With the new year literally days away, it’s time to check the forecast for visual trends which are likely to be coming in 2019. Visual trends are generally established by stock image companies, and the photo libraries which they produce are created even while the holiday buzz and hectic shopping times are in full swing.
Of course, there’s always a little bit of salesmanship on the part of companies like Adobe Stock and DepositPhotos, because they are looking to make money as well, by trying to get you to grow or completely replace your current library of photos. But on the other hand, they do generally stay abreast of the hottest trends which are coming, and which are already underway. With all that in mind, here are the hottest trends which have been identified by the photo experts as being the most popular visual trends for the coming year.
Images infused with classical references
You can probably expect to see a number of photos which center on underwater subjects, and which include classical figures appearing in the ornate, emotional style which is characteristic of the Baroque period. American photographer Christy Lee was a big proponent of this style during 2018, and many of her photos had this same Baroque character to it.
Photo image company Getty is predicting that there will be a similar visual trend in still life photography, primarily with food subjects, and which is being termed ‘dark table mood’ photography. You can expect a great many of these types of images to appear on social media, featuring tablescapes and fruit or vegetable subjects appearing in chiaroscuro lighting. This style is reminiscent of still life produced by masters from the 17th century, such as Willem Kalf and several others.
An abundance of nature
Many photo image companies, especially Adobe Stock and Getty/iStock, are predicting that there will be an abundance of natural subjects in the visual trends for 2019. Concern over global warming and rising temperatures, plus fears about an excess of technology in all our lives, is thought to be the primary driver of this trend toward natural subjects.
Expect to see a great many images which explore our place in nature, and which feature the splendor of the natural world. Gardening is expected to be a highlighted activity, with the simple appeal of connecting with the earth, as opposed to becoming overwhelmed by technology. And of course, whatever becomes popular for visual trends on the social media, is very likely to be copied by advertisers in the business world, so you can expect a good number of natural themes to appear in marketing and advertising for the coming year as well.
Color trends for the coming year
Shutterstock is predicting a number of neon urban and digital tech kinds of colorations as the ones to watch for in 2019’s visual trends. Such colors as Plastic Pink, Proton Purple, and UFO Green are expected to be used widely because of their growing popularity among the masses. Globally, expect colors to follow trends along the lines of natural photography, for instance a deep foliage green in Brazil and Korea, an appealing lavender for much of Japan, and an American preference for lime green, which is reminiscent of the Florida wetlands. Adobe and Pantone have pooled their resources to create an entire image library which is reflective of their color choice for 2019, which they call Living Coral.
Shutterstock and DepositPhotos both feel that the 1990’s will make a big visual trend comeback in 2019, especially as it pertains to website design and marketing. One of the big branding favorites from those times was images highlighting strong purple content, especially featuring images such as old-school trainers and school stationary. Adidas chimes in with their own nostalgic look at colors and themes of those times with its 2018 Yung range.
The 90’s aesthetic was characterized by loudness, strong coloration, and a plastic kind of appeal, and those visual trends seem very likely to stage a major comeback in 2019. DepositPhotos appears to be offering a dissenting opinion in this area, as it claims that the sense of social outrage which is currently sweeping the country will grow even larger next year. It feels that this will result in a visual trend which it is calling ‘disruptive expression’, and it predicts that this theme will dominate 2019 branding.
Visual trends depicting social issues
In recent years, there have been a number of powerful visual trends which have appeared in Super Bowl ads and in other forms of marketing and advertising which have dealt with social issues. One good example is a series of ads produced by Stella Artois dealing with shortage of clean water in communities around the world, and another produced by Airbnb which tackled racism.
It is anticipated that more visual trends and ads of this type will be forthcoming in 2019, although it is expected that the brands driving these trends will soften their tone. Instead of the intense critical language used in last year’s ads, you can probably expect that more visual language will be used to protest social conditions which plagued communities and nations around the world.
According to the stock image companies
The forecasts offered above are largely a compilation of anticipated visual trends, as predicted by the largest stock image companies in business today. It must be borne in mind that to a certain extent, these are self-fulfilling prophecies, in the sense that some of the companies are supporting these visual trends in the hope that customers will flock to them and purchase images in these styles and themes.
However, it’s also true that there is a great deal of user preference and support for the styles and themes which are expected to be the hot visual trends for the coming year. If you think of these forecasts as a blend of industry driven-hopes and expectations, in tandem with legitimate user preferences and appeals, you’ll probably be pretty near the mark in establishing how these visual trends have come to be forecast for 2019.