Are these really questions from a college instructor? They’re horrible questions since each one of them misses the mark. Worse still is they give a false sense of what’s important to the students. Geech, who do they have teaching this stuff?
Anyway, I’ll answer.
Question 1. With 30-plus years as a graphic designer, art director and creative director at several newspapers, magazines, ad agencies, corporate in-house agencies and, now, a major U.S. university, I don’t pay any particular attention to the trends. Temporary trends are largely irrelevant. Good design needs to incorporate a sense of being with the times — as in the current decade — but following here-today, gone-tomorrow trends with the intention of emulating them is not only a waste of time, it’s counterproductive to the development of the designer and to the designer’s clients given that, by definition, what’s trendy next year will likely be untrendy the next.
Question 2. I don’t know what trends will come and go in 2020, nor does it matter. It’s utterly unimportant unless one is dealing with a decidedly trendy client whose business depends on anticipating, planning for and tapping into a trendy audience’s preferences for shallow, trendy things.
Question 3. Like I said, I make little to no effort to keep up with current trends and never have. That said, I pay attention to what’s going on around me and if I notice a faddish trend emerging, I typically avoid jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve said it before here several times, but designers should be trendsetters, not also-ran trend followers.