Sometimes there is simply no need to be either clever or original.
Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.
A good trademark, whether a word mark or a symbol, is devoid of fashion or trend, which makes it potentially iconic if it's seen for long enough in the right places.
Styles come and go, design goes on forever: solving communication problems with new tools applied to the same old common sense.
As designers, we are the interface. Trying to make things understandable. That requires involving oneself with what's going on in the world. One must understand what people are, what they're up to, what they care about, how they feel.
Good design, at least part of the time, includes the criterion of being direct in relation to the problem at hand - not obscure, trendy, or stylish. A new language, visual or verbal, must be couched in a language that is already understood.
There is no "era" of simple, focused, concept-driven identity design. There is only design that grows out of understanding audiences for specific problems, and that evolves from an idea. This is an approach that does not depend on any specific time period or its technology.
There are not many designers who are truly creative and literate. Most are self-indulgent, illiterate, fashion-mongering, service people trying to bridge a message between a product and an audience.
Good design should follow looking into the products and reputation of clients who approach you, but this does not mean you have to follow them into bed.
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