There’s a lot of thought going on in my mind about marketing and cliches in design. How they are connected and how they are influenced. Cultural phenomena, media promoted forms of art and mindset are three of many things that influence design and marketing in the 21st century. There’s one little thing bugging me though; How does it happen that every design agency, digital or not, has to jump on the bandwagon when it comes down to trends!

Hip and happening

I really can get properly pissed off when another run-off-the-mill agency with hardly an own identity gets up and starts using social media like Facebook and Twitter like it’s the most important thing in the world and they know how to manipulate it. They do not realize that not only social design but all sorts of digital design are regulated by what is hip and happening. For example; The last 5 years Adobe has been the major player on the part of developing programs for design professionals, like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. These programs are really useful, lets not forget that, but you do see a certain use of said programs amongst all designers.

Oldschool is new school

The last couple of years there has been a trend where the 80′s got a follow through when it comes to shapes, sizes and use of color. Where the start of this millennium showed more of a return to the 60′s in design, now you have to use strict lines made in Illustrator, preferably in fluorescent yellow and pink and you have to adhere to the awful line “Less is more”. This phrase, like so many others (“Think outside of the box”, “Being pro-active (…)”, etc) are all just a bunch of words to cover up a complete lack in imagination in my honest opinion. There’s so much talk going on about how things should or should not be done that no company in existence dares to actually do the things that are out of the box and pro-active.

Less is more is a sentence used up by people who have no idea that there is so much beauty in detail. We, as a society adhere to this set of standards and taste and dare not to think further then “that cool things we saw once on that website”. Web development has known it’s trends and cliche’s as well. From the simple first HTML websites, through the Flash era to now HTML 5 and social media development, brands have always looked at each other to find inspiration for new material. This resulted in all websites and brands now looking pretty much the same, without any exception. Complete cliches in design, simply put.

My position

I’m not saying I’m perfect, far from it, but i do try and keeps things clean and interesting. I do not like using straight lines to get to my point and i certainly do not enjoy creating digital art like so many have done before. If you want to see a website like this (although probably a very likeable bunch of people and technically gifted designers) or use of social media like this ( a museum in Breda displaying exactly what my point is in this blog), you can pass on me. I rather make something new, or old, because everyone is the new thing these days. I am convinced that the rate with which we are moving forward we are completely missing the point where we are all doing the same damn thing in stead of trying something proper new, both in design and in culture.

Conclusion

It’s okay to break into new areas to portray your craft, but please don’t make a profession out of jumping on the bandwagon. You’re never going to be the first, but you can be one of few if you try hard enough to distance yourself from the things that are currently happening. When everything has to be all neat and pink, try going for shaggy and brown. When everything is expected to be digital and fast, try going for analog and at a slower pace. Try. Something. New.

 

“Early man walked away as modern man took control. Their minds weren’t all the same, to conquer was his big goal, So he built his great empire and slaughtered his own kind, Then he died a confused man, killed himself with his own mind.”

(Bad Religion – We’re Only Gonna Die From Our Own Arrogance)

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