Aesthetics Wiki

Memphis is an aesthetic that involving bright colors, pure geometric shapes, and zig-zagged lines that originated in the 1980's by the Italian design group Memphis Milano from Milan, Italy. They took their name from the song Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again by Bob Dylan, which was playing during a meeting. The group had designed furniture and disbanded in 1987 due to the hype of their movement fading. Although the look for this aesthetic was used for furniture, it's also used in visual art as well. This aesthetic is often used to retroactively define and depict the decade it debuted in. The popularity of this aesthetic had lasted into the early 90's of which it sometimes erroneously stated to have come from.


Memphis typically uses brightly colored (typically white) backgrounds plastered with geometric shapes with vibrant colors. Pink, yellow, and blue are the most common colors used for said shapes. Zig zagged lines (usually black) also tend to appear alongside the geometric shapes.


TV Shows

  • Early MTV
  • Double Dare
  • Miami Vice (1984)
  • Pee-Wee's Playhouse (1986)
  • Saved By the Bell (1989)
  • Wild & Crazy Kids (1990)
  • Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami (1983)


  • Ruthless People (1986)
  • Beetlejuice (1988)
  • Back To The Future Part II (1989)

Video Games

  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Franchise)


Because of the popularity and commonality of the Memphis look during the 1980s and early 1990s, the Memphis aesthetic can often find its way into the aesthetics that were directly inspired by the 80s and 90s, namely Synthwave (especially some of the poppier elements of the genre) and Vaporwave (Vapor95 offers clothing that are very clearly inspired by the Memphis aesthetic, but more famously, Vaporwave artist Disasteradio, under the Eyeliner moniker, released the album Buy Now, which is very clearly inspired by the Memphis look[1].

Also an aesthetic emerged in the 90's called Memphis jr and its presence was common in children oriented shops and museums.[2].