2022 Creative Trends | The Macabre

Every year, Shutterstock analyzes what users around the world are looking for. Their Shutterstock.AI performance data has the power to reveal the trends that fuel creative projects around the world. And now we transfer the power of knowledge to you – learn how to be fashionable with the latest design trends of 2022, starting with the macabre.


Mwahahaha…if you’re someone who loves the thrill of full-body chills, looking through half-covered eyes and jumping so high that the popcorn finds the ground, you’re not alone. Gone are the days of having to wait for Halloween to celebrate the art of fear. Welcome to the land of the macabre, where gloom, suspense and all things paranormal are the norm.

So buckle up to learn how to infuse the latest ghoulish trends into your own designs with PicMonkey assets. Plus, we’ll be posting a chilling, designer-made creation for you to try out for yourself.

Enter if you dare.


What is the macabre?

We know what you’re thinking – the word macabre he himself ruffles no feathers. What that means, however, is another story. The macabre sums up all that is horror (as in, horrible): death, murder, injury, gore and dark. The word itself comes from the late 19th century French expression, Dance of Death, sense dance of death.

The death fixation – while unappetising to some – satiates many. Why? Recognizing the darkness of death illuminates life.

Are you in love with haunted house kingdom, ghost press and ouija boards? I can’t get enough American Horror Story, Scream, When a Stranger Calls, etc? Then the macabre aesthetic is for you.

Get out your best stage makeup and get ready for the gore, as searches for “Egyptian mummies” have soared 6,923% with “beasts”, “dystopian” and “reaper” looming behind.

Wondering how to translate your favorite themes like bones, graves, and scar tissue into your designs? Glad you asked! It’s time to summon your spookiest creations and blast them off the screen in PicMonkey.


Plan your best scare night with these weird effects

The macabre is the dark side of the fantastic. Instead of fictional creatures like ghouls and goblins, insert realistic demons, entities and dark spirits of the night.

Customize your favorite shadow beings with one (or more) of PicMonkey’s effects. For Night Frights, simply click on the Themes tab in the top toolbar. Scroll to Vampires Category. Click on the effect and adjust the saturation and fade as you see fit. Click on Apply to save your changes.

You will find the Apparitions effect under the demons theme category, and the Aged Under effect Witches.*

*Note: PicMonkey cannot be held responsible for beings that appear as a result of your creative manifestations. However, we would like to love to hear all the ensuing stories.*


Spooky graphics to terrify and delight

No more frantic shopping for ghoulish trends all year round in October. Befriend the dark side with the spooky graphics of PicMonkey. Just go to the Graphics tab in the left menu and look for things that give you goosebumps like skulls, blood, crows, cobwebs or anything that makes your skin crawl.

Business trip : Make your masterpiece in the dark to embrace the ghost. Lights can flicker, winds can blow. You may feel like you’re not alone…


Creepy fonts to attract the dark side

To top off your spooky creation, add more drama with one of PicMonkey’s quirky fonts. If you like vampires, creatures, and tortured souls, try Eater, Blackletter, or Roman Antique. Do you like when zombies resurrect? Gnarly. Deliver their message with our sketchy scripts like De Walpergen Pica, Obol de Charon or Justice by Dirt.

Just open the Text tab in the left menu, then click Add text. Browse PicMonkey’s abyss of sinister fonts or search for details in the search bar. Remember that with every creative decision, the veil thins. But how thin is he also thin before coming into contact with the other side?


Get the macabre look in PicMonkey

Can’t hear a voice in your head yet? Maybe mock or sing? Maybe instead, a whisper or hiss? Good. That means you’ve come at the perfect time to go crazy for the ghoulish trend. Here are the step-by-step designer-made instructions we promised to help you achieve that ghostly — and spooky — look.

Please note, there is no turning back.

  1. To begin the haunting, choose a blank canvas.

  2. To create your weird background, just click on the Photos & Video tab and find a photo with a person as the focal point. Drag on your canvas until the image is set as the background.

  3. Then open Themes in the top toolbar. Below Vampires, click on the Macabre Ternish effect. Adjust it Vanish and Brightness sliders for impact intensity. When you’re done, click Apply.

  4. Now for the real scare. Right click on the image and select Duplicate layer. Use the Image Tools menu to remove the background from this image. Place over your original.

  5. Duplicate the photo again without a background, but this time click Blend and Blend in the left menu and use the Vanish slider to adjust to 40%. Change the Fusion mode for Filter. Duplicate Once again and place these new ghostly images either side of your main subject. Sinister!

More specs

Let’s focus on the thrilling details to polish up this bizarre look.

Main character

We’ve spiced up our spooky look with graphics and effects from the Zombies theme, including a forehead scar (dealer’s choice), sinister eyes, bruises, and the Blood Spill effect.

Pro tip: Use the tool to erase to remove any part of the scar covered with hair.

Additional graphics

See those ghostly figures behind the main subject? (You know, those who are not her?) We pulled those from the demons theme, then adjusted the Vanish slider to 30% and changed our Fusion mode for Hard light.

Then we added a smoke graphic on top of all the other layers, with a mid-level fade and the Multiply mixing effect.

haunting text

Choose an appropriate font for the message you want to leave with your audience. We used the font October Raven.

Open the Text tab and click Add text to add a text layer to your canvas. Type your message, then use the font search bar to change your font style. For the faded look, use the To erase tool with Hardness set to 0% and Vanish fixed at 20%.

There you have it, ghost lovers. You’ve officially scared us with your love for the macabre and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Now turn those lights back on or stay a little longer in the abyss. Remember to get some fresh air once in a while and check your surroundings as you go. You never know who might be watching…

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