Adobe’s 2022 creative trends: Optimism and meaningful connection

Woman in headscarf wearing white headphones

Adobe Stock predicts 2022’s biggest creative trends.

Adobe Stock released its 2022 creative trends forecast on Wednesday, which marked a notable shift in how brands are responding to the pandemic’s impact.

Adobe worked with global forecasting company WGSN to compile research that included analyzing recurring search terms and ad campaigns and monitoring social platforms, among others. 

In 2021, the pandemic created a new wave of creativity filled with cautious messaging and a craving for comfort and self-care.

This year, people are more optimistic about the future and determined to maintain meaningful connections with their loved ones. Those two elements will be interwoven into creativity throughout visual, design and motion trends in 2022, said Brenda Milis, Adobe’s principle of creative and consumer insights.

“We see people incredibly engaged with creative projects that present optimism, playfulness, and even whimsy,” said Milis. “At the core of it represents the determination to make it through. More than ever, we are all hungry for authentic, meaningful connection. We need each other.”

Below are some of Adobe’s creative trend predictions for 2022.

Motion trends

Get Moving

The dance trend made popular by TikTok will continue into 2022. People are attracted to movement, dance and rhythm as a means to express themselves and connect with others emotionally. Brands like Apple, Adidas, Toyota and Bud Light have already hopped on the trend in recent campaigns.

Metaverse Mix

The metaverse was 2021’s newest buzzword, and it’s not going away anytime soon. In 2022, brands will explore ways to bridge the digital and physical worlds through creative.

“There is a real sense of the metaverse as a place and an experience,” said Milis. “There is a sense of connection to other people and a playfulness.”

Design trends

Soft Pop will become popular in 2022, bringing a whimsical vibe defined by pastel 3D cartooning.

Meanwhile, creativity will also focus on nature. New Naturalism, which incorporates “clean modernism,” according to Adobe, will feature process art, post-minimalism and clean living. 

Visual trends 

Going hand in-hand with New Naturalism is “Prioritize the Planet,” a visual trend focused on sustainability and greener living. Adobe also predicts creatives will embrace the “Power of Playfulness,” which inspires consumers to stay positive and find the small joys in life. 

Dovetailing on that trend is what Adobe calls the “Centered Self,” which brings attention to the importance of mental health amid an increase in stress, depression and burn out. It’s one trend that has the greatest staying power, according to Milis.

“People are beginning to really understand the notion of advocating for themselves,” she said. “That prioritization of needing to find strength and balance, I don't see that going away.”

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