The world is ever-changing, and never more than right now. So whether you’re a designer or illustrator, animator or videographer, you need to keep one eye on the latest trends, to keep your work current and relevant.
Who has the lowdown? Adobe Stock, of course. Because not only do they have access to millions of the latest and hottest images, they also put a lot of work into keeping track of what’s happening around the globe, from social influencers and Google trends to emerging artists and fashion designers. Plus they don’t just keep this knowledge to themselves, but share it with the community every year in a special ‘Creative Trends’ report.
Here, we dig into the latest report, and pull out some of the biggest trends right now in photography, illustration and design. Looking for stock imagery that fits these trends? Then of course Adobe Stock has what you need. Sign up for a 30-day free trial, and you’ll get 10 free images to get you started, no strings attached.
01. Makeup is not a Mask
What should men and women look like? For centuries, the answer to that question has been rigid and unflinching. But right now, nothing short of a revolution is taking place, as all the old rules about how both genders “should” present themselves are torn up. This epic change in social attitudes frees us all to experiment and present our true selves to the world. And so one of Adobe Stock’s biggest trends for 2020 is: “Makeup is not a Mask”.
Once, makeup was used primarily to hide flaws and make everyone look the same: a mask to hide our true selves. But in 2020, both men and women are turning that notion on its head, and instead using it as a tool of self-exploration, making everyone look different and unique. In short, we’re transitioning from a limited idea of beauty to a new world of unlimited possibilities. Where it will take us, nobody knows … and that’s kind of thrilling.
How should creatives reflect this new trend? Today, the visuals we use in our work need to steer away from the traditional and overly retouched looks of the past (the popular outrage against airbrushing celebrities on magazine covers is just one sign of this). Instead, they need to reflect the popular use of cosmetics as a celebration of individuality and identity. Visit this gallery to see imagery that fits this new trend.
02. Express Yourself
There was once a time when our private and public lives were very different and separate. In private, we could relax and be ourselves; in public, we felt more restricted. But the rise of social media has changed all of that. Insted, right now, our private and public personas are becoming increasingly blurred.
This is the background to one of Adobe Stock’s big creative trends: ‘Express Yourself’. This trend recognises that the human need to share a full, honest range of raw emotions - which has always been with us - has gone mainstream. Nowadays, we can share every aspect of our lives, thoughts and intimate feelings with whole of humanity online, and nobody blinks an eyelid. And that means we can be honest and open with others, and even more importantly ourselves.
How can creative pros get on board with this new trend? To stay relevant in 2020, we need to be using visuals that match viewers’ own insights and experiences of self-expression. In short, stiffly formal portraits of people are out; photography that reflects people’s newfound confidence to express themselves is in. Visit this gallery to see imagery that fits the trend.
03. All Ages Welcome
Does reaching a certain age mean you’re “past it”? In today’s world, it means nothing of the sort. The idea that age is just a number is no longer just something people say: it’s something they back up with actions, from getting active to using the latest tech.
Nowadays, older generations are using their free time to socialise, get active physically and even start their own businesses. This seachange in attitudes has inspired Adobe Stock to declare one of 2020’s biggest trends to be ‘All Ages Welcome’.
How should creatives respond to this trend? If our creative work is to be relevant and authentic, outdated stereotyped about the elderly being grey, frail and behind the times must be quickly dropped. Our images of older people, instead, should reflect society as it is now, conveying their active engagement in business, tech, and luxury lifestyles and the contribution they have to make to the world; not least because they’re an increasingly important part of our audience. Visit this gallery to see imagery that fits the trend.
- Want to give Adobe Stock a try? You can get a 30-day free trial and you’ll even get 10 images free!
04. Handmade Humanism
Right now, we’re appreciating the magic of digital technology like never before. But society needs balance, and so at the same time, we’re craving the earthy feel of the real, physical world. So it’s not surprising that alongside the geometrically-perfect wonders of digital art and design, there’s still a huge and growing demand for the hand-crafted and hand-painted.
Which is why Adobe Stock has identified ‘Handcrafted Humanism’ as one of its biggest trends for 2020. Simple, artful and approachable, such imagery doesn’t actually have to be created by traditional means: digital tools can be used too. But what’s vital are those fresh, human touches that make these images resonate with audiences on a powerful, emotional level.
How can we as creatives harness this trend? Seek out folksy illustrations and vector art, imbued with organic elements and a feeling of honesty, to bring a sense of the human and relatable to your work. Doing so will help to make your visual storytelling more immediate and profound. Visit this gallery to see imagery that fits the trend.
05. Art Deco Updates
Nostalgia always has a pull on audiences, and never more so than at a time like this. But what’s far more creative and exciting is to bring the best of the past together with what’s happening now, and unleash a whole new creative fusion.
That’s exactly what’s behind one of the latest creative trends, identified by Adobe Stock as “Art Deco Updates.” Much loved by the design community, Art Deco was a style of art, architecture and design dating back to the start of the 20th century, that still has a huge influence on modern culture. But this new trend blends the classic decorative flourishes of traditional Art Deco with the geometric smoothness of flat design, to create one arresting and heady visual concoction.
Creative pros of all stripes can draw on this trend to bring fresh life and a burst of originality to thier work. With its use of geometric patterns, metallic elements and sleek typography, the new take on Art Deco can imbue your creations with a sense of timeless elegance, while keeping it thoroughly contemporary. Visit this gallery to see imagery that fits the trend.
Surrealism is about bringing together images that you wouldn’t expect to see together, to striking and eye-catching effect. And in a world where it’s never been more difficult to attract attention online, it’s now resurfacing as a fresh and original way to lure in eyeballs.
But while the work of artists like Dali were once revolutionary, now everyone’s familiar with them, so new approaches need to be taken. That’s the thinking behind the trend Adobe Stock is calling ‘Semi-Surreal’, in which modern, digital techniques are used to create astonishing, unusual and off-beat collages that nobody can ignore.
Whatever your creative discipline, such fantastical imagery, centred around dreamy recolorations and unnatural-looking compositions, can enable you to fashion new visions and inspire curiosity across national and cultural barriers. Visit this gallery to see imagery that fits the trend.
- If you want to get on board with the latest image trends then Adobe Stock is the best place to head. You can get a 30-day free trial with no commitment needed, and you’ll even get 10 images free!