Our analysis of the most important design trends
At Shutterstock we evaluated which terms and pictures are most frequently searched for and which filters are most frequently used.
For this, we have evaluated 350 millions of image files from our image database, which currently contains 30 million images. In doing so, we have identified the following current trends for 2014:
For the use in social media mainly minimalistic images are sought, those with lively, eye-catching colors or concise quotes and sayings, which in the ideal case are also shared by the user.
The reason: In the social media context, the attention span of the users is relatively small and the presentation of the contents is often small, especially with mobile use. Images must therefore be quickly recognizable and conspicuous.
Flat optics in software design
In software design too, for example, more and more flat, minimalistic optics are used and the previously established skeuomorphism, ie a very detailed representation, is eliminated.
This is mainly due to the increasing popularity of mobile, smart devices and apps required for this, which must work well even on a small screen and with limited memory. The downloads of these so-called "flat designs" have increased 2013 by 200 percent compared to last year.
Instagram: Filterlook inspired
In photography, especially Instagram-inspired pictures - keyword Filterlook - determine the international trend. Their popularity is also growing with the growing availability of mobile photo apps.
The search queries for images in the filterlook grew by 661 per cent last year according to Shutterstock. But also authentic pictures are in high demand. Motifs should no longer appear to be perfect, but rather as if they were taken from life and conveyed emotions.
Regardless of whether classic advertising or social media: these global trends apply to a variety of communication channels.
However, as in the case of filter looks, individual trends can also impact from one platform like instragram to other visual forms of communication. Also technical conditions determine which visual material is particularly successful and is therefore often used.
Global Connections as a guiding theme in Germany
In addition to the global trends, there are also strong differences between countries: Looking at the pastel, almost romantic images that are especially in demand in China, and comparing them with the cool industrial designs from the USA, one thing becomes clear: every country designs differently and pursues its own trends.
In Germany, for example, the guiding theme 2014 is called "Global Connections", ie picture elements that illustrate international contexts and stand for a global world. The Shutterstock analysis also shows that visual communication was never as diverse as it is today.
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