We – creatives, planners, or even account managers working in communications and marketing – are always eager for new trends in design and fashion, new ways to make a message impactful, and new paths to inspire people to buy something or to make someone engage with an idea. It takes a lot of time and effort to find the best references, and this type of research is so important to our business that there are a lot of professionals specializing in ‘Coolhunting’.

When somebody does the work for you and shares it for free, you have to praise them for the initiative and help them spread the word. Shutterstock, one of the largest stock photography, footage, and music websites in the world, created an amazing infographic based on their customers choices and searches in 2015. The results will give you a beautiful behavioural panorama and great insights that can be aligned with these new tendencies, or to know exactly what to avoid to differentiate your brand in the market arena. So, thanks, Shutterstock, for making this useful data public.

Shutterstock narrowed their findings down into an infographic – see below for insight into what some of the comprehensive creative trends for 2016 are likely to be, and what your audience is likely to be more responsive to.

  • Global trends: the main searches were Flat Lay, a kind of photo collage of objects on a flat surface, viewed from the top – a style a lot of brands are abusing on Instagram; Boho, a fashion vogue mixing hippie and bohemian influences really common in the 60s and 70s – which makes total sense with the vintage-hipster visuals so common nowadays; Sacred Geometry, where geometric shapes and proportions inspire harmony and spiritual wellness; and Metallics, because mankind has always loved gold and silver and what’s bright, shiny and rich.
  • Local trends: you can view the top major topics around the world. For example, searches about Astrology rose 271% in Canada. Curious, isn’t it?
  • Cultural trends: Smartwatches are the new big thing. They appear in promotions as rewards or on cool people’s arms in advertising imagery. This explains why the aforementioned term grew by 900%, followed by Omnichannel (+407%) and Mobile Payment (+220%).
  • Design trends: the leader in search is Material Design (+909%), related to Google’s new interfaces principles; followed by Watercolours (+234%), Polygons (+106%) and Florals (+99%).
  • Video and audio trends: motion pictures are related to elements like Fire and Water, and also Beaches and Nature. The most searched soundtracks involved concepts such as Bright, Happy, Confident and Uplifting.
  • Social trends: the report also brings conceptual images that are being seen in social media, related to Human Scale compared to the grandiosity of nature, Atmospheric scenes and amazing shots displaying Colour in Nature.

What can we learn from all of this? Technologies like smartwatches, drones, and crossmedia sales techniques are a reality, but despite our super-fast connected world, people are also focused on well-being, having free time to enjoy their hobbies or some contact with nature. We’re humans, after all, and this data really shows what matters most to our targets when we try to create a bridge between brands and customers. Discover more about these interesting numbers and striking imagery here. The full Shutterstock ‘Creative Trends 2016’ report is available here.

-Victor Schmidlin / Creative Director at NGEN

Advertising & Design | May16, 2016 | ngen

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