Shape, color, symbol and typography. When we think of design trends, these are usually the terms that come to our minds. But now, we would like to analyze this concept in a more strategic way and think beyond the visual aspect.
We know, and this is a fact, that trends come and go. Some time ago, the gradient effect was marginalized by the design world, but today it is present in the branding of many trademarks with considerable force. In this article, however, we are not going to talk about trends as a design resource, but rather what drives design, what precedes it.
And, to talk about this subject with the necessary propriety, we invited Mr. Thiago Cruz, an extraordinary designer and who is also a partner of Fastdezine. Thiago gave us his personal vision of how to deal with this subject, and his perception is so relevant that it could not be kept just for us.
We invite you to keep reading and be introduced to a new look that can reframe the way you see design trends.
Economy, health and perspectives for the future: how brands position themselves and redefine their meanings in the market
When we look at the national scenario, the economic and health crises are the most prominent concerns.
It’s true that we’re tired of thinking about it, but unfortunately, this pandemic, which started more than a year ago, has directly impacted our lives – and this is not a reality that will end anytime soon. And it was in this context that many brands needed to review their positions.
Education, for example, was one of the most impacted areas. Educational institutions, which were already incorporating distance education (e-learning), are managing to go through this period more smoothly than many other sectors.
To illustrate this fact, we can mention our business partner, Park Education, a company that was born almost 30 years ago and has not stopped reinventing itself since then.
Players from other sectors are also constantly evolving, and even committed to providing social assistance in these times of crisis.
Ambev, a giant Brazilian brewing company, paid an aid of R$150.00 to 20 thousand street vendors affected by the cancellation of Carnival parties this year and, in partnership with Zé Delivery (Ambev’s delivery platform), donated 20 coupons of R$5.00 for street vendors who received orders through the app.
Magazine Luiza (one of the largest Brazilian retail companies), launched a movement called United for Vaccine, an initiative to vaccinate all Brazilians until September, and which offers support to the government in transporting vaccines, syringes and other supplies. Companies such as Gol, Suzano, Volkswagen and Duratex are also part of this action.
These are just a few examples of important brands that have redefined their actions, indicating a trend towards social assistance that the country so desperately needs at this time of crisis.
Therefore, when we observe these actions, a very important point in our analysis becomes clear: the trends start from the social and economic reality, whether positive or not. Brands are no longer simply in shop windows and sales stands, but are part of consumers’ lives, and have a social purpose.
Another example we can mention is McDonald’s, which was criticized by several European movements for not offering quality food. The commotion was such that the company was boycotted in Europe. What was the solution found?
In several countries, McDonald’s has added healthier, higher-quality foods to its menu and has also repositioned its visual communication strategy. The brand’s traditional red and yellow colors were replaced by green and yellow on the facades of European stores.
All these examples mentioned so far attest that the keywords for design trends are: inclusion and diversity.
These themes can no longer be left out of branding construction. And when we think about them, we’re talking about communities that somehow need help.
What do you think about it? Do you agree with that?
In addition to the trends that arise in society, a theme that we have addressed so far, it is necessary to demystify how branding should be conceived. After all, for a brand to meet all its purposes, planning is necessary!
Brands in transformation and always on the move to evolve.
Nobody creates a business thinking about the possibility of closing it so soon. Therefore, from the moment it is conceived, a company must be sustainable and capable of adapting.
When building a visual identity, the premise is the same. Therefore, Thiago defends the creation of mutant brands. He believes in creating this kind of visual identity; it is his personal belief in the work he does, and we also agree with the idea.
The work of building a company’s image, in all aspects, needs an action based on its uniqueness, but it must also be sustainable enough to adapt to social, economic and market changes, as mentioned above.
In fact, design trends are great sources of inspiration. However, it is necessary to go beyond what we already know, and we must dare to create the new and expand our horizons.
After all, would it be worth doing “more of the same”? This question is very important because it reinforces our view that brands shouldn’t just follow trends. It’s not just about stamping an empty visual identity.
Let’s look at a practical example of a segment where mutant brands are very common.
The evolution of startups: from ready-made models to unique brands
A very present trend among startups is the so-called “CTRL+C, CTRL+V”.
Perhaps this is justifiable to some extent. Since startups evolve at a very high speed, they tend to use ready-made methods like icon libraries, standardized codes and other types of formulas found for free on open source platforms like Google Material or IBM’s Carbon.
This is a natural and acceptable practice, as these types of businesses still need to be structured in the beginning.
From another perspective, as soon as they begin to evolve, startups start to gain their own form and power, and they need to build their own elements, more connected to their values and products. Only in this way they begin to differentiate themselves from the competition.
While creating something entirely new may seem difficult or complicated, we must remember that there are many sources of inspiration that we can turn to.
Brazilian design: a very rich and still underutilized source
It is noticeable that one of the characteristics of Brazilian design is that design trends often come from abroad.
In large urban centers, which are more globalized, design is mirrored in creations that come from North America and Europe. This type of connection makes the cultural traits of these places, that is, of the big Brazilian cities, to be lost little by little.
Despite this, when we looked for professionals from outside the big cities, we were able to identify a type of personality that is closer to the values of the land, as the culture in these regions is very strong and deep-rooted.
And when it comes to trends, the difference between the regional axes in Brazil is remarkable, considering cities in the Southeast compared to those in the North or Northeast, for example. Of course, this reflects on everything that encompasses design, from the choice of typography to the color palette of a brand.
There is the idea that what comes from abroad has the potential to serve as a model in national graphic production, and everything would work well! But we cannot ignore the fact that we have a very rich culture at our disposal and that this is part of our identity. So why not try to change the notion of what is considered most attractive and redefine what Creative Marketing means for us?
Breaking expectations is the leap between what exists and what can exist
What can we say about the paths ahead of us today? Are these the spaces in which we want to pursue our work? When looking at the economic and health scene, the only obvious answer is “no”!
That’s why the vision of design trends that our collaborator Thiago Cruz brings to us is so relevant. It is much more than thinking about his work: it goes beyond this limit, projecting the future we need, without ignoring the reality in which we exist. This makes Humanized Marketing real!
It is also worth remembering that this broad notion of trends applies to all areas of design. We have a post telling about the world of graphic design and its various aspects. Check it out!