Shutterstock — a familiar name to many creative professionals — released its 2018 Creative Trends Report today, shedding light on the design trends marketers need to know about this year.
The report is the result of synthesizing and analyzing the billions of searches for visual content on Shutterstock’s collection — which boasts over 170 million images. Based on those searches, Shutterstock determined which design concepts are most likely to influence creative marketing and design this year, from pop culture to emerging trends.
This is the seventh year Shutterstock has released a Creative Trends Report, and this year, there’s a common, underlying science-fiction-esque theme — at least when it comes to the top three trends, named to be “fantasy,” “new minimalism,” and “space.”
Intrigued? Check out the full report, which — how fitting — has been visually represented by the infographic below.
Unicorns — the mythical creatures, not the high-valued startups — are cool again. Along with its friends like mermaids and centaurs, fantasy-themed images are predicted to see a rise in popularity.
2. New Minimalism
It’s not just any minimalism — it’s the clean, circu-linear kind that uses white space to draw greater attention to an image’s boldest features.
Elon Musk, is that you? We’re not sure if SpaceX is behind it, but images pertaining to the solar system and beyond are expected to be a major trend this year.
4. Natural Luxury
Less screen, more green. Images with natural elements are on the rise — with a touch of “geological”-themed luxury, like marble.
5. Punchy Pastels
Spring has arrived early, with pastel hues and shades dominating 2018 design trends.
6. A Global March
The legacy of last January’s Women’s March lives on — searches for terms like “activism” and key occasions like “International Women’s Day” are on the rise.
Honestly, your guess is as good as ours on this one. As Shutterstock describes it, this trend reflects “nature’s ultimate survivor” with “beauty and danger.”
8. Digital Crafts
It’s the latest generation of origami. Is a robot capable of crafting? Inquiring, visual minds want to know.
9. Ancient Geometrics
You might be familiar with the Mandala, which is an ancient, geometric symbol frequently associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. There’s been an uptick in searches for that type of image — a trend we expect to continue as many seek these zen-like images.
We’re not at all surprised to see this one on the list. Cryptocurrency has been a major point for those in both tech and finance in recent months, with such headlines as bitcoin debuting on Wall Street and Kodak unveiling its very own cryptocurrency (which resulted in its stock price skyrocketing in an impressively short period of time).
11. Holographic Foil
Tech has been gradually permeating the mainstream and pop-cultural conversation, and that’s arguably never been truer than it has been in 2018. Holographics have long served as thematic, visual representation of tech — which is what we predict helped it earn a place on the list.