Adobe (Credit image/Pixabay/Alexandr Ivanov)Adobe has published its Adobe Stock 2023 Annual Creative Trends Forecast. The company’s insights showcase the trending visual styles and themes that are set to scale in demand and appeal throughout 2023. For the 6th consecutive year, Adobe has analysed emerging visual cultural themes and major brand campaigns across a variety of sectors. From the work of celebrated fashion designers to the creations of everyday users. The report identifies the design trends and aesthetics that will dominate the digital space in the coming year.

This year’s Adobe report predicts four key creative themes spanning visual, design, and motion. These themes will significantly influence content across photography, videography, creative writing, social media platforms, blogs and more. ‘Psychic Waves,’ ‘Real is Radical,’ ‘Retro Active’, and ‘Animals and Influencers.’

These emerging design themes are expected to guide the creative digital outputs of the Creator Economy. A sector estimated to have grown to 303 million creators globally. The themes are expected to tap into their creativity to create digital content that resonates with their audiences in 2023.

(credit image/LinkedIn/Brenda Milis)
Brenda Milis, principal of consumer and creative insights at Adobe

Brenda Milis, principal of consumer and creative insights at Adobe said, “As we emerge from a time overshadowed by uncertainty related to the global pandemic. People crave content that feels familiar yet fresh. But evokes feelings through authentic, inclusive and unfiltered experiences.

These trends are indicative of how creators are envisioning and shaping our world. Furthermore, using their platforms to share content that brings joy and happiness in their own unique styles to people globally.

Here is a closer look at the four key Adobe Stock 2023 Creative Trends:

Psychic Waves

The post-pandemic shift towards prioritising mental health and wellness is driving new ways of exploring spirituality, nature, and wellness. 46% of Gen Z say they are anxious and stressed. Consequently, there is a need for the visual effect of Psychic Waves, which includes calming gradients full of vibrant colours.

This new trend is focused on creative authenticity as an outlet for expression. This includes escaping reality, through psychedelic gradients, vibrant colours and aesthetics that imply blurred vision.

Real is Radical

In combating perfectionist content, the Real is Radical trend is a celebration of candid, unvarnished moments, experiences and realities. Brands are embracing campaigns featuring all races, genders, ages, abilities, and sizes — swapping out curated for candid moments.

According to a recent Pinterest Body Neutrality report, there is a 36% increase in “loving myself” searches. There was also a 32% increase in “how to become more confident” searches. The trend has a major presence across social, brand campaigns, and wildly successful new apps like BeReal and Locket. Ranging from rebellious, aggressive, and provocative to deeply vulnerable. Real is Radical visuals create powerful connections and inspire a sense of community across media channels and platforms.

Retro Active

Inspired by Gen Z creators evolving and experimenting with the aesthetics popular before they were born. The Retro Active trend focuses on exploring vintage styles and modernising them. Similar to Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X creators are exploring this resurgence. They are finding comfort and familiarity in the creative styles of the 90s and Y2K.

It includes retro skateboard scenes to candy-colour fashions, boom boxes and classic video game controllers. Though Gen Z creators are influential in developing these trends, Millennials still comprise a large portion of the Creator Economy. In fact, Millennials make up 42% of the Creator Economy, thus propelling these trends further.

Animals and Influencers

This whimsical theme appeals to the consumer’s affection and engagement, evoked from charming and adorable creatures and figures. Whether it be a real-life furry friend or a charming anime avatar, charismatic creatures have proven themselves to be powerful tools that attract and retain consumer interest and engagement. As a result, they have become a dominating presence in brand messaging. They proliferate across sectors in the form of anime, illustrations, photography, and 3D renders.

The feelings this trend evokes tie back to what consumers and creators alike crave – to feel happiness and positivity. Over the past two years, there was a 118% rise in global demand for anime. Since virtual influencers yield 3 times more engagement than humans (many finding them more trustworthy and relatable), brands are leveraging them in more and more ads.


To identify trends growing in commercial relevance and consumer engagement, Adobe’s insights group studies all media types and platforms across commercial, consumer and market data that align around rising visual styles and themes. Adobe also works across internal data, such as customer research requests and search history, and conducts interviews across all sectors regularly to find out what their specific visual needs are for their industry and brands.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

Adobe has always been at the forefront of creativity and as the company celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its new Creative Trends Report is an interesting deep dive into creativity. The report looks around the corner at the trends shaping the creative industry. It shows that after the hardships of the last few years, consumers are searching for inspiration and relief through nature, familiarity and entertainment.

Consumers are also looking for imagery that provokes new ways of thinking. Adobe’s Creative Trends Report should be also examined within the context of Adobe’s “Future of Creativity” Study published in September.

The study found the Creator Economy grew by 165 million creators over the past two years to 303 million creators globally. The Creator Economy is the economy supporting people who monetise their content, goods and services online. This is done by leveraging their own creativity, talents and passions. Additionally, the study found that the Creator Economy continues to grow and is reshaping every aspect of culture and society.

The creator economy is here to stay. It will be interesting to see how it evolves and impact on wider society.


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