From Bhavnagar, Gujarat, to completing his Bachelors of Commerce and Diploma in Visual Communication from Srishti School of Design, Art & Technology, Deval Maniar has been experimenting with type and wants to explore this area of design. Bored of the typical representation of Indian scripts, he took on a project, with a little help from a friend Malvika Tewari, which put him on the map.

A modern day twist of combining Japanese poems, Haiku and Gujarati script, ultimately resulting in interesting posters and a coffee table book. Bold colour, strong typography and charming poems are sure to catch the attention of almost everyone who looks at the posters. Two very dynamic, yet different cultures come together to create loud yet minimal art establishing a fact that art lies in almost everything around us, you just have to look for it.

An attempt to preserve and remind people of Gujarati literature through an age old technique of Japanese poets: Haiku. Deval combines these Japanese poems and Gujarati text into visuals that are modern and easily understandable.

Deval applies his knowledge of visual communication to create interesting posters and a coffee table book that is sure to revive the practice of Haiku and re-establish Gujarati script.

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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You are going for rebranding, but are you sure that you have chosen the correct rebranding strategy? A custom fit for your brand’s need? Here, Brand Strategy Head at VGC, Ninee Rao highlight some of the recently chosen different strategies by few well know brands and how successful it was.

Well, Change is good especially when the look, feel and importance of a beloved brand becomes dated or is inconsistent with its changed context or intent. The brand attempting a new avatar should always extend its original essence unless it is a deliberate shift from an earlier negative connotation or such. Hence, the brand makeovers are essential whether it involve a slight refinement or a deep overhaul with a radical image shift. A brand image building exercise takes a long time and the attempts to refining or redefining it should be a result of a well thought out strategy that changes the customers’ perception holistically.

Functional Brands

Brands are sending out messages incessantly, about themselves, their vision, products and all the good-to-know things. However, this only lends itself to the joy which the communication/product or the ownership allows, there is no other delight unless the brand intends on pleasantly engaging with the consumer and that creates brand stories and a special connection, which doesn’t fade away easily. This exactly is what tips the balance in favour of customer delight over mere customer satisfaction.

Emotional Dynamics

VGC repositioned and rebranded the baby product brand, Baby Dreams by J.L. Morison. We first lifted the brand from its price-warrior-commodity competitive set by developing the brand concept of ‘Smart Love’, which emphasises that a parent’s love is not only about emotions, but also about making the right and smart choice for the child. This idea of Smart Love was clearly brought out in the tagline ‘The Smart Mom’s Choice’. Further, instead of just re-imagining the logo form, we also created two powerful visual assists – two mascots – Luv and Khushi, who evolved and grew with the child’s changing needs and across the brand’s vast product offering. The mascots were created as a key branding and communication tool that held conversations with the child’s mother through the product packaging and other in-store communication mediums.

Don’t throw the brand with the bathwater!

Every once in a while, a brand that is running on an even keel will decide that it needs to shake things up a bit by contemporizing its presence. The famous Tropicana repackaging debacle is a shining example of an overzealous redesign folly that overshot the basic needs of consumer brand cognition and familiarity. The new package design made a drastic departure from its earlier perfectly loved & accepted iconic ‘orange with straw’ and visual blocking of the stylised green, Tropicana logo, which was easily perceived on a supermarket shelf ready for off-take, to a modern simplistic asymmetrical design with no information hierarchy or clear brand semantics. Within days of the new packaging launch, the sales fell by a drastic percentage, for the sheer reason that consumers could not recognise their brand on the busy supermarket shelves!

Sometimes, changes in brand expression can be disastrous, especially when it has endeared itself to consumers in its visual appeal and taste, so much so that it is part of a collective consciousness. When Coca-Cola attempted to change its famous formulation to a new one in 1985 to spike its plateauing sales, it was met with considerable resistance and shock from consumers who had grown to love the taste and find comfort in its familiarity. Therefore changes that affect a signature brand promise and import are best avoided.

Brand Booed?

The Bélo, Airbnb’s new logo intended to be a symbol of ‘belonging’ was introduced in 2014 after a yearlong rebranding exercise. At first, everything was as usual but slowly things began to unravel because among other things the new Airbnb logo was nearly identical to the new logo of another, unrelated business and very soon people started to see other unmentionable things in the Belo. Among the frenzied social media reaction was a Tumbler page showing alternate uses for the logo, a host of parodies and even a song.

Of course, while this serves as a cautionary tale, it has to be understood that any abrupt logo or name change will draw varied reactions. However, over time these will wear off and the primary (hopefully) positive association will eventually come into focus. Importantly, what’s to be learned from this is that instead of reacting adversely, Airbnb sportingly acknowledged the logo parodies and even created and shared an infographic outlining the comparisons.

Baby Steps!

When making a change in brand expression, gradually shifting gear into a new avatar may be the way to go. So, a balance of evolution and revolution is a good strategy, however, many brands like Coke evolve their brands constantly with minute changes that are recognisable only to the trained eye. However, if there is a compelling strategic need to make a shift then traipsing around it, will have little impact. In this context, Google’s refreshed brand identity is a confident move that carries the core of the existing brand personality while simplifying, articulating and expressing it more vividly. Further, Google as an identity idiom has always been so completely dynamic and shape-shifting that it will perhaps never lose relevance.


There really is no one route that will work for every brand, it has to be a holistic strategy that visits every aspect of the brand essence and evaluates the right rebranding fit. New age brands have to be responsive and relevant to the changing consumer realities or they will have to create spaces for themselves that just transcends it all.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead!


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The current generation has been a witness to the considerable shift and scale of change in technology and, thus, the way in which we do things. This is a time when there is little distinction between reality and fantasy, as the line in between is geting blur.

With so much ease, one can instantly send a photo, miles away; speak to someone, face-to-face; communicate effectively with multiple people, or even get things delivered at the doorstep. Which such ease at our fingertips (literally), design becomes highly essential, as it complements how we carry out these tasks and, so also, what we choose do, itself. Bearing this context in mind, here is a brisk and swift compilation of the most relevant and likely trends that are taking over in the digital dream, this year, 2017.

1. Mobile-oriented

As we go further and further with “better, faster, smarter” phones, everything digital is constantly being designed to increasingly improve, enhance and suit people’s experiences on the “small screen” (which, notably, has conveniently shifted from being a reference for the television to being one for a phone). This is primarily owing to the accessibility of just about everything through the phone, be it all-inclusive websites, videos, sharing, etc. something that was unimaginable until only a few years ago.

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2. A Rise in Interactivity and Motion Design

There seems to be a continuing, urgent and immediate need to include interactivity as a basic component in design, mainly because that’s what currently appears essential in order to hold an audience’s attention. Motion design is one powerful way of doing that, keeping the viewer/user engaged and interested with movement across the screen, while appealing images may be eye-catching but insufficient.

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3. Ultra Minimalism and Bold & Crisp Fonts

With so much information, out there, ultra minimalism that delivers the content quick and effectively seems to be the ideal trend to go by. Simple, neat colours; bold, clear fonts, and the likes, just enough to convey a message in an appealing yet straightforward and no-nonsense manner look to be just the need of the hour.

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4. Need of Relevant Imagery

Visuals are gaining power over the written word. In a world with abundant photos for almost everything, pictures nowadays speak even “more than a thousand words”. No more needs to be written to depict the core idea or essence of a concept at a glance, isn’t it? What cannot be said in a thousand words, can be conveyed through a visual.

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5. An UI and UX focus

Everything is going “App”. Be it groceries, clothing, and everything in between and beyond. With this influx of online purchase, it becomes all the more necessary and important to focus on UI and UX, as that is what will determine the user’s experience through the process of usage.

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The best thing about history is the way it carries on into the future and is always part of our present. For a country like India where culture and history define who and what we are, mythology is one aspect that presents designers with a hook. Story telling, science or self-exploration, mythology can be anything you want it to be, believes designer Pooja Bhapkar. More on her contemporary interpretation of the subject.

It’s all about drawing in line!

For many designers, certain elements work very well as they see beyond it, compared to the rest. For example, working with lines and using a strong sense of symbolism. Changing the texture of lines changes the meaning. Lines can be rhythmic, straight, diagonal, zig zags, swirls, rounded shapes, decorative forms and of course a bit of abstraction. An abundance of repetitive patterns create rhythm and adds drama to the overall artwork. It’s like a line puzzle where the audience submerges to follow the lines and read the overall picture. This gives the artwork a flowing energy.

Shravan Calligraphy. Inspired by nature and the aromas that dictate our mood, calligraphy dedicated to the fifth month of the Hindu calendar is depicted using fine lines.

Modernise the traditional.

India is laden with a rich cultural history and if young generations really try and understand the Hindu mythology, one can see how informative and scientific it all is. One does not have to be religious or too cultural to get inspired from such works. A way to look at mythology is to represent them as energies and interpret it in a manner that you understand. Then, it’s a matter of recreating that representation in a creative form, whether one creates Gods and Goddesses as superheroes or contemporary forms that become a story for everyone to understand. Discover the core and the rest will fall in place.

Solah Shringar. This beautiful design portrays Goddess Lakshmi In ‘Solah shringar’ or sixteen adornments of a Hindu bride on her wedding day.

Practice colour coded designs.

For those who use symbolism in their designs, colour is extremely important. And to help separate and space out intricate designs, colour helps to segregate portions, only enhancing the narrative of a design. They also aid in enhancing the rhythm and deciding the eye direction by making the focus more prominent.

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! Order your copy today!


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Though we are a country full of festivals all around the year, but this special time of year when not only you change your calendar but also the gifts, family dinners, celebrations and new year resolutions all makes it a special time in everyone’s life. Nithin Rao Kumblekar decided to capture this memorable time for the cover of Creative Gaga. Here he explains his thought process and step by step tutorial.

For any painting, to begin with, sketching is not only the most basic but the most important thing. The whole painting depends on it and can be considered as the backbone of any painting.


Here, I have focused on the subject from the top angle with slight fisheye effect. I did some scribbles first and then fine tune the outlines to make the subject clearer for the next stage. For sketching, I use Adobe Photoshop with Wacom Cintiq monitor and several different brushes which give the real feel of sketching with the pencil.

I normally use “Hard Round Pressure Size” brush by enabling brush pressure as well as thickness buttons in the top brush control panel. This will serve the purpose of getting the pencil sketch effect. This feature is also useful while colouring.

I have kept the main source of light from top hence the play of light and shadows are pretty simple in this illustration. Also, the characters expressions play very well depending on how we choose to place the light source.

Here, I wanted to get the festive feel in the entire colour tone. So I chose to get the orange and yellow tone which gives a warm feeling in the environment. The final colour tone can also be achieved even at the last stage by adding just a flat colour layer on top of all layers and then by trying different mode options in the layer pallet. But here, I chose to set the colour tone layer by layer. I did not use any colour filters, as I mostly knew which tone the final illustration should have.

The character colouring steps

To avoid any spill of colours at this stage, start by creating the characters and the props in different layers. And If you want to colour a specific part without disturbing the nearby object then you need to create each and everything in different layers and then group it under the character or the object name.


For example, in this illustration, I’ve created layers for the skin and clothes within the characters. And for the background, there are many layers for all the objects and that is where you may get confused.


When you have multiple layers then the convenient way to work on the desired layer is to hold the control/command key and then click on the part of the illustration that you want to select. The correct layer will be selected and then for colouring, again hold the control/command key and click on the selected layer under the layer panel, this will highlight/select the layer with selection marquee and you can begin the colouring. There won’t be any spill of the colour outside this selection.

After all the characters and objects are coloured it is time for the background light fixes. In these images, you can see the difference as I’ve added slight glow as well as little shadows to make the characters stand out. And finally after completing everything sometimes you might want to change the size of some objects or change few colours. Since we had everything in layers it is easier to do these minor adjustments even at the final stage. I had increased the size of the boy by about 15%. And we have reached the final illustration.

I almost forgot to mention one important thing that to always save the file and keep duplicating it. As sometimes, the file might get corrupted due to some system error or something else. But If you have duplicate files then you don’t have to begin the illustration from scratch. So saving is a good habit but duplicating the files is even better. Good Luck!

Published in Issue 35

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. 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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Mimicking nature is no small task, especially when it involves a moody and constantly swinging factor such as the weather. Yet, watercolour artist from Pondicherry, Nadees Prabou, attempts to bring to life nature’s aspects in the most realistic representations possible, through his watercolour paintings of different weather situations

Rainy Day. A typical scenario of a small town going about on a rainy day, achieved by using the ‘Spreading’ method, wherein the sheet is soaked before applying paint.
Rushing cattle. The fury of bulls as they make their way across the ground, splashing and thudding through their path, as they gallop and leap in a collective effort. The splash of red and brown represents their furious dash.
Summer Street. Warm colours used to highlight the hot summer effect, in effort to portray a sunny day in a small town where people are going about the day.

Inspiration shapes and gives flow to one’s work.

Inspiration is important, and being inspired is what gives direction to not only your chosen style of art but also the way you actually conceive it during execution; unfold it on the canvas, and finally manifest it as a whole. Likewise, the weather has always inspired Nadees Prabou, ever since his childhood. He’s always admired the varying force and power of nature, and the impact it has on the surroundings, including the lives of beings (be it trees, animals or people) that are subject to it. An example of this being evident would be factors such as the strong force of the wind, and the dampness everywhere around, portrayed in his paintings that depict the monsoon time.

Bullock Cart. A bullock cart amidst a city-like scenario – a phenomenon that is exclusive and common to India, but rare to find in other parts of the world. Deep and dark shades used to add character to the typical scene.
Summer Street. Various street scenarios on a summer day in the town or city, as people go about with their daily lives. A temperate image created through the use of warm and vibrant shades.

The artist’s fluctuating mood, just like the weather, affects the larger picture.

To depict weather means to mimic its aliveness, and that is something not easy to do. Yet, it is something that can be seen in his paintings through the blending of contrasting shades, monotones used to depict a typical form of different weather conditions, and techniques he seemingly applies, such as those of spreading or smudging, loose and irregular forms, the characteristic or typical watercolour effects and the likes. This effective use of colours to achieve the depth in portraying the right atmosphere ican’t be explained in words, as he feels that it’s something to be observed practically only and feel it. This is probably because the moods he starts out depicting at the beginning of the painting process, might end up differently towards the end, and could be completely different in the final output, constantly fluctuating, as does his mood like the very weather.

Gandhi statue. A popular runs along a notable beach of Pondicherry, bearing a large statue of the nation’s icon, Gandhi. Here, the rainy mood of the south Indian region has been applied through warm colours.
Rushing cattle. The fury of bulls as they make their way across the ground, splashing and thudding through their path, as they gallop and leap in a collective effort. The splash of red and brown represents their furious dash.

Following trends or not is a personal choice one has to make.

Each artist has an individual and respective view or opinion about going by creative trends that might be in vogue at the time, and so also about either accepting or defying them to various personally defined extents. In Nadees’s case, he feels that it is effective to be a “Contemporary Artist” rather than being a realistic artist, which might generally translate to producing whatever catches an audience’s attention at that point in time. As a result, he admits to including creative practices that may be in trend at the time, into his paintings.


Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!


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How does one express forms that cannot be seen by the naked eye; heard by the ear, or even felt by touch through visuals? That process is what visionary digital artist Aashit Singh, takes us through, as he explains the various aspects that go into such an act.

SUGULITE a.k.a LAVULITE. The Hindu Goddess of the Spoken Words; the source of wisdom and the ability to communicate it to others, commissioned for a psychedelic music festival called Digital Journey.

Creating The Dream.

‘Visual Enlightenment’ and ‘Illuminated Refinement’, generally, are the two most inspiring inner states to convey otherworldly imagery. The intense and deliberate use of progressive imagery and symbolism replicating itself on either side (i.e. reality or dream) helps produce that uncharacteristic effect – mainly due to the merging of the stories and the elements that help narrate it. Likewise, highlights, ethereal and vivid colour tones enhance the illusory environment of the artwork. A lot of elemental play also exists between the revealed and the exposed. The fine balance of the detailing in these elements is most important for the subject and its environment, giving a more subtle amalgamated look and feel to the overall imagery.

INDIAN STANDARD TIME. A Personal work from 2016.

Mixing Fantasy With Realism.

At a certain level, psychedelic art is an extension of psychedelic visions i.e. physical phenomena entirely relies on reality in the immediate environment we identify with, thereby making the illusory experience more relatable & complete. So, realism is about as important as the intention to communicate the dreaminess successfully, particularly in terms of the visual capability of the artscape.

PSYṚTAMBARA PRAJÑ. The psychedelic knowledge that holds ‘The Ultimate Truth’. Commissioned for a psychedelic music festival organised by Mass Effect Entertainment, Goa.

Symmetry is Not Exclusive, But A Universal Quality.

Balance is, usually, a desirable characteristic of any artwork. Many people automatically gravitate to symmetry. In form, we are fundamentally symmetrical, after all – two eyes; two ears; two hands, etc. So, in an artwork, that sense of symmetry is very capable of bringing about deep gaze and focus due to the sub-conscious awareness of the two sides.


Sometimes, depending on the environment, using certain symbols in symmetric style eases visual understanding, because symbols are more easily interpreted. Patterns play a very crucial role as well – the multiplicity of a variety of shapes and colours, when combined together, have a very different meaning and emotion in the overall view of the artwork, especially as minimal overlays are layered within the master elements of the story.

INTRO.INSPECTION. A daunting piece, commissioned for a psychedelic gig by Technical Hitch India Tour, New Delhi.

The Impact of Current Evolutionary Trends.

Technology is becoming the channel for expression and inspiration. Converting statistical data into art or music seems to be the direction in which the trend is moving towards at the moment. Yet, of course, eventually, it’s human intuition that must drive how that data is applied and executed. The trend towards progressive and multi-faceted art forms is on its level up, stemming to a variety of new art forms and interpretations that look promising.

THE VENUSARY. An uplifting piece wrapped in yellow-golden, commissioned for a three-day psychedelic festival, SpiritGust Festival, Goa, 2016.

Adding to these, at a certain level, collaborations in art or any creative field(s) have always been significantly successful. It brings about a great togetherness of mind-spaces, and an exclusive preview of intentions and executions across various platforms.


Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!


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