The Metaverse, Psychedelic Art and Y2K Aesthetic: Experts Spotlight on Creative Trends 2022 | Depositphotos | Open mic


Depositphotos, an international content platform, recently released its annual creative trends forecast, “Creative Trends 2022: Merging the Future and the Past”. Working with creative experts from around the world, including 99designs by Vista, We Are Social, Dogstudio, Mubert Inc, Froyo Tam (Y2K Aesthetic Institute), Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman from Interwoven Design Group, David Wehmeyer and Synchrodogs, we take a look at the styles, themes and processes that will influence creative communication, providing insight into what brands and content creators can expect this year.

Merging the future and the past: a general overview

The metaverse and total immersion will be key axes of creative communication. With the help of AR and VR technologies, digital spaces will become even more realistic. Thoughtful 3D elements and animations will take interactivity to a whole new level and create an even greater presence through high-quality audiovisual and tactile interaction. AI-powered music is evolving rapidly, enabling brands and creators to deliver a hyper-personalized experience to their audiences. Background tracks in creative projects, websites and apps will adapt to the user’s taste or mood.

At the same time, the playful and daring designs of the 70s and experiments with psychedelic art in the digital sphere will again gain popularity. In design and photography, nostalgia for the 2000s encourages the use of pastel color palettes, retro-futuristic patterns with brilliant effects and cinematic treatment.

2022 is the year of contrasts, where the future meets the past. The two-sided nature of everything isn’t rocket science, but it is a powerful tool in the hands of the creative. For inspiration from projects that stand out, take a closer look at the 2022 trends in the video below.

The metaverse

In 2022, digital spaces will acquire an even more realistic appearance thanks to AR and VR technology. Designers will opt for thoughtful 3D elements and graphic animations that bring a whole new level of interactivity. To make the audience feel even more present, the creators will amplify their projects with background music and immersive sound effects.

We have collected data from the Depositphotos library which shows an increase in user demand for certain thematic queries. Requests for “immersive reality” and “desktop avatars” searches increased by 275% and 230%, respectively, compared to the previous year.

Psychedelic art

This year, the playful and daring designs of the ’70s will resonate with content creators around the world. The desire to escape monotonous reality, to captivate the public and the accessibility of graphics software will encourage experiments with psychedelic art in the digital domain. Holographic and grainy backgrounds, intricate abstractions, a rich mix of bright or high contrast colors and different interpretations of psychedelic line art will appear in the graphic design.

According to the study, queries for “kaleidoscopic structure”, “bright colors” and “70s” are up 600%, 182% and 46%, respectively.

AI-generated music

AI has been at the root of most of our online interactions with music over the past two years. It has influenced the way we consume content by simplifying decision-making and providing recommendations based on our search history, mood, or tastes.

In the near future, AI will also have a significant impact on content production. Brands and creators will have the opportunity to deliver hyper-personalized experiences to their audiences, as AI-powered music will become more economical and faster. Background tracks on websites or apps will be tailored to the user’s taste or mood. Creative projects, campaigns and advertisements often feature personalized soundtracks, creating a more interactive reality.

Aesthetics of the year 2000

To help Generation Y and Generation Z have new experiences and positive emotions, brands and designers will turn to the Y2K aesthetic. This universal nostalgia encourages content creators to use pastel color palettes that include pink, yellow, green, and blue. Design and photography projects will acquire retro-futuristic vibes with brilliant features or cinematic post-production, and find their way from blogger social media accounts to branded campaigns and ads.

The queries “pastel pink background”, “positive emotions” and “childhood and adolescence” increased by 205%, 133% and 100% respectively.

Science, not fiction

Alien shapes and forms, illustrations of super-intelligent robots and space travel equipment, as well as dark shades and metallic textures will be used to give creative projects a new dimension. As well as inciting visual interest, the designs will make the audience wonder what the future holds and what can be done today for a better future.

Self-esteem acts

In 2022, brands will revise their tone of voice and their images to be more united and loving with their audience. Photographers will opt for simpler compositions, minimalist color solutions and authentic environments, revealing the real context of products, services or events. Such an approach will not only help brands and content creators gain more trust, but will also serve a larger mission of cultivating a healthier and happier society.

The demand for “straightforward faces” increased by 383%.

The art of scrollytelling

In order to attract the attention of an audience, creatives are invited to invent new formats. They are a captivating mix of multimedia such as videos, animation and sound effects in website design. Versatile elements, from asymmetrical layouts and parallax scrolling to oversized typography and 3D animations, will come in handy for content creators in the months to come. To add dynamism and create an even more immersive experience, designers will opt for website hero videos, captivating music tracks, and sound effects.

All immersive

3D ads, AR filters, and purchasable lenses allow anyone who owns a smartphone to closely interact with, test drive, or customize a product before making an online purchase. Brands that aim to go beyond social media can try immersive digital campaigns. Along with 3D animation and motion graphics, techniques such as forced perspective create 3D illusions that fascinate consumers today.

One of the most popular Depositphotos library requests – “AR logo” – increased by 742%.


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