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Today Vs. Timeless: Which Look Will Your Brand Embrace?

Style is fleeting. Every fashion fan knows that what is hot today is tepid tomorrow. Some styles are a real flash in the pan – they’re all the rage for a short period of time, then they fade away. Other styles keep recurring over and over, or are integrated into major trends. In short, some kind of visual aesthetics are fads, and others are cultural staples. Graphic design firms are trained to tell the difference between the two styles. However, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Careful application of either style can have some dynamic results. Should your company live in the moment, or look for the future? There is no one true answer to that question, but the experts can look at all the contributing factors. In a city like Toronto, your brand needs to stand out, since you’re competing with dozens of companies selling a similar product or service. Will you choose to go with something that screams ‘2013’, or will you go with something more stately and refined? Graphic design experts can help guide you along that decision depending on factors like your budget, target demographic, future plans, and so on. The path you end up on may determine your business’s success. A more thorough explanation of the difference between ‘classic’ and ‘current’ is below, as well as the pros and cons of either approach.

Graphic design firms start with a blank screen, but end up with your company’s brand and path

What is the Difference Between the Two Aesthetics?

You can’t always tell the difference between a style of the ‘now’ and something that is classic and timeless at a glance. This is because each style can draw from the same creative source and inspiration. It’s also important to note that many people create a style that seems like a fad but proves to have staying power. Often we need a few years of time to see how the dust settles on a logo or a look. However, there are some tell tale signs that something is not meant to last. If there is time sensitive language or looks in an advertisement, that is a clear sign that something is a flash in the pan. As an example, hashtags on Twitter are something that are currently en vogue, but are unlikely to last more than a few years. When you see something that in an advertisement that is doomed to become dated, it is meant to be a visual shorthand. There is economy of information in this kind of advertisement – use of something very ‘current’ and cool shows that the company is savvy, clever, and cool. This technique sacrifices a long shelf life in exchange for being simple and effective. When something is timeless it rarely relies on these visual crutches and goes for more subtle or elaborate effects.

Real Life Examples of Each Path Created by Graphic Design Firms

Either approach has proven to be successful. We can look at some competitors in the same industry to see how the two styles play out and the long term effects for the company. If you consider the field of computers, who are the two biggest names? The answer is Apple Computers and Windows. These two competitors go with different advertising styles.

Timeless and Classic: Apple has chosen a timeless, minimalist look whereas Windows is constantly innovating their brand and upgrading it to match the style of today. In 1976, Steve Jobs commissioned a modern logo. Graphic design firms still study and attempt to emulate the result today. Rob Janoff created a simple silhouette of an apple with a single bite out of it. The logo was originally coloured in with beautiful rainbow shades. In 1998, the logo was changed to monochrome for a more mature look. Since then, no changes have been made, and the same simple logo graces all Apple products today. That’s quite a lifespan for a brand!

Innovative and Modern: Microsoft, on the other hand, is constantly changing their logo to suit the style of today. The logo is always built around the same image – a four paneled window. However, each iteration has a new style on that theme. Early on the panels were framed by thick, heavy lines. Later those black lines were dropped in favour of something cleaner and more sophisticated. The next iterations framed the colourful four panel logo with different colours and text. The most recent style is sleek, angular, and monochrome. Each redesign marked a change in the company’s approach, product line, and overall mindset.

Another Real Life Example of Timeless vs. Today

We can see another approach with the soft drink giants Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola. These drinks each have their own take on the same product, but their branding efforts have been wildly different.

Timeless and Classic: Coke has an iconic logo that has only undergone minor changes. There may be a different frame or a minor tweak to their brand, but it remains largely consistent. Their bold red and white colours combined with their elegant, loopy font manages to give the effect of class and even elegance without coming across as stuffy or uptight.

Innovative and Modern: Pepsi, on the other hand, have taken more risks and gone with more changes. We can see these changes in the history of their logo. While they have always stuck with red, white, and blue, they do not have a set formula for use of each colour, and they are unafraid to tweak the centre sphere of their brand. The results are modern and interesting, although they lack the same staying power and visual strength of the more consistent Coke.

Graphic design firms have a grasp of each visual style and how they relate to brands. They’re the experts in the field who know which path is best for your company. In a city like Toronto, you can see people attempting to take either path without realizing why they work. This means that they disappear amidst the noise of the city. Take advantage of their comprehensive knowledge and keen eye for trends by having them rehaul your brand. You’ll be surprised at the effective results. Whether you want to be ‘in the now’, or more of a consistent staying power, you want to have your look overhauled and refined by graphic design experts.




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