Capitalise On Trends
Just like with anything, design has trends that come and go, styles and techniques that are really popular for a period of time. Keeping an eye on and an awareness of design can help you capitalise on these trends, thus keeping your brand fresh, new and.
One example of a trend that still has some legs is flat design. Flat design is a trend where bevels, 3D effects, shadows and other dimension-adding effects are abandoned in favour of sharp, sleek, shape-based graphics with bright colours and gradients. This trend signalled a step away from overzealous effects and a step towards the idea of ‘less is more’ and an embracing of simplicity. Some brands jumped on this bandwagon, embracing the flat design wholeheartedly, and while this was a pretty heavily disputed thing at first, it did show that these brands were aware of what is happening in the present day and were willing to jump in on that.
A nice balance to strike between hopping on the trendy bandwagon and avoiding trends all together is to take ideas and concepts from trends and incorporate those. For example, with flat design, instead of flattening everything from your logo to your icons, consider minimising your use of effects, take a step and grow your brand in the direction of whatever works for you.
An example of a brand that did this well was Google. They made such a simple change to their logo that probably went unnoticed by many, but was definitely noticed by many more. Such a subtle change in their design, removing the bevel and shadows and flattening the letterforms right down brought Google up to speed with the direction much of the internet and culture was going stylistically. Good job, Google.