Every now and then, you might run across articles that feature “design trends for 2009” or “hot web design trends”. Design trends change from season to season, from year to year, based on what’s cool, different, or new. The question is, are design trends something to embrace or ignore?

As designers, we like to think that we stay on the cutting edge of modern, classy design. There’s a difference, however, between staying modern and relying on being trendy. Modern design reflects the times and stays relevant without succumbing to every last trend of the season. Trendy design looks great while it’s popular, but has a tendency to fade and look dated after a little while.

Web design has a particular knack for relying on current trends. As soon as web technology allows for a cool, new trick, it seems like everyone is on board. That is, until the next cool trick comes out. But how closely should you pay attention to trends? Is it best to assimilate them as soon as they’re deemed “cool” to boost your site’s popularity? Or is playing it safe with a tried-and-true layout the better route? In all reality, it’s up to you.

We think that it’s best to find a middle ground between design trends and classical methods. After all, it’s the design that’s founded on solid principles, not trendy fads, that withstand the test of time. Besides, who wants to do what everyone else is doing anyway?

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