The Hidden Meanings and Inspirations Behind Instagram’s 5 New Photo Filters

The first styles added since 2012

Instagram unveiled its first new filters in more than two years today, giving phone photographers five more styles to select from when editing their pics.

Filters are the hallmark of Instagram, which popularized the ability to quickly edit digital photos with stylish tones and recently surpassed 300 million active monthly users.

As usual, the new filters have some odd names, ones which will soon become common knowledge to the masses of amateur photographers and designers who use the photo- and video-sharing app. But what do the names mean, and what styles were they meant to evoke? 

We reached out to Instagram, which sent along the following descriptions (some detailed, some artistically vague) for the five new filters:



"Achieves a creamy, smooth look. We named it Crema because it achieves exactly that—both a warming and cooling effect."


"Achieves a minimalist look of taking away most of the colors and then enhancing light. We named it Ludwig after architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who coined the famous minimalist mantra 'less is more.' It works especially nicely with portraits, architecture, and geometric shapes."


"Achieves an earthy look with lots of greens and blues. We named it Perpetua because we took inspiration from the Cape Perpetua national forest in Oregon."


"Achieves a retro look of subtle desaturation and hazing. It does something especially retro to blacks and blues."


"Achieves a unique pastel-y look. It works great with portraits, even when there is harsh light."


Publish date: December 16, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT