Last year clearly proved that visual content marketing is starting to boom, especially since video marketing is gaining momentum. Social Media Today, for instance, expects 2016 to be a landmark year for online video and believes 96% of B2B organizations will use video has part of their online marketing.
In general there is no doubt that visual content will play a major role in digital marketing, hence, Getty Images’ highly anticipated visual trend forecast for 2016 comes in handy. Last month, the company revealed its key visual trends predictions that will influence advertising, design and visual communications globally in the year ahead.
With almost 200 million assets available through its industry-leading sites www.gettyimages.com and www.istock.com, the company is one of the most esteemed sources of visual content in the world, advancing the unique role of still and moving imagery in communication and business, and enabling creative ideas to come to life.
Forecasted by Getty Images’ global team of visual anthropologists and art directors, the trends address the social and cultural visual language of tomorrow and predict what imagery consumers will be most responsive to in the year ahead.
The trends are identified by drawing on a diverse set of resources to which Getty Images has unique access – expert analysis of imagery in advertising, local insight from Getty Images’ teams and customers worldwide and the buying trends from the approximately 400 million downloads from the Getty Images website each year – as well as the study of pop culture and the changing behaviours of consumers globally. In addition to providing critical insight for the company’s art directors, editors, photographers and videographers, the trends will inspire, educate and support designers and creatives across the globe.
The 2016 trends identified by Getty Images’ visual trend experts are:
1. Divine Living: As brands start to focus on values, as we shift our focus to more meaningful consumption, a surge of concepts such as goodness, intention and interconnectedness play out in the visual landscape. In an overwhelming visual world, brands and storytellers are placing purpose at the core of their narratives and must now appeal to our sense of worth, inside and out.
2. Extended Human: Technology is changing the way we live our lives, share our experiences and take in our surroundings. This trend explores how tech is becoming an extension of ourselves and challenging our idea of what it means to be human, as technology optimizes our bodies, expands our capacity for memory and creativity, and affords total connectivity.
3. Outsider In: People that push the envelope and visuals that break with tradition are being more widely embraced, as popular taste becomes more daring. As we become increasingly inundated with mass-replicated imagery and aggregated articles, our appetite for a unique point of view and standout visuals increases. This trend looks at unconventional thinking and disruption coming from outsiders in the form of rebels, oddballs, non-conformists and anti-heroes.
4. Messthetics: A break away from predictability and a reaction to the perfection we often see in advertising imagery, the Messthetics approach to image making stands out in a busy market of sameness. The imagery is messy, grimy, sweaty, visceral, beautiful and ugly. It comes from our desire to break away from the sanitation and predictability of everyday life and to revel in the physicality of human nature.
5. Silence vs. Noise: 2016 is set to be full of visual extremes, big contrasts and contradictions in styles, and Silence vs. Noise can be seen as a counterpoint to Messthetics. The imagery is simple and minimalistic, with the opportunity for customers to create messages that are similar – succinct and uncomplicated but beautifully executed to stand out against imagery that’s more frenetic. Visually it says ‘less is more’ in both composition and color. The pictures are often quiet and restrained and are highly effective in a visually overstimulated world where a calm approach creates a welcome contrast.
6. Surreality: Photographers are using new photo manipulation techniques to create playful and often surreal imagery. Sometimes looking like a 21st century version of 60’s psychedelia, the imagery is also influenced by dreams, the subconscious, and the original surrealist movement. In response to a decade dominated by authenticity and realism, we now have a huge appetite for the surreal and unexpected.
Andrew Saunders, Senior Vice President of Creative at Getty Images says: “The trends our Creative team identify are meant as a visual signpost for the coming 12 months and to generate debate and conversation around what’s driving culture and our visual language. The impact of social media on the consumer has been a particular driver in identifying some of the key visual trends for 2016. This years' predictions illustrate the contrasts faced by the modern consumer – the yearning for extremes, to be on the outside of the mainstream, but also seeking community and engagement for a wider social good.”
Getty Images is working with over 200,000 contributors and hundreds of image partners to provide comprehensive coverage of more than 130,000 news, sports and entertainment events, as well as impactful creative imagery to communicate any commercial concept, besides having the world’s deepest digital archive of historic photography.