Where do trends come from? 2014 and beyond.


Where do trends come from? What is it that influences what people are drawn to? Is it media? Fashion? Interior design? Web? Graphic? Print? Where do the influences for THOSE come from? And how is it determined what influences what? Is there a rhyme? A reason? A pattern?

All of this should start with the general definitions of the words trend and influence.

trend  (trĕnd)


1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
2. A general tendency or inclination. See Synonyms at tendency.
3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.
intr.v. trend·ed, trend·ing, trends

1. To extend, incline, or veer in a specified direction: The prevailing wind trends east-northeast.
2. To show a general tendency; tend: “The gender gap was trending down” (James J. Kilpatrick).
in·flu·ence  (ĭn′flo̅o̅-əns)


1. A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort: relaxed under the influence of the music; the influence of television on modern life.
2. Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position: used her parent’s influence to get the job.
3.a. A person who exerts influence: My parents considered my friend to be a bad influence on me.

b. An effect or change produced by influence.
4.a. A determining factor believed by some to affect individual tendencies and characteristics understood to be caused by the positions of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth.

b. Factors believed to be caused by the changing positions of the stars and planets in relation to their positions at the time of one’s birth.
tr.v. in·flu·enced, in·flu·enc·ing, in·flu·enc·es

1. To produce an effect on by imperceptible or intangible means; sway.
2. To affect the nature, development, or condition of; modify. See Synonyms at affect1.
Now that we know the basic definitions of these words…HOW do they apply to what we, as designers, do? Where do we pull the “power” (influence) to affect the “general direction” (trend)? Do we pull from fashion designers who are considered forward thinkers? Do we pull from the movies, or books that are “popular”? Do we pull from the big companies (Pantone) that predict what should be popular? The resounding answer is “YES“.
We ALL pull our ideas, our creativity, from what is influencing us already. For one person it may be color from the latest fashion designer, while another is pulling from deep in the sci-fi genre. Some pull from what they believe will be futuristic, while other are pulling from vintage, the romantic past.
Basically we are talking about cross-media pollination. We are talking about everything influencing everything. We all influence each other, we are all influenced by different medias. Hence, we are influenced by each others’ original ideas.
One article I read was able to explain this idea, and a few others, much more clearly. Please enjoy the article here: http://www.popmatters.com/post/129550-where-do-trends-come-from/.

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