How Adobe Is Addressing Culturally Insensitive Stock Photography
These selections are informed by the company’s internal search data, explained Brenda Milis, principal of creative services and visual trends at Adobe. When it comes to multilocalism, for instance, the company has observed an 80 percent increase in searches about travel over the past year and a 90 percent increase in searches about migration; queries for the keywords “wanderlust” and “globalism,” in particular, have shot up by 113 percent and 173 percent, respectively.
But search terms are not the sole indicator of visual trends. Milis and her team also pore over hundreds of reports from trend forecasting company WGSN, which touch upon everything from interior design to tech launches to textile production. Adobe, she said, is looking for themes that repeat throughout different industries and geographies.
For each trend, Adobe Stock compiles a mix of existing and newly commissioned photographs into a gallery of representative images; for instance, multilocalism emphasizes travel and exploration. Certain photographs could be stills from a Coca-Cola commercial, featuring groups of young, racially diverse friends as they goof around or share a meal. In others, people wearing traditional outfits participate in modern activities, like riding the bus or working on a laptop.