For design studios, their own definitive visual language is crucial for finding their place among many counterparts. The common direction for all studio projects is what attracts brand collaborators and gives a sense of understanding for every team member. However, completely unique style is extremely rare, and the tendencies appearing in the visual communications are inevitable. Even when a trailblazer collective or individual emerges, as they become more prominent, they attract followers and, thus, create a trend themselves.
Tendencies form our global visual environment and affect designers through all kinds of communications. Trends influence expectations of clients: large brands, willing to appeal to all sorts of customers, tend to use safer options and express their ideas and concepts via easily comprehensible images. If a design team wants to collaborate with this kind of companies, they take these assumptions into account and follow the tendency to some extent.
Trends can act on a more unconscious level. Looking for references and checking the work of other designers and collectives, creatives absorb the visual language that dominates at any given moment and might use some elements of it in their own projects.
Forming our common visual landscape, patterns are inevitable. They are not necessarily negative, tendencies just depict a moment in which we live. As design never exists in isolation and is tightly connected to mass communications, it has to stay in touch with the information reality, otherwise, the influence on such design would be questionable.
The tendencies need to be treated consciously. One might simply copy what is favored at the moment, however, it would be hard to call such a work creative. With the due approach, integrating visual cues about something people have seen before can be a way to make the creations more approachable. Non-verbal messages can hint at the work's theme and context by using a certain style: for example, a characteristic minimalist illustrative manner is common for materials that explain how to use a digital service, so you would know what to expect when you see such an image.
Besides that, while we are naturally inclined to seek something new and interesting, we, at the same time, find joy at recognition, and this feeling can enhance one's experience of interaction with the work. Integrating references and symbols, we add an element of quest and challenge the viewers to find parallels between our work and an element of cultural heritage that we both seem to know.
As with many things in life, balance is the key: finding an individual direction within a visual landscape is a way to achieve it. For us, this direction is rooted in the materiality of our work. Depicting an idea with light, color, and texture, we use phenomena that invoke an emotional connection with the physical world.
Attention to the materials is a wider context within which we create, however, we try to deepen our understanding of them and find something new combining this knowledge with inspiration from graphic design, painting, and other sorts of visual media. Understanding of physical properties helps us to find beauty in the most common things and a lens through which we see objects and explore them.
With the variety of such optics, the world of design becomes more variegated and fits more different viewpoints. The recipe for finding it is not the same for everyone, but this search has to originate in true passion. Be one's vision fully unique, built on references, or mixing originality and familiarity, after all, it is lack of sincere desire to create that is truly damaging.