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Cool tech, hipster aesthetics top 2016 Adobe Stock visual trends

If the popularity of platforms like Instagram and Periscope are any indication, imagery and videos matter quite a bit to people. And if you’re in the business of creating and choosing the most inspiring images and video for a commercial purpose, then when it comes to stock photos and video, the specific type of asset matters. Based on an examination of downloads and uploads from global contributors as well as keyword searches, the team over at Adobe Stock took a look at the visual trends likely to become the most impactful in 2016.

Among the processes involved in selecting the right stock image is the importance of maintaining a contemporary and modern aesthetic, says Scott Braut, who is the head of content at Adobe. This means that features such as cool tech and new “hipster” aesthetics should lead the way in visual trends in the new year.

Imagery that encompasses youth-oriented tech culture, virtual reality headsets, and hoverboards are critical in conveying a cool image. Similarly, new aesthetics like those accompanying the “hipster” persona, and currently extending to such things as bow ties and handlebar mustaches, will continue to be popular visuals used by both old and new brands.

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Beyond the aesthetic and persona-related aspects of stock imagery, the devices we use to create or produce these images are just as important in this year’s visual trends. For example, according to Adobe Stock data, perspective portraits are taking the already popular “selfie” to another level.

Color consistency is also expected to be an important aspect of the visual trends of 2016, with Pantone’s Rose Quartz and Serenity expected to be among the most popular colors. While, generally, brands select color schemes, this year the focus could land more on how we use colors rather than the color itself. However, there are claims that white might actually end up becoming the color of the year, as opposed to 2015’s red, as predicted by Behance.

Other trends on the horizon include high-impact aerial, similar to last year’s trend to take pictures from unique perspectives such as hanging from a cliff. As the price of drones continues to decrease they will become mainstream tools of photography, and we can expect to see more stock images from views we haven’t been able to utilize until now.

And similar to a 2015 trend favoring the use of socially relevant images, the use of stock images to incorporate current affairs should factor as one of the trends to look forward to in 2016.

In short, we can expect to see much more creative efforts in not just the imagery itself, but in how stock photos and videos are created in order to keep brands modern and up to date.