4th Jan 2022
As a new year starts we look at the world of ‘predicted’ trends and digest what we think is going to make a large splash in 2022, a year where the future stands side by side with the past. It’s a time when AI-generated content, NFTs and the metaverse gain momentum to elevate user experience. And then on the other hand, Y2K aesthetics and 70s psychedelic art help content creators spark nostalgia and better connect with their audience.
What is the Metaverse? a collective virtual shared space. Today, boundaries between real and virtual worlds are blurred.
The metaverse is a perfect fusion of physical, augmented, and virtual reality. The Metaverse is a public virtual world that may be accessed via the internet. It creates a “virtual world” experience by simulating human emotions and gestures.
The metaverse encompasses the entire social and economic structure that exists in both the actual and virtual worlds. Avatars, content, and goods may all travel around freely. It’s a living, breathing experience that never pauses or finishes like a game.
In 2022, digital spaces will acquire an even more realistic look with the help of AR and VR technology. Designers will opt for well-thought-out 3D elements and motion graphics that bring a brand new level of interactivity. To make audiences feel even more present, creators will amplify their projects with ambient music and immersive sound effects.
We often look back in history for artistic inspiration. This year, playful and bold motifs of the 70s will resonate with content creators worldwide. The desire to escape monotonous reality, captivate audiences, and the accessibility of graphic software will foster experiments with psychedelic art in the digital realm.
Abstract psychedelia, Holographic and grainy backgrounds, complex abstractions, a rich mix of bright or highly contrasting colors, and different interpretations of psychedelic line art will appear in graphic design. Using a large number of design elements in one composition will provide designers with room for experimentation, and boost the commercial potential of projects.
The trends we’re already starting to see have the potential to inspire people in finding alternative ways to get away and escape, especially with all that is going on in the world. These trends will prompt people to think more creatively about how they can explore and have new experiences within the limitations of where they are.
AI-Generated (Art, Music, Data)
Today, “smart” increasingly means powered by artificial intelligence (AI) – generally machine learning algorithms – and capable of helping us in increasingly innovative ways. Smart cars use facial recognition algorithms to detect whether we are paying attention to the road and alert us if we’re getting tired. Smartphones use AI algorithms to do everything from maintain call quality to help us take better pictures, and of course, they are packed with apps that use AI to help us do just about anything.
AI has permeated the tools we use to carry out everyday work – from the ubiquitous voice assistants to language translation and tools that allow us to extract structured data from pictures, whiteboard scribblings, and hand-written notes. It also powers much of the robotic process automation that has enabled workloads to be lightened in admin, logistics, accounting, and HR departments. Whatever your industry or job function, you’re likely to find there’s an AI-powered solution designed to make your life easier.
AI will significantly impact content production as well. Brands and creators will get a chance to provide hyper-personalized experiences to their audiences, as AI-generated content will be more cost and time-effective. Music tracks on websites, AI voiceover talent for vlogs, NFT art or social content will be tailored to fit a user’s taste or mood.
If you’ve felt nostalgic for the past two years, you’re not alone. A lack of new experiences and positive emotions can make an audience reminiscent of how things were back in the day. Millennials and Gen Z—the largest and most solvent generations today—are attracted to Y2K aesthetics that evoke happiness and serenity, similar to the kind they experienced in childhood or teenage years.
This universal nostalgia encourages content creators to use pastel color palettes that include pink, yellow, green, and blue. Design and photography projects will acquire retrofuturistic vibes with shiny features or film-like post-production, and find their way from blogger social media accounts to brand campaigns and ads.
Many people are tired of minimalist design! Lots of artists during the pandemic experimented with the technology of the late 90s or early 2000s, whether by reexamining the birth of MP3 players, digicams, or with retrocomputing.
This specific period, around the late nineties and early naughties, is characterized by crude interfaces, low poly CGI, bubblegum pinks, blues and iridescent colors reminiscent of the backs of CDs. In many ways, it approaches cyberpunk, but it is much more bright and innocently nostalgic instead of dark, neon and sleek.
NFTs (Non-fungible tokens)
Crypto art has attracted a lot of attention over the last few years, and with some buyers spending millions on memes and artwork, the NFT trend is set to continue.
Non-fungible tokens are unique digital files published directly onto a blockchain, meaning that only one person can claim the rights to each one. NFTs are attractive to both collectors and designers – who can buy and sell work without having to worry about it being replicated without permission. For example, Bored Ape Yacht Club created a billion-dollar ecosystem of cartoon apes a string of NFTs, which have been purchased by celebrities and collectors around the world.
“NFTs are probably the best way to monetize digital art at the moment, you make money on the sale of your NFT, and the fascinating part is you also get a percentage on the secondary sale of the artwork. This is a great way to sell your personal projects or create something new and thrive as an artist.”
While not everyone is a fan of NFTs – predominantly due to their environmental footprint and copyright concerns – we expect this space to grow in 2022 with an increased number of creators and buyers looking to get in on the NFT games.
The trends of 2022 are drawing inspiration from both the future and the past. Metaverse, AI and NFTs, science fiction, Y2K and Psychedelic art. It’s hard to imagine some of these disparate personalities mingling at a party, but this year they effectively will be. And it’s exactly these unpredictable mashups that you won’t want to miss out on in the coming year.
Optimistic forward thinking design will be the main overarching trend in the aftermath (hopefully) of the pandemic.