Creative Connection

July 25, 2016 /Adobe Stock /

Stock reinvented: The visual trends taking the design world by storm

Remember the days when stock photo libraries were filled to the brim with nothing but business clichés? Typical stock images that people would use time and time again in powerpoints, such as “man frustrated in front of laptop” are becoming a thing of the past.

There has been a revolution in the creation and distribution of imagery, driven largely by social media, which has meant people are met by an overwhelming flow of visual images every day.

Brands and advertisers have had to respond accordingly to this explosion of content, and in line with this, stock libraries have also had to adapt, in order for creators to produce more compelling content that will resonate with their audiences.

So what visual trends are we seeing in 2016 when it comes to stock, and what is the industry demanding to see more of? Here’s our pick of the top trends to take note of…

Authenticity is the new currency

Beautiful moments in everyday situations can make a real impact and pack a powerful marketing punch. In an age of evocative communication, your content has to be relevant, of a high quality and be capable of establishing an emotional connection. Well-documented real experiences taking over the contrived and overly set-up scenarios have become the norm and this trend is only set to continue for the rest of the year.

Room to breathe

Take time to consider the relationship between space and elements in your frame. Negative space is already a very strong element in design, conveying attributes such as sophistication, simplicity and openness. Having plenty of open space in your images will provide a visual calm for the mind, or in contrast, generate drama and tension making for more interesting compositions.

Keeping your finger on the tech pulse

Images that represent smart technologies, artificial intelligence and virtual reality are all on the up as people become more digitally savvy and in tune with all things high-tech. Being able to portray this imagery in a slick, modern way, will help you stay relevant.

Championing Millennials

The younger generation are highly connected, living in an age of high-tech communication, technology driven lifestyles and a prolific use of social media. Understanding them will be critical for brands that want to succeed in the next decade and beyond, so now is the time to start representing them in all their glory.

Food for thought

In the age of Instagram, we’ve all become masters of shooting food, but how can we take this trend further? Bring on bolder colours, artful constructions, and messy textures.

Alive with Illustration

The Content Marketing Institute found that that the use of illustrations in content marketing rose from 69% to 76% last year, while 62% of marketers said they use infographics in their work. Flat design allows for complex information to be easily digested. It’s not just an aesthetic, its also functional. This visually appealing format will remain to be one of the best ways to convey complex information in 2016.

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Cool down your colour palette

Pantone’s colours of the year for 2016 are Rose Quartz and Serenity, so we expect to continue to see an uptake in imagery using calming shades, tones and pastels. As Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color InstituteTM puts it, these colours ‘demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.’

Two pink heart shaped balloons in turquoise sky

Motion design wanted

Video has become an increasingly popular medium for visual storytellers. The number of videos submitted and sold last year was unprecedented and we don’t anticipate its popularity to die down anytime soon. And for those who are still undecided whether they want to make more photos or more videos for the rest of the year, cinemagraphy, a hybrid of still image and footage, is the answer.

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