Trends Go Visual: Getty Images on what STATUS and BETTERMENT mean for the visual sphere


All images appear courtesy of Getty Images. 

This is the first in a series of four blog posts created in collaboration with our partners over at Getty Images. Each post will see us share two of the 16 mega-trends that form part of our broader Trend Framework. These are the big, slow-moving currents in the consumer arena - that, taken together, form our complete picture of consumerism today and where it’s heading.

Below, Jacqueline Bourke - Senior Manager of Creative Planning for Getty Images London - showcases the most aesthetically stunning representations of the trends that are shaping the future, and how these trends translate to the visual sphere.


To develop truly relevant, meaningful (and successful!) innovations, you need to understand the bigger picture. The trend ecosystem as it were…

Enter the Trend Framework - an insanely comprehensive (and actionable) overview of the the 16 mega-trends TrendWatching track.

Ready to explore the first two mega-trends and their visual accompaniment? Read on!

STATUS SEEKERS: What, why & what next

STATUS SEEKERS entails the relentless, often subconscious, yet ever-present force that underpins almost all consumer behavior - based around the fact that the desire for status and recognition is a deep and universal human need.

In consumer societies, people traditionally derive much of their social status through the goods, services and experiences they collect and share. And with so many choices available in modern economies, consuming is as much a statement about who I am as what I have.

As status becomes more diverse and traditional status symbols such as cars, houses and designer handbags lose their allure, status is accrued through knowledge, skills, expertise, connections and more. And the most important facet of the post-material statusphere? The ability to tell and share ever-more interesting stories on social platforms.

The Getty Images perspective

Humans are contradictory, and the contrasts faced by the modern consumer is equally a yearning for extremes - from a desire for either luxury, convenience or individuality outside the mainstream - to a genuine need for interconnectedness, community, acceptance and journey.

Ultimately, our STATUS is to seek an audience to share our stories. We want to be seen, we want to be recognized for who we are and our continual process of learning and evolving. As more and more of us use social media to share our stories with the world, we are overwhelming choosing to do that through visuals.

The way that we share and use imagery continues to evolve and the kind of imagery we like best changes at a dramatic rate. From the authenticity of everyday smartphone realism to seeking something more aspirational, surreal and imaginative, we are now living in a world craving visuals that go beyond the norm, expanding our understanding of who we are and the way we interpret the world.

(You can view the complete STATUS SEEKERS collection by Getty Images right here).

BETTERMENT: What, why & what next

BETTERMENT is the universal quest for self-improvement - show us a consumer who doesn't aspire to doing so!

The desire to improve can manifest in many ways: the desire for better health, for greater knowledge, the development of new skills and much more. The products, campaigns and services that enable the realization of these goals will simply appear 'better' than those that don't.

Consumers now seek a deeper, lasting personal impact from their purchases, wanting a sense of personal growth (think emotional, spiritual or ethical) that is not always easy to quantify. It's time to think beyond BETTERMENT devices and tools of convenience to services that truly facilitate a higher version of the self.

The Getty Images perspective

As brands start to focus on values, as we shift our focus to more meaningful consumption, a surge of concepts such as goodness, intention and interconnectedness play out in the visual landscape. People are searching for something more mindful and spiritual and are purchasing with purpose. In an overwhelming visual world, brands and storytellers are placing purpose at the core of their narratives and must now appeal to our sense of worth, inside and out. 

We are seeing imagery representing contemplation or introspection and imagery showing a god’s eye view via aerial photography. 

Imagery is uncomplicated but beautifully executed to stand out against imagery that’s more frantic and busy. Less is more in both composition and colour with pictures that are often quiet and restrained.

(You can view the complete BETTERMENT collection by Getty Images right here).


Getty Images is the world’s leader in visual communication, with over 190 million assets available through its premium content site and its leading stock content site. They are an official partner for both our Singapore (at the National Design Centre on October 27th) and Sydney (November 3rd at the Museum of Contemporary Art) Trend Events. Want to see what's going down? More info and tickets here