Super sensory: Connecting visually with your audience

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When so much of our lives are conducted via screens we are increasingly looking for imagery that engages all of our senses.

Imagery is about to get even more immersive: Macro detailing, close crops, HD. Vivid visions that blaze and engage all of our senses. Some of this is out of necessity, sure. Screens are getting smaller, with more users selecting their mobile device as the primary window through which they view the world. 

Smaller frames love bigger pictures, and they allow for more intimate engagement with images of nature, portraits, and chromatic, abstract designs.


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But the super-sensory trend is also about content, not just composition. The more digital we are, the more we long for the tangible. The more we’re required to sit in front of screens, the more we romanticize the experiential and the unplugged. We’re seeing a rise in the perfume industry at large, and entire exhibitions based on scent even cropping up at art museums.


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The artisanal food movements are showing no sign of slowing down, and the rise of magazines like Kinfolk and Edible prove it’s as much about lifestyle as it is about nourishment. 


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Touch has become the ultimate sense, as more of us tap, swipe, and pull-to- refresh through our days. Is it possible that tactility has become novel? That texture has become the ultimate luxury?


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Just as the Industrial Revolution begot Romanticism in literature and art wherein creators elevated the outdoors to a level of transcendence, so our current age of pixels and multi-tasking is spurring on a new aesthetic based on an inward escape into the senses. 

Imagery that is up-close, personal, and visceral is alluring, because it makes us forget, if only for an instant, that we have a glowing rectangle between it and us.


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About the author

Pam Grossman – Director, Visual Trends, Getty Images

As a head of the global Creative Research team, Pam has unique insight into the meaning, application and impact of imagery – photographs, illustration and film – around the world today. Using the information derived from researchers around the world and custom-designed forecasting methods, plus the wealth of data generated by, Pam is able to identify – and perhaps even helps to shape – the visual language of tomorrow. The current and future trends identified in turn supply advertising, marketing and publishing professionals with imagery that will resonate strongly with target audiences and sway purchase decisions.


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