2018 Visual Trends Trends Redefining Visual Storytelling

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. Trends can give you confidence and data about where interest is growing and allow you to relevantly reflect them in your work.

The team at Adobe Stock has been tracking the visual conversation around the world — from shows and galleries, to brand campaigns, and our own stock collection — to put together a list of the biggest visual trends to watch in the coming year.

Here’s a first peek at the trends we predict for 2018:

Silence and Solitude.

As noise amplifies, so does our need for a space to take a breath, refresh, and approach our digital lives more mindfully. This longing for more space to think and breathe is having a deep impact on the visual world, too. In the stock world, the trend ranges from stunning landscapes, to moments of solitude, to images with very little visual noise. Imagery that presents an overall impression of peace and serenity.

Read the full Silence and Solitude trend report and see the gallery from Adobe Stock.

The Fluid Self.

Identity changes over the course of a lifetime and imagery that take all kinds of bodies and lives into account is growing in demand. The most successful imagery is genuine and relatable — it seamlessly resonates with the day to day experiences of a wide variety of people.

Read the full Fluid Self trend report and see the gallery from Adobe Stock.


People are prioritizing exploration and experiences over material possessions, blurring the lines between business and adventure when they travel for work, and exposing a yearning for authentic experiences. Growing awareness of multiple cultures has created greater interest in visuals that present a cultural pastiche as more viewers consider themselves simultaneously local and global citizens.

Read the full Multilocalism trend report and see the gallery from Adobe Stock.

Creative Reality.

In uncertain or turbulent times, many people find refuge in creative fantasy, imagery that offers visions of an alternate, often utopic world. Artists are asking us to consider what is beautiful, and what is alive by creating fantasy worlds of eccentric textures and hyper-sensorial experiences, blending nature and the human imagination.

Read the full Creative Reality trend report and see the gallery from Adobe Stock.

History and Memory.

History can be one of our biggest inspirations. We often look to the past for grounding and meaning. We’re watching as 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 old-world techniques and new world technologies democratizing art education and the work that takes us to new, yet familiar places.

See the History and Memory gallery from Adobe Stock.

Touch and Tactility.

Our days are increasingly shaped by screens and devices rather than real-world, tactile 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. We’ll look at images that invite us to connect, and talk to artists about capturing texture and touch in their images.

See the Touch and Tactility gallery from Adobe Stock.

Join us as we unpack 2018.

Follow us on the Creative Cloud Blog throughout 2018 as we look more deeply at each of these trends, consider the bigger global context in which they’re unfolding, and talk to the Stock creators and designers who are shaping our visual world.

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Adobe Stock



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