Predicting the Top Four Visual Trends for 2019

Published: December 13, 2018

by Justin Difazzio

hand holding crystal ball

At our recent creative meeting we broke out our crystal ball and took a look at what was brewing for the new year. Alright, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but looking at the social and political climate in the media at the moment can give tons of insight into how visual trends might reflect our feelings and beliefs in the coming year. The folks at Adobe Stock see these trends headed our way, and we couldn’t agree more.

woman walks to center of beach labyrinth

1. Emphasis On Nature

It makes sense that nature would be an important emphasis as life tends to turn more and more screenward. With hours and hours spent on computers at school and work, and phones and televisions taking our attention at home, images of nature are the way to catch the eye. Organic lines, earthy colors, and even spiritual themes are likely to make a comeback. With wellness being a huge theme right now, natural elements and designs are on the rise for 2019.

man doodles handmade content

2. User-generated Content

Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are the kings of user-generated content right now, in case you’ve been living under a rock. Brands have noticed. With that in mind, 2019 will almost surely bring a surge in advertisers letting their customers put the word out for them. Photos of those new clothes, that new car, or the new living room set you just bought will serve as free advertising for those brands. With the emphasis on relationship-driven sales predicted in our last post, this is a double-whammy most advertisers should be taking advantage of. With the rise of “creative democracy,” anyone can and will be shaping the visual world the next year.

woman holds protest sign

3. Powerful Statements and Intense Imagery

With the charged political climate in many parts of the world, an image that makes a statement really…well…makes a statement. Consumers want their voices heard, their existence included and validated, and their worldviews reflected. Images of strong figures, bold colors, and intense moments will be king in the coming year. One word from Adobe Stock’s assessment that really stands out is “unapologetic.” Carry that word into your designs in 2019, as it seems that’s going to be where you’ll catch the public’s attention.

neon sign that says this is the sign you've been looking for

4. Taking A Stand

Much in the same vein as the last item, brands are going to have to take a stand. Being eye catching isn’t enough anymore. Consumers are loyal to brands that align with their personal values. Ethical companies who value transparency and who aren’t afraid to stand for a cause will be the ones holding the gold medal in the future. But how does this translate, visually? Don’t be surprised if you see a proliferation of images that make a clear statement of ethics with a powerful image.

We may not have all the answers, but at least we can give you a little educated glimpse of what could be trending in the world of visual expression in 2019. Catch us next time for a look at all the things coming in the world of typography. Spoiler alert: creative democracy isn’t just affecting the visual realm. Stay tuned!