Key visual trends

Main Image Detail122128801 / Richard Newstead / Flickr


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There is a core set of visual ideas and conventions around technology and its no surprise that our best sellers from the Flickr collection reflect these trends – connection and urbanity. But we are beginning to see the rise of a different range of images that feature ‘everyday’ moments and situations. Given the sudden ubiquity of smartphone cameras and the image sharing on social network sites that go with it, it’s no surprise.

Images of bridges, roads, escalators and tunnels are all visual metaphors for the idea of connection, a core theme of telecommunications in particular. In terms of styling, the meanings of some of these looks are subtly shifting. So whereas time-lapse photography, with its streaks of light still signals ‘speed’ and ‘busy-ness’, increasingly it also echoes our visual relationship with urban ‘graffiti’, with surfaces that have been scratched and played with.

These kinds of images are in sync with the desire for images that have something a little rougher, that signal the physicality of the image. The images of monumental architecture, motorway networks and planned environments, of the ‘mesh’ of channels, convey the idea of companies as builders, innovators, and as trusted overseers of development.

Urban spaces have always proved popular in technology as images of the metropolis combine narratives of connection and disconnection, of isolation and the desire for engagement, of loneliness and a desire for adventure.  While we conduct most of our business via email and connect with others mostly through social networks, the city as a symbol for collective humanity, as a sign of the ‘social’ it is a powerful image that touches consumer instincts. There’s nothing like the image of walls of neon advertising in a major urban center to evoke our sense of excitement at being connected to a mass of humanity.

The everyday
At the extreme other end of the visual spectrum, clients are seeking out images that suggest the ‘everyday’, that echo images shared and posted online. It’s the visual poetry of everyday life, of togetherness. These are nondescript scenarios, mundane snapshots, people taking photos of themselves.

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