Pastels are back in fashion! Awesome! Well, that’s not the most exciting piece of information for a small business that wants to update its logo or revamp its image. So what are graphic trends for?
Well, it just so happens that some well-known agencies set these trends and tend to follow them almost to the letter. These decisions are often made at the end of the preceding year and only forecast the logical continuity of the visuals. The 2021 trends therefore only apply to the first few months of the current year as well as to the end of 2020. It’s a bit like making a rather vague prediction of what you are going to eat tomorrow, knowing full well what you already bought at the grocery store. So why would it be important to follow these predictions? It’s simple: to avoid them better or to be inspired by them by pushing further.
These trends will redefine what works and what doesn’t in existing branding. Comparing to existing brands, if the trend is simple, everything will seem too busy. If, on the contrary, it’s complex, everything will seem bare. You have to know how to balance the elements and work with what is already known to you. All these brands are in comparison with what already exists in the industry. Take for example the wave of minimalism in car companies rebranding. No one would have judged BMW so harshly if Toyota, VW and Nissan hadn’t cleaned up their logos just before. But take as a counter-example the rebranding of KIA which is a great success. KIA went elsewhere while understanding the rise of flat design.
Historical events that inspired movements.
The current pandemic has inspired the latest trends that will shake up the next year. Everything is saturated with the Coronavirus. The emotional ads, the rainbows, the diagrams, supporting local businesses, the bittersweet slogans like “Together, in these difficult times, at home.” But also the opposite movement: satire, caricature and dark humor. Many historical events have changed the way people perceive information. Literary, artistic and advertising trends bear witness to this. The way of consuming information evolved thanks to technological advancements and new means of advertisement.
Too many ads!
We see a lot, a lot, A LOT of advertisements. It’s all noise. And that’s pretty much the purpose of trends: driving the noise. When certain brands speak the same language, it is more harmonious, especially in urban settings. It’s a bit like when you get dressed: you won’t put on polka-dot pants with a striped sweater. If it’s winter, you’re not going for a walk in a bathing suit. In advertising, it’s a bit the same.
In order to stand out, sometimes you have to blend in with the surroundings, understand your audience and follow the direction that works. Trendy types of colors or shapes channel the creative energy and allow people to perceive consistency in all this advertising chaos. If an ad works with a certain audience, then it must be doing something right. This sets the positive tone in order to stand out, because when you know the trend and the desired outcome, it is much easier to outsmart it while retaining your audience.
The + and - of trends :
- They can push your branding in an surprising direction ;
- They illustrate the interests of the young demographic ;
- They give a breath of freshness to the identities that we see all the time ;
- They justify the creation of tutorials and strategic material ;
- They inspire and they are perfectible ;
- They often are accompanied of many examples
- They end up all looking the same by April ;
- After a few years, they may look dated ;
- They have elements or colors hard to recreate (technically or conceptually) ;
- They may feel like they’re made only for a few (those in more urban surroundings) ;
- They are defined by the big players and worn to the maximum ;
- They can reduce creative flow;
- They influence all domains but are not always interesting (I’m thinking of you, leopard print! )
Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed! Same with trends : we always recycle styles, bringing them elsewhere: we change the shapes, we desaturate the colors, we modify the photo, we mix the content with something else. Everything has been done and redone.
Now that you know why to use trends, find out what the 2021 trends are and how you can stand out with them.