Where is the Instagram Aesthetic Headed in 2022?

Social Media Design Tips & Blogs

Where is the Instagram Aesthetic Headed in 2022?

By Jillian Warren

Updated on January 5, 2022

5 minute read

Discover the hottest Instagram aesthetic trends for 2022

Published January 5, 2022

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

There’s no doubt about it, the aesthetic on Instagram is changing. 

Oversaturated filters and picture-perfect setups are out. Instead, we’re seeing a new wave of reality-first edits gracing the ‘gram. 

Ready to get ahead of the curve? Here are the top eight aesthetic trends on Instagram in 2022:

  1. Unedited Photo Dumps 

  2. Instagram’s In-app Fonts on the Feed

  3. Blurred Shots

  4. Pink Hues 

  5. 70’s Iconography 

  6. The Reels ~Aesthetic~ 

  7. Gloomy & Grainy

  8. Seasonal Color Palettes

#1: Unedited Photo Dumps

In 2022, authentic reality is everything – imperfections and all. 

Which could explain why we’re seeing tons of “photo dumps” in our feeds. 

Influencers, celebrities, and everyday users alike are jumping on this trend and sharing batches of unedited photos and videos in a carousel post or Reel.

The idea is simple: share what’s going on in your life in a raw, unprocessed way. Curations can be random uploads from your Camera Roll, highlights from the month just gone, or a more specific event or activity.

Later’s Visual Instagram Planner let’s you plan and preview your feed before you hit publish. Curate a strong visual aesthetic for your profile – sign up now, it’s free!

#2: Instagram’s In-app Fonts on the Feed

If you’ve spent any time browsing memes recently, you've probably noticed more posts using Instagram's in-app fonts. 

Previously, text on feed posts were reserved for custom fonts – often made using a third party design app. 

Today, things are much more direct. Instagram’s in-app fonts have a new and improved status, which means making viral memes has never been easier.

#3: Blurred Shots

Seeing double? You’re not alone. 

This 2022 aesthetic is all about out-of-focus photography, ranging from subtle to fully-blurred action shots.

It ties in to the appetite for real, “in the moment” content – even if the final result is deliberately manufactured. 

The best way to join this trend? Add some movement the next time you take a photo, or use  VSCO’s blur editor to manually recreate the look.

#4: Pink Hues

While colorful filters are seeing a decline in general, one hue remains as popular as ever.

That’s right. In 2022, Instagram wears pink. 

As an extension of this trend, we’re seeing pink shades paired with grainy retro filters to deliver a hit of 90s nostalgia.

Want to recreate the look? Head to an editing app with a pink-toned filter and apply tons of grain. VSCO’s C4 filter is a great fit for this trend, as are Tezza’s Flower and Yum presets.

PSA: Plan, preview, and automatically publish your Instagram posts in advance with Later’s free scheduling tools! Save time and improve your content strategy today.

#5: 70’s Iconography 

One of the biggest aesthetic trends on Instagram right now is the use of 70’s-inspired design icons. 

From peace symbols and smiley-face icons to funky fonts, the 70s are making waves all over Instagram. 

However, this aesthetic isn’t all about the past.

Vintage colorways of avocado green, mustard yellow, and faded blue are being given a fresh take with pops of bubblegum pink.

The groovier, the better. 

#6: The Reels ~Aesthetic~ 

While most of Instagram appears to be shying away from an obvious aesthetic identity, the same cannot be said for Instagram Reels. 

The Reels aesthetic has seen a surge in popularity, and this Reel is the perfect example of what that looks like: 

This highly stylized aesthetic typically includes a series of photos or clips set to trending audio, a dark and atmospheric filter, and a custom text overlay in a neutral color. Vibe.

TIP: Want to find out more about the latest Reels trends? Check out our Reels content hub here.

#7: Gloomy and Grainy

Bright and bold colors are out, gloomy and grainy is in – doesn't sound too appealing, right?

In practice however, the payoff is strikingly understated and high-fashion, proving popular with many European influencers and creators. 

Fashion editor Polly Sayer has the aesthetic down to a tee, with photos that look like they’re straight out of a magazine:

Polly Sayer Instagram Feed Aesthetic Example. Bright and bold colors are out, gloomy and grainy are in.

Founder and creative director Aylin Koenig takes it one step further by weaving completely desaturated images throughout  her Instagram feed.

Aylin Koenig Instagram Aesthetic Feed Example

The result is muted and minimal. Who knew an Instagram aesthetic could be so chic?

#8: Seasonal Color Palettes 

This next aesthetic trend is so seamless that it might’ve gone unnoticed. 

Popular with creators and designers, the trick is to migrate your color palette as the seasons change – gradually shifting from dark autumnal tones to the soft pastels of springtime.

Kelsey in London season color palette feed aesthetic example autumnal fall

UK travel blogger Kelsey in London is a master of this subtle shift, creating content that’s always pitch perfect for the current season.

Kelsey in London Instagram aesthetic example springtime color palette

Whatever Instagram aesthetic you choose, the key is to be deliberate with your approach – and to plan and preview your Instagram feed in advance.

A gif showing how to use Laters visual feed planner

Later’s Visual Instagram Planner lets you plan and preview your Instagram feed before you hit publish. Try it on desktop or mobile, for free, now. 

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.


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