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The Trend Cycle in Design: how do we return to the old in the new format

Cycle in Design


Have you ever heard that everything new is well–forgotten old? We’re sure you’ve heard.

How accurate is this expression? We don’t think this can be said literally about “everything”. But the sphere of design and creativity in general is a broader field for reasoning, and we are ready to discuss. Let’s talk about cyclical trends in design!

Trends of the past

The mid-to–late twentieth century is a very vivid example of changing trends. This concerned clothing, advertising, the visual component of literally everything that surrounded and surrounds people.

In many ways, the change of trends was dictated by politics, and trends could be completely opposite from state to state. Yes! It’s strange to imagine now, but in the days before the Internet, the territorial location played an important role in the spread of fashion.

Today, almost any Russian schoolgirl can order a replica of Kim Kardashian’s dress – and that’s cool!

Going back to the past, we all know about the styles of decades. Fifties, sixties, eighties – every decade of the last century has its own trends, and often they change like stripes on a zebra’s back.

Fashion is the reaction of people to this or that event. For example, the post–war period of the forties – the whole world was coming to its senses, and it was quite obvious that there was no time for bright colors.

And you see the perfect opposite in the fifties – people were finally able to breathe easy, and their mood is visible in the fashion of that time.

And further, through the popularity of styles, we can observe how society moved from one extreme to another, then getting tired of screaming accents, then returning to them again.

Blurring the boundaries

We live in a different time, and you can’t argue with that. And it’s unique not only because other circumstances, but also because the fact that society departs from the usual patterns of behavior. If before we talked about the styles of the decade, now it’s much more difficult to track them.

Perhaps we all remember the ridiculous outfits of the noughties, and then the orange faces of girls with self-tanning, and also the fashion for cosmetology. What are we seeing now?

Now all these styles seem to be mixed up. Previously, society needed much more time to rethink fashion, but now trends are changing so quickly that it’s almost impossible to track it.


Practice shows that the most affluent groups of the population set trends in style, and this will be true for absolutely any sphere. Agree, a small person or a small company is much less likely to create something “viral”.

Although social network algorithms still play an important role here, but this is a completely different topic.

In 2012, the well–known Microsoft presented a new version of the OS – Windows 8. It marked a new round in digital design, and this became possible only because Microsoft is a huge corporation.

Even if they don’t seek to dictate their vision to the world, the world will repeat after them and also after many other large companies and personalities.

Styles in CG

Now the era of “complex” minimalism is in the CG industry. Many things that at first glance seem simple, when examined in detail, are revealed from completely different sides. For example, the flat icons of Microsoft products of the latest versions – they are not flat at all.

People think that from year to year company logos and identity elements are getting simpler and simpler, some even say “poorer”, but in fact their elaboration is on a completely different level.

The same Microsoft logos, as you have already understood, have a volume – quite small, just to mark the boundaries of the logo details, but they are still voluminous. Why is it necessary if we can barely see it?

Trends of the future

Just as computers and the Internet once seemed unreal technology, so a couple of years ago we were thinking about virtual reality. Now this is unlikely to surprise anyone, more and more games are coming out with the ability to connect VR accessories, more and more spheres are using this technology.

But what will happen next?

What are we waiting for?

If you delve into the topic, you can understand that there are a lot of peculiar “markers” by which it’s possible to predict the development of design. For example, in the advertising sphere, design is a sales tool, and its changes are indirectly influenced by demand indicators.

Now digitalization is swallowing people with its head, this is especially noticeable in megacities. We wake up and read the news on our smartphone, work at the computer, and then get distracted to have fun with videos on our smartphone.

We get tired of it, but we don’t notice the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds.

This is due to the “seamless” design – when you see something on the Internet, you will surely recognize this product on an advertising banner, in a store or on television, this is what seamlessness is.

Design as a marketing tool will adapt to the needs of customers, and knowing this, we can assume what to expect from it in the future.


As a means of self-expression, design has been and will be cyclical, and this will invariably affect all areas of its application. The only question is how noticeable this cyclicity will be, because it is already barely possible to track the period of the trend’s life.

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