A general direction in which something is developing or changing.
Trends are fun…while they last. Realizing they’re short-lived, many designers try to stay ahead of them. But as I’ve said in the past, the best way to stay ahead of a trend is to avoid it altogether.
The designer(s) of bell-bottom jeans must have been thinking what every fashion designer thinks: “This isn’t going to last forever. Let’s hit the market hard for as long as we can.” Whenever a new style is developed, it’s doomed to die even before it’s conceived. That’s because there is always change; what’s popular today may be repulsive tomorrow.
Brand identity designers should avoid applying trends to their designs.
This is primarily because designing a brand identity is intended for years of use—hopefully decades. Businesses don’t plan to fail within a few years, but to carry on for generations. The design should reflect that and so the focus is longevity. Graphic designers may be helping somewhat in the short-term (albeit, only slightly) by applying a popular trend to the identity, but such a design, by definition, cannot be future-proof. Therefore, following a trend is actually rendering your design a bad investment for business.
In addition, being trendy with a design means you’re doing what a lot of other designers are doing. That means you’re also cheating your client out of the distinction that could have been had if you’d avoided the trend.
Watch trends for the purpose of observing what the masses are doing. But watch to avoid, not to emulate. Achieving one-hundred-percent originality is an impossibility; but cultivating and offering up your own, well-crafted style by 1) understanding how to best communicate through design, and 2) doing your research with an eye for what to avoid, is the right direction because it sets both you the designer and your clients apart.