Adobe open our eyes to the visual and design trends that will dominate 2020

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Adobe has released its 2020 Visual Trends forecast, which predicts the major cultural themes we can expect in the year ahead and includes insights from over 1,000+ stock users uncovering pain points and use cases for stock assets.

This forecast is part of the company’s first-ever comprehensive Creative Trends programme, including two new reports covering graphic design and motion graphics slated for release in 2020.

Visual Trends

The first report in the new Creative Trends programme, Adobe Stock’s Visual Trends Forecast predicts the following visual trends will prevail in 2020: 

*All Ages Welcome: Marketing targeting older consumers has been historically terrible. Now brands – from finance and banking to travel and healthcare – are recognising the vital importance of authentic representation of the active, healthy and productive ageing population today.

*Express Yourself: People are more open than ever in sharing raw, honest life experiences and demand the same emotional authenticity from brands, politicians and public figures.

*Makeup is Not a Mask: Contemporary beauty is focused on celebrating individual style, with a focus on expressive, artistic and authentic self-expression.

*From Me to We: Today’s consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, have a strong sense of community and actively seek more meaningful, purpose-driven lifestyle choices.

Design Trends

As part of the 2020 Creative Trends programme rollout, Adobe is also offering a sneak preview of its Design Trends ahead of their release later this year. 

*Handmade Humanism: Hand-drawn elements and DIY-inspired elements offer a personal touch in a digital world.

*Art Deco Updates: A fresh new take on vintage styles to incorporate futuristic details.

*Semi Surreal: The use of new tools and techniques to bring imaginative, fantastical imagery to life.

*Modern Goth: A dark and edgy visual approach with analogue and digital elements that’s both old-world and visionary.

Adobe Stock Survey Results

Adobe is expanding its trend-watching programme in 2020 as a result of surveying 1,000+ marketers, creatives and IT administrators across the globe (US, UK, Germany and France) to uncover their biggest content challenges, and results showed:

  • The majority (78%) of creatives are struggling today more than ever before to stay relevant to customers.
  • 61% of stock content users have trouble finding assets that don’t bring unwanted controversy
  • 78% of creatives said they want stock assets to incorporate interactive design techniques, and 47% said motion assets would grab consumers’ attention.
  • Coming up with initial design ideas (6.4 hours), searching for stock content (5.0 hours) and re-applying edits or retouching (4.7 hours) were the top three tasks designers spend the most time on each week.
  • 74% of creatives rely on stock content providers to do their jobs and 87% agree stock content can serve a bigger variety of creative projects today than it could five years ago.


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