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What Are Design Trends?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 12, 2024
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Design trends are designs that capture the imagination of consumers and are quickly replicated by competitors. Trends of this type occur in just about every type of industry, sometime creating memorable designs that are repeated from time to time. Business owners and analysts seek to predict what type of designs are likely to trigger a great deal of interest and capitalize on those designs before they become commonplace.

There are a number of design trends that begin with a single business and eventually permeate designs created by other companies operating within the same industry. Automobiles are one of the more common examples of how design trends develop and gradually expand through an industry. The appearance of fins on the back fenders of US-designed automobiles during the decade of the 1950’s led to more and more automakers creating car designs featuring larger fins. Over time, a new trend developed that set the stage for the more streamlined auto bodies of the following decade.

The fashion industry offers multiple examples of design trends that resonate with consumers for a time, and are eventually replaced with different trends. Depending on what is considered the latest in fashion, hemlines may go up or down, lapels on men’s jackets are broader or narrower, and the choice of patterns or fabric designs will change. The trends may last for a year or longer or enjoy a short season of popularity only to be replaced by something new.

Coming up with new design trends is also an essential part of maintaining and growing market share. The task involves looking closely at current industry trends, seeking clues for variations or changes that may appeal to the buying public. By using a wide range of industry analytics that include customer surveys as well as analysis of purchase trends among those consumers, it is possible to begin developing new products that build on the successes of current trends while offering something more that is could be considered the next big thing in a given industry.

Creating new design trends also calls for investing in research and development efforts that involve talented and forward-thinking individuals who are capable of taking the information obtained through analysis and other avenues and coming up with new designs that score well with consumer testing groups. When these efforts are successful, the end result is the opportunity to make a great deal of money before the trend becomes commonplace and eventually begins to wane in favor of a newer trend.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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