Questions

Hello everyone,
I’m a graphic design student and I was wondering if I could get some questions answered for my assessment.

  1. What are some current trends?
  2. Are there any current trends that have influenced your work?
  3. What current trends do you think will last some time?

Thanks
Toby

You’ll probably get the same answer multiple times.
It’s always good to be aware of the trends.
But you must avoid falling into the trap of following trends.
Trends…End.
You don’t want to knowingly box your client into something with an expiration date.
Be a leader not a follower.

Current trends that need to end:

  1. Grunge - this has lasted far too long already.

  2. Skinny typefaces - at least in logo applications, I’m a sign guy and swear I’m gonna hand design students the smallest LED tape and ask them to try to stuff it inside a logo created out of skinny typefaces.

  3. Badge logos - every logo can and probably will eventually degenerate into a circle with a letter in it. Let’s stop before that happens.

  4. Gradients and transparency in logos - everyone is interested in “colorful” but not so much production issues. Gradients and transparency overlaps are pretty, but you can’t easily paint them or embroider them or silk screen them. All production outputs must be considered when making “pretty” things.

  5. Halftone dots - if you’re gonna do em, do em properly as vectors. No Photoshop half-baked filters. While they have their place, they are currently being overused.

  6. Word clouds - overused.

Trends that will last some time?
I can’t think of anything much that has lasted over the 20 years I’ve been in the industry.

  • Maybe Retro. It pops in and out over that course of time. Victorian influence pops up a lot too.
  • Grunge hit the scene about 15 years ago and has lasted quite some time, at least long enough for designers to figure out when it is or isn’t appropriate. We don’t have nearly as many requests for the impossible small-shard effects as we used to.
  • The biggest trend that has lasted, and it isn’t a good one, is the propensity for schedule collapse. Everyone wants stuff yesterday. I’d say the current trend of “want it now, quality be damned” is a trend that will last for quite a bit longer. While that isn’t exactly a “design trend” it is something you will deal with daily as a designer.

I have to qualify my statement on halftone dots.
Photoshop filters are entirely appropriate for some print applications up to a certain size. Once you go over the limitations of the software resolution (wide format) they start to lose their integrity.
With vector dots, I’m thinking more along the lines of the benday dots used in the style of Lichtenstein.

Hey,

Thanks for your feedback I really appreciate you taking some time with the questions! I will use this information to great advantage with my assessment!

Thanks
Toby

Looking for what others have to say about current design trends is as easy as searching Google: https://goo.gl/jMCR33. That’s not to say others here won’t have spotted their own of course. One trend I’ve noticed over the past handful of years is new designers — especially students — seemingly becoming overly concerned with being trendy.

Design trends come and go, and honestly, very few clients care about them since they’re not typically relevant to solving the design problems at hand. An exception being If you have a design problem that requires a trendy solution — for example, promotional materials for a trendy store catering to trend-conscious teenagers.

For most jobs, however, the latest trends are irrelevant. Graphic design is concerned with problem solving on behalf of clients trying to accomplish their objectives. Unlike many instructors in design school, those clients are very concerned with getting bottom-line results and not typically concerned with the latest trends unless those trends someone help them achieve those bottom-line results. That said, you don’t want your work to look outdated or old-fashioned, but jumping onto the latest trend bandwagon has little to do with that.

It’s far more important to fully analyze and research client objectives, their unique situations and their target audiences, then design whatever you’re doing to best reach those target audiences with practical, compelling solutions that satisfy client objectives. Functionality always comes first, and the design should always support that functionality. Being overly concerned with trendiness ends up causing designers to get that process backwards. And for what it’s worth, designer really should be trendsetters, not followers.

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