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All flat and Instagrammed: Shutterstock’s 2014 global design trends

What would you do if you were one of the world’s top stock image sites, with users generating a terabyte of data a day? If you’re smart, you’d put all that information to good use… and maybe make an infographic to go along with it.

Well, that’s exactly what Shutterstock has done with the most recent iteration of their global design trends report. The stock image and video site put crunched the numbers to give an overview of major current influences in the world of design, taking into account over 350-million downloads of its stock imagery and information on the most popular kinds of photos, illustrations and videos, the most searched terms and most downloaded items.

Interestingly, many of the current trends are influenced by the world of the web and mobile, with techie terms like ‘BYOD’ (bring your own device), ‘responsive design’ and ‘3D printing’ growing in search volume 407%, 477% and 581% over last year, respectively. Not only that, but the Instagram effect is still in full force, with retro imagery and filtered shots gaining popularity. The most downloaded photograph on the site overall even looks like something you’d expect to be square and hashtagged.

One of the other major trends, flat design, has also risen in prominence on the web lately, with tech giants like Apple and Google ditching faux shadows in favour of solid colours and icons.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More
  • Charli Jay

    Great infographic. Another trend we’re seeing more and more is interactive infographics. There are some really cool concepts around and I predict they’ll become ubiquitous in 2014.
    Charli @ Ricemedia

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