5 Overused Design Trends to Avoid

As a designer, you must create top notch work for your clients. To do so, you listen to the needs of those clients and research modern design trends into which you can infuse a creative touch. However, caution must be exhibited when researching the latest trends.

Often, trends quickly become degraded, the result of creative professionals taking the work of an original few and reducing it with excessive use. The following are five such overused design trends to steer clear of in your design work.

1. Flourishes

Flowing with grace, flourishes are meant to inspire the feminine side of design. Unfortunately, they’ve been so overly used in recent years that they’ve become the design equivalent of a sappy romantic comedy that just won’t end.

2. Reflective Objects

When first arrived on the design scene, reflective objects conveyed messages of modernity, sleekness and professionalism. However, after being used on everything from soft drink advertisements to the latest tech gadget promo, the use of reflective objects has become anything but modern or original.

3. Scribble Art

As the scribble art trend emerged, it offered a playful side to graphic design. However, it has been cheapened by improper and excessive use and is definitely a trend you should avoid.

4. Drop Shadows

If used effectively drop shadows highlight important design elements, guiding the eye where you want it to go. However, many designers have overused this trend, not understanding how to properly incorporate it into their projects. If you must use drop shadows, do so sparingly and accurately.

5. Green

While it’s now more important than ever for many businesses to portray environmentally friendly images, this concept is becoming extremely overused in design projects. Avoid the excessive use of green tones and such graphics as trees and grass. Using these elements will simply lump you in with designers using concepts that are no longer innovative.

Overused design trends are often easy to spot. They begin as the original ideas of innovative creative professionals and then begin appearing in countless niches, ripped off by other not-so-original designers. Before incorporating a design concept into your next project, research how common that concept is. This research will preserve your business reputation and will avoid you coming across as generic to clients.


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