Trendy vs. Timeless: Choosing the Right Branding Style

Are you feeling the urge to redesign your logo whenever a new trend emerges? Or maybe you’ve been playing it safe by using the same font for your logo and marketing materials for several years? If it’s time for a brand refresh, these tips will guide you through the process of developing a new branding style that is distinct and durable.

Define Your Brand Values

Is your company an upscale boutique or a rustic cafe? Are you appealing to Millennials or a more mature clientele? To develop a unique brand identity, start by thinking about the qualities you want to communicate to customers about your company. Luxurious or laid back, fashionable or comfortable–devise a list of keywords that best describe your company and values. These words can determine the tone of your brand, which will inform the visual style.

Consider Longevity

Trends can distract from a brand when not used organically, so avoid gimmicks in logo design. A funky retro font contrasted by an ornate Victorian border may look cool, but it might not set the right tone for the logo of a real estate firm.

Ideally, a logo should serve a brand for five to 10 years; you don’t want it to look dated after six months. Use trends, when appropriate, to support brand identity. Look for ways to incorporate trendy design elements into marketing materials or website design.

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

If trendy designs are intimidating because of their potential for going out of style, you might consider seemingly timeless designs. However, opt for tried-and-true and you’ll wind up with a brand that looks generic. Instead of using Helvetica for your logo and black-on-white branding materials, experiment with basic design elements like color and typefaces that complement the tone of your company.

For conservative styles, there’s no need to make completely radical branding changes for the sake of “shaking things up.” Even a subtle shift in typography can be a major improvement.

Be Unique

Some color schemes and font styles become synonymous with certain industries–warm pastels are often associated with spas while ultra-thin sans serif typefaces are common for cosmetic brands. By adopting the trends of the market, you risk blending in with your competition. Be aware of competitors’ branding–be inspired by their branding, even–but find ways to stand out from the crowd.

Why choose between trying to be trendy or timeless? Build a unique visual identity that supports your brand values and you’ll have a branding style that’s both effective and enduring.