Adobe Releases Their Predictions for Visual & Creative Trends in 2021

Every year, Adobe Stock combines sources, consumer signals, and the deep experience of our creative team to release our annual trend forecast. Last year, we expanded our forecast from photography, illustration, and vectors to include motion graphics, graphic design, 3D renders, and immersive experiences.

This year, Adobe is introducing its first-ever lineup of audio trends. Across all creative mediums, the 2021 trends feel especially meaningful—reflecting a range of reactions to the past year, and the hopeful, regenerative spirit with which we face the year ahead.

Adobe Stock Orlando Florin Rosu
Jumping into the lake from a pontoon during sunset . This is a 3d render illustration .

This year, 90% of creators found trends and topics in visual culture are evolving faster than ever before. As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, this year’s trends showcase how imagery is helping creatives and marketers express compassion, boost moods and provide an escape from our challenging environments and circumstances. With 49% of creators developing content with positive societal impacts, these trends reinforce the importance of uplifting and inspiring content in 2021.

Adobe Stock’s Visual & Creative Trends Forecast predicts the following trends:

The Compassionate Collective:

  • In 2021, efforts should aim to support, represent and empower all voices and identities through compassion following a difficult year.
    • Over the past several years, the collective drive to associate with brands that share and demonstrate our values has continued to gain momentum. Compassionate Collective is a visual trend that expresses that craving, along with the desire to connect with strength and empathy. The effects of the social movements and strong emotions of last year are now rippling through our culture, making this a potent and heartfelt source of visual inspiration that we expect to grow.

Mood-Boosting Color:

  • As social causes gain momentum, color has become a vehicle for consumers to express their beliefs, cultures, and values.
    • The power of color is nothing new, but it’s exactly what we need right now. Bright, more saturated colors have the happy psychological effect of making us feel more awake and alive, lifting our mood when we’re down and giving us much-needed energy. Aside from adding a vibrant spirit to our monochrome days, the Mood-Boosting Color visual trend expresses a feeling of joy and power that is strong and defiant while still retaining a sense of playfulness.

Comfort Zone:

  • The distance between individuals’ social and private lives has changed due to COVID-19, making homes the singular space for all activities.
    • The home has shifted from being a place where we sleep at night to the center of our family and social lives. With the public health and safety restrictions brought about by the pandemic, 2020 saw a huge uptick and this trend enveloped us all. In 2021, we’ll see much more of the visual trend we’ve dubbed Comfort Zone throughout every type of campaign and creative visuals.

Breath of Fresh Air:

  • The cultivation of nature, whether in the country, suburb, or urban center, has provided relief from the restrictions of indoor living and evolving responses around climate change, the environment, and sustainability.
    • Celebrating the regenerative powers of nature and the great outdoors can sometimes mean reveling in the novelty of simply going outside. During quarantine, our need for immersion in nature and the outdoors became a high priority and created balance in our lives. Brands responded, leading to our visual trend, Breath of Fresh Air.

Want to see all of the creative trend predictions from Adobe? Be sure to check out the complete report here!


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