The way brands and companies use visuals as a mean of communication may appear to be a little random at times. Yesterday, it was the grunge - posed teenagers on the main page of a clothing brand site.
Today, there are preppy looking ladies - who cares?
The truth is, images and videos that the companies serve as a basis for their brand identity and can significantly influence the efficiency of their marketing efforts.
To reach their target audience, brands should appeal to them with the right imagery - the ones that will be close to life, relevant and memorable. Moreover, a visual content strategy should be altered towards the social, political and economic changes in the society.
One of the most obvious social trends that visual communications reflect is the move toward non-stereotypical is inclusive imagery.
Brands tend to use photos of people of a different race, age, gender, body type, etc., as a result of this embracing diversity and supporting social changes.
Bobby Brown cosmetic brand site
Activewear brand Superfit Hero
JCPenney's inclusive brand window display. Photo: Irish Independent
Users have become incredibly visual in the course of the last decade with the rapid development of smartphones, mobile photography, and social media. According to Deloitte, 2.5 trillion photos were shared and stored online last year, and as many as 90% of them were shot with a smartphone.
All these facts put severe pressure on marketers and designers when they build visual strategies for their products. At Depositphotos, we have defined the major visual trends for 2019, after analyzing data from our stock library database, search inquiry statistics, and talking to industry leaders.
These trends will help brands choose the right imagery and build an efficient and consistent visual strategy.
Today, millennials have become the main target audience and loyal customers for most brands. They are building careers, raising children and are feeling extremely nostalgic about childhood memories. It can be video games, fashion items, music, as well as photos in the 90s style, with its candid, unpolished nature, extreme flash and colorful neon filters.
We are social creatures and strongly react to facial expressions and emotions of other people. The more sincere the expression, the more response it will create. That’s why most of the ads use faces, especially with a focus on the eyes.
Users don’t react to staged and sterile images - they want to see close-to-life pictures of everyday life, of people around. Captured movements, raw emotions, and flaws are what make brand photography unique and appealing.
At Depositphotos, the keyword "authentic" increased in search inquiries by almost three times during 2018.
360-degree videos and photos
Youtube and Facebook have launched a 360-degree streaming, GoPro and Nokia have invested in the development of 360-degree cameras. The video continues to occupy social media this year, making it mandatory for brands to join the trend. Tourism and real estate industries became pioneers in using 360-degree photography, providing an engaging experience for their clients. Video is a more powerful medium that can be used to establish relationships between a brand and a user.
Pop-art still life
Not a new trend, but something brands should use in articles, blogs, and SMM. Flat-lay photos are no longer an Instagram-only trend. Minimalism, contrast and colorful photos of objects could tell a story better than some action shots. It’s a way to make a bold statement and appeal to a highly visual audience.
Pantone colors 2019
Apart from using brand colors in a visual strategy, it could be beneficial to alter them to yearly color trends as well. This year, Pantone named Greenery the main color of the year. It is fresh, peaceful and optimistic. Other colors include warm “Primrose Yellow,” pure “Pale Dogwood” and classy “Niagara.”
Whether you follow the latest trends or not, it is crucial to remember the basic rules for an efficient visual strategy for a brand:
- be consistent with your brand style (colors, mood, graphics)
- always use high-quality images
- create visuals that will look good on social media
- tell your brand story through photos and videos.