Don’t avoid a design style simply because it’s “been done.”
Do we design something “new,” or use something “off the shelf?” Do we break new ground, or stay on the beaten path? These questions are based on an assumption that I believe is false. They are based on the assumption that designers are inventors.
As designers, I believe that “standing out” is not our guiding light. Most companies don’t need to stand out. They simply need to stand. Stand strong, stand true, be real. Design, correctly applied, is not something we dream up; it is the look of the world we live in. So much poor design has been made in the pursuit of “originality,” “creativity,” and “grabbing the viewer” (don’t try this in person).
When we designers put the visual face on a business, we are not inventing the face but expressing what already exists. This is a wonder and a marvel. Every person is unique. Every business and adventure, therefore, is unique. It’s amazing (and not always difficult) to peel back the layers, get to the heart and soul of the thing, and put that on the page. Capture it, and you’ve captured the company. Express it, and you’ve expressed the company. I’m talking here to the professional. Find the heart and soul of a company, and you’ll never again worry about being derivative, because every company is naturally unique. Fail that, and your work, no matter whether derivative or “original,” is basically a song and dance. Do you see the difference?