Visual trends 2015: double-exposure photos, low-poly images and zentangles

Shutterstock's Gerd Mittmann discusses the findings of its Creative Trends 2015 report, which analysed searches on the stock media company's site.


Shutterstock has released its 2015 Creative Trends report, which charts themes, concepts and styles of photography and video that the company believes will be trending in the year ahead.

In the video above, Shutterstock's international VP Gerd Mittmann discusses three of the key trends they identified – double exposure photography, low-poly images and zentangles – and what drives them.

These trend predictions are based on analysis of searches on the company's website, terms that are growing in popularity but – says Shutterstock – haven't peaked yet. It's an interesting, data-driven approach to trend forecasting – though it's difficult to say from their results when these trends will fade out. It could be next week, next season or even next year.

Low-poly imagery, for example, was big last year – and formed the basis of our most-popular tutorial of 2014, How to Create a Low-Poly Portrait in Photoshop and Illustrator – and while the likes of Samsung and car ads are still tapping into that, it's too big to be sustained much into 2015. So get using this low-poly skull while you still can.

Double-exposure photography came back into vogue a few years ago, but its use in video was brought into the public consciousness by the titles of last year's best TV show, True Detective.

The image shown here is from a clip by Shutterstock.


A zentangle is a style of hand-drawn pattern that reminds us of the work of Lizzie Mary Cullen.

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Gerd says that most of the trends they discovered are still based on the concept of authenticity, the overarching trend that has been with us for almost a decade now. We're still drawn, it seems, to the comfort of nostalgia and imperfection as evidence of humanity even whether it's the high-end photography of Shutterstock's new non-subscription site Offset or if what we're viewing is entirely digitally created – as is the case of much low-poly work.

So it appears that while new micro-trends will permeate 2015, the macro-trend remains the same.