There is no denying the power of  images in our visually oriented world.  Whether it’s a vibrant vector or a vintage inspired image, these tools are an important part of shaping the information that is shared each day. So it wasn’t surprising when we found out that Shutterstock, one of the leading resources for stock photography, vectors and illustrations, announced that it had surpassed 200 million image downloads.  To celebrate this milestone, the company put together an infographic chronicling the trends in visual media and the different ways images have been used over the past year.

So what were the visual stories people were telling in 2011? Spoiler alert. Cats, the darlings of the internet, lead the pack with 120k images and 147k downloads. There was also a dramatic increase in the popularity of vectors and textured images. Check out the rest of the trends below.

To view the infographic without a plug-in, click here.  To see a lightbox with all of the images featured in the infographic, click here.

Looking for more factoids served up as visual treats? You can find additional informative graphics at these DesignCrave posts.

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