Visual Trends 2020: Think Ahead

5 min readJan 21, 2020

We dive right to the core of inspiration for 2020.

Depositphotos has put together a report on the visual trends for the coming year, showcasing what’s trending in visual communication and how designers, artists, and anyone working in the field can use the research and insights for their creative projects.

The report on creative trends of 2020 can also help professionals leverage these trends to ultimately appeal to customers and engage a wider audience that’s always on the lookout for something a bit more…refreshing.

Surprise factor in the 2020 trends report

But there’s more. Design trends are hard to come by. It’s really difficult to find something new to say or single out an emerging trend in a field that recycles ideas from year to year. For an element of surprise, Depositphotos turned to renowned creative agencies to help piece together the ideas, movements, and styles that will be popular in the year to come.

This insightful report on creative trends was prepared in collaboration with twelve leading international agencies, including B-Reel, MediaMonks, PIXIT, BBDO Warsaw, Perq Studio, MADCATS, Aimbulance, and Super an der Spree.

Have a quick read on the five main creative trends in this article, but don’t forget to visit the Visual Trends 2020 website for even more thoughts and opinions from the representatives of these agencies.

At the end of the project website, you’ll find a very insightful PDF file which you can download and refer to for ideas and inspiration. Think of it as an untapped pool of ideas from opinion leaders that you’ll definitely be able to use and apply to your interpretation of this year’s trends.

The main visual trends and inspiration for 2020

1. The World of Tomorrow

2020 brings us new challenges with visualizing tech advancements and their implications.

One of the main photography trends, or specifically stock photography trends, is all about illustrating content that’s in demand. Too many tech-related sources will tell you that we’ve only tapped into a fraction of the potential with all the technological advancements. We’ll hear more about automation, robotics, connected world, 5G, AI, cybersport, Internet of Things, artificial neural networks, and cloud health.

With this in mind, we have lots of complex topics in technology to cover. If we’re going to be talking about them, we need a solid source to go to to help us visualize the things that are going to become an integral part of our lives.

2. Neon Dystopia

The cyberpunk aesthetic and neon color palettes add futuristic vibes to thematic projects.

Some cult films and tv shows have taken the world by storm. It could be that in 2020, the release of the anticipated game Cyberpunk 2077 will spark pop culture reinvestment into the sci-fi genre that focuses on AI overpowering humanity.

This is considered one of the most exciting creative trends for artists and designers to get on board with. From bold neon colors to imaginative utopian worlds — fuel your imagination with endless possibilities. The Neon Dystopia trend with cyberpunk roots will likely influence fashion and pave the road to futuristic undertones in other fields of art and design.

3. Brutalism and digital decay

The modernist movement stretches beyond architecture to break away designs from strict rules.

Experts say that brutalism is by far not an easy course to take. Brutalist design may have started with architecture, but the style has transitioned into the digital world a while ago. The appreciation for Brutalism evolved on Instagram, and today can be seen in unexpected places around the web.

The design trend with this “raw” aesthetic commands attention. It’s by far not an easy direction to take with website design (as an example), but can certainly help you tap into the minds and hearts of an audience that can appreciate the absence of perfectionist layouts, grids, and compositions.

4. Muted shades break

Muted colors in all their shades can be both subtle and attention-grabbing.

In contrast to some of the themes is the growing popularity of the soft pastels and muted shades that simply soothe the eye. Soft color palettes can be extremely communicative. The sophistication of muted shades in designs provides a minimalist touch and a calmness we sometimes long for in the crowded online space of bold and daring designs.

But soft shades of our favorite colors aren’t just for design projects. Muted shades are a direct answer to balancing nature and tech to serve as the perfect break for your eyes and mind. First and foremost, color choices in line with this trend go back to the roots of minimalism. We need JOMO to make a comeback.

5. Organic motion graphics

Animation and videos that draw inspiration from organic forms tend to captivate us all.

The best way to hold someone’s attention in an overcrowded space with digital noise is captivating 3D design magic. We’re referencing animated designs that either define or defy the rules of gravity. Users feel drawn to mesmerizing designs showing soothing movement, fluid shapes, and deconstructed forms in constant movement.

This trend is as much about technology, art, design, and animation, as it is about fascination with organic forms and 3D elements. Set them in motion, and you’ve got a chance to stand out, but also make your projects more dynamic. This creative trend is also about investing in the skills and creativity it takes to put together complex animations like this one.

6. Honest close-ups

Details matter, especially with your choice of visuals if you aim to be authentic and open.

If we were to look at advertising as the one field that changes almost on a daily basis, we can single out creative trend that has re-emerged unexpectedly. This year, it’s about the details.

The advertising trend we noticed this year is the use of images that showcase products in extreme detail to focus on the things that matter most. Brands are moving towards being more open and honest and it starts with small changes that focus on quality with close-up images.

Read about four other trends in the visual trends 2020 report here. Scroll to the bottom of the website to find extra material with creative insights from notable agencies around the world.




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