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2018 Visual Trend Forecast with PhotoBite & Adobe Stock

- 6 years ago

With 2018 just around the corner, we’ve been looking ahead with the team of visual experts at  Adobe Stock. Together, we’ve been tracing the visual dialogue from around the globe, from all manner of galleries and art shows, brand campaigns, and Adobe’s own stock archive, to collate a list of the most significant visual trends to watch out for through 2018

Photographers, filmmakers, designers and all kinds of creative professionals all need to keep an eye on current trends as well as keeping an eye on what next big trend might be.

Brenda Milis, Principal of Creative Services and Visual Trends at Adobe told PhotoBite“As an artist, especially, it’s easy to feel isolated in your work. Trends can give you confidence, and data, about where interest is growing and why.For artists and brands alike, trends are a critical tool. They’re about more than what people are enjoying or fascinated by at the moment. They’re a look at where we are as a culture, and as a world, so you can really understand what makes an image resonate.”

Here’s the first glance at our predictions for 2018:

Silence and Solitude

As we head into the new year, we’ve turned our focus on the value of renewal and reflection. In our world of constant digital information, research suggests that silence is one of the least appreciated tools in any productive activity. But the perpetual hum of the everyday barrage of visual information only serves to intensify our hunger for solitude.

The Fluid Self

The very idea of identity is shifting, and artists are working to represent the new ways we understand ourselves. “Identity is so much less permanent and stable than it used to be,” Brenda explains. “Just consider the fact that Facebook has 71 gender options now. There are endless permutations of individual identity. A few years ago, people were talking about race or ethnicity, then body type, abilities, and age. Now we’re looking at the fluid self; identity as a vast and ever-changing range of ideas that should all be celebrated.”


Travel and tech are making the world a smaller place, turning us into one interconnected, global village. People are prioritising exploration and experiences over material possessions, blurring the lines between business and adventure when they travel for work, and exposing a desire for real experiences. Brands are trying to keep up, hoping to reach customers as both local and global citizens.

Creative Reality

Unsettled moments always leave their mark on the art world. “We’re living in a time when there’s so much uncertainty, so much is in flux. Many people are becoming politically active, but there’s also a type of creativity that envisions escape,” explains Brenda. “We’re seeing idealised, alternate worlds and they’re lush, tropical, almost utopic. There’s a reverence for the natural world, but with an intensity, an almost psychedelic twist. These artists are asking us to consider what is beautiful, and what is alive.”

History and Memory

In unpredictable times, we look to the past for grounding and meaning. A growing group of artists and brands draw inspiration from classic art, work to preserve and celebrate what’s precious from the past, and build bridges between older techniques and modern technologies.

Touch and Tactility

Our days are increasingly formed by screens and devices rather than real-world interactions. “To make up for this loss, we’re seeing an incredible push from artists toward literal connection, actual touch, and being in the same room with someone,” says Brenda. “It’s everywhere, think of the trend toward woven footwear. It’s an invitation for a sensory experience. People are responding to anything that has to do with direct touch. In the visual world, it’s all about showing connections, whether it’s through images with richer textures, or people looking directly into the camera to establish a bold, personal moment with the viewer.”

See more from Adobe HERE

About the author

Read 2018 Visual Trend Forecast with PhotoBite & Adobe Stock

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.