Nowadays you can't rest on your loins. Doing the standard is not enough, you have to innovate to stay competitive. Search for the elegant solution.
Visual literacy plays a big role in design. Designer's learn new trends and understand existing ones through their high level of visual literacy.
Good design focuses on the user. Developing a brand requires an empathy for the user, but also an understanding of how information plays a role in society, and how we define ourselves.