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Nico Castro

Born in Beunos Aires but based in Spain, Nico Castro is a Creative Designer and Art Director. Honouring the colour, composition, and oddity, he has worked in TV Branding, high quality visuals and animation.


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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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Design Stack spells out the major and minor of rebranding State Bank of India from its conventional state to one more representative of current times and digital services.

Brief

Design Stack was to create a new visual identity for State Bank of India, the nation’s largest and iconic Bank. Since SBI had stepped up its efforts towards developing digital products and services, a paradigm shift from its traditional methods to one more fitting towards, and in tune with, current times. The task lay in improvising upon its identity alongside to reflect the needs of an increasingly digitised world.

Concept

The key was to appeal to a new, growing and emerging audience while also retaining the trust of the bank’s existing customers – In other words, one that would translate to a new identity that built on the brand’s legacy and trust, yet imbibed a new energetic and dynamic nature. Since the State Bank of India monogram has been synonymous with the brand, for so long, it made sense to preserve and refine it, instead of changing it altogether and shocking its identity. The monogram was opened up to create more space. A step towards being contemporary, “State Bank of India” was abbreviated into “SBI”, to make it more relatable. The colour palette was expanded for scale and play, too. The deep, ink-like blue represents trust and integrity. A youthful yellow was introduced, alongside, for generating a contrast and contemporary feel.

Outcome

The brand now retains its core values, while harvesting a new look and feel. It is completely new in characteristic, and, at the same time, also recognisable by its’ original individuality. It is now perceived as more open and approachable.

State bank of India
State bank of India
State bank of India
State bank of India
State bank of India

Arnab Biswas, a true citizen of the world, who was born near the Indian-Bhutan border, grew up in Kolkata, post graduated in New Delhi and currently living with his Polish wife in Germany, is fluent in English, Hindi, Bengali and learning German and know how to order his beer in Polish. He shares, how travel has helped him be what he is today!

Travel makes you more open-minded and hence a better person. The more I immerse myself into a completely different culture the more I feel the benefits of that interaction in my work. As an advertising professional, I always hunt for a human insight, the more diverse the better. You can’t just google it.

I believe, travelling should push your limits and put you in challenging situations, which teaches you to think creatively, especially if you don’t know the local language. In many ways, it helps you identify who you really are.

Travelling in a foreign country can be very eye opening. It is absolutely crucial for the creative growth. A changed environment stimulates your brain in ways, which wouldn’t be if you stayed in the same place. I definitely get revitalised by simply experiencing new things, culture, food etc. It’s also an easy way to get out of a creative block since a livelier mind is a more creative one.

I recommend you to get your hands dirty and go to an offbeat place, though chilling at a resort may help you unwind for a while, but mixing with the locals and completely immersing yourself in the culture is what really unlocks the creativity. In the best case, live in that country for a while. Although going abroad is obviously not a possibility for everyone but it doesn’t have to be, India is diverse enough, it does work as long as you keep an open mind.

Also before travelling, work delivery and deadlines always need to be sorted. As you can never be at peace if you have unfinished work back in office so try to complete it to the best of your abilities before leaving for a longer journey. I try to plan everything to the last detail but it is easier said than done because if you work in advertising, things are changing constantly. It also does help a lot if you have supporting colleagues/bosses who step in and help you out.

Published in Issue 33

We all face it! But everyone has their own unique way to come out of it, in this issue we try to explore these different ideas of handling the ‘Creative Burnout’. The most common of all was travelling, through everyone do it in their own unique style. Like Luke Ritchie from South Africa finds the nature and mountains as the best source of inspiration while Sushant Ajnikar says riding his bike and meeting four-legged loyal friends, dogs, on the way is the best way to learn. This issue is bundled with inspirations and suggests you to travel a lot. So, pack your bags and don’t forget to subscribe your copy before you leave!

 

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Concept Artist, Sahil Trivedi, shares his process of adding various layers to his work, and balancing the colour palette and light, to produce an effective and impactful design. He feels connecting to work in a steady and gradual process which helps optimise the final outcome.

Form Connect.

Sahil Trivedi trusts in approaching one’s subject and its various aspects in a clear, straight and gradual manner, so as to arrive at its intended fruition in a steady and assured way. Here, he explains his process behind creating artwork step-by-step that is not only clear in direction and balanced in colour but also aptly treated on the whole.

subject

Step 1

First and foremost, take a moment to consider what works best in the interest of your subject. This will help you connect and give direction to the piece. Read forms, and start out with basic line-art. With this, you shall be able to see the form and content clearly.

subject

Step 2

Select the area of rendering, and fill-in any mildly dark shade. I prefer this technique so that I only have to work on highlights; it also saves a lot of time. Then create a cut-out of the image, and place it in a layer behind the lines.

subject

Step 3

Determine the effect and direction of lighting you want your artwork to have. Here, I have kept the light source at the top-front. Conceive the whole piece in 3D form, with respect to the shades, highlight and bounce-light that will suit your structure, style and need.

subject

Step 4

Colour is the most important aspect. I focus on balancing the colour palette, keeping it vivid and fresh. For example, if I had green on top, it would balance out with blue; they should complement each other and not be in conflict. Be very specific about which colours you use, since they hold the beauty that will catch the viewers’ attention.

subject

Step 5

Render out different materials, and add source values/textures. Also, be very precise about bounce-light or reflective light or tones. It must seem very organic and pleasant to the eyes. Here, I have detailed a bit more adding ‘burn’ effects to the eye. It can be very specific or even loose.

subject

Step 6

Finally, the treatment is very important. Here, I have added some foliage layers to give the sculpture an organic feel. Plants always make a composition alive and fresh. I’ve also added colour dodge (formula red) in some areas to make them attractive. The overall ambient light helps to balance my colour palette and not saturate it.

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. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. 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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Designer, Ranganath Krishnamani, banks on the nostalgic thoughts of rushing out onto the street upon the arrival of assorted carts and their owners who were frequent on the busy streets of Bangalore

The Brief.

A self-initiated project that connects Ranganath to his Bangalorean roots! As a child growing up in any Indian city, you get attracted to the colours and calls of carts and their owners that would typically pass by most homes. A similar emotion irked this project as every time these, thelas passed by Ranganath’s home would peek his imagination and would compel him to run out of home to observe what they had to offer in that cart.

The Concept.

This series is dedicated to the thelas, a supermarket on the streets of India. They are ubiquitous in most Indian cities yet much understated. From colourful flowers to fresh vegetables, shaved ice-golas to flavourful snack that can have your taste buds roaring, they form the cultural lifeline, fulfilling the essential needs of any household across all Indian towns.

The Outcome.

This is an ongoing project for Ranganath and through this series, he hopes to document some of the most vibrant and unique carts from cross India.

Indian thelas
Flavourful Snack (Chaat).
Indian thelas
Sugarcane Juicer
Indian thelas
Shaved Ice with edible colours
Indian thelas
Chai and Cigarettes
Indian thelas
Vivid, Colourful Bangles
Indian thelas
Peanuts

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. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. 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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Sagar Gajjar an IT engineer who always wanted to be a designer, learned his skills from the Google and YouTube. His experimental nature turn him from a techie to a confident artist who plays with lines and contours.

Panther.

We are already into an age where sketching on a paper or a tablet make no difference. A brush or stylus holds an equal importance. As long as the purpose is addressed, it doesn’t matter which medium or tools you use. Living in the best of both worlds, this techie is set to experiment and engineer each art technique one after another!

Owl.
Lion.

As the whole creative industry is moving digital, the future of art will be highly entangled if not aligned with technology and trends.

 

Creative industry is one of the few where the competition is still not that fierce, which give us the freedom to experiment and find our own paths of progress.

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. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. 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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Inspired from Indian trends Pavan Rajurkar portrays popular Bollywood themes or dialogues to convey the features of Mymedisyn app. The illustrations use humour to leave a mark on the user’s subconscious.

The Brief

The client wanted to promote its app and the facilities provided by it. A major challenge was to break the clutter of ‘monotonous ways of communication’.

The Concept

Being bombarded by depressing questions by medical organisations, led to the usage of Bollywood dialogues to lighten up the situation and convey the message of Mymedisyn app in fun way. In India, Bollywood enjoys a deep reach – from lower class to uneducated to poor to rich, so it seems an appropriate carrier of the message.

The Outcome

The output was far better than expected and so was the response to it. It was humorous yet informative at the same time. Somehow it hit the funny bones of the people and also leaves a desired mark on their subconscious.

dialogues, mymedisyn
dialogues, mymedisyn

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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Freelance UX designer, Arun Pattnaik advocates that your brand can either have good or a bad UX but ‘no UX’ is impossible. A well thought out user experience can create multifold value for any brand. He explains, why we should not ignore the finer details and focus more on creating a great user experience.

UX or user experience is what you feel while using a product. When a product makes you feel good, you know it’s designed well; if not, it means the UX is either badly designed or not designed at all. Good UX helps a product in increasing conversions, reducing abandonment, & building customer loyalty. This doesn’t just happen by accident. Apart from basic principles of graphic and content design, UX design takes into account issues of sociology, anthropology as well as cognitive psychology.

 

Let’s understand it with some examples of good UX.

Flights Tickets.

Booking flights was a hassle for a long time until Virgin America came up with their new design. It completely transformed the UX of flight booking by letting the user focus on one step at a time in a beautiful, unconventional interface. You start with their departure location and destination and then go to a page to determine the number of passengers followed by a page to select seat assignments. By reducing information overload and a clean, playful interface, Virgin America not only made bookings easy but also fun.

good UX

Train Bookings.

A few years ago, booking a train ticket in India was a nightmare. Because IRCTC had a terrible UX & Indian travellers didn’t have a choice but to deal with it. But then came the travel portals like MakeMyTrip & Cleartrip with great UX and changed the game. Today these companies are growing exponentially. Conversely, IRCTC is losing ground because of its horrific user experience.


Losing To The Competition.

UX focused products are massively disrupting the industries worldwide. Like Uber is in transportation, Airbnb is in hospitality, and the list goes on. Look at how the good old cable or satellite TV is on the deathbed because brands like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are offering users a much better experience. The bottom line is – if your UX is not providing enough value, you will lose your users to competition.

 

Take brands like Apple and Google for example and imagine what would have happened if these companies didn’t give a good user experience. They might be giants now, but they had to start somewhere and they started with great experiences. The experiences defined their brands.


The Finer Details.

Think about how the word Disneyland makes you feel; one gets excited merely by hearing the brand name- because we know Disneyland’s user experience is beautifully crafted, paying attention to the very last detail. This is the value a good UX can bring to your brand; as you will always remember how a product made you feel.

 

When you care for your users, it shows. While designing your product, keep empathy in mind. It will help you create a product that will make your users truly happy, and in return, your users will love your brand. Good UX is an investment, which will start giving returns immediately.

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. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. 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!

 

Order Your Copy!