Keeping Up with Design Trends

By: Alex Glazier

So, you want to know something about design trends? 

Well, luckily for you, we have a lot of feelings about them. When you start asking questions like, “What’s new in design?” or “How can I keep up with the latest branding trends?” you will eventually come to an intersection. At this intersection, you will find two large signs, each pointing in a different direction — because each will lead to very different results. 

The first sign asks: “Are we experimenting with something new?”

The second sign says: “Are we referencing something from the past?”

The Path of Experimentation

If you walk down the path of experimentation, you will find all sorts of ideas. A lot of it has no place in your business plan. However, you should keep in mind that knowing what not to do can be just as powerful as knowing what to do. 

Awareness is important here because your business doesn’t live in isolation from the rest of the world, does it? By knowing what you do and do not want, you can have an easier time sorting through new and developing trends.

When looking for trends, watch to see what the best designers and marketers are talking about. Take, for example, the recent ChatGPT topic. Or, say, a few months ago when there was a lot of chatter about the metaverse… As you do your research, you should ask good questions such as “Does our business need something like that?” or “How would we implement something like that?” Design trends work in the same way.

Try to find out if a trend had a positive business result or if a lot of people responded well to it on social media. This can help you make an informed decision on whether or not to engage with a new trend.

The Path to the Past

If you walk down the path to the past, you will also find some interesting ideas. Here, you must be even more discerning because it is less likely that an old design trend is something that can be put to good use again without making a lot of changes.

I would also ask similar questions here — Does a trend fit within your business plan? Again, maybe it does. We are happy to give you our opinion if you want advice.

The underlying current, and equally important part, of referencing the past is knowing your history. There can be unintended consequences of using past design trends. So be sure you are considering all factors!

I will say, though, that you can tap into the power of nostalgia marketing when you use older trends. Take, for example, the 2000s hit TV show, Scrubs. The characters J.D. and Turk have recently been revived for a series of T-Mobile commercials. 

Personally, I love those 30-second ads because I loved J.D. and Turk as characters. This example of nostalgia marketing might tip the scale for someone who is 1) looking for a new provider and 2) has now decided T-Mobile feels like the most relatable brand. And yes, I would consider this a form of design.

FireStarter Can Help

All of this is to say: Design trends can be complicated. However, the good news is that you are not alone. Our team at FireStarter is here to act as your guide. Contact us today to learn how we can help.