Creative in Focus Singapore 2018 EDK9551Getty Images unveiled its highly anticipated 2018 Visual Trends forecast that sets out the macro and micro trends that will influence design, advertising and brand communications throughout 2018 and predicts the social and cultural visual language that consumers will be most responsive to in the years to come.

“As we strive to deliver the right imagery for our customers, against a rapidly changing visual world, it has never been more important to make sense of what imagery is evolving and why,” said Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art, Getty Images. “It’s encouraging to see that the visual trends we anticipate being important to brands and businesses in 2018 behold a sense of optimism: a vision of change, of new heroes and unrelenting creativity.”

The 2087 trends identified by Getty Images’ visual trend experts are:

  • Conceptual Realism - The emergence of socialsignificant rise in the demand for more ‘real’, authentic imagery. But, in a trend born in the art and fashion worlds, photographers are beginning to create more conceptual images executed in a realist style.
    Attainability and relatability are key components when connecting with today’s consumer, but in 2018 we will see creators pushing to explore these themes in increasingly unexpected ways. Searches for ‘unexpected’ were up 116%, while those for ‘reality’ were up 176%.
  • Second Renaissance - Driven in large part by BAME creators looking for a more positive, culturally rich visual narrative through the subversion of classic art techniques, portraiture has begun to hark back to imagery from bygone eras – paying homage with subdued palettes and luxurious fabrics that resemble paintings.
    Demand for this style of work is growing, with searches for ‘Gen-Z’ up 344% and ‘Vintage Portrait’ up 94%.
  • Masculinity Undone - Demographics and cultural changes are making the common one-dimensional notions of masculinity irrelevant and, in 2018, men will continue to be liberated from long-established visual stereotypes as we see more imagery embracing male emotion, vulnerability and complexity.
    Getty Images’ data shows an increase of 126% on customer searches for ‘Man meditation’ and ‘Single Father’ have increased by 60%.

The three trends forecast by Getty Images’ global team of visual experts and art directors, are identified through extensive research and the company’s unique access to, and analysis of, imagery in advertising, pop culture and the changing behaviors of consumers and society globally. Getty Images’ visual experts also draw upon search and image data from over one billion customer searches and 400 million downloads every year, giving statistical insight into the visual language consumers will be most responsive to this year.

Getty Images’ Visual Trends for 2018 have been released as part of the company’s annual creative guidebook, Creative in Focus. Along with more in-depth analysis of the visual trends, the publication features a deep dive into search data from regions around the world.

Creative in Focus also highlights talented image-makers around the globe and features photo essays which look at how crowd-sourced imagery and previous visual trends have evolved across time.

It is available to view free of charge online.