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Hardik Gandhi

Started by Hardik Gandhi, a graduate in Interior Architecture and a post graduate from NID, Ahmedabad, Design Gandhi is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a modern and futuristic approach.


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The first interactive issue of Creative Gaga with Augmented Reality features. This issue focuses on the transition of Advertising from real to virtual and blurring the boundaries of both at the same time. Also bundled with lots of interesting articles and interviews.

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Mailchimp, a successful marketing company, announced a rebranding that stands out while staying true to the essence of the company.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Brief/ Challenge: 

The marketing company, Mailchimp has grown exponentially over the past 17 years of their existence. After all the success they wanted a complete rebranding that caught everyone’s attention and stayed true to their identity.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Solution: 

When young companies grow over years and succeed, they tend to go for a rebranding that reflects their new found maturity and expertise in the field. The general trend is to shed their old skin of unpolished branding, to embrace a more sophisticated, cutting edge appearance.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Collins, a New-York based strategy and design company, did the exact opposite with the rebranding for Mailchimp, and that’s what makes it interesting. Instead of reflecting the 17 years of success and experience the company has seen, the rebranding demonstrates a child-like personality, with rough and sketchy illustrations and a 1920’s typeface. Even Freddie, the logo-cum-mascot was slightly modified but retained. The overall feel of the branding is something of a kindergarten scrapbook, but in doing so the brand comes across as friendly. The rebranding dispels the unapproachable vibe that we generally see with technology companies. Only time can tell if this strategy will work. But it is definitely a bold and unique approach.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Client: Mailchimp
Design Studio: Collins
Solution/Expertise: Branding Strategy, Communication Design


The illustrator Ruchi Shah reflects on how illustration changes or retains form as it travels from one medium to another.

Illustration
Cover for the children’s book Grimms Fairy Tales.
Illustration
The making of the cover for the children’s book Grimms Fairy Tales.

While the Canvas becomes the message, Illustration becomes the medium

The job of a canvas is to effectively communicate the purpose of illustration. At the same time, illustration is a fitting medium that communicates the purpose of design. Together, they allow a designer to look at things from unlikely angles, allowing one to economise resources and break distinctions. This makes illustration a hybrid of different disciplines like art, craft, architecture and photography. Thus, narrating pictorial stories of the constantly evolving world.

Illustration
Front and back cover for the children’s book Grimms Fairy Tales.

Stories happen through Connections

Whether literal, physical or humorous, it is the connection that makes the style complement the idea. Space-agnostic illustrations are more skill-driven than conceptually steered. Thereby making the style of illustration following the idea. In such cases, the key is to know what can and what can’t be achieved through your form. The possibilities and limitations often declare the idea. Once you know your style well, it becomes easy to explore your idea further.

Illustration
The world through my window. Poster for an annual competition held by Association of Illustrators.

In the artwork, ‘The World through my Window’, the idea is a jumble of what has caught the illustrator’s fancy while travelling, expressed through a pop-art-ish route. The messy, clean and cozy windows that she observed kicked off the visual approach in her mind. The approach took inspiration from her cluttered workspace that is always scattered with curios, boxes, containers and papers. All these objects rearranged themselves to create the visual. With small niches and spaces it worked perfectly as big or small windows and buildings. The artwork is buzzing during the day, but actually comes alive at night. Being created with a mixture of coloured semi-transparent papers, it can be lit up during the night.

Illustration
The Rainmaker. Illustration for a children’s book.

The medium tells you what to do

An illustrator should let the form of illustration take shape according to what the medium allows it to do. This essentially means one needs to know the medium well. Does it bend? Does it fold? Where does it want to go? What does it refuse to do? The answers to these questions determine how one should go about the form, using the chosen medium. Keep exploring, make mistakes, characterise these errors and finally, build on some of them. The enhancement of the imperfections sometimes becomes the key to making a perfect visual.

Illustration
Illustration
Purestone. Entrance graphics for a London based agency.

The brief was to design the entrance of ‘Purestone’ – a London-based digital marketing agency’s office. Part of a rebranding project, it was done in collaboration with Kyle Henderson. The 25ft x 10ft long space, had to be attention grabbing for potential clients, giving the office a strong identity. The style of both the designers on the project had a lot of detailed and bold line work, making it possible for occasional overlapping. Incorporating the window with a view of urban London that sat exactly in between the space, a visual was created that complemented style of both the illustrators on the project. As the space had a lot of geometrical niches and corners, a seamless graphic was preferred to run across it. The style nicely adjusted to the scale of the space and was received enthusiastically by the onlookers.

Illustration
The Rainmaker. Illustration for a children’s book.

Expertise is to know how to give context to everything

Of course, knowledge and skill remain irreplaceable. But expertise also comes with awareness that anything and everything can be used to express yourself. Either by essence or by form, if materials are captured and framed with singular or multiple contexts, brilliant results can be achieved. Turning snags into starting points for constructing the visual and keeping a balance between pausing and exaggeration define it. Unlearning trumps learning and knowledge of that facilitates expertise.

Illustration
The making of the Umbrella, the Rainmaker.

For the project, ‘The Rainmaker’, different skills were combined into one installation, where everything remained substituted. The fabric turned into rain, plastic pipes poured out paper puddles and real people became mere props. The idea was a transition between a sense of reality to conceptual and stylized depictions. The archetypal British summer was the inspiration behind creating the visual around rain, which the designer literally attempted to ‘make’. This was justified with a screen-printed fabric on which it was raining cats, dogs, fish, alligators etc., giant paper-cut ‘water’ and an intricately hand crafted umbrella, creating an image of the urban world above it, using mundane materials such as black strings and wires and things found in everyday life. This carefully arranged scene was a full-blown installation, letting people take the centre stage.

Illustration
The making of the Umbrella, the Rainmaker.

Sum up to your talent everyday, every moment

Learning and exploring are the two essential ways by which you can keep moving forward. Achieve that through travelling, developing new habits, observing anything and everything, miscellaneous conversations, following the trends in nature and the haphazardness of our responses to those trends. A culmination of all of these will be exemplified in your work.

Illustration
Umbrella for the Rainmaker Illustration.

Published in Issue 13

Coming from a country of stories and storytellers, Indian animation professionals are sitting on a gold reserve. Yet, we are miles behind the Western world. We spoke to few leading names to find out the reason and understand the Indian animator’s sensibilities and practices The house unanimously opined that we need to develop more original ideas and also create exclusive stories for animation, rather than going the other way round…

 

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Elephant Design

Elephant is a Design led Innovation organization, solving complex challenges which focus on people and the future. Elephant creates brands, develops products, brings spaces to life and delivers new experiences while opening opportunities to drive growth for their clients.


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Have you ever started doodling with nothing really on your mind? Just aimless strokes intersecting and your thoughts preoccupied elsewhere. Sometimes our best work comes from these mindless scribbles and we don’t even
realize it.

 

Victor Rigo, an illustrator based in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, created this lovely illustration series simply by using hard stones and putting pencil to paper and letting his mind wander. The result is this minimal illustration style, yet well-developed characters with expressive emotions and gestures.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 44

 




Illustration
Illustration
Illustration
Illustration
Illustration
Illustration
Illustration
Illustration

It needs passion. It needs commitment. Patience as well. Product design requires a designer to make a promise with one’s own self in order to create promising designs. Products might be non-living things, but according to industrial designer Subinay Malhotra, they do have feelings and emotions of people living in them. More on how you can turn that little crush for product design into a full-fledged relationship.

Product Design
Product Design
OQLAR - Personal Sir Sanitizing System
Product Design
Product Design
Flasso – Milk Flask. Made using borosilicate glass, PC plastic, glass blowing and injection molding techniques

For most Designers, it all starts very Young 

Most design journeys start from childhood, whether it was drawing or dismantling toys in order to know what’s happening inside. Product design is all about growing up to understand the needs, target clients, various environments and create a customized solution so that people learn and discover their own demands in a very unique manner. It’s that end result which matters all the time and drives you towards it.

Product Design
Product Design
Retro Rubik’s

Something new makes Hearts beat Faster

It’s something new that gets people excited and sweeps them off their feet. Focusing on form and function will not quite get you there. Research is what forms the base of it all. After a concentrated research has been performed, only then one can start to apply ergonomics and take the project towards the best material approach. Research allows a product designer to stay updated on what has already been created in that niche, and work towards new possibilities and creations. Of course, human psychology and trend is another thing a product designer must be constantly conscious of while creating something functional yet aesthetically appealing.

Product Design
Product Design
Product Design
Lash – Portable night light for Graffiti artists.

When Design Software play Cupid

They help materialize what you have in mind. They help your ideas meet their materialization. For product designers, the concepts of physics and dynamics are definitely a must to know, but through the use of prototyping and 3D printing software, one can work virtually with their ideas. The only way a designer can benefit from such software is when they practice. It allows you to tease the limits of your imagination, giving you a future never imagined.

Product Design
Product Design
Plexus – Protection Gear for Skateboarders.
Product Design
DUSK. The portable device uses ergonomics and wireless technology.
Product Design
Product Design
Drill Master – A designer mechanical device

Half a heart won’t keep the Designer in you alive for long

It’s important to be passionate and interested in what you chose to do and learn. Give it your hundred percent and learn with the best of concentration. Keep in mind that one either needs to be really happy with what they are working on or be very angry with it, to reach places.

Product Design
Product Design

Published in Issue 20

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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Rebranding a well-established company, giving it new additional values and sustaining it of its exceptional worth in the eyes of its customers is not an easy task! Elephant Design has successfully achieved this in its encounter with Easyday of the Future Group.

Rebranding

Brief

The Future Group has had the exceptional ability to understand Indian shoppers, anticipate their needs and deliver good in-store experiences across all its retail chains including Easyday, Nilgiris and heritage stores.

 

Easyday is a re-imagined neighborhood food and grocery store that is driven by local communities and serves a modern, personalized Indian shopping experience to its members. For the local community of loyal members, it is the Naye Andaaz Wali, Apne Pados Ki Dukaan.

 

The Future Group was looking for an ability to build a strong unified brand expression and its fluid translation into retail experience. The ask included everything from building an evocative brand identity to visual story-telling, from presenting products in aspirational ways to translating shopper insights into store services and layouts.

Rebranding

Easyday now wanted to be unique and different by turning into an exclusive members-only benefits club, “Easyday Club”, offering a hyper local community shopping experience to its customers. Providing everything from home care, personal care and food to services like delivery, launch invites, etc, it wishes to be a one-stop-shop to meet all needs. It also has another format called ‘Easyday Fresh”, offering many more choices in fresh foods, dairy, fruit & vegetables.

 

The Future group partnered with Elephant Design to have their brand identity revamped and re-designed, along with the retail layout and principles.

Rebranding

Solution

Easyday is defined as a brand that is reliable, respectable and honest, powered by trust, passion and innovation and with integrity at its core.

 

Easyday is the Retail 3.0 experience where physical store experience is delivered with uniform digital layer that helps shoppers retain their own identity and also gives them access to exclusive offers in every category.

 

The process started out by pivoting the brand on fresh and a never-before shopping experience of everyday groceries meant exclusively for members.

Rebranding

Fresh Brand 

Fresh & deep greens were the choice of colors to represent the refreshing experience people could expect from the brand.

 

The logo incorporated the EasyDay name and had to be associated with savings to indicate a friendly neighborhood store and showcase endless goods & benefits for members. The use of a wallet as a logo seemed to have been apt with lower case letters showing approachability and the ribbon-like texture giving it a contemporary look.

Monochromatic and blended with a chalkboard treatment, a library of icons in one style, covering different categories of products was developed defining the visual identity of the brand used extensively, especially in the EasyDay Fresh stores.

 

All of the visual communication was built around the idea of community and helping farmers by buying locally sourced fresh produce. Freshness was a big part of the brand and was incorporated on the storefronts as well, lending a refreshing look to the stores.

Rebranding

Hyperlocal

In the spirit of building local connect, the logo has been carefully developed in several regional scripts without diluting the style & spirit. This shows the brand’s sincerity towards understanding and communicating in the same language as its members and adds to the approachability at every level.

First Impressions

With front doors acting as the first impression creators for any retail outlet, Elephant design aims at making use of this element to not only impress the existing members but also invite prospective members. The façade glazing leaves some room for imagination through friendly and conversational messages that tell about the benefits of being members and invites the visitors to check it out for themselves by stepping inside.

Rebranding

Store layout and design

At Easyday stores, bright lights, clean aisles, conversational signage, new launches corner and a promise of best deals in every category—all of this is a carefully planned experience around shopper needs & desires.

 

To ensure a consistent experience from store to store, no matter the location, there are certain common principles built within the store experience.

 

Internal pillars, walls, beams and product displays are accented in Easyday greens for a brand-centric look & feel which extends to shopping carts and baskets as well.

Rebranding

The aisle signages are in a Dinoc raw wood finish to offer a hint of rustic and a subtle affinity with ‘farm-fresh’ crate packaging.

 

In-store signage is treated as a means of conversing with the customer and is clear, compelling, friendly & on-brand. A community bulletin board is placed near the entrance-exit to encourage Easyday Club members to promote their services & share information on local events, for a more involved Community connect.

Rebranding

Grocery plus

The beauty of Easyday Club is that members can pick up the freshest gourmet salad dressing and eyeliner at the same time or even have it delivered by sending a simple Whatsapp message!

 

In time, Easyday Club will add other conveniences like delivery & pick-up of online purchases from e-commerce players or maybe a laundry service or utility bill payments depending upon what the members find valuable.

Rebranding

Tone of voice

Without great service, a well-designed store means nothing.

 

While training plays a major role in delivering consistent service, communication through wall graphics, signage, uniforms and carry bags help maintain a consistent & friendly tone of voice throughout the store.

 

So don’t be surprised to read a sign that says “Take care of yourself” guiding one to the personal care section or shopping assistant’s jacket that says “Looking for something?”

Rebranding

Conclusion

Offers and product-mix may change across locations depending upon specific local preferences, but Easyday’s thoughtful presentation and commitment to elevating the shopping experience would remain the same across every store, the idea being that members can shop with confidence knowing they will find great value they’ve come to expect from Future Group.

 

Within a year of the first Easyday Club store’s setup in late 2017, there are already more than 30 stores in running!


 

Client: Future Group | Easyday Club
Design Studio: Elephant Design
Solution/Expertise: Branding Strategy, Communication Design, Retail

 


A character is incomplete without its costumes, props and environment. Especially if it belongs to the world of fantasy. Therefore, to render a character in totality, one should be very clear of its complete image right from the beginning. Concept artist Milton Das explains creating an artwork of a warrior, complete with its accessories. Here is the step by step process.

Warrior

Step 1

Started with an empty canvas. As a practice, avoided using white. So filled it with dark blue green. This would be the base colour.

Warrior

Step 2

Added some rough ground colours. Also, darkened the edges of the frame so that the eye didn’t wander off. Since the composition would have most of its highlight at the centre, didn’t put any other element towards the edge. Blocked in the rough mass of the character.

Warrior

Step 3

Added a bit of details and a secondary light source below the legs.

Warrior

Step 4

After a satisfactory pose was struck, started to fill in areas. But avoided rendering every place of the image. One should place points of interest at even places. So that despite the eyes moving off, they would find something interesting to look at and eventually come back to the main focal area.

Warrior

Step 5

Fixed the overall composition. Also, made the edges of the twin blades pointing backwards which further reduced the chance of the eyes moving elsewhere. Did some colour corrections and added a stronger light coming from below.

Warrior

Step 6

Added some more elements in the background. Fleshed out the dead monster a bit and added some inscriptions on the sword. Time to render the details.

Warrior

Step 7

Started with the sword first. It is human nature to look at things the main character is looking at. So added two faces in the lower left corner to balance the large hydra (the 3-headed snake) from taking away viewer’s attention. Noticed that the left hand side of the image felt a bit heavy.

Warrior

Step 8

Balanced the composition by adding 3 heads on the right. Rendered the lower blade with flames. Also, worked a bit on the armour. Lastly, added a bit of yellow on the parts that got light from the weapon. Made a point to not use burn and dodge tools while drawing the flames lest they went out of control. Used a soft brush to define the glow then did the details with a hard round brush.

Warrior

Step 9

Rendered the armour and added smaller details. Changed the hair because it was looking a bit too stiff. One would require a lot of patience while detailing this part.

Warrior

Step 10

Finally, did some colour corrections. Copied the whole image and pasted it in a new layer to apply the effects. One could also use a masked layer to do this. Arrived at the final image.

Published in Issue 16

We always wish we had someone to show us the right way of doing things when we were starting our professional journey. And that’s why we have based this issue on graduates. The cover feature is an ensemble of advice from top names of the industry. We have also showcased few talented fresh graduates from across the country, keeping with the theme. You’ll find Tom J Manning and Pallavi Sen share their international exposure as well as insights behind their unique approach. Also featuring Shreya Shetty, a prominent concept artist, who shares the secret behind the believable characters she creates. She believes, with practice and patience, anyone can be a good artist.

 

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Sometimes reworking on just a few elements of the already existing package of multiple things and leaving the rest as they are proves to be successful. DesignStudio used a similar theory to rebrand Evernote as a brand.

Evernote
Evernote

Brief

Evernote was launched in 2008 as a way to remember everything from anywhere. In the lead-up to its ten-year anniversary, the company embarked on a mission to reposition itself from a note-taking app and more clearly reflect what the company does today-helping people manage information overload and find their focus.

 

DesignStudio were brought in to develop the brand strategy and a visual ID system to bring this to life.

Evernote
Evernote

Solution 

DesignStudio partnered closely with the Evernote team to develop a brand purpose, helping Evernote and its users to focus on what matters most.

 

Starting with an exploration of the logo and wordmark, they developed a fresh, energetic and modern visual system to bring the positioning to life. Also, a brand video was developed for a company-wide brand reveal as part of Evernote’s ten-year anniversary.

Evernote
Evernote

The Foundation 

It all started with the logo, an elephant (affectionately named Mads, after Evernote’s first paying customer). An elephant is thought to “never forget”, representing the company’s original mission, and over the years had developed equity with Evernote users. Launching a wide-ranged exploration of elephant logos, from the elaborate to the deconstructed, was a great help in determining that Mads needed more evolution than revolution.

Evernote
Evernote

The Evolution 

Mads, the elephant, was evolved with more rigorous geometry, unified shapes, curves, and a trunk composed of a spiral, a shape that represents progress. Mads was then paired with a new wordmark comprised of initial case serif typography, with an editorial feel that nods to Evernote as a writing tool and its founder, Stepan Pachikov, and his belief in the importance of the written word.

 

The overall effect is optimistic, clever, confident and clear, more trustworthy than trendy.

Evernote
Evernote
Evernote

Bringing It to Life 

A fresh, modern and clean colour palette was developed to evolve the brand’s heritage green, vibrant chartreuse and black and to create a visual system that prominently featured bold graphic illustration and typography.

 

The illustrations communicate the idea of focus by organizing disparate information and inputs, represented by colour blocks and patterns. The illustrations were then scaled from complex, large-scale marketing messages to smaller product illustrations and a system of iconography.

Evernote
Evernote
Evernote

Conclusion

DesignStudio created the new Evernote brand to tell a story of how the organization allows people to focus on what matters most.

 

Evernote is loved by a devout user base, so care was taken to retain the spirit and charm of what existed, while evolving the brand to appeal to a broader audience.

 

The new visual system echoes the brand DNA of Optimistic, Clever, Confident and Clear. Bold colours, pithy language, and a modern illustrative and photography approach work together to create a brand system that’s cohesive and decisively Evernote.

Evernote
Evernote

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