2022 Creative Trends: The Fantastic

Every year, Shutterstock analyzes what users around the world are searching for. Their Shutterstock.AI performance data has the power to reveal what trends fuel creative projects worldwide. And now, we transfer the power of knowledge onto you – learn how to get trendy with the latest design trends of 2022, starting with the fantastic.

Fantasy bridges figments of imagination, ancient traditions, history, the collective unconscious, myths, folklore, story-telling, past life metaphysics, beliefs, and social norms into reality. No biggie.

While everyone’s definition of what’s real or true will forever remain subjective, it’s safe to assume that all realities portrayed through media hold some semblance of truth to somebody. 

So, those creatives who identify with and/or honor the existence of mythical creatures, centaurs, fairies, dragons, knights, witches, wizards, and the like – this one’s for you. Here's everything you need to inject fantasy into your designs using PicMonkey's assets, plus a designer-made creation for you to try making yourself!

The word “fantasy” stems from the Greek word “phantazein,” meaning “to make visible.” And while most associate fantasy trends with the latest Netflix hype involving Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time, and Vikings, (you’re not wrong!), spoiler alert: everyone has experienced the element of fantasy at one point or another – regardless of your belief system. 

Dreams, books, imaginary friends, movies, and occasions like Halloween invite every child into the fantastical realm. Remember the Chronicles of Narnia and Bridge to Terabithia? What about any Disney movie ever? When fantasy as a genre starts trending, a community forms. 

People share interests, language, and like-minds. In the world of fantasy, words like goblet, castle, and axe might be spoken more than the average person. According to Shutterstock's data, search results for "medieval buildings" are up 6,496% and "shield vintage" up 2,858%. (It’s like stocks, but for the fantastic.)

No matter your age, you can locate certain fantasy trends that have boomed throughout your life. You can identify the ebb and flow of popularity – when it peaks and fades. When there are recurring renaissance festivals and world fantasy conventions. And among these tides, many, (like Harry Potter), will remain timeless. 

In the interest of all things timeless, it’s time to make fantastical designs that let you live and breathe fantasy forever.

Set the stage with PicMonkey’s fantastical textures & effects

We’re all about play here, so it’s time to embody your fantasy vision. Are you on the Quidditch field? Archery range? In a castle? What is your dream ambiance? Remember, this is all about making your fantasy a reality, so it’s time to leverage PicMonkey’s effects and textures.

In PicMonkey, you'll find all of these under the Textures and Effects tabs on the left tabs menu. Use 'em on backgrounds, images, graphics, text...however you want to fantast-ify your work.

Bring fantasy graphics to life

Good news, fantasy folks! PicMonkey brings forth tons of fantasy graphics for the taking. Get medieval on your next banner or bring the spook to social. To add a graphic to your design, simply open the Graphics tab and pick your poison. 

Browse categories like Elements for flames, ominous clouds, or dazzling stars. Or, search for your fave fantasy-related items like crows, rings, trees, bow & arrows, stars, crowns, and more!

Add fanfare with fantasy fonts

Font style is the easiest way to make a design more fantastic. Don’t have text? Add some! Whether you’re writing a spell, introducing characters, or providing your next LARP event details, consider top-notch fantasy fonts like Pirata One, Gothic Ultra OT, and Dearest. 

In PicMonkey click the Text tab on the left, then click Add text to place a text layer on your canvas. Customize the font type and add a text effect for something that truly pops.

Voila. Among these slick PicMonkey features, we have full faith you can make the unseen, seen.

Get this fantastical look in PicMonkey

Design by Natalie Wilson.

*Cue trumpet fanfare.* Hear ye, hear ye! Follow these detailed steps to craft this fantasy design specially made by one of our professional designers. Note that these directions will show you how to make one of these tarot cards (then you'll know exactly how to make the second!).

Read your future with fortune

  1. Open up a blank canvas with your preferred size. (Note: You can crop your canvas afterward if planning to print your card design.)

  2. Open the Graphics tab and add a rounded rectangle from the Basic category. Click Textures on the left tabs menu and add a papery texture as your card's background.

  3. Next, add a rounded rectangle outline graphic from the Basic graphics category. Click Textures and add a gold foil texture, then resize and adjust the graphic so that it's close to the card's edge.

  4. Head to Graphics again and, this time, search for "Angled Line Frame." Add a gold foil texture to this graphic and adjust to fit within the center of your card.

  5. Guess what? More graphics — this time search for circles, moons, and stars and use them to create a border. Each one should have the gold foil texture added to it. Be sure to make them the same size and space evenly to create visual cohesion. (Pro tip: Use Align & Snap to help with this.)

  6. Open the Photos & Videos tab and search for a stock photo (we typed "gold glitter" into the search box) to fit behind the angled line frame. Crop the image to fit exactly behind the frame; use the Eraser tool to remove the corners of the image so that it fits within the angled graphic.

  7. Almost done! Search "lion" and "tropical leaf" in the stock photo library. Click on an image to add it to your canvas. Then, with the image layer selected, remove its background and arrange on your card.

  8. For more pizazz, pepper a few additional star graphics on top of your design (you can play with blend modes or add a glittery texture to each).

  9. Lastly, you'll want some text. Open the Text tab and click Add text to add a text layer to your canvas. In this design, Pirata font has been used, along with a gold foil texture for visual cohesion.

Bam! Great fortune has been cast upon you. And so it is.

Let your imagination run fantastic with a PicMonkey subscription.
Paige Frisone

Paige is a Colorado-based Certified LifeLine® Practitioner, writing coach, and psychosomatic poet. She geeks out about the neuroscience of emotions and the impact of the subconscious mind on waking life. In her free time, she grooves to dancey beats outdoors while befriending local mountains.