Design will go through trends, and it's hard to design something that doesn't fall into the trap of the current "funky font", or doesn't fall into the trap of using the same pencil drawing illustrator. They're lovely things, it's lovely work, type foundries are pushing some cool stuff, they've got new tools to play with now, but I think you've got to get a little bit deeper, and define what is the purpose of this business? What are they actually here to do? What tools do they need to help achieve that, and help get them there.
I think it's just trying to find a balance of getting the data-driven design "good", and ticks the boxes, but also bringing the human side of things, the fun, the mistakes, the mess, the chaos, the positive friction that helps businesses stand out, otherwise we all start to look the same. I guess if you go back a few years I'd say a lot of Silicon Valley starts to look the same. We're talking minimal white backgrounds, sans-serif grey logos, they start to look like everyone else again, and you're seeing a new wave of great work, lots of illustration, lots of personality, really trying to connect with customers in a different way.
Speaking from a branding perspective, it's really fascinating, can you build brands that can keep up with the trends, and change and churn through stuff, and styles, but remain true to something bigger? The old world of creating a brand, big chunky guidelines, "follow this, do this, and you'll be successful", has a place, but also, the world doesn't need that anymore. I think consumers are smarter, I think Nike is a great example of that, they've got so many sub-brands, but deep down core to their message, they can have so many voices, they're embracing trend, and they always have done, but it lathers up to something bigger, something more fundamental, and more human.