Have you ever seen a sign that once looked cutting edge but has since aged? Brand new design trends can look fantastic for a time, but they quickly age and date your brand in the process.

From neon, rigid 1980s designs to dated 1990s websites, design that’s right on the cutting edge tends to age worse than classic design, leaving your brand with a look that’s not as trendy five years into the future as it is today.

If you’d like your brand to stand the test of time and not require constant updates, using an old-fashioned approach to design can give your brand additional staying power that separates it from its here-and-how, trendy competitors.

Would you like to give your signs, brochures and other marketing materials more of a timeless feel? Read on to learn three tips that you can use to avoid making signage that ages rapidly and dates your brand.

Keep it simple

The best logos and identities are usually the simplest. Nike’s famous swoosh, as an example, is one of the simplest logos in the world. The McDonald’s arches are also straightforward and simple, making them immediately recognizable.

Simple logos are usually the best for several reasons. They’re easy to identify as a part of a specific brand or company. They’re also easy to incorporate into a wide range of different marketing materials, signs and other items.

Finally, they’re timeless. The simpler your logo is, the less it will age over time, as simple designs have few elements that fall victim to trends and tastes. Keep it nice and simple and your brand will have real staying power.

Avoid being trendy

Is your corporate identity too trend? Trends come and go very quickly in the world of design, making an image that looks good one decade look extremely dated in the next.

We’ve all seen designs that were clearly a product of their time, from glitzy 1980s neon signage to Internet Bubble-era 1990s branding. These look good for a certain time, but age rapidly once the specific trend they’re part of is over.

From the plastic-looking digital logos of the early 2000s to grunge website designs and endless bevel and emboss, relatively recent design trends often look the worst of all, since they’ve only just gone out of style while still being widely used.

Do you want your corporate identity to stand the test of time? Avoid falling victim to fans and design trends that come and go. Design an identity that’s grounded in basic design principles, not the specific values of the day.

Use a versatile design

The best designs aren’t just timeless and simple – they’re also versatile. Apple’s logo, for example, is a simple design that’s so versatile it can be used on a huge variety of devices, in numerous different settings and decorated in a wide range of colors.

Is your corporate identity versatile? The key to a versatile design is a lack of specific qualities, such as certain fonts and elements. Can you change the color of your brand to suit a specific promotion, or would doing so affect its look too much?

Versatility is an important aspect of design that’s often ignored by businesses that are aiming for a specific look, as opposed to something that can adapt to their needs at any certain point.

Be versatile and you expand your options, often to the benefit of your business. You also prevent your brand from appearing as a product of its time, because a versatile design is rarely one that’s built around a fad or passing trend.