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Adobe's trend predictions brings gender roles and diversity to the forefront

By Shannon Williams
Wed 8 Feb 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Changing technologies is having an impact on almost every industry across the world – that’s no secret. And 2017 is already shaping up to be a landmark year for change and disruption.

In the world of visual design, it’s no different. According to Adobe, images are communicating ideas, movements and moments like never before. And there certain trends that will dominate the digital visual scene this year.

According to the Adobe Stock team, these trends will be underpinned by:

  • Emotive communication and the search for meaning: Images will be designed to narrate a full story and photography will refine how it blends with video.
  • A desire for simplicity: Function will be popularised over form and this simplicity will pave the way for minimalist design that adheres to the “less is more” concept.

Emotive Communication and the Search for Meaning

“For a trend to be successful, it has to be palatable enough to connect with the public as a whole, while standing out as a new concept entirely,” Paul Trani, Adobe evangelist and award-winning designer.

“Designers and consumers alike are quickly realising that good art does more than help people find answers or take action. It pushes the envelope, provokes emotion, and excites,” he says.

“We’ll see images designed to narrate a full story and photography that refines how it blends with video. The exploration of meaning will also extend to questioning boundaries and investigating perspectives,” Trani says.

“A rise in unbalanced compositions will compel viewers to see beyond the norm,” ge says.

“And shining a spotlight on female creators and subjects will highlight gender roles and diversity for completely new perspectives in 2017.”

The Adobe team explains the trend in detail:

1.    Once upon a time. 

In 2017, the narrative of a single image or 6-second video has the same need to tell a story as long-form content — and that narrative must resonate with viewers and provoke emotion. Visuals that speak to the correct audience, and choose the right tone and setting will be most successful. Also, look for stories that are told through a variety of methods: a beginning, middle, and end combined in a single view, or instead, one element in focus with room for the viewer to interpret what happened before or what will happen next.

2.    Caught in limbo. 

“As a designer we have two choices when it comes to design trends,” Trani explains, “either make a living riding out the current wave, or look at the evolution of trends and starting the wave ourselves.”

Boomerangs and Cinemagraphs are a relatively new medium that converge photos and video by creating perfect loops, capturing a moment in time. We anticipate that this blending of media will lead to content creators experimenting and pushing boundaries of their craft.

3.    Unbalanced composition. 

Urging the viewer to see beyond the norm, compositions aim to show people, objects, and situations in a new perspective. Whether it’s the actual composition of an image itself, how it was shot, the angle and placement of the subject, or the subject itself being portrayed in an unusual, mind-boggling setting. Think of Cindy Sherman’s unsettling portraiture that manipulated classic positions and perceptions to create a distorted image.

4.    Female creators. 

We look forward to celebrating women and their creativity, notable figures in the creative field who are pioneers of their time, as well as contemporaries who are ever expanding their influence. This trend brings gender roles and diversity to the forefront for a more balanced perspective.

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