative fiction that paints a positive future full of technological wonders. In solarpunk, technology will work for us instead of against us, and we can co-exist with the environment without making it inhospitable for ourselves.
Solarpunk is an aesthetic movement that incorporates the solutions and ideals of cyberpunk with the aesthetics and positive ideals of the environmentalist, green, and vegan movements. Solarpunk has been described as cyberpunk with trees and windmills.
Cyberpunk tales are dark and gritty, telling stories of government control and big corporations gone bad. They explore the possibility that technology could be used to destroy humankind in the same way it is being used to improve our lives.
Unlike the cyberpunk movements, Solarpunk is not focused on crumbling corporate or existing governmental systems. Its focus is more on cooperation than confrontation. Ultimately, this makes Solarpunk appear to be rather positive and lighthearted as compared to cyberpunk. The sun rises, and the sunsets and the patterns of our modern lives are powered by its energy.
Other movements include steampunk; a new, futuristic vision that promotes the adoption of the technology. In conversations with huge corporations about tech and how we might use it to help us navigate the world in an easier way.
THE ART OF CYBERPUNK
The Cyberpunk Art style is all about contrast. Vibrant neon colors are mixed with dark blacks and grays. The epic genre is a kind of fiction that is concerned with powerful, heroic stories with their basis on grand themes. Its style and tone are generally dark, gritty, and violent. This art style usually uses bright colors, predominantly combinations of pink and blue, to contrast with its dark environment to create a futuristic feel.
The influence that cyberpunk has instilled can be seen almost everywhere in today’s world. The contrast of color combinations, original and/or computerized typography are great ways to impart a futuristic touch to any design. A great way to do this is by using glitch effects. Glitch effects can add an element of interest to your design, making them a popular go-to for creating futuristic imagery.
We can't possibly name all the films in the movement. These may or may not have influenced our design philosophy. However, let's take a look through a few seminal moments of the culture that shaped cyberpunk as we know it today. This will help us reboot our idea of what cyberpunk is for us.
Cyberpunk has been the aesthetic of many films. A movement that spread throughout communities, gaining attention. It has inspired many creators, but more importantly, fascinated many audiences. One of these movies was Blade Runner. Blade Runner (1982) is a cult classic and a true cyberpunk movie. It was an inspiration to many sci-fi writers in accordance with the genre's main characteristics. The world from Blade Runner offers many interesting ideas, such as clothes and outfits. The movie inspired various designers over the years, including the famous Yohji Yamamoto.
The Matrix is also a cyberpunk-inspired action film by Andy and Larry Wachowski, written by the Wachowskis and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano. With such awesome cyberpunk aesthetics, it’s hard to imagine anyone who has seen the movie not wanting to get its theme on their website.
The cyberpunk theme was also featured in the sci-fi movie “Elysium”. It showcased many futuristic technologies. The style has become the mainstream of current science fiction and it heavily influenced our perception of life in the distant future.
The futuristic Cyberpunk world is explored in the manga. It's a place where artificial intelligence is in charge, humans strive to stay one step ahead of the machines. Akira, a Japanese cyberpunk-inspired manga, is one of the best examples of cyberpunk manga. It was written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo who also created steamboy. Akira cyberpunk Japanese manga has a complex story based on the development of the technology that has raised some controversies with real facts and events.
Ghost in a shell is another cyberpunk-themed manga/anime series that tends to live up to the entire reason people usually try out cyberpunk fiction, i.e. cool tech and its consequences and possible ways the future and society could go down. The series' storyline takes place in a world where most of it is online, and humans have mostly chosen shells or android bodies to connect their minds with the internet.
Cyberpunk’s dystopian setting is a source of inspiration for many games. Released in 1988, Cyberpunk has been featured in numerous video games during the last three decades of its history. Although often not as popular as other genres, such as real-time strategy or first-person shooter, cyberpunk is at the core of multiple important video game franchises, including Deus Ex, Syndicate, The Matrix Online, and many others.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a role-playing video game created by CD Projekt RED. In the game, players control an individual who is immersed in a massive futuristic open world filled with vicious gangs, many of which are at war. The player’s main objective is to progress through the story, gain skills and experience, and join the various gangs fighting against rival groups.
The game features heavily armed and armored mercenaries who engage in battle using high-tech weaponry. Cyberpunk 2077 has activated thousands of cybergeeks and turns them into a rabid bunch of animals salivating at the idea of being able to play the game as soon as possible. Since its announcement, Cyberpunk 2077 has captivated the cyber-globe with its mind-blowing videos of futuristic gameplay, making them all anxious to play the game.
CYBERPUNK TECHWEAR CLOTHING
The strong influence of the cyberpunk genre on the world of fashion comes naturally. The futuristic characteristics of this style make it appropriate for any season, especially fall and winter. The bright colors and flamboyant decorations that have been seen in recent collections in numerous big cities around the world reveal the designers' obsession with the cyberpunk culture.
Techwear clothing is inspired by the boundaries between fashion and warfare. Made to serve the individual, these thoughtfully engineered garments blend function with fashion. Cyberpunk traces can also be seen in metallic accessories, neon-light make-up, flashy hair colors, and many others to express the true essence of cyberpunk.
Fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada have been drawn to cyberpunk fashion concepts. These luxury brands have begun working with elite designers to create their own futuristic and striking styles.
HOW TO PULL OFF THE CYBER AESTHETIC
The Cyberpunk techwear clothing style is a futuristic and post-modern fashion style. Themes vary, including "high tech and low life", i.e. a combination of high-technology and the grungier and often violent or disturbing elements of life. With that being said here are some clothing you should consider when you want to pull off that cyberpunk aesthetic:
- Cyberpunk cargo pants - Cyberpunk cargo pants that are designed with the futuristic cyberpunk look. These cargo pants have pockets to keep your phone, leather wallet, and notebook handy. All while giving you a classic cyberpunk vibe.
- Cyberpunk boots - A classic, fashionable, and edgy pair of boots is a need for all cyberpunks. Ones that are inspired by games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and films that are sci-fi yet based in reality.
- Cyberpunk face mask - The Cyberpunk face masks are a futuristic, fashionable, and cyberpunk-inspired masks that are uniquely designed to make the wearer stand out among the crowd. It is usually designed after robots and other technologies.
- Cyberpunk jacket – Cyberpunk jackets are jackets that have been designed to look like the ones in the matrix and the Cyberpunk 2077 game. These jackets are usually black and are made from technical materials.
- Cyberpunk accessories – Cyberpunk accessories are ones designed after the futuristic looks of technology. Examples are neon sunglasses, necklaces, and more. Neon shirts are also included.