Shutterstock’s 2019 Creative Trends Report Predicts a Nostalgic Return to Visual Aesthetics of the Past

15 January 2019

Shutterstock, a leading global technology company offering high-quality assets, tools and services through its creative platform, today launched its eighth annual 2019 Creative Trends Report. This year’s eleven design styles, many of which echo the past in a playful and in a decadent way, predict the top influences for design and visual production in 2019.

The top three major trends for 2019 include:

  • Zine Culture. The raw, homemade aesthetic gets a digital update. With a 1376% increase in searches for “contemporary art collage”, zine culture clearly lives on in the decentralised mindset of the digital age through social media, where independent makers can share and niche groups can discover.
  • 80s Opulence. The ‘80s are back and ready to party. The term “chain print” is up 731% and “elegance pattern” searches increased 1060%. Forget good taste, this is about good times. Clashing is the key word for this trend. 
  • Yesterday’s Tomorrow. What’s old is new again. With interest in terms like “Synthwave” increasing 717%, “Retrowave” up 676% and “Duotone” up 230%, this trend is an optimistic redux of early-tech – a focus on what yesterday’s tomorrow looked like.

“Even the most talented creative professionals sometimes want a little inspiration for their next big project and our Creative Trends report is here to help,” said Lou Weiss, global chief marketing officer of Shutterstock. “With over one and half million fresh new assets added weekly and millions of searchers using our platform, Shutterstock has volume of search and download data to predict the hottest trends and newest fads being driven by the design world. We can’t wait to see these 2019 design themes come to life everywhere, from ad campaigns, to the catwalk, and in movies. This year, our top three trends are influenced by the bold design principles of years past, so it will be particularly interesting to see how they evolve with modern interpretations best suited for today’s digital platforms.”

In addition to the top trends, the report outlines eight rising stars; some are joyful and made for escapism such as “Tempting Typography” and unique “Kawaii” illustrations, while others put reality into sharp focus including the urgent issue of “Beyond Plastic”. Global Trends outlines the fastest growing trends in 20 countries around the world with “Colorful Cartoon Art” dominating in the U.S. and “Intelligent Space” in the U.K.

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