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Top Visual Trends of 2016

Top Visual Trends of 2016

The year 2016 was unpredictable even when we thought we had it figured out. Looking into the New Year, people will be a tad cautious of making predictions, but there are trends that we can expect to make a statement in the New Year.

Wrong political predictions marked 2016. First, there was Brexit, and then there was the U.S. presidential election. Never has the world been so wrong. The news from Syria did not get any better, as the civil war entered its fifth year. We lost a few stars too, among them Prince and George Michael. It was an unsettling year, but that hasn’t stopped the world from hoping for better things ahead.

In light of this, 2017 is likely to be an interesting year from all angles. The world will be watching as new leadership takes over. That aside, we seem to have reached a point of self-awareness as far as the environment is concerned. Collectively, we are only becoming aware of the consequences of years of wrongful living.

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Suddenly, the world seems to have a strong desire to make the Earth green again. You have probably heard talk of recycling and up-cycling now more than ever. There is a talk of using cleaner fuel, and countries such as the Netherlands are becoming case studies of what it means to rally behind a greener Earth.

Nutrition wise, 2016 has seen a continued advocacy for healthier lifestyles. More people are aware of their sedentary lifestyles and seem eager to ditch them for active pastimes (we could credit celebrities for this). This trend is likely to continue in 2017 as health groups continue to push the world towards wiser choices. Fitness has never been more fashionable.

In the fashion and style arena, we are likely to see a return to originality. This concept is a follow-up on what we have seen in 2016. People are keen to return to their roots. We have seen an increased interest in natural hair, nude faces, and a burst of colors. The fashion industry is likely to get even more colorful and bold, as we see people expressing themselves fearlessly. Self-awareness has captured the world and no one wants to be left behind.

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Technology is not expected to take a break. Actually, we expect some incredible breakthroughs that will make everyday activities easier. At this rate, no one would be surprised if this technology-hungry generation came up with AI technology that runs personal errands. Oh, wait, Mark Zuckerberg already unleashed Jarvis for his home! There is so much in store for the coming year that it can make you antsy with anticipation. Unlike other years, no one can accurately predict how it is going to be, which is part of the charm.

Unfiltered Feed

If you have paid attention to photography in 2016, photographers have been retreating to shooting on raw. There is this originality that only comes out on imperfections. The new generation seems interested in cutting out the noise and focusing on only one aspect in the midst of chaos. This method of shooting brings out a creative edge that forces you to stop and take note. We can expect more of this unfiltered work of art in 2017.

Additionally, Getty Images predicts that imagery will be directed on what they call New Naivety. New Naivety uncovers what we previously fought hard to cover. It exposes the imperfections such as chubbiness and freckles. The younger generation is finding ways of expressing themselves with unbridled freedom, which has big business following suit.

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Branding

Although 2016 has seen the rise of social media from just a social link-up to a place where companies can push their names, there is still no measurable evidence that the traffic driven by likes, followings, and comments translates to sales. Since this type of ROI cannot be measured without a doubt (yet), brand loyalty remains the driving force that gives a definite return. To this end, companies are going to continue their marketing agenda to keep and expand their share of the market.

Branding is more likely to take a visual route than before. We are likely to have colorful packaging with bold lettering that goes beyond how to use the product. As awareness rises, food containers will loudly proclaim what is inside, and there is a high possibility of it being organic.

More brands will show distaste for animal cruelty by showing it on proudly on their labels such as Too Faced and Hourglass. They even carry a vegan line for inclusion. The idea, in 2017, will be to brand the products in such a way that consumers can tell from the get-go what they are buying. Custom brushes and Pantone swatches are some of the tools that will be at the top of the list of programs for graphic artists in 2017.

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Color Me Bright

We are swimming in an outburst of color. Photography has come of age and is no longer afraid of breaking the rules. We see image-makers playing with unimaginable combinations to bring out what something ought to be, and not necessarily what the world would expect it to look like.

This burst of boldness is creating an interesting angle at branding and arousing interest. In 2017, we expect to see more of this color scheme, and a campaign that does not conform to the conventional palette.

Fashion Freedom

The world is embracing different body types. In 2016, we saw an influx of self-assured plus size women in magazines, especially the 2016 edition of Sports Illustrated that featured Ashley Graham. Even though she is not an exceptionally big woman, it is good to see the top-rated magazine feature someone who is not a size zero.

In 2017 we will see the continued trend of women boldly showing off their curves. The world is advocating for better diets and active lifestyles to fight obesity. However, a platform is quickly coming up for people with ‘less than perfect’ bodies (have in mind that the average American woman is size 16) to embrace the present as they work for the future. Brands dealing in apparel for full-figured women such as Wacoal and Spanx will get bolder with louder colors and designs that are more daring.

In conclusion, we found that if 2016 was ambitious, then the world hasn’t seen anything yet. The year 2017 will bring even more disruptive events that will change the way we look toward the future.

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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