1. Long Live the Long Tail. Our Top 50 images of the year only accounted for 180k downloads. That’s a tiny fraction of overall downloads, meaning that communicators are looking for diverse imagery to tell stories.
2. If Vector & Camera got in a fight, Vector would win. Sort of. 36 of those top 50 images were vectors; 11 were photos and 3 were illustrations. But before you swap your camera for a tablet, note that photos still account for nearly 2x as many downloads overall.
3. We’re all obsessed with labels. Labels of every size, shape, and style were popular this year, from a retro bakery to Victorian-inspired designs.
4. Textures, patterns, and prints, oh my! Textures, patterns, and prints appeared in virtually every market this year, but were especially prominent in Australia, with retro vintage designs and abstract bokeh among the top downloads.
5. Brazil could be the next design giant. With several abstract and cubic images, Brazil is on the cutting edge of design this year. Take a look at the top 20 downloads for this influential design hub.
6. From Russia with Love. Solidifying its place in the world of fashion and beauty photography, Russia continues to churn out some of the most alluring images in the world. Follow the work of MGV and Serov and you’ll see what we mean.
7. The grass is always greener. “Green” may not be a new trend, but now instead of simply being green, we have more refined terms, from “sustainable” to “eco-friendly.” View a collection of our favorite “green” images.
8. Out with the old, and in with the (slightly less) old. If you combined all the searches for “Cats,” “Dogs,” “Retro,” and “Hipster,” you still wouldn’t beat the number of searches for “Vintage.” Everything from 70s retro to ornate antique imagery will continue to dominate this year.
9. Laws of Abstraction. Geometric and abstract shapes are on the rise, big time. From pixel people to 3D labels, see a few of our current favorites.
10. Less Is More. Germany might be the epicenter for one the year’s biggest emerging trends: minimalism. It’s all about cutting through the clutter with striking imagery to make an impact.
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