Adobe released its biannual study of the stock industry this past week. They share insights from global stock users and marketers to identify creative and design trends. This year with the challenges of COVID-19 and social movements, stock users faced more challenges than normal. This is a summary of their findings.

State of creativity

A survey of 600 global creatives was sent out in July 2020. Adobe found that while creators feel challenged to create in today’s environment, they are getting creative, even from home and stock art is part of their solution.

Adobe State of Stock

Here are the findings:

The events in 2020 have creators feeling more inspired than ever.

  • 87% believe change is the only thing that stays the same in the creative industry.
  • 41% have changed how they create in 2020 by preparing to quickly pivot or change creative direction.
  • 91% of stock users admit the events of 2020 have inspired their team to incorporate real-world issues into their creative work. 49% of these are developing campaigns with positive societal impacts.

Creators are challenged to create in new environments, learning new techniques and relying on stock content providers to help them do their jobs significantly more than last year.

  • 83% agree the events of 2020 have made it more important than ever to expand creative skillsets (for example, video, 3D and interactive design). 25% of them incorporating new virtual photography tactics.
  • 49% of creative teams have used more stock assets instead of custom shoots and/or using a hybrid model (mix of existing custom and branded assets plus stock).
  • 84% rely on stock content providers to do their jobs (up +11 points over 2019).
  • This year made it challenging for 88% of creators to plan for 20/21 campaigns. This made it necessary for 87% to reevaluate the subject matter of stock imagery in campaigns.

Moving to keep up, adapting and overcoming

Visual trends and culture are moving rapidly these days and creators realize they have to keep up. They feel a responsibility to create authentic content that reflects society today. One of the main findings was that 74% of those polled say finding content that resonates with today’s audiences is a challenge and 89% want diverse and inclusive stock collections.

Campaigns are being created to be more timely and relevant. Creators are not just changing what they create but how they create. Unexpected changes in creative direction are becoming the norm. There is a positive side to this, 89% agree that 2020 has made their teams think more creatively and 82% agree that 2020 has changed how they create in general.

Adobe’s role

Adobe has always believed that stock represents creatives helping creatives. They strive to be a creative partner provide a world-class collection of stock that creates time- and money-saving efficiencies without compromise. They are responsible for providing more diversity and inclusive stock collection, alternatives to custom productions and access to emerging trends. Stock plays a relevant and critical role in the future of visual fluency.

You can read the full report on Adobe’s blog.

Don’t forget about the free Adobe MAX Conference free online this month!