The subconscious is a powerful inspiration cauldron. Without one’s knowledge, experiences, emotions, and beliefs find their way into anything one creates. Designer duo, Shrinivas and Shivaram of 9Twenty Creative talk about what makes them experiment with that wily mistress, imagination.

Bumjo Turns Pink
Bumjo Turns Pink

Imagination is where intelligence has fun.

The subconscious is a pot overflowing with ideas. And when two heads ponder over it, the result is a mix of thoughts that are free expressions of both. Entering the realm of surreal and inexplicable gives the freedom to do whatever the pen wants.


On the way, trying to figure out the design philosophy, dabbling in the uncertain, unresolved realm of the subconscious. This results in a progressive moulding of the creative synergy that binds together any collaboration.


Surrealism stems from life.

Each artist is a source of untapped inspiration.The subconscious is a powerful inspiration cauldron. Before you know, your experiences, emotions and beliefs find their ways into anything you create. The subconscious is the universe. Our thought process is unfettered. This perhaps results in the varied, bizarre forms that our works exhibit.


Arriving at an idea is not a process but an experience.

Two heads bring to the table different perspectives. A heated brainstorming session leads to a potpourri of ideas and media. And suddenly, a pattern emerges; a combination arises almost as if it was tailor-made. Different areas of interest thrown together create unique visual performances.


The right feel and combination is not a structured process. A subliminal sense helps create the story with the elements.

Clients do understand creativity.

There seems to be a general consensus that clients are evil creatures who do not understand the vastness of the creative idea. We have not had to divert too far from the original concepts with the clients we have dealt with so far. We put forward our creative thoughts and try to stick with them.


Incorporating client preferences to mesh with the original concept also requires creative agility and should probably be treated as a creative challenge by itself. Having clients give us creative inputs makes the final output stronger.

An idle brain is nobody’s workshop.

It is difficult for any creative brain to sit idle. The exhilaration lies in experimenting with different media. The saying ‘You may fail when you attempt but are doomed if you don’t try!’ has always been an inspiration. Origami, illustrations, photography, designs; there is still a lot more to cover.


The challenge lies in extending an idea to different media. The execution, the adaptation, and the exhilaration at the final result drive us to try something different each time.

There’s a real delight in putting pen to paper.

Yes, there is a certain thrill in dipping a brush in ink and swirling it across a white sheet. This training and experience in the traditional process is a must-have for any designer. The feedback that you get from the physical feel of a brush on canvas or folding paper is something that you just cannot argue with.


While the classic will always have its place, using technology for easing workflow and quickening turnaround time is only common sense.

The road to the imagination is never-ending.

It is never easy to start by being different. A roller-coaster ride with the ups and downs with all the twists and turns awaits every artist. This is a never-ending journey. And for a designer, just moving ahead with all the new experiences is the key.

Published in Issue 06

With festive cover, this issue offers in-depth insights into contemporary jewellery design, controlling light in your photo shoots, surreal illustration by 9Twenty studios and many more! So, if you like to take a deep plunge into the imagination and inspirational word of these artists, don’t miss this issue and order your copy here!


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55


Most of the times, the best possible way to express and promote an idea is the easiest and is right there in front of our eyes, but we often tend to ignore it. Sona Signature Papers cracked a brilliant advertising scheme to create a statement through the use of a simple calendar, ‘Daily Dose of Art’.

Sona Paper Calendar

For a company to be successful, it is of utmost importance to reach out to ones’ clients in the simplest and easiest way possible.

For a paper company like Sona to showcase the different types of creative papers it produces, it was an exceptionally smart idea to create their 2018-19 calendar not as just a calendar, but as 365 different canvases, representing all the different paper varieties available! This calendar is called the ‘Daily Dose of Art’ as it portrayed 365 exceptional works of art created by 365 young artists from all over India.

Every single day and date is unique in itself as it has been customised by the artists in their own individual art styles. This calendar will make each day colourful, bright and different as the art styles used are infinite. In fact, it is not only limited to two-dimensional styles like charcoal, oil-painting, water-colours, pencil-art, typography, illustrations and graphic-art but also includes three-dimensional hand-crafted and clay art.

The Mumbai-based creative agency ‘The Social Street’ was engaged in the creation of this calendar.

It is not only a portfolio of upcoming artists, but it also goes a long way in becoming a first-of-its-kind paper catalogue for Sona to display some of the exclusive range of creative fine papers.

This calendar was first showcased in Bangalore in an event jointly organised by Sona Papers and HP India. Since the time of this calendar’s launch, it has been in the limelight and has been accredited with a silver and two bronze awards at Creative Abby Awards, a part of the GOAFEST 2018.

This “Daily Dose of Art”, not only helped Sona Papers to advertise their products in a beautiful manner but also made a statement through a piece of art!

Creative Gaga - Issue 55


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With trends changing at light speed, no one wants to be left behind. With new trends, come new ways of self-promotion and expression, for everyone wants to make their own mark in this huge world of popping talents. So neither should you be left behind in exploring what it takes your portfolio to be noticed and be unique!

Diving into an ocean full of talent across countries and continents is not at all easy. It needs a certain methodology to be followed to remain afloat. The first and the most important step is being easily discoverable across various media and there’s no better tool than creating a portfolio website showcasing ones’ works to achieve this.


Creating a portfolio or personal website can be quite cumbersome. But following the tips here can definitely make life simpler!

1. User-Friendly Interface

As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression and so the first look of the website should be able to capture the viewers’ attention for them to explore further. This is easily achieved when the screen looks user-friendly, indicating a simple navigation system through the website.

Portfolio Website

Sweety & Co. is a multidisciplinary team that aims at creating emotional bonds between people, products and brands through design. Their goal is to transform the product into objects of desire through sweetness, vibrancy and joy and this is very easily understandable from the organisation of their website. This indeed transmits signals of easy and direct navigation to what one wants.

2. Simple and Easy Language

Impressing a reader is all about the play of words but sometimes being basic is all it takes to grab the needed attention.


The quality of the written content is an important factor when it comes to promoting oneself. Use of simple words at the right places in a smart manner can make all the difference.

Being simple and easy is not just through word usage, but the content arrangement on the main and sub pages also matters. Optimising the content for a desktop and a mobile is needed at present considering the fact browsing is possible from anywhere and everywhere. This is a perfect example of a website with simple and easy language.

3. Graphical Representation

Browsing through a website is usually followed by the website’s graphical content and representation leaving an impact on the reader’s mind. In order to have a positive impact on peoples’ mind, the designer must pay attention to the graphical data put up.


Adding small and minute details speak for itself and show the readers the interest that one takes in designing even the not-so-important parts of the personal website. This gives the designer an edge over the others as not everyone focusses on these intricacies.


Being monotonous with just visual imagery or long paragraphs of written text is a big no-no as it only drives the readers away. Balancing out between the visual imagery and its written counterpart is a must for a site to have more traffic.


Sometimes what works out is following a theme.

Malika Favre, a London-based French graphic artist has used her profession to her advantage in creating her portfolio website. This has a just right balance of graphics, composition, colours and text to make the reader aware of the skill set of the designer!

Not too less and not too much!


Nike, as we all know is known to come up with the best of the advertising styles. This part of their website, in particular, focuses on ‘Show of Force’ through words and visuals in equilibrium and is easily comprehended by the reader.

4. Static and Dynamic Elements

As we all know that it’s a human tendency to be attracted to moving objects compared to still objects, so sometimes a small animated element does the magic of seeking attention. These animations are referred to as gifs.


Readily available for download and also easy to create in photoshop, gifs surely do make a difference to the overall appearance of a website.

Bleed is an independent design consultancy that helps clients in creating outstanding experiences and identities. Their goal is very visible through their own website design which has a smart mix of moving and still content. The moving content, in particular, keeps the viewer glued to discover what’s next.

5. Conveying and Communicating

In today’s’ times, being successful invariably means standing out from the crowd. This is very easily possible when the designer is able to communicate about who he is, what he does and what he has to offer.

Adam is a creative digital designer and developer specialising in interactive experiences for web, mobile and
tablet devices. His specialisation can be seen and experienced the minute one enters his website. This is a big conveying factor and acts as a guarantor for the client about the quality of work that the designer will deliver. The designer should be aware that the reader is also the business-giver for the designer.


Keeping the above-mentioned pointers in mind while designing a personal website, the designer can strike a balance between the written content and the visualisations in order to convey his point to the reader or the business-giver in an interesting way.

6. The Essence

For any piece of work to be lively, communicative and energetic, it needs to have the spirit of its designer, else it is just a piece of work.

Fabio Bergamaschi is an information and visual designer, who has used the skills of his profession to create his personal website. The use of a single colour to highlight certain points is a smart choice. This showcases a perfect balance of text, visuals and positive and negative space.

Creative Gaga - Issue 55


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Brice Chaplet aka Mr.Xerty is a self-taught freelancer graphic-designer and Illustrator based in Paris, France. Having decided to go independent in 2007, he quit his job as a junior graphic designer at an automotive company and today specializes in digital art and mixed media artworks, importantly turning his passion into his job.

Featured In

Pencil or stylus? Paper or touch screen? This is just a start to the long list of questions that are swimming in every designer’s mind today. They say change is the only constant but has digitalisation really taken over the traditional methods? Would there be a time when the pencil will be forgotten forever like writers have forgotten a fountain pen? We discuss the issue with famous Indian designers and try to understand what they think. This issue also has some very talented and unique designer like Sachin Puthran, Raghava KK, Ramanjeet Kaur and Pavan Rajurkar got featured along with much more. Mr. Xerty and Amrei Hofstatter came with unique interpretation in our MadeIn section.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 55



Polishing century-old successful brand values to be in possession of a fresh and refined visual identity for ones’ clients and competitors is a must-do these days. “The Ruby Mills Ltd” aka “Ruby”, rebranded in collaboration with Elephant Design, is a perfect example to follow.


Ruby Mills has incorporated a century ago in the year of 1917 as a composite textile mill and still continues to grow its operations in manufacturing of cotton and blended fabrics.


With a track record of innovation and progressive business practices, Ruby Mills wanted to enter the next century with a clear brand positioning, well-defined values and a refreshed visual identity.


Ruby Mills teamed with Elephant, one of India’s leading brand strategy and design firms to showcase its transformation with a new brand identity system.


Rebranding a legacy that has been a significant part of India’s journey from fighting for #Swadeshi to proudly #MakeInIndia for over a century was a huge responsibility. Elephant was tasked with realigning the brand for today’s progressive aspirations while keeping the heritage & dignity intact.

Elephant wanted to develop the existing visual equity of Ruby in a contemporary manner, keeping its visual language flexible enough for online & offline media and product representation.


Inputs from stakeholders, top management and business associates led the Elephant team to reiterate & articulate values for the company. Inspiration was drawn from the brand’s core values of innovation, sustainability, ethical & responsible manufacturing and excellence in quality to build an ownable palette of icons for various communication needs.

Each icon was created with the same visual grammar and treatment as the logo symbol created for the brand. This was done in order to convey innovation and expertise of the brand and make it easier to adapt sub-brands and other business verticals.


The brand name connoted preciousness and worked as a solid foundation to work with. Using the structure of a Ruby, a dynamic and vibrant logo rooted in the brand’s tradition, fused with a contemporary flair was designed.

The red heart in the logo denotes passion, one of the brand’s core principles. An accent colour was added to show the brand’s evolving and multifaceted nature.


The new brandmark consists only the name ‘Ruby’, doing away with the entire company name “The Ruby Mills Ltd” in the previous visual identity. The new typeface for the logo was made in uppercase, with an amalgamation of smooth and sharp edges.


The variation of colours in the logo opened up a colour palette for designing the visual language. A library of graphics and visuals was created, entirely customizable with the brand’s requirements. This made Ruby adaptable and gave them the flexibility to foray into newer areas and ventures in the future.

The new logo and visual language were launched in a trade show, where it received a phenomenal response from existing trade associates as well as potential ones. The new identity was found completely aligned to the Ruby legacy and its progressive future. The Ruby team is in the process of implementing the newly designed language throughout their portfolio and intends to complete it in 2018.

Client: Ruby Miils
Design Studio: Elephant Design
Solution: Rebranding, Visual-Identity Design

Creative Gaga - Issue 55


Dynamite Design shows us how they produce impactful TV branding in a time when digital entertainment production and consumption is at an all time high.

CG. What, according to you, are the most fundamental and essential aspects of TV branding?

Dynamite: 3 things. Format, Genre and Audience. To smoothly navigate our layouts, it becomes essential to consider which format, either SD or HD, we are broadcasting in. Similarly, when dealing with a diverse set of genres such as movies, general entertainment, sports and so on, we take into account each genre’s uniquely different requirements. Finally, we make sure we understand who the audience is, based on demographics and tastes, as these further help us determine our approach to our design process.

CG. How is designing for the TV different from designing for other mediums?

Dynamite: We are out here creating new brands because someone, somewhere has identified a gap, and as a design house our mission is to occupy that space with as much responsibility in as beautiful and relevant a manner as possible. The design process is pretty much the same as when you design for any medium. The difference here is that the solution is not a static frame or a product, but a dynamic system that literally breathes life and character into the channel.

CG. What helps decide the tone of the visuals?

Dynamite: It is the audience, genre and format. When we design for an HD channel, we know we are dealing with a more evolved audience. Also, HD allows us to use a larger gamut of colours and gradients that the SD format can’t support. So, from imagery to typography, colours, gradients, and the palette, everything opens up completely when we are designing an HD channel.

CG. What is the main motive to achieve when creating TV branding, and how do you make sure it’s engaging?

Dynamite: The main motive is to present content in the best way possible. So, we keep in mind how the viewers’ eye needs to move and register information in a seamless and effortless manner. The biggest motive really is for the viewer to enjoy the experience, even during the breaks. So our job is really to create packaging that is sticky, and to keep the viewers engaged throughout their TV viewing hours.

CG. What is the overall approach and process you follow in your works for television?

Dynamite: We ask a lot of questions! This helps our clients articulate their ‘marketing’ brief in an informal and honest manner. Once we feel we’re on the same page, we take it back to the team for our brainstorm sessions. We are a pretty old school in our approach. In such a saturated market, any new player coming in has to have a unique proposition for the viewer. As a standard, content is always king.

If the broadcaster has to survive or be noticed; it is imperative that the carriage of that content/programming is well thought through. If it’s not presented interestingly enough, no one’s going to give it a chance. So, we really have to get a core understanding of the brand in place before we start our process.

TV Branding

For each of the Broadcast properties, it is identifying the core values that differentiate them in the mind of the consumer Branding then is simply a matter of creating communication that connects the broadcast brand instantly and intuitively to the targeted consumer.

CG. What is your advice to others practising?

Dynamite: Follow a clearly defined process. Be committed to what you have to offer. Don’t cut corners, as this is a profession that requires educating our clients about the value of branding. This is our constant struggle and quest. We have a talent pool of amazing designers in this country, yet, most of our clients prefer working abroad with international agencies. We need to be able to build trust, accountability and align as partners if we need to break that stereotype.

Issue 40-Motion Graphics Special

Published in Issue 40

We all have favourite TV shows and we passionately discuss the stories and characters of it. But sometimes, we tend to ignore the channel and its branding. Now with many different channels to choose from, we are experiencing many new branding overhauls to grab the audience’s attention. This issue features interviews with some of the well-known studios and teams of Motion Graphics from India and overseas, including FutureDeluxe Studio from London, Dynamite Design, Adaar and RocketScience Lab from India. It also includes digital artist, Renju MV, highlighting his exceptional control over the medium. If you are interested in moving design or animated content then this issue is a must-read for you!


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55


Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist, Ranjeet Singh, tries to depict magnification and perspective through his fantasy digital painting of a huge bull and a tiny wizard amidst a majestic and mystical environment. He emphasises on paying specific attention to the details of lighting, depth, tone and the likes, so as to achieve the conceived visuals.

Paying enough attention to detail is what it mostly takes to transmit the desired effect onto a canvas. Ranjeet Singh expresses and displays how the characters and surrounding elements in a visual come together and interact with each other, providing meaningful context to an illustration when aspects such as contrast, detail, light and tone of colour are effectively managed to create balanced imagery.

Step 1

To begin with, the white canvas was dyed blue to give it a feel of gradient. Using a brush, a sketch of the subject was then made to have a blueprint of the imagery. For sketching and painting, Adobe Photoshop was used with Wacom Intuos and different custom-made brushes.

Step 2

The next step was to paint the clouds and fog in the background, elements that were key and essential to determining the context of the overall imagery. At the same time, it was also necessary to lay a basic tone in the characters, thereby merging and maintaining a balance between the different layers.

Step 3

The next step in line, vitally, was to give a dark tone and a somewhat blue light to showcase and highlight the details in muscle. Details like these in the character, and some patches in foreground too, contributed to creating the desired effect and visual experience through the setting and the subject. It goes on to add the much-desired depth and substance to the picture.

Step 4

As the light source was chosen to be shown from the top, lighter toned colours were used on the character. This was followed by blending those layers to create a uniformly balanced effect and set the overall graphic tone and feel of the visual.

Step 5

While detailing further, the niceties of the characters were highlighted additionally by providing more of light and dark coloured patches. They were particularly highlighted by giving yellow and white light patches, before accumulating more patches onto the foreground with custom made brushes.

Step 6

Closer to the final stage, further touch-work was done upon the details, trying to enhance and better view and effect. For example, the foreground was painted to be denser or deeper, and a light blue fog effect was added to create an appealing contrast.

Step 7

The final step was to add some more sharpness to the final digital painting. This gave the much-needed touch of finesse to the image, providing it with depth of detail and a realistic feel.

Published in Issue 38

Each year around this time, many fresh young talented designers come out as design graduates to join the best of studios and agencies. Despite many find the perfect fit for their talent but still majority faces many dilemmas and questions. So with this issue, we try to explore different views from many well-known studio owners and senior designers. While Anthony Lopez of Lopez Design shared tips on what a studio looks for in a designer, Mohar Ray from Codesign highlights the key aspects that play a significant role and make the difference in whether you are hired or not as a promising designer.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55