Electrify Your Designs with the Glitch Effect and Other Trendy Looks

Social media scrollers and general internet travelers aren’t at a loss for content — we got it aplenty. Kinda everywhere. Almost too much (definitely too much). If you’re a content creator, sharing images that are trendy, scroll-stopping, engagement-boosting, and everything in between is top priority. 

There are a million and one looks worth capturing, but today we’re covering the trendiest of the trendiest: things like the Glitch effect, Gradient and Glitter shadow, Outline, Scrapbook, and more, all capable of turning even the most frenetic social scroller into a bona fide follower. And guess what? PicMonkey offers all these looks as Pro effects, so you can get a layered, multi-effect look in just one (or two) clicks.


How to apply Glitch and other Pro effects in PicMonkey

  1. Click an image layer in your design.

  2. Click Pro effects in the Image Tools menu on the left tab column.

  3. Choose the Pro effect you like and select your desired style.

  4. Click Apply. All done!

NOTE: These effects are only available on the updated editor screen. If you are still using Palette mode, you will be unable to access them. To switch to the palette-less mode, look for the message box at the bottom of the left tab column and click Show me to get started.


Designing with these hyper-trendy effects

So what exactly are these effects? We’ve detailed each one below, as well as what they’re best used for. Of course, experimentation is always encouraged.

1. Glitch

Glitch is a case of old tech meets a modern aesthetic, and pretty much eclipsed the sun after TikTok used it in their logo. The look is rooted in trippiness, but with enough visual clarity to create something cool and noticeable. This effect shines on social media and is well-suited for other purposes too, like eye-catching posters. PicMonkey’s Glitch will automatically perform background erase to separate your photo subject from the background first, and then do its trippiness on several layers of your foreground.

2. Neon Scribble

Neon Scribble makes your image pop via the mystical powers of highlighting. Because of this, a popular use is for product photos and advertisements. It’s an easy way to make your image stand out (in a good way). This effect also leans heavily on background erasure as a first step.

3. Gradient Shadow

Shadows add depth to your designs and, in the case of Gradient Shadow, definition. Be it a personal photo, product, or advertisement, adding a gradient shadow will emphasize the focal point of your image (and auto-remove your background).

4. Glitter Shadow

Same deal here, only with glitter (and glitter that you don’t even have to clean up). Glitter Shadow is a whole lot of visual pizzazz. Show it off in snazzy Facebook or Instagram posts, Stories, or YouTube designs.

5. Offset Silhouette

Offset Silhouette pulls your image's background away with magical gusto and adds an equally magical (offset) layer on top of your focal point. Consider using this effect to highlight an event speaker, podcast guest, etc. — it'll make your announcement pop!

6. Outline

Outline is a one-click version of our massively popular Outline tool. You’ll see this effect kinda everywhere on YouTube, especially in YouTube thumbnails. Given its look, outline is an easy way to add dimension to an image.

7. Scrapbook

Scrapbook gives a homemade touch to any image. The effect is perfect for collecting family photos or documenting that really memorable trip you took last week with your BFF. If you’re a business or brand, consider a “Scrapbook Series” for advertising older products, new versions of these products, or sharing pictures from the early days of operation.

8. Polaroid Frame

Like other “vintage” aesthetics, the polaroid has re-popularized (although we could argue that it never really left). Adding a polaroid frame to an image gives it a personal touch, while also adding a sense of nostalgia.

9. Film Frame

The same can be said for film frame. Certainly a vintage look, and one that adds something personal to your design. Pair with product photos for a fun, film-inspired ad series. Better yet, edit your photos first with our other photo effects like Film Stock, Time Machine, or Yester Color, then complete the look with a film frame.

10. Multi-Exposure

Here’s an effect made for total artistic expression. It adds a blast of dimension to your image, and works especially well on landscape photos.

11. Digital Pixel

And then there was one. Digital pixel's chock-full of mystery. Its pixelation offers a retro look, and it’s a powerful effect for product releases or announcements. For example, you can create a multi-slide Instagram Story with your first image in full-on digital pixel mode, then gather guesses from your followers. What do they think it is? Spill the beans whenever you like.

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Joe Wolff is a Chicago-based writer and novelist. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking fancy things and then ruining the plating, running so that his tall and awkward frame isn't wasted, and allowing Chicago sports teams to determine his mood. He's a proud graduate of the University of Florida, whose sports teams tend to do a much better job of mood regulation.