Creative trends come and go, and it’s tempting to switch off from the constant barrage of information out there: especially if you are happily enscounced in your job. However it’s important to keep up-to-date with industry trends if you are a creative.
I don’t think anyone in the creative world can afford to ignore industry trends. After all this industry is at the cutting edge of new trends, ones that then filter down to the rest of us. You guys develop, create and shape what the future looks like.
Yet occasionally I come across creative individuals who don’t keep up-to-date with industry trends. Often the reason cited for this is that they are “not looking for a new job” and therefore do not feel the necessity to keep abreast of new developments.
I appreciate that staying up-to-date can seem like a job in itself. With new technologies and trends taking effect at an astonishing rate there’s a huge amount of material to digest. Yet these trends can shape and enhance your existing role. I believe that to be good at your job, you have to be aware of current industry trends.
The Reasons For Staying Up to Date With Industry Trends
Don’t Get Caught Out
Trends may be relevant to your working practise, your clients may ask you to utilise them and your peers could be adopting them to good effect. Not paying attention to industry trends can quickly make you look out-of-date.
Earn the Respect of Colleagues
People who have good knowledge of their field command respect. Colleagues and employers want to work with people who are excellent at what they do, and also who have a passion for their industry. Following trends is part of this. You don’t have to adopt them, but you certainly should be conscious of them.
However happy you may be in your current role, things do change. Agencies go under, merge and restructure, colleagues move on and you may find yourself looking for a new job. New opportunities often present themselves when you least expect, when you’re not looking, and so by staying up-to-date on industry trends you’re in the best position to seize these breaks.
How to Get Caught up on Industry Trends
So if you feel that you having fallen out-of-the-loop and need to get back on-trend, here’s how:
Magazines and trade press
Naturally you would expect to find information about new trends in trade publications, but also look to other sources. Fashion, music, film, art, Flickr and Pinterest are excellent sources of what’s happening and what’s trending.
Subscribe to bloggers who post relevant industry stories. Let them do the hard work and discuss/disseminate the currency of new trends, leaving you to take on board what works for you. Look at what blogs these bloggers follow too, where do they get their information from?
Twitter is a great way of keeping up-to-date on industry trends. Follow people who are experts in your field, and look at who they follow or are followed by. Follow the bloggers you’ve identified on Twitter too, find out what they’re talking about and what’s trending on social media.
This may sound a bit of a grand term for what in essence is just talking to people. Talk to people involved in your field, find out what they’re doing, what they think and are interested in. Colleagues, peers, and former college alumni: who’s producing fresh and interesting work, who is innovating?
Once you’ve identified some interesting and reliable sources of information, you need to factor in time to keep up-to-date. Whether you can do this during your lunch break, commute to work or routinely as part of your working day, there are tools out there to help you manage.
Tools That Will Help You Stay Up to Date
Bookmark articles that you want to read at a later date or set up a database of useful links. Pinboard is an excellent way to manage links online.
Set up alerts to you inbox for new online content using keywords. Generic keywords will result in lots of irrelevant content: so be specific.
What Industry Trends Websites Should You Follow?
Finally to get you started here are our top industry trends sites to follow:
illustration Mundo – illustration blog and online community.
FormFiftyFive – an international showcase of creative work.
Dezeen – collection of architecture, design and interior news and articles from around the world.
Drawn – inspiration for illustration, animation, cartooning and comic art.
Brainpickings – “your LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces across art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, you-name-itology.”
Thunder Chunky – mix of design and illustration articles and interviews with the aim of keeping you “amused and interested for as long as we can before you find something genuinely important to do with your day.”
Design Taxi – updates on apps and technology, design and aesthetics.
Dexigner – comprehensive site covering multi-disciplines, Dexigner is a leading portal for designers. Established over 10 years ago this site is a must for anyone interested in creative trends.
We would like to hear about who you follow for inspiration, news and current trends. Drop us a line in the comments box below.