Getty Images Reveal The Defining Visual Trends For 2016

Young man covered in Ink

Getty Images today unveiled its visual trend forecast, a publication of the key visual trends Getty Images predicts will influence design, advertising and brand communications in 2016.

Anne Flanagan
Posted by Anne Flanagan

Forecast 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.

“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 senior VP of creative Andrew Saunders said.

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.

    Getty Images / Stuart Hall

    Getty Images – Stuart Hall

  2. Extended Human: 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.

    Getty Images-David Vintiner

    Getty Images-David Vintiner

  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. This trend looks at unconventional thinking and disruption coming from outsiders in the form of rebels, oddballs, non-conformists and anti-heroes.

    Getty Images - Felicity McCabe

    Getty Images – Felicity McCabe

  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.

    Getty Images-Andy Lo Pò

    Getty Images-Andy Lo Pò

  5. Silence vs. Noise: 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.

    Getty Images-Klaus Vedfelt

    Getty Images-Klaus Vedfelt

  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.

    Getty Images-Yagi Studio

    Getty Images-Yagi Studio

In an upcoming webinar, director of visual trends Pamela Grossman will discuss Getty Images’ bold new predictions about emerging visual trends, going in-depth to explore the aesthetic shifts that will change what we see in brand communications, advertising and design next year and beyond.

The webinar will take place on December 10 at 12pm AEDT and guests can join by registering for free here.