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4 Design Trends That Will Help You Stand Out on Social Media This Year Even small brands can create powerfully effective social media assets that cut through the digital noise.


In today’s world, communications and transactions are increasingly digital. Social media is a prime example. Approximately seven in 10 Americans use social media every day to do things like connect with one another, engage with news content, interact with brands, share information, and entertain themselves. That’s up about 20 percent over the last decade.

For small businesses, this represents an opportunity and a challenge: social media is a doorway to communicate with droves of customers, but how can you do that while cutting through the noise at the same time? The team at Adobe has a few ideas.

From the Adobe Stock 2022 Creative Trends forecast, Adobe has uncovered many effective ways brands are leveraging digital communications like social media to connect with customers. Overall, brands are leveraging optimism, vibrance, and extra creativity to create messaging that stands out from the competition.

Here, Veronica Belmont, Senior Product Manager for Adobe Creative Cloud Express, dives into four design trends that can help your brand shine on social media this year.

1. Be powerfully playful.

In the wake of Covid-19, consumers and small-business owners alike are still feeling weary. Many brands are attempting to shake it up by offering their customers campaigns full of optimism and playfulness. In other words, messaging that utilizes bright, bold colors, animated elements and “a big dash of nostalgia on their social channels,” Belmont says.

“This trend is underpinned by the determination to keep going and keep smiling in the face of any upcoming challenge,” she continues. “The focus is on a sense of laughter, enthusiasm, and hope.”

To showcase this sense of positivity in your own social media posts, Belmont recommends experimenting with candid photo images, brighter colors, and highlighting feel-good community or customer stories. “Creative Cloud Express can help by unlocking thousands of Adobe Stock photos specifically curated for this trend so small-business owners can look for inspiration,” Belmont says.


2. Give it a ‘soft pop.’

Piggybacking on the determination to keep going and smiling in the face of mounting challenges with playful social content is what Adobe calls soft pop. It’s defined by fun, pliable forms that are largely characterized by their “3-D squishy appearances.” Think emojis, cartoons, and symbols loaded with personality like soft, rounded, curved, or exaggerated shapes and forms.

“Type is also a huge part of this trend, with dimensional, bubble, or other statement typefaces springing off the screen in advertising, lettering, identity, and character design,” Belmont explains. Creative Cloud Express makes it easy for small-business owners to explore thousands of templates that align with this trend so they can apply a small, soft pop or overhaul their entire brand.


3. Make your aesthetic consistent.

Consistency is key when it comes to design. The same goes for design on social media. For many brands, the creative elements on their social media channels should have a consistent theme or aesthetic that highlights your brand ethos. Whether it’s something like New Naturalism, Heritage Craft, or Otherworldly Visions, being consistent with your design helps people immediately associate your posts with your brand.

Creative Cloud Express makes it easy to seamlessly adapt your brand creative for social media, email marketing, website and more. “The Shared Libraries feature makes it easy for anyone and everyone on your team to work from a cohesive bank of templates to achieve that brand consistency,” Belmont says.

4. Make it move!

Belmont proclaims that successful campaigns in 2022 will be packed with dynamic movement. This can include everything from imagery depicting movement, dance, and rhythm to things like animated 3-D renderings.

Creative Cloud Express allows small-business owners to create attention-grabbing content with features to animate text and photos. “Even still visuals depicting the swirls of clothing and hair or the graceful lines of dancing bodies in motion are having a moment,” Belmont says. “Movement as a central subject in brand campaigns is not only beautiful and visually inspiring — it is also a way for us to experience physicality. Even though we may still be socially distanced from one another, these visuals allow us to stay connected, at least in our minds.”

Click here to learn more about how Adobe Creative Cloud Express can help you create professional-looking assets to make your business stand out on social media and beyond.

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