Creative Adobe Report

The visual trends that will define 2020


By Chris Sutcliffe, Senior reporter

February 17, 2020 | 5 min read

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The creative industries help to define the look of an era. As much as architecture and literature have an enormous impact, the style and flavour of a decade is primarily decided by the creatives. While that’s a privilege, it is also a responsibility that means creatives must be the ones to constantly push themselves to try new things. After all, nothing’s worse than stagnation.

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Discover the most important visual trends of 2020

That’s especially true in the media and marketing world. Too often brands find themselves playing catch-up with the trends being created for younger audiences, instead of working with them collaboratively. That risks alienating savvy millennial and Generation Z consumers, who recognise when they’re being sold to.

In order for marketers and creatives to stay abreast of visual trends,The Drum, in conversation with Adobe Stock and Dentsu in their latest webinar, will draw from Adobe’s 2020 Creative Trends report and explore some of the most important visual trends and sub trends for the year. Register here.

These insights are best gained by examining the tools people are increasingly using to create visual assets: as the capabilities of consumer tech increase, individual creators are able to produce multimedia works of art that have as great an impact as those created by brands and collectives.

The following includes some of the key take-aways from the latest Adobe 2020 Creative Trends report, across the topics of Visual Trends, Motion Trends and Design Trends.

Art Deco Updates

One of the more striking visual trends is a return to the visual style of art deco – but updated for 2020’s sensibilities. The report notes that striking, nostalgic visual elements reminiscent of the bold Art Deco age have been bubbling to the surface. “In response to the pervasiveness of sleek, flat, minimal design, vintage styles are being reworked to incorporate futuristic details while retaining their decorative appeal.”

At a time when younger audiences are craving experience over product, the return to an art deco-inspired aesthetic is bringing the experience back into product. Everything from alcohol brands to restaurants are seeking to re-establish the primacy of luxury through this one particular visual style.

Similarly, the report also notes that Gothic-inspired visuals are creeping back into vogue, with stark neon colours being wedded to traditional compositions in order to update a particular style. The report adds: “This aesthetic evokes an edgy mood that appeals especially to younger creatives.”

art deco

Environmental Documentary

Today’s audiences are more aware about issues such as mental health, environmental devastation, and other humanitarian causes. It’s no surprise that many are turning to the tried-and-true tropes of the documentary movie in order to take a stand and call for action. The report says: “The discussion of climate, based on science and real policy ideas, will be a prominent part of many industries’ narratives in 2020. Brands and programs will be using a documentary film style to portray the challenges and possible future the world faces due to climate change.”

Consequently, many of the video trends are towards stark, simple images of humanity juxtaposed against nature. Just as images like those from the Australian bushfires are eye-catching, so too are the images that demonstrate the impact of mankind upon the earth. From footage of melting glaciers to industrial chimneys against a natural backdrop, the prominent trend is using technology to disseminate footage of the Earth to inspire action and create hope for the future.

Movement Response The omnipresence of social media means that much creativity takes place on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. These platforms demonstrate the importance of authenticity and speaking directly to consumers. At the same time, in order to cut through the noise on social channels requires incredible creativity. The increasing sophistication of visual tools allow users to add flair to their videos:

“Viewers now expect social media videos with exciting, interactive graphics. This new standard drive increased development of graphics that respond to movement, attracting eyeballs and increasing engagement.”

The reality is that, while these trends are the most prominent at the moment, the language of visual design is changing rapidly. New trends are set to emerge all the time: and it’s vital that creatives understand both how to adapt to those trends, and how to help steer them using technology.

These trends and more will be discussed in detail in the webinar. The webinar will be moderated by Drum Network editor, Chris Sutcliffe who will be joined by Adobe Stock’s EMEA manager, Richard West, global head of creative technology at Denstu, James Thomas and Sabrina Rodriguez, Dentsu’s global head of digital marketing. Register below and join on 27 Feb to explore the latest and most important visual trends for 2020 and learn how you can implement these into your campaigns.

Register here

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