Why “Keeping It Real” Is The New Design Trend

March’s word of the month, design, is something I am almost always thinking about. While I love design; I love strategic design even more. In today’s marketplace where social media dominates and under-produced, user-generated content goes viral, authenticity is something akin to the Holy Grail. And, any serious list outlining the latest design trends will surely include the topic of authenticity. As in-demand as authenticity is, it can be hard to put into action. It’s the elusive, you-only-know-it-when-you-see-it quality that takes insight, perseverance and strategic thinking to achieve.

Learn more about design trends and brands searching for authenticity.


Authenticity in Design – Design trends are dominated by the goal for authenticity and finding ways to show your brand’s authentic side can be achieved through creative design. Through looking inwards and behind the scenes with videos showing the production line to using the faces of real customers, brands are “getting real” to be achieve authenticity.

CHECK OUT AN EXAMPLE: Mission Bicycle, a small bicycle manufacturer based in San Francisco, goes behind the scenes with videos of its manufacturing process.


Less Can Truly Be More – The challenge to today’s savvy designers is to find the balance between effectively creating a brand presence while achieving authenticity. The concept of “under-designing” portrays simplicity and authenticity. Current design trends include minimalist design with less fluff and seemingly less design.

CHECK OUT AN EXAMPLE: Fashion brand, Bouguessa, uses minimalist design to create its online brand and achieve a high-end identity.


Keeping It Real Pays Off – Top brands like Dove, Zappos and Patagonia are achieving successes in their newfound authenticity. It has become the secret sauce that sets them apart, makes them unique and appeals to today’s consumers who seem to be searching for brands they can believe in.

CHECK OUT AN EXAMPLE: Outdoor wear brand, Patagonia recently caught attention with its user-generated campaign entitled Worn Wear, where customers shared their images and stories about their favorite Patagonia pieces.


Injecting Strategy Into Simplicity – Although the de-branding effect may seem as simple as a stripped down version, it is actually strategically-crafted to create clear, creative messaging that is free from fluff and superfluous elements that crowd the space.

CHECK OUT AN EXAMPLE: A college town in Northern Florida recently applied the de-branding concept, successfully creating a design that is more human-centric.


It’s a fine line between doing too much and doing too little. Today’s design trends are geared toward authentic, strategic styles that can successfully achieve their goal. When you’re ready to redefine (or un-define) your current brand, be sure to email or call me, I’ll help you drill down on your design strategy.