New report gives evidence of significant visual trends for 2020

Written by David Shapton


It doesn't matter whether you're shooting specifically to make stock footage, or whether you're making almost any kind of film: visual trends are important. A new and insightful report from Shutterstock highlights the main visual trends feeding into today's aesthetic zeitgeist.

The reasons why trends tend to trend are typically hidden and sometimes completely random. So it's especially fascinating when these ephemeral preferences are researched and the results made available.

That's exactly what Shutterstock has just done with its 2020 Creative Trends report.

We'll outline just the major trends here, but you can view the whole report by clicking on the link above.

Retro's not in retreat

A whole century after the 1920s, the decade of decadence and hedonism, there's a yearning for ornate geometric shapes, elegant colour pallets and Art Deco artefacts. Searches for "Gold pattern" rose by an astonishing 4,223%, "'20s retro" by 189% and "Linear geometric by 106%


"Magic" is on trend. Image: Shutterstock

The Wizard of Woo

In an age of factual deficit you can see why the occult and spirit worlds are creeping up on artistic preferences. Search keywords with major increases in use include "Magic" with an increase of 525%, "Spiritual" up by 289%, "Horoscopes" by 37% and "Palm reading" by 22%

Blooming marvellous


Flowers were another rising trend. Image: Shutterstock

It looks like simplicity is taking a break for a while because there's a distinct preference for big, bright and complex floral displays. And why not? There's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy a rich diet sometimes.

Newly popular keywords include "Flowerscape" which was up by 141%, "Bloom", up by 136% and "Live wall" rose by 83%.

Other trends include

The mainstreaming of cannabis

Where are trends embrace an organic and sophisticated view of the widespread weed.

Dark minimalism

While some areas have been trending away from minimalism, it's alive and well, as long as it's dark. Here's a clue: use of the keyword "Black" went off the scale with an increase of 1779%

The call of the Wild


Outdoors lifestyle, gaining popularity. Image: Shutterstock

The outdoor lifestyle is a popular theme with keywords like "Hiking" increasing by 553%, "Camping" by 368% and "Backpack and boots" by 325%

Chinese Ink Painting

The subtlety and graceful energy of minimalistic oriental calligraphy is attracting designers and filmmakers. Searches for "Ink and wash painting" rose by 118%, "Cherry blossom illustration" by 152% and "Chinese Illustration by 74%.

And they're off...

One word: "Sports", which was up by a very noticeable 1,647%

If you want to read the report, just go here.

Tags: Post & VFX


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