Engaging visuals for the new normal: Addressing consumer values through color and content

Two girls with arms around each other look up at the sky.

Image source: Lorella Furleo Semeraro/EyeEm/Adobe Stock.

By Lindsay Morris

Posted on 09-03-2020

Our visual and cultural landscape is always ever-changing, but COVID-19 has put it all into hyperdrive almost overnight. We have adjusted to working and creating from our homes, and now we must adapt to this accelerated shift.

As we enter the second half of 2020 and begin planning creative projects and campaigns for the upcoming seasons, creative professionals and marketers are keenly aware of all the elements of life and work that have changed during this pandemic. Many are asking themselves, “How can we make an impact and connect with our audience during these unprecedented and unusual times?”

If you’re feeling like it’s harder than ever to keep up with industry trends now, you are not alone. In fact, in Adobe Stock’s most recent creative survey from July 2020, we found that:

This feedback is why Adobe Stock recently partnered with Adweek to look at a few key themes, across both visual and color trends, that the global pandemic has influenced most. Our webinar gave creatives an inside look at how industry experts are responding to COVID-19 changes.

First, Laurie Pressman, VP of Pantone, joined us to discuss how the global pandemic is shaping our experience with color.

Pressman began by speaking broadly to how color reflects consumer behavior: “The key to understanding why we are attracted to certain colors is … to not only be able to look at macro trends … and how they are reflected through the language of color, but also, how colors are adapted to meet the future shifts within a marketplace and the constant changes in consumer behavior.”

She took us through four main color “stories” that are most resonant with consumers, and what that might look like through the end of 2020 and beyond. She spoke to why these trends are coming into play now, and how they can be adapted for design. Listen to the on-demand recording to find out more about these engaging color palettes: Simplicity, Positivity, The Great Outdoors, and Contentment.

Next Brenda Milis, Principal of Visual Trends at Adobe Stock, explored how these key themes can be communicated through seasonal topics across both autumn and winter. Brenda described three trending topics: Simplicity, Localism and Tradition. She had this to say about how COVID-19 is influencing seasonal visuals:

“Because fall and winter are distinct times of year, with their own holidays, weather, and annual appeal, it’s a vital exercise to see how this very specific cultural moment affects seasonal content, and how to ensure that the visuals employed in seasonal campaigns and marketing are relevant and resonant with consumers this year.”

Watch to the on-demand recording and read our Autumn/Winter 2020 Creative Insights Guide to learn more.

Discussing these relevant color themes and visual topics with both Pressman and Milis confirmed that many of the changes in our lifestyles, values, and priorities will remain with us even in a world post-COVID-19. However, seeing Pressman showcase the evergreen, classic colors that evoke a sense of unity and longevity, offered both comfort and peace. Even though we may feel farther than ever from each other, we are also more connected.

Want to learn more? Watch the webinar replay to hear the full discussion.

Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends, Creativity, Insights & Inspiration, Media & Entertainment, Design, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, Stock,