Stock imagery has been the butt of many jokes in the internet age, either for the unintentional comic effect of sterilized interactions or the downright absurdity of the scenarios these pictures depict. For a long time, Adobe has provided those in creative industries with these cookie-cutter photos (and subsequently, with many laughs). However, the company wants to change the reputation of its image selection, which, let's be honest, feels a bit outdated. According to Adobe's website, the first step is a total overhaul its catalogue and streamlining the process of purchasing assets through its software. Then, to show that it's in on the joke, Adobe created a capsule collection of T-shirts with some of the most infamous (and now-defunct) images from its archive, Adweek reports. Yup: Stock photo merch exists.
Now, before you get too excited, these pieces aren't available for purchase. Rather, the collection is part of a larger marketing campaign created by advertising agency Abby Preist. In honor of Adobe's image-archive revamp and new technology, it brought back some fan favorites, including "Laughing woman eating healthy vegetable salad" and "Man at desk frustrated at technology" in T-shirt form. "Some stock images have earned their place in the history books," Oskar Hellqvist, Abby Preist's creative director and the mastermind behind the campaign, said in a Q&A. The pictures that have become "hilarious clichés," are "a representation of the old world of stock imagery," he explained. "It's time for them to retire and leave room for new classics, premium content, and a smarter, more efficient way of working."
This is, of course, heartbreaking news to anyone who has enjoyed "Call-center woman wearing a headset." But the 10 T-shirts are meant as a celebration of what these sometimes accurate, always comical graphics meant to us. "The creative community already shares the knowledge and power/humor that is embedded in these images," Hellqvist added. "Hopefully, it's something that they will enjoy and wear." Did we need more merch? No. Is this an amazing exception? Absolutely.