Top Visual Trends for 2016 Pt.2

Welcome to part two of the Getty Images 2016 Visual Trends highlights!

We covered the first top three visual trends here, and we have just three more to go! But before we get to it, let’s answer one of the top questions we got on the previous blog:

How does Getty predict visual trends?


The answer lies in DATA. The clever folks at Getty look at the increase and decrease of searched terms on their page, identify the trends and predict how these trends are going to evolve in the following year. So while these trends might not be groundbreaking (bet nobody has ever thought about ‘rebellious’ content, right? Right…) , what moves the thinking forward is the visual representation of these trends and various nuances – rebellious two years ago versus rebellious now might be very represented in vastly different ways, for example the stereotypical rebel with black clothing and a mahawk vs. Madeline Stuart who is the first model with Dawson Syndrome breaking the status quo in the fashion industry in a profound way.

Now we have that covered off…

Extended Human

Extended human can be seen as a scary trend by some. It explores the human-machine relationship that is growing as tech evolves beyond our capability to adapt fast enough (bloody Moore’s law!). There are fascinating shifts and developments in both business and scientific community and also the society as whole. There have been many studies showing how quickly humans create emotional bonds to electronic life-like toys (who doesn’t love BB-8) and when it comes to AI and robotics, we are very close to a society where robots will walk among us, recognizable from humans:

In campaigns, we see humanization of technology where brands try to evoke emotional connections between the customer and their product (Curiosity Rover…well done NASA, well done!) , like with the Toyota campaign where they were encouraging their customer to hug their car, or Oppenheimer Funds’ ‘Invest in a beautiful world’ ad.


Those who ravel in chaos and imperfection, rejoice! Messthetics tries to divert from the over-polished, photoshoped and super perfect images we see daily in the glossy magazines and tries to strike the balance between being beautiful or sensual to gory and visceral, adding at least a little bit of a mess.Great cultural example is the artwork of Lady GaGa’s single Applause that shows her messy yet striking makeup, or the captivating photography of people covered in honey by Blake Little. 

When it comes to shifting this thinking into marketing, Reebok has done a stellar campaign called ‘Be More Human’ that is rich on images of people covered in sweat and dirt.Similarly. other campaigns focus on ‘getting dirty’ as the way to connect to what we truly are and what matters.


One for Salvador Dali fans. Similar to messthetics, this is about shifting the ordinary. It plays with bending shapes, reality and what might seem the common sense. Some campaigns try to be subtle and play with light changes to perceptions so you see something is off but you can’t put your finger on it, like the Honda illusion ad. Others just go bold and shower you with extreme, close to nonsensical concepts – shining example of that is the MTV’s ‘Insert Line Here’ campaign.

And this concludes our list of all top 6 visual trends for 2016! Hope you got some inspiration and see you tomorrow with an exciting blog about…won’t spoil the surprise.

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