A year ago none of us could imagine the extent to which our world would change in the nearest future. It seemed that we knew ahead what opportunities and challenges rapid tech advancements will bring to creative industry professionals. We also often speculated on different scenarios taking into consideration the implications of digitalization and our contemporary society.

However, world events and global lockdowns turned the world (and whole industries including visual communication) completely upside down. What styles and aesthetics should brands and content creators use to appeal to clients? What are the new insights we have on audiences? Explore our annual Visual Trends Guide to find out themes, concepts, and ideas that will help you stand out on the market in 2021.

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What the 2021 Visual Trends Guide is about

This year, we introduce nine trends that emerged in light of world events that will influence visual communication in the future. Each trend covers a field in visual communication, from design and photography to marketing, and includes thematic collections of visuals that perfectly describe the presented ideas and aesthetics.

To bring you more insider info and insights that you can use in your projects and campaigns, we collaborated with 12 creative agencies and industry experts from around the world to share their vision of where visual communication is heading:

Droga5 London, part of Accenture Interactive, is a multi award-winning creative and strategic communications agency

Your Majesty, a strategy-led design and technology firm

ISD Group & KA-KA-HA, a digital creative agency driven by data and technology and a creative digital production that are part of [isdgroup]

Locomotive, a human-sized digital-first design agency

Leo Burnett Ukraine, a creative agency with an operating system HumanKind – a set of principles that guide how they apply creativity to shape brand experiences that transform businesses.

Design Bridge, Design Bridge is a global design agency with studios in London, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, and Shanghai

Publicis Ukraine develops creative communication that makes a difference for its clients, society, and stakeholders

DentsuACHTUNG!, a creative agency that marries technology and zeitgeist; communication and experiences

Active Theory, a creative digital production studio with offices in Los Angeles and Amsterdam

Saatchi & Saatchi Ukraine, a creative agency that is getting people across the world to fall in love with their clients’ products and services

Publicis Italy creates leading strategies and powerful ideas that allow their clients’ brands to become unique, irreplaceable, in control and ahead

Sergii Bratusov, Industry Head – Branding, Google Central & Eastern Europe


The main theme of the 2021 Visual Trends

Many have reviewed their routines and acquired new habits while being in confinement. These small changes have gradually led to global shifts in everyone’s lifestyle until one day, many realized we really did wake up in a new reality.

design, photography, and marketing trends 2021

Closed borders and the inability to travel paved the way to the trend called staycations (or holistays). Fast-paced lifestyles became almost impossible, making all hustle-culture adherents give a try to slow living.

Social distancing has also played its role in shaping the new reality we live in. XR technology became extremely popular as a way to travel and live new experiences virtually. In 2020, the time we spent in front of screens increased and the flow of information was so overwhelming that people opted for countryside getaways.

As we live in a visual world, all these shifts made an impact on design, photography, and other fields of visual communication. To zoom into these changes and put together the 2021 Visual Trends Guide, we’ve analyzed industry statistics, explored the latest submissions to the Depositphotos library that features over 190 million files, and talked to our content curators.

Thorough research allowed us to highlight the trends that will be appreciated by clients next year, thus, help brands and content creators alike appeal to their audiences in the most effective way.

Today, we are already beginning to spot the changes that will take place in the next few months:

  1. Bold and futuristic color palettes are getting replaced by grounded tones and muted shades.
  2. Audiences are seeking solace in nature as a break from screens and online-only activities.
  3. Designers are looking for ways to keep users engaged and seek new ways to leave a long-lasting impression in times when attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.

Visual styles that could have been considered niche will be supercharged into the foreground in 2021 thanks to the pandemic. As an escape from the screen and our always-on work-life balance, simple, soothing visual styles will gain popularity.


Design Bridge

This Visual Trends Report is full of insights for creatives that want to make a difference and stand out with their works and projects in 2021. Get ready to explore and get inspired!

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