Getty’s 27 Letters (and One From Paula Scher)

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By Andrew Delaney, Head of Content, North America, Getty Images

It’s not often that a site like Getty Images’ 27Letters, which is dedicated to inspiring creatives by showcasing the visual trends that are currently setting the global visual conversation, is presented in a way that is so compelling. Getty Images leverages its expertise to identify trends to generate insights into the most used, referenced and talked about visual pieces in the media space from over 250 influential media sites and opinion forming blogs, and provide “bite-sized” easily-digestible reports on the latest visual content.

The most recent project within 27Letters, “A Letter from Paula Scher,” featuring the renowned Pentagram partner, is a powerful collaboration for Getty Images and brings a distinct perspective to this initiative as Scher takes a deeper dive into everyday insights by profiling thought leaders within the visual space. Scher is the first of several executives to share insight on camera, related to visual understanding, communication and ideas as part of Getty Images 27Letters.

This project was designed to be to go-to for inspiration and gauging trend markers, with an easy-to-navigate interface that lends itself to continuous visits for all things creative. Collated alphabetically and updated every few days, 27Letters was first launched in 2010 and continues to be a trend barometer when it comes to the “what’s now” of visual matter. It is a categorically effective tool for media types, creatives and ad/marketing gurus to stay on top of the rapidly-changing media landscape.

Here are a few snapshots of trends featured within the new 27Letters collection.

  1. P is for Preppy: It’s hard to imagine at this moment in time, but next year we will be swimming in Preppy. Baz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and a voiceover by Tobey Maguire, will launch 1920s fashions. An early twist on this is Masaya Kuroki’s Spring 2012 collection for French label Maison Kitsune. Better dig out that boater and blazer.

  2. U is for Ultra-Man: Masculinity in advertising gets evermore magnified in Old Spice’s face-off between Isaiah Mustafa and Fabio. These cartoon versions of maleness, trading mock-insults, has reeled in viewing numbers via Twitter questions from users. There’s a lot of mock-heroic “hyper-masculinity” around in ads at the moment. It gives licence to a certain amount of vanity. Expect more exploration of imagery around masculinity.

  3. W is for Wonder: As the Atlantis completed its final mission, the Big Picture ran this visual homage to the last space flight. This image of the International Space Station and Atlantis (the Russian Soyuz is docked on the left) with the earth in the background, captures the sense of technological endeavour and the scale of human achievement. Space imagery will still tug emotional strings around wonder.

Getty Images worked to captured the visual trends people view each day, that are, though often unrecognizable, highly impactful. In translating those concepts to 27Letters, Getty Images made sure to view each visual as if seeing each for the first time, even if it seemed common or plain. 27Letters highlights real insights on the most consumed and discussed visuals in the media space – actively listening, watching and reacting to mainstream media sites and blogs covering a variety of categories.

Content featured on 27Letters is regularly refreshed, providing insightful analysis of the latest visual ideas from advertising, architecture, art, design, fashion, film and photography. The latest 27Letters collection can be viewed online here.


Andrew Delaney’s team is responsible for the creation and development of Getty Images’ creative stills and footage, ensuring that customers find the right content at the right price points every time they search on

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