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Trend Deep Dive: Cowboy Core

Trend Deep Dive: Cowboy Core

Howdy, Authors! Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the resurgence of an old trend: cowboy core.

In the vast expanse of cultural and digital trends, there’s one that’s been kicking up a significant amount of dust lately—the resurgence of western and cowboy aesthetics. Saddle up while we dive into this trend and see how it can apply to Envato Authors and customers.

    What is cowboy core?

    Cowboy core is one of the latest additions to the ‘-core’ aesthetic trends, following the lead of previous trends such as cottagecore, normcore and Barbiecore. 

    The suffix core being added to describe the essence of an idea originates from music, with genres such as ‘hardcore’. This linguistic trend has since been adapted to be used to describe aesthetic trends. For example, ‘cottagecore’ evokes an idealized rural life, while ‘Barbiecore’ is used to describe the hot pink and ultra-girly aesthetics of the Barbie movie.

    As such, cowboy core refers to aesthetics inspired by the classic elements of western style and culture. This goes beyond fashion and decor: everything from music to movies has been impacted by the resurgence of this trend.

    Wild west doodles by Sensvector
    Wild west doodles by Sensvector

    Cowboy core, like many trends, has been influenced by a variety of celebrities and tastemakers. Pinterest declared that Western Gothic would be one of the top home decorating trends for 2024, while Vogue dubbed 2024 the Year of The Cowboy.

    In 2023, Business of Fashion reported that, “retailers in the US and UK introduced 240 per cent more new styles of cowboy boots and denim shirts than they did in the same period last year.”

    This all seems to have come to a head with Beyoncé’s 2024 album Cowboy Carter, which created an explosion in interest in country and western aesthetics. Off the back of this album, Rolling Stone stated that “Western vibes are everywhere …The Western revival is underway”.

    Western Logo Intro by cyzer

    Some other examples of cowboy aesthetics in popular culture include:

    • The popularity of Taylor Sheridan and John Linson’s hit TV drama Yellowstone, set around a ranching family in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which is known as the golden age of cowboys.
    • Fashion Weeks – From New York to Paris and Milan, cowboy influences were visible in several collections during the fashion weeks in late 2023 and early 2024. Brands including Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Ralph Lauren all showcased some cowboy-inspired looks.
    • Coachella 2024 – Everyone from musical acts like Lana Del Ray (whose upcoming album is fittingly titled Lasso and who Billboard wrote was “going country), to the festival’s major sponsors (Guess), and even layperson attendees were dressed in their country best.  
    • Over the last few years, musicians like Lil Nas X, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles, as well as other celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid have been embracing western trends and bringing them to new audiences.

    What makes something cowboy core?

    • Colors: Earth tones dominate, with hues of deep brown, tan, dusty orange, sky blue and deep reds evoking the desert landscapes and sunsets of the American West. 
    • Fashion and clothing: It wouldn’t be cowboy core without a cowboy boot or cowboy hat! Other items of clothing include jeans, jean jackets and denim shorts, intricate belt buckles, cow-hide pattern, bolo ties and bandanas and anything with a leather fringe!
    • Textures: Rugged textures like leather and denim, as well as fringes, feathers and lace. 
    • Symbols: Bulls, bullwhips, cacti, cattle, horses, horseshoes, lassos, saloon doors, spurs, the Lone Star, and wagons are all recurring motifs. Additionally, Native American iconography such as feathers and dreamcatchers, as well as Mexican-influenced patterns and fabrics.
    • Graphics: Hand-drawn letters, vintage serif typography.
    Wild West Stamps by nadispasibenko
    Wild West Stamps by nadispasibenko

    How can cowboy core apply to creative stock?


    Shoots can focus on landscapes, featuring sprawling Western vistas or the intimate setting of a ranch. Portraits can capture the raw emotion of rugged individuals in western wear, and shot composition can lean toward cinematic. Similarly, the silhouette of the rugged cowboy against a vast horizon the essence of this trend.


    Integrate elements of the desert, pastoral scenes, or focus on the nuances of country life. Slight sepia or warm-toned filters can evoke nostalgia while still maintaining high production values. B-roll footage of animals in the desert, or up close details of clothes or buildings can help build atmosphere.

    Motion Graphics

    The challenge and opportunity for motion graphics creators is bringing the elements of the country and western vibe to life. From the saunter of a cowboy to the flickering flames of a campfire under the stars, the gallop of a horse or the slinging of a gun, the possibilities are endless!


    Country music has a distinctive and rich history. It’s known for its twangy guitars, banjos and fiddles, harmonicas, as well as for its deep history of strong narrative and storytelling in lyrics.   


    Graphics Authors can use this opportunity to get creative blending modern design principles with western features. Examples of western features to include in your designs are cattle brands, wooden textures, and imagery of wild mustangs.

    For fonts, think beyond the classic ‘Wanted’ poster font. Explore variations that reflect the handcrafted signs of the 19th-century frontier, but with a contemporary twist. This helps modern brands who are looking to capture this throwback vibe.

    Cowboy on horse by Image-Source
    Cowboy on horse by Image-Source

    More inspiration

    We hope you found this trend deep dive useful! If you’d like to see previous trend deep dives, please check out our past trend deep dives here. For a different trend that has had new life breathed into it, check out our look at neo-brutalism.

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