A visual forecast of what's real in 2014

Yes, I am writing a blog about another blog. But after finding this forecast on the blog over at iStock.com I can't stop thinking about it. Keeping a grasp on what's 'on trend' as everything flashes by at super speed can be tricky, so what better time to get to grips than the beginning of the new year - get it in your head now whilst it's relevant. 

With that in mind, I found this nice infographic style piece that predicts the top visual trends for 2014 - and it covers a nice spectrum of things. 

What stands out to me from this infographic, is something I've been thinking for a while - that the realistic imagery is the way forward. I am a big fan of Instagram and it's clear that this is having an effect on what people are used to seeing and therefore WANT to see. Clients are also increasingly fed up of 'stocky' images and have been for some time now - why can't designers (some, not all) catch up with this? Yes we want to get emotion and personality across but does it always have to be done with a large helping of cheese? One major problem is that stock libraries make it very difficult to find these lovely realistic/Instagram inspired images without charging you the earth. And you usually have to sift through a large collection of blonde models in 90's clothes with big smiles, to find what you're looking for in the first place.

So why is this 'Instagram-inspired' imagery so popular? Because it feels real. Because you see it and feel like whatever it's advertising is there warts and all, that you can trust the picture - and the product behind it. No it's not right for every project. But one thing I promise to steer clear of without fail are blondes in 90's clothes with big smiles...