The Key to Timeless Graphic Design

 

You will notice that ‘trendy’ design techniques and ‘design trends’ which last anywhere between 6 to 24 months will eventually have a loss of use.
That is basically what makes them a trend, right?
Trends are limited by their lifespan.

Adopting popular trends gives your users comfort and assurance that you’re “in with it” and you’re “in the know”.

But a timeless design will serve your user from day one till 12 years time.

The smarter designer will consider timelessness. Especially if there is no potential for design updates in the future.

The smarter designer will always aim to be genuine.
Being genuine will bring uniqueness.

Ok, so how do I achieve timeless design?

Think way back to your study days.
What are the design principles?
Those of you who listened in class would know them as:
balance
emphasis
movement
pattern
repetition
proportion
rhythm
variety
unity

Read that list of design principles again. Only this time, pause for a few seconds to really visualise what each point is referring to.
…or just go to this Wikipedia page.
It’s important to reflect on these. As day-in-day-out designers it’s easy to consider the elementary stuff as things we already know and as second-nature to us. And to an extent they are. But humans can forget.
So, go here: Design Elements and Principles on Wikipedia.

balance
emphasis
movement
pattern
repetition
proportion
rhythm
variety
unity

Focus on the base elements and principles of a design, and you’ve got a winner.
(Thats right, your teachers taught you something.)

Timeless design encapsulates timeless elements and principles.

Adopt trending techniques and you produce a trend. Adopt timeless techniques and you produce timeless design. It’s actually quite simple!

Begin the design process from the very basics of what makes design. You’ll then find the project is considered a unique project (and in reality, they all are).
Each project you do has a point of difference.

Each project you do
has a
point of difference.

Get it?
Do you notice the sites with the portfolio grids all kind of looking… the same?
Take a look:

Looking like
basically the same site.
Looking like
none of them really are
unique.

These guys are using the same design principles. Which is where the monotony comes from!

Identify the unique message which your design is bringing out.

It might be close but not quite the same message as anothers’.
Find a key element or principle which conveys that message.

Design from the inside to out.
By designing from square one,
you are accomplishing great design.
Genuine design.
Timeless design.

So, go! Design your heart out!
You’ll find that “thinking outside of the box” is actually easier than you think!

What makes a design timeless?

When did you create something truly unique from everything around you?

Was it successful?

Tell me about it!