Creative visuals that will make your content stand out in 2022

Creative visuals that will make your content stand out in 2022

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With the beginning of a new year, businesses and consumers alike are looking for hope, authenticity and meaningful connections. Key themes such as comfort, connection, and self-care in the face of mounting global challenges continue to appear and today there is a hunger for optimism. 

However, there is also a growing confidence and acceptance of our new reality — with companies in nearly every sector embracing remote or hybrid work and the digital transformation that only accelerates with each passing season. According to Adobe, as more of us live more of our lives online — through video meetings, asynchronous and remote digitally-enabled work, social media networks, massive online gaming communities, and now the rising metaverse — two major themes stand out.

First, people are hungry for optimism, and that unquenchable thirst for fun, whimsy, and play is evident across ages, industries, and brand categories. And second, we are all even hungrier for authentic, meaningful connection, determined to protect the wellbeing of ourselves and loved ones. This is also displayed in its 2022 Creative Trends which it recently released, covering three main areas: visual, design, and motion.

Visual trends

1. Powerfully playful

adobe powerfullyplayful

This trend showcases bright, bold colours, games and dancing, animated elements, and a big dash of nostalgia. For sectors including fashion and beauty, F&B, as well as other major product segments, this trend focuses on a sense of laughter, enthusiasm, and hope, Adobe said.

At the core of this trend is grit: the determination to keep going and keep smiling in the face of mounting challenges, no matter how steep.

2. The centred self

adobe centredself

The pandemic has resulted in individuals battling mental health and experiencing burnout. Athletes such as Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles were also not spared from this, withdrawing themselves from high-profile sporting events. As a result of this, Adobe said there is growing mainstream acknowledgement of the right that everyone has to exercise strong boundaries in service to their mental well being.

3. Prioritise our planet

adobe prioritise planet

This visual trend is more than just a continuation of the push towards greater sustainability. Instead, Adobe said it captures an accelerating mainstream hunger for regeneration and reversal of society's course towards environmental devastation. As consumers gain greater awareness and sophistication around environmental topics, major brands continue to emphasise their alignment with those values.

4. In the groove

adobe inthegroove

Mainstream campaigns feature dynamic movement. Even in still ads, there are still visuals depicting the swirls of clothing and hair or the graceful lines of dancing bodies in motion. Movement as a central subject in brand campaigns is not only beautiful and visually inspiring — it is also a way for consumers to experience physicality without needing to touch, Adobe said. While some of us might be alone, working remotely or socially distanced from others, Adobe said these visuals will allow one to stay sensually connected, at least in their minds.

Design trends

1. Soft pop

adobe softpop

This trend is defined by fun, pliable forms and the visuals are largely characterised by 3D cartooning, character narrative, and squishy appearances. Soft pop oozes with playful optimism and sweet colours and recurring elements of this trend include emojis, cartoons, and symbols loaded with personality; soft, rounded, curved, or exaggerated shapes and forms.

According to Adobe, type is a huge part of this trend, with dimensional, bubble, or other statement typefaces springing off the screen in advertising, lettering, identity and character design.

2. New naturalism

adobe newnaturalism

The aesthetics for this design type are defined by their clean modernism and almost-clinical elevation of the organic. These visuals are inspired by process art, post-minimalism, and clean living. Most prominently appearing in fresh, contemporary designs that highlight compositional elements to make a statement, Adobe is seeing New Naturalism emerge in many industries, most notably in fashion, beauty, and interior design.

Black, white, and terracotta colour palettes mix in earth tones such as mossy, deep greens, anchoring this trend back to the soil.

3. Heritage craft

adobe heritagecraft

Heritage craft explodes with a layered and joyful maximalism from all over the world by examining local folk art, patterns, illustration, and design. The trend presents different hyperlocal and regional art and design elements, mixing the colorful, hand-drawn, and chaotic with both organic and geometric shapes.

Beyond geometry, Adobe sees an abundance of figures and nature themes, as well as decorative serif or hand-drawn type. According to Adobe, this trend is especially strong in textile and pattern design, packaging and identity design, illustration, and seasonal stationery and layouts.

4. Otherworldly visions 

adobe otherworldlyvisions

This design trend draws from a slightly cynical yet imaginative and progressive alternative reality. Bringing together influences and elements from Afrofuturism, solarpunk, and vaporwave aesthetics, these designs can include softened color gradients, ethereal illustrations, optical illusions, and wild design combinations exploring dreamy contrasts.

Highly sophisticated and intellectually informed, this trend inherits high-tech elements from cyberpunk and sci-fi aesthetics, yet takes them to an entirely new place with lush, surreal gradients, 3D surfaces and textures, and out of this world fashion and set design, on- and off-screen.

Motion trends

1. Metaverse mix

adobe metaversemix

As the metaverse emerges as a mainstream concept and destination, its foundational aesthetic is evolving, creating a bridge between the digital and physical worlds.

2. Get moving

adobe getmoving

The motion trend companion to the visual trend In the Groove, this trend tracks the huge popularity of movement, dance, and rhythm across every mainstream sector. From brands like Apple to Adidas to Toyota to Bud Light, everyone seems to not just want but need to get moving.

3. Dimensional delights

adobe dimensionaldelights

According to Adobe, this trend in motion is popping up everywhere online and especially OOH advertising, with campaign visuals playing with scale, optical illusions, and cartoon effects to express a sense of depth.

4. Copy and captions

adobe captions

Text elements are an absolute must for social content this year. Since the vast majority of social video is being consumed without sound on, adding text overlays have become an essential part of creating successful video campaigns for channels such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

In addition, accessibility for deaf people has become a higher mainstream priority, as brands and consumers alike gain sophistication in their understanding of how to create inclusive content.

Related articles:
7 big marketing trends broken down to gear you up for 2022
Why Pantone's 'Very Peri' should be on your creative radar in 2022
5 key themes which will shake up the creative scene in 2022

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