By: Stocksy

Visual Insights: Decoding the Visual Language Shaping the Year

How to expect anything in the 2020s era? With a system in constant flux, visual trends take on a more sociocultural dimension.

This year, people are getting closer to the truth, connecting with human touch and creativity, and exercising every style, everywhere, all at once, while reckoning with reality and having a colorful laugh at the beautiful absurdity of it all.

Despite being overstimulated, overinformed, and overwhelmed, audiences remain hopeful, with creativity and community at that spark’s center.

Get a taste of the five evolving aesthetics influencing tomorrow’s creative narratives.

Insight #1 Hi-Fidelity Storytelling

The demand for diversity in visual media evolves into a requirement for genuine, authentic representation. AI enters the chat, albeit with growing concerns and a rising necessity for content that is human-made. See full insight –>

Insight #2: Soft Touch

A pull towards methods of production that require patience and control, offline creativity quiets the noise by bringing focus and intent back into the forefront. Teleport to the calmness of a tactile time.  See full insight –>

Insight #3: Style Salads

Trends are dead — long live trends. A reflection of the mainstream status quo collapse; welcome to the stacked individualistic style era of anything goes.  See full insight –>


Insight 4: The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Leaning into the bright side of life with humor, color, untethered fantasy, friendly flash, and a playful dopamine rush of adorable cute things. Tomorrow’s cool is blindingly brilliant.  See full insight –>

Insight #5: Be Here Now

The collective realization of a broken system is accompanied by a move toward honesty, transparency, and the necessity for collective action. Consciousness is no longer in conflict with consumer needs. Sustainable, ethical choices and lifestyles will get baked into everything. Enter the era of awareness.  See full insight –> 


Trends vs Insights: The evolution of cumulative predictions and reflections

In the recent documentary “American Symphony,” musician John Batiste tells the audience, “What we love about music is not that it sounds good. What we love about music is that it sounds inevitable. It’s playing the thing that we all know is unfolding.”

This little insight relates so much to the challenge of instinct in aesthetic work. Style is commonly ascribed to notions of trendiness and fashion, but it really describes different responses to the world. In creative fields, we treat trends with caution in an effort to aim for something more original and evergreen. But a sensitivity to “trends” also signifies an awareness of cultural production observed at meaningful resolutions.

At Stocksy, our focus lies in understanding the collective direction of the whole, thinking less about forecasting trends and more about deeper insights into how the chaos is organizing itself around us. Creative stock media, free from constraints like commercial scales, specific brand requirements, client demands, and deadlines, represents a unique space of intuition meeting untethered creativity and is an interesting lens through which to anticipate the market landscape.

Our current cultural atmosphere is marked by uncertainty and disruption, creating a sense of perplexity regarding the meaning of progress. While this complicates the pursuit of meaningful insights, it’s essential to recognize the transformative events shaping our present moment. Though their exact timing and immediate triggers may have been unpredictable, they were, ultimately, always inevitable.

-Genevieve Ross


Explore 5 visual movements of the moment