10 Trends Shaping Visual Communication in 2018

We’re excited to announce that we’ve just released visual trends for 2018 in a collaboration with our top photographers and industry leaders. We looked at our search data from a library of (now) over 70 million files and narrowed in on the 10 trends that are going to rule over the coming year.

1. Impact Photography

According to Statista Research, the number of smartphone users will raise to 2.7 billion by 2019. The accessibility of cameras is going to inspire people to not only document their daily life but also shine light on important events. Amateur journalism is also starting to develop social awareness around the world, battling fake news in the process.

2. Perfect Strangers

The fact that we always have a smartphone with a high-quality camera at hand has also changed the way we approach street photography. Have you heard a story about a Nigerian woman who became a top model after she was accidentally photographed on the street? We’re seeing a new approach to selecting models where ordinary people make for compelling subjects that are more relatable.

3. Artistic Expression Through Travels

More and more people are prioritizing travels. This led to a completely new way of living – “van life”, when people escape their homes and return to their roots, looking for harmony with nature. It’s becoming one of the most popular social media trends with more than 2 million mentions on Instagram. When exploring remote places, people are documenting their travels and promoting a new lifestyle through their photography.

4. Deadpan Photography

Deadpan photography, popular in the 50’s, has made a big comeback and is reverting back to the truth-telling capacity of photography.  This style of photography is clearly influencing users around the world. We’re noticing a tendency to value unfiltered and raw photos much more than the glossy, picture-perfect opposites.

5. Video as a Tool of Communication

Rather than downloading a recorded event, people prefer to feel “in the moment” and watch livestream videos. Q&A sessions, live streams for events, the ability to show how the company works from the inside – it all takes away the image of a faceless corporation and brings companies closer to people. It is also influencing commercial videos and the shooting style of stock footage because in many ways, we depend on this format to quickly digest information.

6. Motion as a New Norm for Graphics

In 2018, we’ll be seeing a lot of experimentation with photos and videos. Graphics with motion add another dimension to otherwise static images and combine current video trends with still photos. Social media will be flooded with animated images, and we’re seeing an increasing demand to bring back the lively form of graphics.

7. Blurred Lines of Reality

Augmented reality is not an unknown theory anymore. We can easily transform the world around us even with the help of our phones. We can edit photos, add filters and masks to images while we’re shooting, or even add objects from a shop to our homes to see if they fit, using a smartphone camera. We can safely say that the future is here, and brands have to integrate these trending formats into their projects.

8. Creative Collages

The growing popularity of creative collages emerged in the graphic design industry. Cropping images, combining them in unexpected ways and playing around with different mediums and effects introduces something a little more unexpected from visual content.

9. Brave Color Choices and Effects

Bold color choices make for a loud statement as do soft, pastel colors that translate a trendy aesthetic. We’re expecting to see a duality of two extremes – bold and bright vs soft and pastel. Experimenting with unusual effects and finding new ways to alter photos is another trend we’ll be seeing a lot of.

10. Accept Me for Who I Am

Challenging stereotypes became relevant across many industries. Visual communication is no exception. No longer are we concerned with the perfect image, enhanced looks, or a younger appearance. France went as far as to ban companies from drastic enhancements of models in adverts. People want to be seen and accepted as they are.

We’re prioritizing unconventional beauty, unfiltered photos, becoming involved with documenting important events and technologies and starting to adapt new formats to work with. 2018 is the year of filtered-down aesthetics and a more personalized approach to creating and using visuals that inspire, motivate and reflect the changes we’re about to see.

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