How are brands expressing sustainability? Five key visual trends

May 23, 2013 | By Michaela Schwing | Visual Trends

As with each issue of the Curve, the Getty Images Creative Research team has analyzed internal data, buying patterns and what’s happening in the world of visual communications beyond our office walls. The latest result? An issue focused on sustainability, and how innovative, visual language can amplify a company’s communications efforts and educate, enable and inspire consumers.

Looking back at the top-selling images of 2012, we have identified five trends that are key to the visual language of sustainability across a broad range of industries. The following concepts are having an impact on our visual language, right now — and, if you’d like to learn more, you can join our creative research team for our Sustainability visual trends webinar Thursday, 30th May.

Sustainability: Five Key Visual Trends

Make: the influence that the revived crafts movement has on consumer behaviour and business and shows how this is captured in imagery.

Share: our networked social technologies enable us to share, rent, trade and swap on a scale that wasn’t possible before, thereby changing our attitude towards ownership.

Me: we are becoming more conscious about balancing our new On-Off lifestyles.

Next: guarding nature for future generations.

Spirit: we are seeing an uptick in celestial imagery in our sales, which shows that companies around the world are making more mystical image choices to offer their consumers an escape from reality.


What we’ve learned in putting this issue together, is that over the past decade, the term “sustainability” has expanded from raising awareness about environmental consciousness into a holistic concept touching on every part of people’s lives. The  perception of the environment as the weaker counterpart often portrayed in mainstream media is now being surpassed by the realization that people, business and environment are intrinsically linked.


To join the webinar, register now:


Editor’s note: Micha Schwing is a Creative Planning Manager for Getty Images.

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