Creative Brand Strategy Social Media

Top 7 creative trends for 2023 - and how brands can use them to stand out

By Maria Sibirtseva | content team lead



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January 25, 2023 | 11 min read

The year has just begun, but new creative trends are already emerging. Travel is making an impressive comeback, wellness is getting an immersive twist, and content creators are collectively turning to anime aesthetics. For The Drum’s Predictions Deep Dive, Maria Sibirtseva (content team lead, Depositphotos) highlights the top seven creative trends your brand needs to know.

2023 Creative trends

Creativity should be at the heart of all good marketing - but keeping up with trends is essential for success

For decades, there’s been a continuous debate among marketers on whether to follow trends. On one hand, it’s not the trendiness of a project or campaign that makes it relevant, but a clear understanding of your audience's behavior, values, and pain points. Creative trends are also not a universal solution or a magic pill. They won't compensate for a lack of research, planning, or preparation. However, they can become an effective auxiliary tool for marketers looking to achieve better results with their projects and interact with their audience in a more memorable way.

As a 250-million file library with search requests and downloads made by 30 million users worldwide, Depositphotos has a clear vision of trends emerging in the creative industry. To share it with their audience, the stock content marketplace puts together a yearly forecast that includes statistics, detailed descriptions, ready-to-use content collections, moodboards, color palettes, and advice on using trends for different communication types.

Still thinking about following trends or not? Here’s a list of the top trends for 2023 and how to use them to create noteworthy projects.

1. Anime thrill

The latest nostalgia and enthusiasm for Y2K aesthetics, along with the popularity of streaming services, have inspired Millennials and Gen Z to dive into the anime world once again. In late 2022, titles that were extremely popular when DVDs were still a thing began to flood social media feeds and the global agenda. Fascinated by captivating storylines, characters with superpowers, and impressive visual effects, audiences enjoyed watching anime and learning about this culture more. Why not, as it is a comforting activity that also serves a surefire way to escape reality?

Anime will be a creative trend for 2023

How to use this trend to stand out

  • include anime-inspired characters in ads and campaigns
  • collaborate with anime brands and artists
  • experiment with traditional anime style with the help of technology
  • rethink popular anime concepts in fun projects
  • launch thematic challenges or contests to engage with the worldwide anime community

2. Back to the wild

It all started with outdoor buzz during the pandemic, when people sought opportunities to lower stress levels and find safer getaways. Spending more time in nature helped many realize that resources are limited, and we should protect and preserve them. Whether a thematic social media post, a full-scale marketing campaign, or products and services your brand offers, every action to address this challenge is important. Moreover, consumers more eagerly engage with brands that promote the idea of eco-conscious trips, support rewilding initiatives, or utilize outdoor-inspired aesthetics to speak up on the topic.

Back to the wild - a creative trend for 2023

How to use this trend to stand out

  • add camping, hiking, or gorpcore aesthetics to your upcoming projects
  • explore climate change as a topic for corporate social responsibility campaigns
  • use earthy and grounding colors for social media posts or creative projects
  • start raffles or giveaways with conscious travel experiences being a key prize
  • collaborate with NGOs or opinion leaders that support rewilding and eco-initiatives

3. A wonderful age

Now more than ever, social phenomena serve as a solid basis for trends. Among the top-of-mind ones is global population aging, which encourages companies worldwide to rethink their strategies and communication approaches. Today, more baby boomers and early Gen Xers are becoming elderly and opting for brands that allow them to remain full-fledged society members by having equal access to professional and personal development opportunities. At the same time, younger generations support them and often draw inspiration from senior influencers and content creators.

Older age will be a key creative trend for 2023

How to use this trend to stand out

  • invite senior models to partake in your marketing campaigns
  • use age-friendly (non-cliche!) visuals for your offline and online communication
  • create editorial projects, podcasts, or video interviews with boomers or early Gen Xers participating
  • explore and address the future of aging in your projects
  • partner with brands, researchers, or organizations that support and promote older people

4. Ethereal world

2022 has been full of events that continue to cause universal depression and anxiety. To process reality, millions of consumers started to direct their attention to living in the moment, while others chose to build big hopes about the future. To reflect the ambiguous mood of society, content creators worldwide began to speculate on the future and share their own experiences of living in today’s world. This approach to visual arts turned out to be relevant to many. Photos and videos with blurry effects, deep shadows, and experimental post-processing demanded attention and made people look for answers to important questions.

Ethereal world will be one of 2023's biggest creative trends

How to use this trend to stand out

  • choose images with creative and compelling compositions
  • use dream-like aesthetics for social media and product photography
  • experiment with post-production techniques that demand attention
  • opt for photos and videos that question and spark conversations

5. Eye on sustainability

Sustainability has been a buzzword for many years, but 2023 will help brands redefine and elevate their thematic projects in a new way. By pursuing more responsible lifestyles and craving positive emotions, consumers are trying to make the most out of their routines and look for zero-impact and aesthetically pleasing products. A request like this challenges content creators and companies to pay more attention to sustainable design aesthetics and introduce eco-ideas to different production stages; all to stay relevant and afloat.

Sustainability will be a huge marketing and creative trend in 2023

How to use this trend to stand out

  • opt for deep, monochrome colors for projects that look stylish and suitable for many audiences at the same time
  • use condensed, classic fonts that require fewer resources during production
  • add minimalist or simple textures to make designs more inclusive
  • integrate eco-conscious ideas at all stages, from ideation to production

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6. Wellness upgrade

Today, the wellness sphere remains at its peak, migrating from a physical environment to a digital one. People worldwide continue to explore calm entertainment projects that recently appeared on streaming services like Netflix. They also look for opportunities to boost the effectiveness of mindful activities by experimenting with VR-powered meditation, immersive yoga practices, and various multi-sensory experiences. The development of the metaverse has greatly influenced wellness too, providing marketers with plenty of options to engage with potential and existing clients through videos, apps, websites, and diverse physical environments.

Wellness with be a top creative trend in 2023

How to use this trend to stand out

  • turn to dynamic, abstract, and 3D motion graphics
  • apply more sound effects and, if possible, scents for deeper engagement
  • collaborate with creative agencies that specialize in immersive experiences to create projects
  • hold events in immersive experience environments
  • include wellness topics in your agenda for social media, blogs, and other communication channels

7. A blast of joy

Multiple studies show that positive thinking and color therapy help with stress management, and in 2023, this approach will be no less applicable. Movements similar to ‘Romanticize your life’ and dopamine dressing will continue to take over social media, as they resonate with the global mission of establishing a happier and healthier society. Social media users will enthusiastically experiment with different ‘-core’ aesthetics, from royalcore and balletcore to barbiecore and many others. Why? In order to find new dopamine-stimulating experiences. Brands that will be bold, positive, and flashy enough with their activities will get a chance to grab attention and expand their pool of clients.

Positivity will be a major creative trend in 2023

How to use this trend to stand out

  • try creating projects with maximalist or eclectic aesthetics
  • opt for mood-boosting colors in your designs
  • invest in stylizing photoshoots in a deliberate or flashy way
  • don’t be afraid of ‘more is more’ in your creative projects
  • How to choose a trend that best suits your brand

With some trends appearing and fading away before you even notice them, it can be daunting to search for the right one. Start with exploring what’s on the agenda for your audience; what challenges and opportunities they face. This will allow you to better understand topics and aesthetics that are relevant for engagement, and thus choose a trend that will become central to your campaign or project.

As trends are a temporary phenomenon, don’t be afraid to experiment and discover new ones that will help you achieve results. To find more inspiration and tips on the topic, dive into Creative Trends 2023 by Depositphotos.

Creative Brand Strategy Social Media

Content by The Drum Network member:


Depositphotos is an international content platform with a library of over 270 million stock photos, videos, vectors, and audio tracks. Depositphotos consist of a community of 100,000 authors, whose works help clients from 192 countries to visualize their ideas. The company has headquarters in New York and offices in Kyiv, Milan and Limassol.

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