Branding and design trends come around often. Every. Single. Year! By now a lot of designers, and agencies will have written about all of the trends that they think will be making an appearance in 2021. And actually, they’ve probably written and published something about design trends at the end of 2020 so maybe I’m just really late to the party!
Will visual identities become more simplistic? (we’ve already seen that with the new Burger King rebrand that’s not actually new!)
Or will dramatic drop shadows make a huge come back?
Hey how about that bevel and emboss effect that takes you right back to the 90s?
What do I think will be the biggest branding and design trend in 2021?
In all honesty I haven’t got a clue!
Hours and hours of time haven’t gone into researching design trends. (not only do I not have the spare time to do this, but I also don’t see the point in doing this!)
I haven’t spent ages trying to decide which design trends and branding trends I think will be huge in 2021.
“Well why haven’t you done that Bhavini” I hear you asking…
Here's why I haven't had a look at any design trends for 2021
Trends will constantly change
Branding and design trends just won’t last! Please trust me on this one!! Over time trends will change, they’ll come and go, Remember those drop shadows I mentioned earlier at the start of this blog? How trendy were they years ago? How trendy are they now?
Let’s just imagine that your visual identity was designed based on a trend. And for this example imagine that’s the water colour design trend that was huge a few years ago. Are you picturing it in your head?
Now imagine how you would have a felt when that trend was suddenly over. The brand identity that you spent a lot of money (and time) on was now unfashionable and outdated. Oh crap! Time to change everything? Time to spend more money?
YEP – if your brand identity follows a trend that’s actually not a trendy anymore you’re going to want to rebrand! Or you risk your business looking outdated and no-one wants that do they!
However, if you have a water colour element in your brand assets because it’s relevant to your business please don’t panic, you’re all good!
A brand identity should represent you and your business, not what the latest trend is. Your brand identity should be timeless, and design trends are not timeless!
A brand identity shouldn’t be trendy!
The brand that’s created for your business has a lot power.
Your logo, and your wider brand identity, shouldn’t be cool. And it certainly shouldn’t be next flashiest trend of 2021 (or whatever year). At all.
It simply needs to represent your business. As well as you!
The whole point of having a bespoke visual identity is that you stand out from the competition. And the visual elements of your identity are the first things that people will notice about your business. All of your colours, your icons and your typography should draw interest and be memorable.
Your visuals should communicate clearly, and let your audience know why they should buy from you instead of someone else.
If your competitors are all following the latest design trend, or trying to, you should be doing the exact opposite! Don’t get lost in a sea of copycat trend followers!
Create an identity that’s unique to you; something that champions your brand!
Following design trends will impact your bottom line
This one is really simple folks…
If you follow a design trend to create your brand identity you blend in right? And if you blend in with all of the other businesses out there it’s highly likely that your profits will be affected.
As a result of not standing out, you’re quite simply going to lose sales.
Maybe not in the short term, but eventually you will.
Trust me when I say standing out will help increase your sales, and following the latest design trends will definitely have the opposite effect!
There are more important things than being fashionable!
I bang on about this SO much. Being consistent with your well designed visuals is really important. Much more important than having a visual identity that’s bang on trend! Being consistent builds:
If you use your brand identity consistently you could increase your bottom line by about 33% (source: Lucid Press).
So Bhavini, what should I do instead of following the trends?
Start by looking at what makes your business unique.
From there, find a professional designer to work with. They’ll be able to create a visual identity for your business that will work much harder for you than something that’s from a cookie cutter website will.
It’s human nature to follow what’s in, and what isn’t, whether that’s fashion, branding or food. After all, most of us want to fit in don’t we!
But instead of trying to fit in by following the hottest new trend, stand head and shoulders above the crown and make your mark!