6 Visual Trends for 2016

POSTED: March 6, 2016 BY: CATEGORY:

With another year looming, this is the time when many of us start thinking seriously about our marketing strategy and goals for the near future. Whatever your marketing goals in 2016, visuals will take on an increasingly central role as we continue the shift towards an emphasis on the visual in online marketing and social media.

Get the visuals right in 2016 and your marketing campaign will be on a very solid footing. To help you plan out the visual elements of your marketing campaigns in the upcoming year, here are the six main visual trends for 2016, according to visual communication experts Getty Images.

1. Technology. Pam Grossman from Getty images refers to this as the ‘extended human’ trend, which admittedly sounds a bit sci-fi. This term refers to the increasing number of wearable tech devices out there and the growing place that technology takes in our lives and the human experience. Many of the most powerful images we are starting to see are based around the idea of humanising technology. This is a break from the traditional idea of technology as robotic, cold or inhuman. Images that show technology helping us are likely to be more popular this year along with products and innovations like smart clothing, robotic pets etc.
2. Mess, dirt, spills and other sensory images. The sensory experience will be embraced in 2016 with images of mess and spills replacing an emphasis on the perfect and pristine. Think half melted ice cream, messy kitchens, mud and goopy beauty products.
3. Rebellion and non-conformity. Bringing the outsiders into the mainstream is another trend that is growing in momentum. We are seeing more images of rebels, non-conformists and free thinkers in mainstream culture. This spans the whole spectrum of visual communication from movies that focus on misfit heroes like The Hunger Games and Star Wars to brands like Pirelli taking a break from their traditional focus on nude models and featuring a number of fully clothed female activists in their latest calendar.
4. Small subjects/big spaces. In many ways this is the opposite of the messy trend. These images are clean and feature big open spaces with small subjects. Often contemplative in nature, they take on a minimalistic appearance, play with perspective and are usually based around the idea of mindfulness.
5. Divine and spiritual. The growing trend for mindfulness and spirituality in our lives is reflected in the recent demand for images that focus on these ideas. Many brands are creating retail spaces that are almost like churches or temples, products (especially luxury goods) are being represented as divine objects worthy of worship, and their consumption as a spiritual experience.
6. Surrealism. The recent trend towards surrealism in images is facilitated by many of the modern digital techniques we see today. This trend uses the idea of fantasy, dreams and the subconscious to create images that are eye catching and often confronting.

Creating a marketing campaign that taps into visual trends can improve your marketing effectiveness and help position your brand as relevant. With some exciting trends on the cards for 2016, now is the time to start planning how you can take advantage of them for your marketing.

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