Trends come and go. In fact, they come and go so regularly that most would be hard pressed to name most.
The internet has made the sharing of information so fast and accessible that there’s always something new and interesting. Instead of following trends, what’s important now is adaptability and creating something that’s truly timeless.
Trends are what get people talking. Trends are what get clients on the phone excited about a project. But they fizzle out just as quickly as they appear. Adaptability to change couldn’t be more important.
Some of the biggest and most recognisable brands today look just as fresh as they did decades ago. Sure, the fine details of their branding may have evolved ever so slightly – no more drop shadows and refined colour palette, for example. But what is it about these brands and the designs that make up most of what we know that’s allowed them to become almost timeless?
IT ALL STARTS WITH IDENTITY
That could be the audience identifying with the message, identifying with the brand or even the brand identifying with the audience. Complete synergy between what’s being sold, who it’s being sold to and how it’s being sold. Regardless of whether you’re selling an idea, a product, a message etc. – it literally doesn’t matter.
This understanding of identify should be at the core of ever design consideration. It’s what shapes everything and it’s what supports a design through constant trend fluctuations.
There’s then the case of keeping things traditional, classic and neutral.
KEEP IT CLASSY
When was the last time you bought a car – saw it in a garish shade of green in the showroom and thought “you know what, that’s pretty cool” – only to back out and buy the car in white?
Neutrality isn’t boring. Neutrality is inoffensive. Neutrality has genuine staying power.
We might be paraphrasing here but there is a famous quote that goes something like “the time it takes me to write depends on the length – 10 pages could take 6 weeks and 10 words could take 10 weeks.”
It takes more to create less – and it shows. It takes guts and complete belief in your brand and message to create something so raw. It’s all too easy to cover up a design with design trends and fanciness. But knowing what’s essential and creating the aforementioned identify with as little as possible is where truly timeless and effective designs are born.
This approach can be used across everything – from the brand logo to colour palette, font palette, website and all other marketing assets. Have you noticed how Apple, one of the most recognisable brands and one that is consistently praised for its style, uses incredible minimal design across the board? Nothing much has changed over the years other than refining what already exists and cutting off the distractions from the core of the design.
DESIGN IS CHANGING
At the end of the day – design is constantly changing. Even ‘timeless’ designs need to adapt to the ever changing landscape. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards.
Consumers love freshness but they also love familiarity. It’s finding this happy medium between creating a core design that can stand the test of time but with enough flexibility to adapt and change as trends come and go.
What matters now more than anything is honesty and transparency. Design should always be reflective of the brand and the message. Don’t try to create something that doesn’t line up with your message – regardless of whether it’s trendy or not.
If it feels right, it probably is right.