Double-Exposure photography, low poly imagery, linear visuals, blurred backgrounds and zentangles have also been identified as key visual trends for 2015. These trend predictions are based on the growth in popularity of image sales across the Internet, which is quite interesting, as the results are purely data-driven. It’s difficult to say from these results when the trends will peak or fade out. Low poly imagery was big last year, (creations from Photoshop and illustrator), with the likes of Samsung and car adverts tapping into geometric visuals. In the UK we are obsessed with visual Geometry. Patterns, backgrounds, images resembling low poly renders, flat designs and paint splashes are the most commonly downloaded visual renders.

Linear visuals have been influenced heavily by social media giants while the global aesthetic keeps trending towards simplicity. Outlined icons and other linear styles are on the rise, the word “line icon” increasing 921% in 2014 on shutterstock & iStock.

Blurred Backgrounds – According to shutterstock “Blurry Backgrounds layered behind text have been on the rise in advertising and design over the last 12 months, with searches of “blur” increasing 144%. The quality of the blur on these images is a result of something called Bokeh (the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens). For simple, effective and instant advertising this effect can be imitated in post processing on in-focus imagery.

Double-exposure photography came back into fashion a few years ago, but its use in video was brought back into the public eye by the titles of last year’s best TV show, True Detective. In photography and cinema double exposure is the superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image, the exposure values may or may not be identical to each other. The trend of double-exposure visualization comes in the form of a post process, combining multiple images inside of the one frame, not to be confused with high dynamic range (HDR) processing, which is a process caught in camera.

A Zectangle is a term coined by Rick Roberts of Zectangle Inc. It is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from structured patterns that form one overall image, much like double-exposure photography, it’s a combination of imagery that create a ‘sum of all parts’ image. Zectangle artwork is very different from regular drawing, painting, of other art forms, and can be seen as a form of artistic meditation as the creations generally begin unplanned. A zectangle will remind you of the work of Lizzie Mary Cullen, and it’s very effective when used in animation.

In the past year creative professionals are looking for more inventive ways to tell and visualize their stories. The emerging trends are still based on the concept of authenticity, the overarching trend that has been knocking on our door for almost a decade. We are drawn to the comfort of nostalgia and imperfection, which gives us a sense of humanity even if it’s high-end photography of entirely digitally created – as is the case with low poly work. It appears that these micro-trends will reign across 2015, however, the macro-trends remains the same.