There is a moment when the relation between “now” and “then” becomes a very ambiguous reality. The truth is that both words are extremely arguable by their meaning, but more important than that: by the relation of proximity or distance, they find themselves in each other.
By meaning, “now” is the present moment, the period of time that is in front of us. Always going on, like a non stop train, with a very short presence in memory but its passing. When this is explained, the present seem to look like an ephemeral reality.
In fact, it is the opposite. Only “a present”, “a now” can identify a past and project a future. So, without this concept, there is no time to explore, since it has never been and will never be. Only the present has the strength and the ability to give birth to a time line.
By meaning, “then” is the period of time expected to appear further in time, it comes after the reality we are living in. Apparently it’s easier to understand it, because it only represents a consequence of the “old” past and the “one second ago” past – also known as “the present”.
Our introduction might seem very straight, very decisive but now, think a little bit more! What if we invert these realities? and the trend become a “then” and the identity become a “now”? That is the most curious and pleasant conclusion to understand the meaning of a trend and an identity as well as their complementarity because both can be everything, and still they will always need each other to provide value into any kind of entity. The different creative fields use TRENDS to contextualize, investigate, explore and place their results into a visible reality. The trends tent to be an approach that stands only for a period of time. They are not supposed to last forever so, they are obviously a cycle.
A constant renewal of values but, above all, an extreme change of variables and specific results. We shouldn’t interpretat TRENDS as empty or shallow moments. In fact, that would be a very confined definition. The seasonal trends are focused on research in different areas such as technology, fashion, life style, social needs and an audience. This last one, represents the need to provide new experiences trough temporary choices. This permeability feature in trends is what makes them interesting. They can dictate expectations of rudeness or lightness; power or joy, enlightenment or simply a representation of our animal state.
On the other side, we have a very heavy weight definition of creating, feeding, designing, finding, constructing and feeding again, until the unwanted end. Like a friendship, holding needs that are supported by great and beautiful foundations; in a constant search for more, for better and for an endless sharing that can be seen in many different covers. The IDENTITY, this magic word that has so many things to say, such a deep approach, since this reality must live like a human being. They survive in time and space, they are engraved in our minds, they can be so much even when they seem so little. The great difference is that we (studium®) never survive onto something; we excel, we go beyond. An identity must never reduce itself in its own inner circle, it does not represent an closed reality, it also takes other inspirations to live along time and not around a crystallised bubble. The great misunderstood come with the perception of a logotype and a brand manual. This last one is the place where everything happens, it explores communication, positions, trends, among many other; while, the logotype is only the most visible and easily noticeable element of a brand. So, we (creatives) are the ones taking it wrong; all in one should it be, all for one.
By now, we have expressed two perfectly defined realities, and we attribute to each one a specific notion of time: generally we assume that trends represent a “now” and identity represents a “then”. That is the most logical thinking but, don’t you forget
They need each other
They find each other
They are each other
Exampling with a great new rebranding: Channel4
We are (wrongly but expectedly) mesmerised by knowing that the main influence as creative director is the team leader, design icon, historical man NEVILLE BRODY (along with 4Creative and Johnatan Glazer). I truly believe that it might seem a fallacy, because we already know what to expect from this man. Take this as an compliment. Truly. We don’t forget its role during the 80’s and periods after. This one is a great reference. No doubt.
But perhaps when I find alongside the (very sustained, explored, searched, showed inspiration) type; the combinations, the ultimate visual result, I will find a TREND. That is something that I cannot understand. When a trend becomes the genesis of an identity, we are doomed to fail.
The Channel4 brand is way too well taken, the animations are great and there is a truly feeling of concept, of a deep search into what makes us humans, what are we, where are we going. But then, the result, unfairly all is taken for the visual memory of the brand. In 5 years from now it will seem dated, stranded in time. Unless the strategy changes, we can invert the process and use the trends as feeders and not as features or facts.
There is something we also need to think: how long do i want this brand to be like this? Maybe 1 year, or maybe forever, but that is some sort of old fashion thinking…
Catarina Rodrigues . creative creator at studium ®