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From the Design Desk: Keeping up with the Trends

I try really hard not to be super trendy.  I've got pretty good style, but I'm not a fashionista.  I like unusual and quirky things, but lately it seems like there have been a lot of trends that I've been interested in, but only after they've made their run in the market.  I'm like an anti-hipster.  It's not that "I liked something before it was cool", it's usually more like "why didn't I know about this before it was everywhere?" I've always been the sort of person to come "late to the party" so to speak.  I famously said I would never personally own a Mac when I started college (that only lasted 2 years).  I was a late comer both to Facebook and Twitter, at least in comparison some of my friends.  I finally got a smartphone, several years after they became the norm. Believe it or not, keeping up with what is trendy in fashion and style is actually quite important to designers.  Not necessarily because we want to be on the cutting edge of what is hot at the moment, but because we have to be careful that our designs don't feel dated, unless it's intentional - did everyone see the Mad Men issue of Newsweek?  Depending on the client and the job, sometimes knowing what is popular is key to getting your message noticed. One of the best ways to stay current with design and marketing trends is being active online.  Design by nature is a digital community, and nearly every magazine, stock photo resource, foundry, paper mill, and design firm has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  And instead of filling your feed with useless self-promotion, a lot of them use that space to talk about what others are doing with their products, which can be a great creative resource.  Neenah Paper is particularly great about posting interesting and creative uses of their papers. We can't all be trendsetters, and sometimes being off-trend is just as in style as being trendy!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and buy everything peacock-themed at Target before it runs out.      

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