Like it or not, we’re all influenced by visual trends. That doesn’t mean you have to slavishly follow them, but it’s important to know what they are.
As world leaders in visual communication, (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab) are in the perfect position to identify new and emerging visual trends. And so every year, they unveil their forecast of the trends that will influence all things design, advertising, visual and communication-led in the coming 12 months.
In this post, we round up the six trends they’ve identified for 2017, and what they mean for designers everywhere.
01. Unfiltered(opens in new tab)
The unfiltered trend identifies a new direction in commercial photography, one that represents a move towards a documentary aesthetic. Drawing on the aesthetics of photojournalism, this kind of imagery helps brands to connect with younger, savvy consumers and bring a raw, spontaneous edge to their storytelling. The antithesis of glossy advertising, Unfiltered imagery opens up a dynamic new method of storytelling that cuts through the noise of social media, and instantly grabs attention.
02. New Naivety(opens in new tab)
With younger generations expressing themselves in increasingly complex and unpredictable ways via social media, brands are following suit, with an image style called the New Naivety. Loose and irreverent, this type of imagery proudly displays traits we once tried to hide – such as being freckled, chubby or geeky – and is full of personality, humour and individuality. The New Naivety is spontaneous and playful, real and raw, and above all, makes us laugh.
03. Virtuality(opens in new tab)
The Virtuality trend reflects how new 360 and VR technologies have moved us beyond two dimensions. We’re no longer passive viewers on the outside of the frame; we are intimately and viscerally immersed into an experience. As a result, brands are allowing story to be king, developing emotive, shared experiences that extend the consumer connection in new and exciting ways.
04. Colour surge(opens in new tab)
The Colour Surge trend highlights how image-makers are liberating themselves from conventional colour palettes and the accepted theories of “what something should look like”. It’s about using colour in ways we previously couldn’t imagine, breaking the rules, and embracing unnatural combinations that immediately ignite interest and excitement in a brand campaign.
05. Gritty Woman(opens in new tab)
The Gritty Woman trend is about a whole new type of female representation that’s starting to appear in design, branding and advertising. Tenacious, laser-focused and unafraid to get their hands dirty, these women are not to be crossed, overlooked or underestimated. We’ve seen them emerge from a confluence of other trends that (opens in new tab) has identified over the last five years, including (opens in new tab), (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab).
06. Global neighbourhood(opens in new tab)
The ever-increasing circulation of people, goods and information around the world is changing the way we see ourselves. The Global Neighbourhood trend is about embracing this state of flux, where our collective cultural identities are becoming less about where we are and more about what we believe, based on our connections. Brands are themselves becoming nomadic, learning to change and responding to our increasingly complex consumer identities.
View the trends in more detail in the (opens in new tab), and discover affordable, trend-led, exclusive imagery at (opens in new tab).