Category Archives: 17. DECLINING TRENDS

Trends come and go. If they can put in a few good years, and maybe spawn some other new trends, they’ve done their duty. If trends don’t achieve super-star status and graduate into the Movements category, they fade out over time as fewer and fewer designers choose to follow them. The trends shown here have had their day in the sun, and are now in the Declining Trends category. Typically, they rarely drop out completely (I’m pretty sure you can still get faux-wood grain on many products), but instead move into less sophisticated categories or down-market into the value brands. This is not to say you should never use these design elements, just be careful not to make them your primary first-read aesthetic gestures.


Silver paint is a Declining Trend, but the story of its rise to glory is worth knowing. Around the late 1990s, starting in the Consumer Electronics category, silver paint started a decade-long march across the design community. The inception was most likely two sources: the long use of lightly metallic-flaked...

Read more