Appearance does matter!

The visual trends for 2018 come under the melodious titles Masculinity undone, second renaissance und conceptual realism. Sounds exciting, but above all foreign. What is behind the forecasts from the image agency Getty Images?

Seriously, we do not officially read our annual horoscope for the coming year but nonetheless we are a little bit unsettled if it does not turn out as we would have hoped for the New Year. The same is true for trend forecasts. Ultimately, everyone knows what is coming, with the countless statements that can be found on almost every subject at the end of the old and beginning of the New Year. Both digitally and in print. One, who is always in on the act, is the image agency Getty Images. The company that belongs to the billionaire Mark Harris Getty predicts the visual trends for the coming year with uncanny regularity. And in 2018 these tally with the names Masculinity undone, Second Renaissance and Conceptual Realism. And that requires explanation. Somehow. A little.

Masculinity undone

Getty uses registered search terms over the past year as a basis for the forecast. So which research terms are entered most frequently and in what combination? The team of researchers and art directors also incorporates worldwide consumer and company behaviour in its analyses. The evaluation from 2017 showed that the «real man» or «tough» guy is played out. Today he is allowed to be somewhat softer, more emotional and to wear his –>
masculinity in a more reserved almost shy manner. In comparison with other word combinations, Getty registered an extremely high proportional increase for the search terms homosexual father, meditating father and single father on a worldwide scale. In 2018 men will not necessarily be more feminine, but rather with fewer edges. The first conclusion from one of the largest image agencies is therefore: Masculinity undone.

Second Renaissance

The second trend is characterised by the fact that today everyone is able to take a picture at any given time, thanks to Smartphones and other digital appendages. As a result the art of photography has fallen a little by the wayside, however in particular the appreciation for trained photographers. They are therefore choosing another path now, seeking inspiration in art history and breathing new life into the renaissance. Portraits are becoming stagings, faces works of art. Subdued colours and precious materials are used to create the look. Getty derives this «Second Renaissance» from the registered search terms abstract & luxurious as well as vintage & portrait.

Conceptual Realism

To conclude the trio, Getty also defined «Conceptual Realism» as a new trend. This means breaking down to the essentials, that people want images that are more real again. Alternatively: Authenticity in times in which many question what and whom they can still believe. Influencers here, software programmes there, digitalisation makes manipulation simple. In 2018 more and more pictures will appear which are characterised by their realistic style, but will also surprise us. Because reality will show new facets and they will be well constructed. Gut feeling may be good, but strategy and a solid concept are valuable. The search here was for the words reality and unexpected concept.

Well done

2018 will certainly be an exciting year on a visual scale, at least if Getty is proven right with his image horoscope. Ultimately, the only remaining question is for whom the forecast from the image agency makes sense? The answer: Brands and companies and a whole string of communication agencies. Because the times, in which we acquired customers with an advertising photo in the form of a poster, are over. Today target groups are defined, their expectations drafted and this provides the information on how they can be contacted. If you hit the right visual nerve once, you are in a good position. Because in the end it is like in the horoscope mentioned at the beginning: If the message holds true for one, the level of satisfaction increases.

Photos Copyrights: StockSnap, Shutterstock/Richard Lyons
Photos Copyrights: StockSnap