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There has been a longstanding debate on whether graphic designers should follow design trends or pursue their own design aesthetics. Some people profess that creating a trendy design will make a sudden impact on the market since it is in vogue. These trend enthusiasts are of the view that a particular design that is in style will appeal to the target audience more effectively. But this assertion is true only to an extent.

In contrast, the detractors of trendy designs emphasize that the impact is temporary and lasts only for a short period. They bielieve that the technique of following design trends has been overused so much that a modish design is now tantamount to boring. So the question that remains to be answered is…should graphic designers believe in creating trendy designs?

Let us first analyze the banes of following this particular trend and see what harms it has for graphic designers:


1. Creates a Short-Term Impact:

When you are designing for a client, the sole purpose of your designing efforts is to create an everlasting impact. Whether you are working on a brand identity or business cards, your final creation must have a deep and long-term impact on the client’s business. However, with a trendy design, the impact is only short-lived as trends come and go. Take the example of the hallmark Nike Swoosh that represents one of the most illustrious brands in the footwear industry.

2. Builds a ‘Me-too’ Brand:

Has it ever occurred to you when following design trends that you’re not the only one doing it? Since many other graphic designers also prefer to create modish designs, there is an increased likelihood that you end creating a ‘me-too’ brand for your client. It is alleged that South Asian market in actively involved in counterfeiting products and trademarks. We have many clear examples of ‘me-too’ brands in Automobile Industry. For instance, the Chinese car manufacturer Jincheng has adopted a lookalike logo resembling the Japanese car maker Toyota.

3. Kills Your Distinct Qualities:

Being cognizant of the current developments in the field of graphic design is a good thing. But being overly reliant on a fad to develop design concepts is risky business. Not only does it limit your ability to think individually, it also kills your designer personality of being a unique and distinctive designer. All the famous designers had their peculiar way of designing and that made them stand out from the crowd. Take the example of legendary designer Paul Rand, who was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design.

4. Develop Complications:

Following design trends is not as easy as it may seem. There is so much ebb and flow in fads these days that it is hard to comprehend them quickly. Not only does it consume your time, it can also create complications when you employ too many trends together. For instance, if a designer employs a contrasting combination of web design trends, it will yield an unpleasant outcome. We can take the example of popular online sites like Mashable have a clean design free of any complications.


Do you think creating trendy designs can damage the skills of graphic designers?

  1. Shane Harwood On January 16th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Hard work always pays off it can never be worthless

  1. nahir On January 18th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    yeap.. it is much easier to create .. but if the designer makes it. it would fall into a spiral of comfort where he just copy what another has done

  1. David On January 19th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I think for one, trendy can be considered an opinion. I think it is important to follow some trends or conventions as they are widely accepted by society. At the same time, I think there is great value in being original. Being original can be damaging if no one else gets what you are trying to accomplish. I try and take trends and conventional ideas and go my own direction with them for the most part. I think that’s a great way of finding a balance of being original and widely accepted at the same time.

  1. YasTech Mike On January 20th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I don’t believe following design trends is that bad an idea. This is a list of negatives to following design trends, but there are also many positives. It is important though to carve your own design style or you will get washed into the general pool of designers. Your style could be trendy.

  1. Litmus Branding On January 21st, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Nice analysis of Trendy Designs. Appreciate your effort. I have to say it is worthwhile :)

    Shane did a nice comment on this particular topic that “Hard work always pays off it can never be worthless.”

  1. Speider Schneider On January 23rd, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Um, not to be a nitpicker but Paul Rand was not involved with the Swiss School (style), as you have written (, although his style was certainly unique and groundbreaking. You may be thinking of Josef Müller-Brockmann who was one of the principle designers and founders of the Swiss School.

    You might also want to explore the work of Piet Zwart, as long as you want to spotlight designers who have shapped design through unique vision and innovative design.

  1. Charlie B. Johnson On January 23rd, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Hey Speider… as per Wikipedia, “Paul Rand was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design”. I would also recommend you to read Paul’s other contributions in the field of graphic design described by Wikipedia on the following link:

  1. Adam @ On January 24th, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I think clients often desire “trendy” designs - because that’s what they see their competition and/or other businesses using - hence the term “trendy.”

    I think a good designer can distinguish the difference between when following such trends can be beneficial to a client and when it would be more beneficial to steer the project/design in a different direction.

  1. Graphic Design Company in New York On January 25th, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Trendy designs for graphic designer. It’s depend on clients requirement and conditions. Sometime this trend may successful or may not successful. If anyone want to follow trendy design, then above post are very useful for that person.

  1. Dave On January 25th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    If designers use design trends for an idea, i think that can be accepted as long as they use the trend and develop on it.

  1. Kelly J. On January 26th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Yeah this is a great point, i would say it that you probably have to stay with the trend to be successful?

  1. 99designs Reviews On January 27th, 2012 at 1:45 am

    The trends are about ideas what graphic design artist like that are fresh and in the moment. Some trends are classics and then weaves into the creativity.

  1. Exclusive graphics design On January 29th, 2012 at 6:49 am

    There are many type of resource about design trends but we handle it positively.

  1. James Ryan Hamilton On March 21st, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Another danger of following trends too closely is your work quickly becomes out of date. Remember drop shadows? They were all over the place in the late 90′s. My latest client had them on everything, which gave the effect of them seeming behind the times, even though their products were new and ground breaking.

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