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Vipin KV

Vipin KV is a 26-yr old Creative Controller at Happy McGarryBowen, Bangalore. Hailing from Wayanad, Kerala, he graduated in Applied Arts from Thrissur. A lover of design, art, fashion and photography, he’s previously worked with Lee, Basics life, Ola, Wonderla, etc.


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The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But <span class="il">Yorick</span> Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. With many unique inspirations, advice and project showcase this issue is a must have if you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!

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Goa born, Amey Chodankar has a degree in Fine Arts and over 10 years of experience in the field of design. From branding and advertising t-shirt brands to now working as a Sr. Art Director at Stirred, Bengaluru, he has come a long way! While his designs are of international standards, one particular collection stands out, the Pixel Gods that loosely sum up his life story.


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The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. With many unique inspirations, advice and project showcase this issue is a must have if you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!

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Abhishek Agarwal

A freelance Graphic Designer based in Ludhiana, with over 6 years of experience involving UI design, branding and packaging. Abhishek Agarwal with a Bachelor’s in Multimedia from Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Punjab, he has worked for brands like Haldiram, Zen Cosmetic, Hemp.Ca, etc.


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The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But <span class="il">Yorick</span> Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. With many unique inspirations, advice and project showcase this issue is a must have if you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!

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samrudhi desai

With a diploma in the Commercial Art from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune, Samrudhi Desai, gathering experience from Marc Communications, Affinity Express and now at Brintons Carpets she has been learning new things by welcoming diversity and flexibility. With an aim to establish her own innovative brand of designs, she enjoys the creative & boundless process of art making.


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The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it.</p> <p> </p> <p>With many unique inspirations, advice and project showcase this issue is a must have if you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your copy!

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When we talk about branding, a Greek term comes to mind. It is a sign, one is likely to find over many a doorway ‘Gnothi Seauton’ meaning ‘Know Thyself’. In simple terms, when we design a brand, we are going after this essence of ‘Who are you?’ and then ‘Who do you want to be?’ This in a sense is exactly every person’s story! We all are individuals in this world, thinking of ourselves in one way, projecting something a little different on the outside and maybe wanting to appear something else entirely.

Branding is about creating a distinctive identity for a product so that it is seen for the qualities it wants to project. When we see an object that is orange, it appears orange because it is the colour it reflects while all other colours are absorbed!

Just like when we hear Amitabh Bachchan saying that he is actually reserved or introvert, it does not fit the Bachchan we see on the screen or as a television host – he is projecting himself as a dynamic extrovert. Is he being truthful?

You may say no, but the answer is yes. He is holding back certain qualities within him and projecting only those he wants to be seen for. It is a conscious and deliberate choice to act in this manner and this image is what brings him success. A brand may require the organisation to be hard-working and persistent to appear as fun and innovative. All of these go into a program, which defines ‘brand behaviour’ within the organisation, for the audience and customers.

In design, we research the market and interview the target audience to see how a brand can fit and how best we can project it. If there are six similar entities in the market, we want ours to stand out in some way. Thus, branding is always about finding the right proposition and making the right choices to see how the product can find its place and most importantly, continue to grow and succeed. Summing up, the process involves finding:

• The Brand’s Essence

Brand Positioning and

Brand Attributes

A brand can only succeed if we are honest in finding what it is capable of doing. If we over-project an idea, that may fall short of the target audience’s expectation. Much of our work, therefore, organises itself around the brand behaviour.

How will the brand actually act in the real field? The ‘Tone of Voice’ helps with this and this is really all about setting the values and mannerisms. When we think of Scandinavian furniture we instantly recall clean, non-fussy, comfortable and functional images of products. Similarly, we can set out the way in which the brand must behave – for instance a cultural organisation that brings Japan and India closer may be warm, proactive, cross-cultural, simple and poetic.

Whatever the tone of voice is, in the realm of design, we are working primarily through the visual message. The ‘visual language’ paraphrases how we perceive the brand. It is in a way the dress code of the brand. A ‘farm-fresh’ ice cream can decide that it will use images of farm and natural landscapes to celebrate its flavour. This has to consistently happen many times over the years, so when we define the visual language it has to allow for enough explorations. The visual language also decides the colour palette for the brand.

 

Finally, there is the performance of the brand, which is the value it delivers. I like a certain ice-cream because it meets the expectations the packaging has set for me, with its fresh and fruity graphics and it’s promise of a ‘farm-fresh’ flavour and I am not disappointed when I find real fruits and a creamy taste when I take a bite. I go back and buy the same pack the next time. This is desirable. Our caution to people who design for brands is ideally captured in this quote from Kalila and Dimna (the Pancatantra retold by Ramsay Wood):

Never seek after anything, which may be unworthy of you or contrary to your nature. Like how the crow who attempted to learn to fly like a partridge, a way of flying impossible to him, forgot his own skill and crashed to the ground.

Branding for success is about discovering what the brand’s essence is and what it wants to be and knowing the difference between the dream and reality.

Published in Issue 30

Since stone age when individuals were identified with certain marks, branding has always been an integral part of our life. It has evolved so much that now every success can be connected to branding behind it, but still brand creation has always been a mystery. We interviewed the branding experts, who are behind some of the very successful brands. Lopez Design, have shared the story behind the recently developed branding of ‘Bihar Museum‘ and also shared the basics of brand creation in the ‘Gyaan’ section. Young visual communication designer like Shaivalini Kumar shared her love for the letter design while experienced graphic designer Anup Shah dwelled upon his passion for calligraphy. In brief, this issue is packed with branding and typography design experts who can help you solve the mystery of the brand creation! Hope you will enjoy the articles!

 

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The tough get going when the going gets tough. This is a phrase that relates to the story of Krasi Stoimenov, a Bulgarian UI/UX designer, refining the Thought European design. In a country where competition is tough, there is no time to rest. His designs reflect his constant effort and advanced skills. He speaks with Creative Gaga and takes us all through his design journey.

LotoTech. This mobile and app designed for a lottery company provides an interactive and fun experience for users.
LotoTech. This mobile and app designed for a lottery company provides an interactive and fun experience for users.

CG: Tell about your design journey and how it evolved over time to arrive at digital?
KS: As a kid, I loved drawing but never had enough time to actually draw or paint as much as I wanted. As years passed, I had completely abandoned my hobby of drawing and moved on to graduate in Marketing. And one day, all of a sudden, my neighbour introduced me to an amazing program- Photoshop CS4. It was that moment where I knew this was my calling and that I could do better. I started using online tutorials to grasp the programme. It was tough, I failed initially but constant hard work paid off and I gradually started mastering the skill. But it’s never enough. The digital world surely keeps you on your toes and there is always something to learn.

Low Polygon Europe. This Europe game concept is a 3D experience and incorporates the borders of European countries and significant landmarks.

CG: Your designs are practical but mystical at the same time. What are your design inspirations? What are various factors in your daily design life that determine the fate of your designs?

KS: Inspirations are everywhere, from the buildings surrounding you to the colour patterns before you. The internet is a vast ocean of inspiration and the best part is that it`s easy to find the right one for your project. Designs are determined by their purpose.

 

CG: Digital design involves a lot of layers, whether it’s creating a digital image or an app or a website. How do you think from all those perspectives?How do you maintain continuity in your designs? What’s the binding agent?

KS: Keeping order when it comes to web and app design is vital. Work needs to be organised and grouped correctly. But when it comes to digital images, it’s a different story as there is a chaos with the layers. The thing that binds the entire design, whether it’s a matte painting or an app design, is the concept behind it. Everything I do is ruled by the idea, every single detail in the project – each interaction in the UX.

Nike Kicks. An attempt to design a new app for the renowned brand Nike that captures the spirit of the brand.

CG: A story seems to captivate the viewer when they look at your designs. What do you wish to achieve through your designs? What do you want them to remember it for?
KS: I always try to add a hidden meaning in the details. It enhances the purpose of the designs I create. Someday, I’d really like someone to stop me and say that they decoded something from my designs. Remember though, that it’s always the journey that matters. If you can take the person looking at your project to the place you`ve imagined when doing it, well that`s the end.

Personal Branding. You yourself is a great place to start with.

CG: Tell us about Bulgaria and how easy/difficult it has been to work there as a designer. How do you reach out to the world through your designs?
KS: Bulgaria is an interesting country. Working here can teach you one important thing; be adaptive and constantly learn and develop yourself or you will fall behind. Reaching out is easy. Collaborations, contests, it`s all out there just waiting for you to take it!

 

CG: So what’s next for you?
KS: I’ve formed a design community in Bulgaria so I`m working on a lot of projects related to it. It’s called Infinite collision which will engage me for a while.

Published in Issue 34

This Web and App special issue brings forward some very talented digital and web designers along with experts from top few digital/ UI & UX studios of India. Also, Visakh Viswambharan, founder of Appiness Interactive answered a very common client question, ‘ Why not templates?’ in our Vantage View article.

 

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Good that you switched from your Facebook tab, ended that conversation on WhatsApp, took a break from endlessly scrolling through your Twitter feed or you are here probably tired of swiping right on Tinder with no luck. People are hooked to these websites and apps for not just the information it gives but also for the way it is being given. The UI/UX lead Arun KS from Appiness Interactive lists down some of the trends in web world and his take on them.

Such websites achieve ‘stardom’ due to multiple reasons – be it the position of the ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ button, the easy photo upload options, the ability to switch from one section of the app/website to another or even the quick access to closing the app. Most of these apps and websites have now been existent for a few years and they follow the phrase ‘change is the only constant’. They strive to live up to the current design trends or arguably set the trends themselves. The web world is similar to the fashion industry, if it is in trend and if you are not following them, you will be made fun of or even worse – you’ll not be talked about. Let’s understand these new trends one by one:

01 The Hamburger Menu.
Arguably the most widely used (or overused) way to represent menu items. The web world in true sense has seen the rise and fall of the hamburger menu, once a favourite amongst all apps is now a way to hide information, which is less important. Although many criticise the use of hamburger menu, there’s no doubt that it’s widespread use makes its function easily understandable for users. It creates a cleaner, neater and more aesthetically appealing website and it saves lots of space, but it is not the correct move for all sites.

02 Long Scrolling Over Licking.
Many of the new age websites, utilise scrolling as the main method of navigation over clicking. Placing the important content above the fold is a myth now. More than that, almost everyone is accustomed to long scrolls thanks to mobile devices. This works very well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections. But blindly following the trend is not advisable. Several aspects have to be considered before choosing between long scrolling and clicking like the content, mindset of targeted audience, brand strategy etc.

03 Card Layouts.
Once found only in a few websites like Pinterest, now card layout is slowly becoming the ideal way to represent information in a clean way. From e-commerce website to photo sharing websites card layout is the chosen way to showcase large amounts of content. With responsive designs becoming a buzzword, card layout has become even more practical. The shape and size of the cards make it easier to fit and rearrange for different devices. These rectangular pieces of vital information are here to stay.

04 Visual Storytelling & Infographics.

From the Stone Age man has always been inclined towards visually represented stories and much hasn’t changed. Infographics are anything, which represents information using design elements to represent content; from early man drawing to road signs, everything falls under infographics. In the world of internet, infographics are used as a way to disseminate large amounts of information. Companies of all sizes are using infographics to make their brands stand out, educate audiences about their company and improve their search engine rankings. Infographics have spread across the internet like a virus but we have no complaints. But remember to use high-quality images and out of the box content to stand out from the crowd.

 

05 Boulder Colours and Typography.

In the age where Comic Sans is made fun of openly on the internet, anybody who uses ordinary or less appealing fonts for branding stands no chance of being included in this new web world. People unlike before are educated about typography and anything unappealing to the eye indirectly means the product/site is not worth spending time on. It’s not only about using fancy web fonts but finding the right colours to go with it.

 

Typography must be the right marriage of fonts and colours. Airbnb, Medium, Uber, Spotify etc. are few startups who have realised the importance of this and let their websites go under the knife to give it a facelift.

 

06 Animations.

Open any award winning website and animations would most probably be the first thing that will greet you. From loading animations to hover animations and from motion animations to scrolling animations, website these days are animated for a reason – the sole reason being interactive user experience. Human beings love animation – some subtle some prominent, animations are such a vital part of websites now that they can make or break your website.

07 Responsive/Adaptive Design.
The word ‘mobile first’ has taken over digital world that it could soon replace ‘good morning’ amongst designers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then Google rankings should not matter to you – it literally crushes sites that are not mobile friendly. Responsive design is not an upcoming trend – it is the trend if not the norm. As we said earlier with card layouts becoming popular making responsive websites makes even more sense. So if you have plans of designing a website make sure ‘mobile first’ is the word you should utter first.

08 Material Design.
Google defines material design as ‘design by seeking to build experiences that surprise and enlighten our users in equal measures.’ Material design is basically giving depth to the design to engage more user interaction. All the covered trends can be or are a part of material design – hamburger menus, card layout, typography, shadows, etc. When Google launched the idea of material design, it was only a matter of time that it become the norm – it is the norm now.

Published in Issue 31

This Web and App special issue brings forward some very talented digital and web world designers along with experts from top few digital/ UI & UX studios of India. Also, Visakh Viswambharan, founder of Appiness Interactive answered a very common client question, ‘ Why not templates?’ in our Vantage View article.

 

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All designs should reflect the personality of its creator but sometimes clients brief can take away the twinkle of the final artwork. Freelance Illustrator & Graphic Designer, Minal Dusane-Mali shares her experience on how she manages the difficult task to fit the client brief, be creatively supreme and do business with her partner.

A unique version of the word ‘Cocktail’ in the literal sense!

Standing out from the rest.
All designs are a reflection of its designer; however many times a client brief can dull the sparkle. The same cannot be said about Minal Dusane-Mali’s designs; as for them the final outcome is a result of the combination of Minal’s personality and the client requirements. Neither is compromised for the other! She tries to put a piece of her persona in each design, which is what makes them unique. The challenge in expressing oneself through each design is to not lose sight of the client brief, as every design is for the client and his audience.

Merging new and old Hyderabadi lifestyle using mix media, fulfilling the need to showcase Hyderabadi traditions and current trends.

Communicate through graphics.
Using words and imagery to communicate are two totally different techniques; there is always an never ending debate as to which is more effective. However after observing Minal’s work most people might get swayed into thinking that illustrations are probably the way to proceed.

A caricature for a Punjabi restaurant, with a typical Sardarji chef representing the theme of the restaurant.

Colour me what?
In design there is a fad of either choosing colour or monochromes to express oneself; following one of the either somehow creates an image of the designer for their audience. However somewhere the idea has been forgotten that colour is purely a medium, the design is first composed of the sketch which may or may not be plastered by colours. Minal has a strong personality which is characterised by an even stronger palette; the make of the good designer within her is due to the fact that she knows when to pick up her brush and when to ditch it. Colour or not that is a decision to be made according to the need of the design and not for the sole purpose of expressing the design sense of the individual

Absolute India! Highlighting typical Indian design forms in a bottle design for a popular vodka company.

Colour me what?
In design there is a fad of either choosing colour or monochromes to express oneself; following one of the either somehow creates an image of the designer for their audience. However somewhere the idea has been forgotten that colour is purely a medium, the design is first composed of the sketch which may or may not be plastered by colours. Minal has a strong personality which is characterised by an even stronger palette; the make of the good designer within her is due to the fact that she knows when to pick up her brush and when to ditch it. Colour or not that is a decision to be made according to the need of the design and not for the sole purpose of expressing the design sense of the individual

A typical Punjabi couple characters for a restaurant logo.

The new way out.
How can every design be exclusive, fulfil client needs and satisfy the designer? All that in one design output seems difficult to achieve but Minal believes that every challenge has its own obstacles but also holds the path to solution. A core thought needs to be conveyed in the form of a sketch; additives to these only enhance that thought.

‘Mobies’ a.k.a Mobile styled characters have been developed for an ad campaign.

Work Closely.
Co-founders of YOMY Designs, Yogesh & Minal are passionate about design, creating an innovative product and most importantly convince the client, both these individuals have developed their own sense of design and work well as a team. They believe the whole process should revolve around the business objective of the client and how to achieve it. Also, working closely with client by updating and taking his views regularly throughout the complete design process made sure that you are not loosing focus on the client’s objective. To present matchless design, designer should keep himself or herself updated with new methods and techniques, understand trends

Published in Issue 32

If you are a recent graduate or about to finish your college then this issue may have answers to many of your questions. Like, how to get the best placement or the internship? How to present best in front of the interviewer? Which studio or agency to choose to start your career? How to work in a team or choose to be a freelancer? This issue has advice from many experts such as Ashwini Deshpande and Gopika Chowfla who gave the secrets of choosing the right intern for their well-known design teams. And on another hand, Rajaram Rajendran and Ranganath Krishnamani advise young designer to gain multiple skills and be the best at them. Also, recent MIT Post Graduate Vinta Jakkal shares her secret with which she grabbed the great opportunity of joining the Elephant Design, Pune team to start her career.

 

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David Padilla enjoys creating the imaginary world, which comes from the reality. He is heavily influenced by photography and science fiction. He likes the fantasy world as it can help you turn your imaginary thoughts into a reality. He also talks about what inspires him to create this surreal world.

Alteration. It shows the decomposition happen inside someone’s head when facing a reality.

CG: How would you define your design language?

David. I mostly use photo manipulation techniques to build my scenes by combining different images and creating a composition that represents the idea. I also use 3D programs to add depth and that extra dimensión to my work.

fantasy
Halloween. A tribute to the day of Halloween.

fantasy
Brainstorm. An explosion of ideas happens inside us when we try to create something new.

CG: Any artist who has influenced your work over the years?

David. I am inspired by artists from all disciplines of art but photography is my prime source of inspiration as the play of light and composition are the key elements that helps me in creating the scenes. In the realm of digital art, few artists who have influenced me are David Fuhrer, Valp Maciej Hajrich, Niklas Lundberg, Stu Ballinger and Mart Biemans.

Death. Skeleton figure is decorated with shapes of colours and textures.

CG: What inspires you to create the fantasy world in your artworks?

David. In my opinion the inspiration comes from what we usually do, our routines and our lifestyle but what I really like about the fantasy world is tha it’s a way to express what we can think of even though it might not be real. I am influenced by movies and books; science fiction being my favourite genre.

Extraction Point. Inspired from the video game “The Division”. It represents chaos in a lonely city.

fantasy
Drone. An experimental artwork, character with vibrating textures and colours.

CG: What is your design motto that you live by?

David. My design motto is “Less is more”. Besides being an illustrator I’m also a graphic designer at Woka, a Spanish design agency, and I always take this motto into account. I believe that beauty lies in representing the idea in the most minimalistic way possible as trying to add extra elements only adds to clutter.

Distortion. An interpretation of deformation as a core element.

CG: How do you avoid creative burnout or what do you do in case you feel creatively exhausted?

David. Experiencing something new makes a difference here but what helps me the most is travelling. I love to break the routine and travel as it is a way to disconnect and experience new cultures and landscapes. This fuels my creative thinking and inspires me.

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Art is an expression of yourself, whether you work with a team or not, design is all about putting yourself out there. Thinking creatively, acting spontaneously and satisfying a wide spectrum is what Abhishek Sawant does and urges others to do. Here he talks on how to be part of a team while still maintaining own core self.

Working in a Team

Artists are best known for working alone; the brooding, silent type. However the same does not stand true for Abhishek Sawant who knows exactly how to be part of a group in order to deliver an innovative product. He believe that working individually allows the creative juices to flow, however working in an open board design environment promotes healthy competition, eventually leading in evolution of design sensibility.

An ironic advert of rejecting the best names in football business for creating the perfect fantasy!

An ironic advert of rejecting the best names in football business for creating the perfect fantasy!

How Can You Make it?

Art is an expression of yourself; what you feel when you see a gorgeous sunset over the horizon or the inspiration from the world around us. Don’t lower your expectations or under-estimate your calibre, for nobody knows what goes on within the head of the designer; all they understand is what comes out on paper. What will make you click is subject to individuality and Abhishek finds his way when he travels or discovers a solution in scribbles on blank sheets of paper. He urges you to be yourself; as that is something nobody can take away from you.

Dark humour used to depict the effect of thick soup.
Dark humour used to depict the effect of thick soup.

Now, Don’t Lose Yourself Along the Way

At one point in life everyone is faced with the doubt, ‘What can I follow in order to succeed?’ The answer is simple and it comes from within. There are no shortcuts to succeeding as an artist; all you have to do is be true to yourself and not bend before client briefs. Use them as a guideline but never lose yourself in the process. Detailed or minimalistic, enhanced human expressions or subtlety, monochromes or vivid hues; all of the basic design principles guide you and ultimately shape your work. Accolades will come and go; clients will do the same you have to live on with your brand identity so work on that first, others are sure to follow on.

The cool ones are invited to the Bombay Times after hour party.

Advert for the popular brand Airtel celebrating the friendship.

Make the Group Succeed

A team is as strong as the weakest link. While everyone is sure to put their best foot forward, the real challenge is to make everyone overcome the obstacles together and reach a point where the group and the client both are happy. Learning how to work with and for others can be what makes or breaks you, as individually brilliant artists also have to gel with others at some point in order to achieve their goals. Enthusiastic artists bursting with passion make confident partners who win Abbys.

Innovative Dietician Visiting Card