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It’s not hard to see why working professionals would despise automation and new-age technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. After all, these marvels of digital era are after their jobs, or at least that’s how it appears anyway.

It doesn’t help that new reports are released every now and then that only serve to instill fear in the people, such as the new PWC report that says that 38% of US jobs will be automated by 2030. In all fairness, these projections can be quite scary. However, do we really need to worry about our jobs? Let’s find out.

Logo Designers

Design Industry Today and Tomorrow

There is no denying that automation has its advantages which is why there are all kinds of AI-based applications in the design industry already. For instance, we have AI logo makers like Tailor Brands that allow small business owners around the world to create high-quality logos in a matter of minutes. The users don’t even need to have any kind of graphic design experience, and the service itself is quite cheap. However, human logo designers needn’t be afraid of these technologies.

Most industry experts believe that AI won’t kill jobs but rather create more jobs. It will also make jobs easier by taking care of the dull and repetitive tasks like automated email responses, record-keeping, accounts management, etc. According to a report shared by UK-based non-profit Nesta, creative jobs like computer programmers, designers, musicians, etc. are least likely to be affected by automation.

In the words of Hasan Bakhshi who is the director of creative economy at Nesta, “tasks that involve a high degree of human manipulation and perception will be more difficult to automate”. Since logo designing is also a highly creative job, professionals in this space don’t need to be intimidated by AI logo designers.

 

The following are some of the biggest reasons why:

Logo Designers

1. AI lacks Emotional Intelligence

It’s hard to argue against the significance of emotions in graphic design. Any marketer and graphic designer worth their salt will agree that emotions can take product design to new level. Since this is a domain where AI simply can’t match humans, at least for a long time, human logo designs will always have the upper hand.

2. Medium and large enterprises don’t have budget limitations

The main reason why AI logo designers are so popular today is that they can be easily afforded by budding entrepreneurs who have a limited budget but have to cover all kinds of other expenses. These small business owners can’t spend hundreds of dollars on just the logo design when they need money to build a comprehensive e-commerce platform, purchase inventory, set aside some funds for marketing, and then some.

 

Large organizations don’t operate on shoestring budgets. They can afford to spend some decent money on the logo design which is why they won’t be the customers of AI logo makers.

3. Some brands will always seek a “Human Touch”

There is something quite satisfying and natural about a human touch that it’s nearly impossible to create a world where it doesn’t exist at all. How else would you explain why so many people still shop from their favorite local stores even though there is an online store for every category where products are available in unbelievable variety and discounts that are hard to match?

 

It doesn’t matter how advanced we can make our programs like logo designers, there will always some brands that will want to explain their requirements to a human graphics designer, i.e. someone they can have discussions with and share ideas on an emotional level.

Conclusion

AI and machine learning are powerful technologies that will make our lives easier, there is no question about it. However, as long as will listen to songs, watch movies, and need spellbinding illustrations and logos, there will always be humans setting new trends and captivating our attention with supreme imagination and creativity.

Ever thought of your imagination coming to life, just the way you pictured it? Pankaj Gole, a concept artist and a character designer show how this is possible.

Characters
The Creature
Characters
The Creature Scary sound
Characters
The Creature
Characters
The Creature

With the belief that artists are free-spirited souls and the urge of always growing and improving, Pankaj took up everything as a challenge that came his way and started freelancing for wall paintings, tattoos, caricatures, portraits and storyboard developments.

Characters
Moon Light Hut, Morning Meditation
Characters
Monster Home

Pankaj feels that art without thought is just a decoration. The possibility of giving life to ones’ thoughts and imagination through visual design, empowered Pankaj to become a concept artist and master the art of character design. Pankaj has had a chance of designing characters and mascots for branding, advertisement, board games, 2D animations, video games and books and is currently designing for kids’ games.

Characters
Everyday work sometimes irritates people, makes them look nervous or tense. Its like something is missing.
Characters
First Kiss

Let’s create a character!

Merging the clients’ brief and his own imagination of the brief, Pankaj starts by visualizing the character in terms of its form, costumes, emotions, personality, attitude, gestures, age, expressions and background. This is followed by rough sketching and modifying it by varying the design styles. He gives importance to proportions as they help in creating visual interest among these imaginary beings. Target audience surely plays a significant role in character designing.

Characters
Smelly Cat
Characters
Smelly Cat Cuteness

Pankaj explains this process with an example of a character called ‘Creature’. Considering the target audience as kids and young people, he began personifying the character.

Characters
What if Obama could be this?
Characters
The Gladiator

The Creature is an active and healthy female living in a jungle. She is cute, innocent, emotional and scary looking with cute and expressive rounded blue eyes. The idea was to fuse all the forest elements together and so creature has the body like a turtle, face like a horse & horns resembling tree branches. It was a challenge to make creatures’ character look scary, cute, emotional and innocent all at the same time.

Characters
The Warrior
Characters
Concept Art

To create the storyline, he does about 6-8 rough sketches per frame to get an idea about the desired environment, composed of characters in different angles and actions and also other supporting elements. He then settles for one sketch, deciding upon the colour scheme, colouring style and lighting source which helps him render the three-dimensional character, keeping in mind the feel of the story.

Characters
Merry Christmas
Characters
Digital Portrait

Style develops knowledge and knowledge creates a style!

The challenge of coming up with different styles can be overcome by always being on the lookout for new things, ideas and concepts and being curious and experimental to achieve something different and unique. Designing the basic shape keeping in mind the characters proportion, structure, body shape gestures and simplicity makes all the difference. Being true to himself and his profession, Pankaj always creates new characters and never reuses the old ones.

Characters
Rat
Characters
Rhino

To create his style, Pankaj starts out with the traditional method of pencil sketching as it gives him the freedom of playing with lines, rhythms and basic shapes and then modifies it with the digital mediums as it gives the freedom and possibility to create unbelievable art!

Characters
Childhood Dreams
Characters
Caricature of Baba Ramdev

Keep pushing forward, the time and efforts put in will lead to success!

Pankaj encourages young enthusiasts to believe in the beauty that lies within and not to compare oneself with others as every artists’ style is unique and different! Being passionate definitely opens up doors and luck syncs’ in automatically.

Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Making Process
Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Table Service
Issue 42

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Onassis Cultural Centre, a space that brings together people to express and discover diverse art and contemporary culture, needed a visual identity that translated the same. And Beetroot Design shows us how it’s done.

Brief/ Challenge:

Onassis Cultural Centre, a platform for artists to come together to showcase and discover contemporary bold art, required an equally bold visual identity for the season 2017-18. This Athens based institution needed the identity to be open and relevant to everyone, thus reflecting the core idea behind OCC.

Solution:

Beetroot Design Group, a multi-award winning, Thessaloniki based design firm, explored and created a visual identity for OCC, that is made for everyone, and yet so unique. Beetroot achieved thus by putting together all the typographies from the publications and events of the season, thus portraying them all under one visual identity. For this, the firm specially created software, Flow Type, which is now available for free. The software helped handle the high volume of typographies and played a key role in their manipulation, thus resulting in expressive free-flowing words.

The overall visual identity is an explosion of energy, colours, movement and boldness. Each piece of work is vastly different in its expression, but it is beautiful how they all come together to narrate a single story.


Client: Onassis Cultural Centre
Design Studio: Beetroot Design


Every year, the art of logo design evolves to meet the new needs of the business world — and the gap between old and new has never been bigger than in 2019. Logos that were once seen as modern and fresh now appear outdated and cliched, so designers are looking to the horizon to see which trends are up-and-coming for next year.

At 99designs, we’ve been analyzing the trajectory of logo design since we launched in 2008. Looking at the current state of design, we handpicked the eight logo design trends below based on our predictions for 2019. Some are advancements in past trends, while others are new stylistic choices that capture the public’s eye at this point in time. Take a look at how the trendsetters are already incorporating these techniques, and master them yourselves now while they’re still cutting edge.

1. Friendlier Abstract Geometry

Geometric designs like grids and big, blocky shapes strike a chord with people lately, perhaps because today’s tech makes the world seems more futuristic, or maybe a greater pull towards order and structure. Whatever the reason, logos with abstract geometric shapes are increasingly common, and in 2019, that movement is taking a sharp turn into new territory.

Logo - Polytrr logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Ludibes

Logo - Hayespitality logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer CostinLogopus

The new geometric logos are taking a “friendlier” approach. Abstract geometry is inherently cold and imposing, sometimes even authoritarian. To compensate, designers are softening the visuals with techniques like vibrant colors (particularly gradients) and more inviting compositions. By combining “cold” shapes with “warm” colors and composition, logos can have the best of both worlds — a mathematical, futuristic look that doesn’t intimidate the viewer.

Logo - Wy’East Foundation logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer tgolub

Logo - Alo logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad


2. Traditional Emblems

Not everyone is looking to the future for logo inspiration — many designers are looking to the past. Part vintage and part pedigree, the traditional emblems trend draws on centuries-old design tactics to make the logos of new brands seem old and established. For business-minded clients, this trend is a smart sales tactic: it suggests a brand’s authenticity to make them seem more trustworthy and popular, even if they just launched yesterday.

Logo - Copper & Cane logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Sign²in

Logo - Rusty’s at Blue Logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Jeegy™

The trend incorporates elements from medieval family crests and historic guild emblems, but designers can temper the degree of how “historic” it seems. If you’re hesitant to dive head-first into this style, you can give your modern logo a slight textured effect to add just a hair of that classic “authentic” feel.

Logo - Spruce logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Agi Amri

Logo - Distillery 36 logo

Logo design by 99designs designer Project 4


3. Neo-minimalism

A few years ago, the digital space saw a widespread minimalist movement. Web designers especially took hold, not only because of the aesthetics but also because of the functional benefits. No matter whether you love or hate the style, you have to admit minimalism is more practical for the web: the simpler designs both load faster and look better on mobile screens.

Logo - Puracups logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer aarif ™

Logo - Devi Deli logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer sami222

The minimalist movement became so popular, the question for 2019 is how to make your minimalist logo stand out from other minimalist logos. Hence the rise of “neo-minimalism.” Essentially, it’s doubling-down on minimalism — using even less visuals, sometimes just lines or basic shapes combined in a memorable or thought-provoking way.

Logo - Skystone logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Choni

Logo - Greentown logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Agusbo


4. Contextual Logos (Responsive +)

Responsive logos have been growing in popularity for years now, but lately they’re being taken to the next level. Instead of simply adapting logos for different screen sizes and platforms, companies are creating logo variants better optimized for an array of different uses, both on and off line.

Logo - Vesper Hill logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer svart ink

Logo - Public Space logo]

Design via Sulliwan Studio

For starters, contextual logos include different versions to fit where they’re being displayed — a smaller logo for mobile screens or wearables, a colorless logo for fliers, a simplified logo that still looks good printed on clothing material, etc. But the trend nowadays is going even further, offering logo variations that cater to certain customer groups. This enables greater maneuverability for marketers, who can hand-tailor promotions using the logo that speaks to certain customer groups best.

Logo - Opera Ballet Theatre logo]

Design via Elena Kitayeva

Logo - Artist Brea Weinreb logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer goopanic


5. Intricate Detailing

One school of design is pushing back against the “smaller-and-simpler” mentality of contextual logos. A certain branch of designers is embracing the fine details, making logos even more intricate and complex than last year.

Logo - Honeybee Tribe logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Maciev

How you utilize new details is up to you. Some designers incorporate line shading for a more hand-drawn look, others are simply adding in subtleties such as the feathers of a bird or individual strands of hair. This trend is not mutually exclusive either; for example, you can use it with traditional emblems (which were historically all hand-drawn), or with geometric shapes for elaborate patterned backgrounds.

Logo - Olivivo logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer olimpio

Just keep context in mind and save the details for spaces where they can be appreciated — an intricate logo won’t translate well on the small screen of an Apple Watch.

Logo - One Plaze logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Jeegy™


6. Illusory Logos

On the heels of the geometric themes, people are also responding well to logos with optic illusions. The specifics are less important — logos could be blatant optical illusions, or could simply have small distortions to make them stand out. There’s a lot of room for interpretation with this trend, but as long as it pushes the boundaries and “looks cool,”  it’ll suffice. Think of this trend as the 70s psychedelic style redone in the digital era.

Logo - Brickworks Australia logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Milos Zdrale

Logo - Doppel logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad

Logo - Tribe logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer ludibes

Logo - PS12 Logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer ultrastjarna


7. Integrating Negative Space

As a natural progression of recent years’ minimalist movement, designers have been incorporating negative space more and more. Lately, we’re seeing the emergence of actually using negative space to represent independent images within greater images.

Logo - Love at First Sight logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer cucuque design

Logo - Octopus logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer CostinLogopus

FedEx’s iconic “arrow” within the E and X was one of the original usages, but lately more brands are taking this idea and running with it. Aside from more stimulating visuals, this trend also benefits marketing — designers can use suggestive imagery (such as animal symbolism) and make monogram logos more visual by adding pictures within the letters. This trend is perfect for brands that want to add duality or extra depth to their identity.

Logo - Prinsta India logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad


8. Overlapping Images

As we’ve seen with trends like illusions and geometric shapes, people are favoring more experimental visuals lately. In other words, logo designers must “think outside the box.”

Logo - Oak logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer bo_rad

One new visual trends that’s catching on lately is overlapping images. There’s not much to explain about the technique: you superimpose one element over another, sometimes to make a whole new shape in the shared area. You can be subtle about it like trendsetter PayPay, but more ambitious designers can build entire designs from the overlap to incorporate dual meanings just like with the negative space trend.

Logo - PopMint logo]

Logo design by 99designs designer Spoon Lancer

Most of the above trends are not mutually-exclusive — they can be combined to add new depths and dimensions individual trends couldn’t accomplish on their own. There’s ton of logo design inspiration headed your way in the upcoming year. The trick is figuring out which trends match your brand identity. Using illusory images might work well in attracting attention for niche or obscure markets, but they’d hold back more solemn brands by undermining their professionalism. Consider who you are as a brand before you decide which trends best represent you.

Not everyone is able to look for the positives in the challenges and treat them as opportunities. Charuvi Agarwal was able to transform her challenges into strengths and carve a niche for her studio, Charuvi Design Labs.

The journey from the point of initiation to the present time of existence and functioning is a journey of learning and growth. We have with us, Charuvi from Charuvi Design Labs sharing the experiences of her journey.

Charuvi
Hanuman Suspended Sculpture of 26000 Bells, from “26000 bells of Light”.

CG. What was your inspiration to have your own setup and establish yourself as a brand in the design industry?

Charuvi. To go beyond what exists, to push boundaries and create a new level within the design space worked as an inspiration for us.

 

The idea behind CDL was to create high-quality animation and design work supported by installations, art in India and be recognized among the best in the world.

Charuvi
Hanuman Suspended Sculpture of 26000 Bells, from “26000 bells of Light”.

CG. How difficult or easy was it to give your dream of having your own set up a life in the form of Charuvi Design Labs?

Charuvi. The journey hasn’t been easy and never really is for any design studio!

 

In general, there are a few people (although now increasing) who appreciate high-quality content and are willing to patronize or support it. It was a struggle for us in the first few years, but as we learned more, we got better at what we were doing and found the right path.

Charuvi
Kavad - 16 feet Story book, from '26000 bells of Light'.

Today, we are a niche studio focusing on a unique stylised art-based animation, including AR and VR beside creating artwork worthy of homes, offices and museums.

Charuvi
A 3D animated musical film on Shri Hanuman Chalisa

CG. How did you manage to bring CDL to the point where it is today in spite of all the challenges that came your way?

Charuvi. The biggest challenge was to establish the right value in the mind of the clients for our quality of work.

 

The second challenge was to find and train talent. And the third was to find the right focus and clarity towards our work domains, be it 2D versus 3D animation or doing CG versus ad films.

Charuvi
A 3D animated musical film on Shri Hanuman Chalisa

I think as entrepreneurs and artists we need to be very clear about what it is that we wish to do and need to learn and evolve to do it better. At some point your client shall start valuing the expertise. And this has been our answer to these challenges.

Charuvi
Chotukool, Godrej. A still from a 3d animated film.

CG. What was the starting point for CDL to institute itself as a name in the market?

Charuvi. The starting point was our 3D animated short film ‘Shri Hanuman Chalisa’ which gave us the visibility of our work quality and design essence. The idea was to re-narrate a story in the most visually engaging manner.

Charuvi
ICRC’s Journey of Indian Soil, ICRC. A 2d animated film.

CG. According to you, what is marketing and its importance?

Charuvi. Marketing oneself is a combination of many things, starting with one’s overall quality of work, from honesty and ethical dealing with clients to being professional with your approach.

Charuvi
Sustainable Sugar-cane Initiative (SSI), GIZ. A still from a 3D animated film.

CG. What is that secret that still keeps you moving forward in the creation of CDL?

Charuvi. Wanting to create something new and better, exciting pieces of work which surpass the expectation of the client as well as satisfying for us is a major source of motivation to keep creating and growing.

Charuvi
Sustainable Sugar-cane Initiative (SSI), GIZ. A still from a 3D animated film.

Understanding what perseverance is and having a positive outlook in life definitely help in going a long way in ones’ journey.

Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

Behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must read. Full of insights and inspirations from the best of the talents, this issue is waiting to reach your desks.

 

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Every profession and field of work have certain tips that one must know before jumping into it. Lavanya Naidu, a freelancer, illustrator and animator shares some of the tips, especially to manage finances, she has followed.

Freelancer
Dino Buddies

Before I started off as a freelancer, I had spoken to seniors in my field and thus had a brief idea of what to expect. It motivated me to discipline myself from the beginning. When you don’t have a strict schedule and work from home, it can sometimes be hard to have a routine.

 

Some of the key points that I like to keep in mind when taking on a new project are:

Freelancer
Kittu's very mad day

Keeping Deadlines

Aside from the client deadline, I usually create a personal deadline, a couple of days before the expected delivery. This gives me a small window, in case there are unforeseen hurdles during the project timeline.

Freelancer
Kittu's very mad day

Clear Communication

At the start, before taking on an assignment, I prefer putting everything on the table with my client; when to expect drafts leading up to the final files, fixing the budget, making sure to mention when I might be taking time off, and assuring completion in good time. Clear communication keeps everyone on the same page and helps avoid misunderstandings

Freelancer
Kittu's very mad day

Inspiring Work

I try to take on work that helps me grow and challenges me. As the years have gone by, I have become more selective about what I like to take on, but I am always up for trying something new! I find that I can be true to my work when it is something I can connect with.

Freelancer
Dino Buddies

A Clear System of Payments

Although hard, it is important to be able to assess your skill level, the scale of the project, due to deadlines and quote a budget accordingly. It is equally important to set up a clear system of payments, create necessary invoices, and maybe even think about setting up an advanced payment before you begin work, and/or signing of a contract, when you can. I have been lucky to have had clients who have been very good to me but to avoid miscommunication at a later stage as well as to save precious time on both sides, it might be worth planning ahead.

Freelancer

I have found in my personal experience, that having these little details worked out, allows me to fully immerse myself in the creative process.

Since most of us freelancers work project to project, giving a thought about savings or investing money when you can might be useful, even if in small amounts. I find that it gives you a sense of security and also helps out on a rainy day.

Freelancer
A Butterfly Smile

There are some of the things that have worked for me over the years, but everyone has their own formula that works for them. Putting all of the nitty-gritty aside, we are lucky to be doing what we really love to do, that’s half the job done already!

Freelancer
A Butterfly Smile
Issue 42

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Users are aware of trends, demanding trendy products. Brands succumb to these demands to have a stronger say and a longer stay in the market. Studio Elephant Design has elaborated on this cycle explaining the need of packaging design.

Trends are a reflection of how people behave, how they live and vice versa.

 

One may believe tech-based products like smartphones & AI assistants are changing the way people live. But there is as much change happening in their lives through humble packaging design. In times of extreme actions and judgments, it is believed that design becomes prettier. This actually is happening.

 

There are certain things individuals look for before buying foods, beverages, personal & home care products nowadays:

Packaging Design

1. Tell me a Story?

Story of origin, granny’s recipe, kind of music played to cows… Is it a superfood rediscovered? Was it made the exact same way people made stuff when the world was perfect? They want to know more, not just about the ingredients or the company behind it, but also the hands that made it. They are hungrier for stories than the food they are buying.

2. Small for me Please

Because of longer commutes and increased working hours that blur into socializing, people are looking for things that will help them stretch their days outside of homes. Small portions of handbag-insertables are a rage in colour cosmetics, face masks, wipes, hand sanitizers, and other personal care products for on-the-go use. Spoilt for choice and highly aware of what they consume, people prefer single serves in snacks, meals & beverages.

3. Be Direct

Farm to Face. Grass to Glass. Park to Plate. Yes. That is how people like stuff to reach them. They want it fresh, preferably hand-made, with least processing. Demanding honesty of intent and transparency on the label about what goes in, they like small batches made with care. Lesser the machine intervention, the better it is.

4. Give me an Eye Candy

Packaging is not just for protecting the goods, it needs to give the product a flaunt value, making it Instagram-worthy. Packaging can be an object of desire itself. So the “look” of packaging is as important as what it carries inside.

5. Sustainability Counts

Over engineered packaging is a big no-no. The simple, the better. Is the plastic used easily to recycle? Reduced packaging layers, lesser staple pins, alternative chemical inks & glues, these are things that the sustainability-aware users look for

• Game Changers 

Technology-based enablers are bringing some change too. The biggest change is in the way packaging can enable customization of every consumption experience. Technology & insightful design makes it possible to have small batches, personalized messaging or even controlled release of ingredients. Eg Kolibri (Japan) beverage bottle allows consumers to control the amount of sugar they want in their drink.

Recent advancements in automated packaging lines are not only more efficient, but also adaptive & flexible. They enable personalized packaging with individual names like the Coke cans & bottles from “Share a Coke” campaign.

Packaging Design

• Studio Sampler

Elephant helped develop a brand of Indian ethnic drinks that was based on nostalgia, aptly named “Paper boat”, taking one back to the good old days of childhood when life was simple and full of optimism.

 

Doy packs seemed a more sustainable choice against bottles, cans or cartons. The shape was designed to feel like squeezing a fruit and easy to open cap was inspired by paper boat itself. Graphics were simple and represented an uncomplicated, delightful world.

Packaging Design

The incredible part was that the brand refrained from using mass media for a couple of years. ON-the-shelf packaging did all the talking. And in less than five years, the brand made it to the top position in single-serve beverages, won many awards and also made it to the list of buzziest, most promising brands from India.

 

This is an interesting example because it aligned with all the five reasons for engaging with a brand and was created well in time to be able to ride the wave successfully.

 

For designers & consumers who don’t like to be cookie cutters, personalization and customization possibilities are like a boon. The only limitation would be ideas, which one is hopefully never short of.

Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. So, go ahead.

 

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A picture is worth a thousand words. In this digital age, an illustration is worth many more. One of the most evocative forms of communication, illustrations perform the crucial task of both informing and entertaining an audience through widespread integration in published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations, video games, and films.

Illustrations are an outlet of creative communication that captures the imagination of our era. From humble drawings made on paper, these have evolved into digital art-pieces that are developed on gadgets like Cintique, Wacom, I-pads, Surface pro pads and so on. Not only are these mediums easier to use, but they also lend artists more creative freedom through evolved tools that assist experimentation in newer ideas and style.

Illustrations are changing the way we view the world. Children born in the late 80s or 90’s grew up with the dawn of the Internet. They were present in a world that progressed from hand-held phones to smartphones; a world that transcended into hyper-connectivity. The immersion of the current generation in digital devices has propelled us forward and also altered the way we communicate forever. For baby-boomers technology feels pervasive, but for children, it’s available in welcome abundance. Illustrations are an integral part of this world. Digital art is all around us and will be for generations to come.

Below, we have discussed how illustrations have played a crucial role in easing the digital transformation and the widespread impact can be gauged from the changed human habits. This, in turn, has impacted the working of businesses largely. Let’s dig in:

Illustrations

1. Changing Human Habits 

Visual communication overcomes the barrier of language and is, therefore, palatable to a larger audience. Compounded with the fact that in the current day and age the average person looks at their mobile 100 times a day, we have digital art as the single largest commander of attention span ever known to man. Illustrations are instrumental to this change. Today it’s all about storytelling and making an impact through visual design; let’s observe how illustration has morphed our communication:

Illustrations

Expressions

Today, we see a sort of resurgence of the archaic era wherein expressed emotions were preferred to their verbal form. Smiley faces and visual dialogue fill up a conversation more than actual words do. Ruled by emojis, stickers, and gifs, the expression has become extremely easy in online conversations. All of this is created by illustrations that practically experiment to provide the world with an endless plethora of options for creative communication.


Illustrations

Learnings

In a world as fast-paced as the one we live in today, hours spent reading have taken a backseat. Visuals summarize text to make learning faster and simpler, in a matter of seconds. Children’s storybooks or detailed infographics – visuals communicate it all. Digital illustrators are skilled in being able to depict all kinds of information through these visuals.


Illustrations

Entertainment

The gaming industry, cartoons, and movies have witnessed a major shift in the style and quality of the graphics and animations used. Each movie or TV series character we watch and fall in love with, from superheroes to sci-fi personalities, is shaped by a brilliant team of illustrators. The gaming world was taken by a storm with the introduction of PUBG, an online multiplayer game. The visuals used became widely popular owing to high quality and attention to detail, which can be completely attributed to the team of visual thinkers and artists that worked together to give the idea its shape and form.


2. Changing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

With changed human habits the way businesses operate and communicate has also changed dramatically.

Illustrations

Marketing

Illustrations are instrumental in the growth of the marketing industry. With the growth of users of depictive media, businesses have gone visual, and have created digital products. Graphic elements are being used to create strong brand recall through thought-provoking and memorable imagery, so as to enhance the success rate of the representation of products and services. Illustrations that stand out have the power to provoke consumer actions that result in conversions. Every advert performs the primary function of familiarizing the consumers with different facets of the product, however, only those that can appeal to human emotions can be rendered truly memorable. Therefore, graphic design and illustrations are the most effective for the cause. Visual advertisements in print (billboards, newspapers, magazines) or on digital platforms (social media, blogs, online publications) can truly compound the impact of good content and rake in revenue.


Illustrations

Data Visualization

The presentation of data in a pictorial format enables decision-makers to see analytics presented visually so that they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. Interactive visualization coupled with technology in the form of charts and graphs provides for insightful details to tell a compelling story. Combining illustrations, facts, and text, infographics are created to narrate a story, visually. From tech-intensive businesses to B2C businesses like Swiggy – everyone has taken to utilizing design and illustration to optimize their productivity.


Illustrations

Digital Branding, Customisation and Personalisation

With the constant evolution of technology, our business communications are also changing rapidly. We are looking into micro-level personalizations and interactions. Every business house today uses illustrations to be able to relate and emote with their target audience. A unique digital identity is created with the help of customized illustrations. Digital content heavily uses graphics for higher identifiability for the consumers. From simple icons to complex illustrations – skilled illustrators create them all, using many elements to personalize business communications.

Illustration Trends for 2019

Pop art as seen in the 1970s has been revisited extensively in design in 2018, introducing the world to new possibilities of visual communication. With creativity and visuals defining company values, companies are opting to strengthen customer interactions using pop art in digital design.

 

The bold and distinctive pop art illustration styles we explored, will be visible in web and mobile applications, games, movies, branding and advertising, e-cards, kindle, and much more. Packaging too has evolved to incorporate trendy designs and consumer trends.

Illustrations
Illustrations

1. The Comic Book Style

This style is typically composed of strong black outlines, realistic sketches of people and dramatically strong colors. The most influential element in this style, however, is the halftone pattern, which is a dotted texture used to depict light and shadows.

 

Application: It is most suited for usage in posters for marketing and advertising, and for storytelling applications such as e-comics, Kindle books, etc.


Illustrations
Illustrations

2. The Photo-Montage Style 

Using cutouts of separate images to compose a new picture, this style allows for different objects to assimilate into a whole new image! It can even make the use of magazine and newspaper clippings to allow contrasting elements to fuse into one unique image.

 

Application: It is mostly used in greeting cards, stationery products, and banners for branding and communication across digital and print platforms. It also has good use under ‘About Us’ section on websites.


Illustrations
Illustrations

3. The Glitch Effect

This effect is created by using duplicated images and placing them at different positions and angles. Different hues play with each other to create a kind of ‘glitchy’ interference. The glitch effect has a wide range of uses.

 

Application: Print media, gift wrappers, mobile wallpapers, and music albums, digital platforms with informal communication.


Illustrations
Illustrations

4. The Image-Illo Blender

A blend of photographs and illustrations, this style creatively helps in expression and exudes a contemporary aesthetic.

 

Application: It is used in album art design, website, and app design, branding, magazines, and fashion.


Conclusion

Storytelling is better told with visuals for higher engagement. Illustrations hold the attention of a reader and etch them into the reader’s memory for a long time to come. The illustration is one of the most important forms of visual communication: it informs and observes, delights and decorates, instructs and inspires. The future of pop art in the design world is bright and evolving, and 2019 is set to see it make a revolutionary come-back.

Article by Ghazal Qadri and Aakansha Menon, Illustrators at Lollypop Design Studio

Fashion can be presented in various ways but understood by an individuals the way they wish to see it. Richa Maheshwari has explored the digital lens to create still imagery, conveying an artist’s thoughts to the public.

Photography

Avocation to Vocation.

Not really sure of which field to specialize in her final year at design school, Richa had luck by her side to be guided by a professor in choosing photography as her major. It did not stop there. She very easily transformed her passion of photography into her flourishing profession.

Photography

She started freelancing while pursuing college. Having no godfather in the industry or having assisted no photographer, she learned everything by hit and trial, watching tutorials and self-practicing. Taking on various projects boosted her confidence and helped her establish her own style and techniques.

Photography

On the Job.

Richa uses photography for translating her vision into reality. She feels communicating the idea of a fashion designer to a commoner in a comprehensible style while retaining its essence is the job of a fashion photographer.

Photography

She defines fashion and lifestyle as her main subjects for photography and provides the entire shoot production from conceptualization of an idea to final print or digital realization. Her client list spans from ad agencies and fashion houses to individual artists and designers.

Photography

An Artist’s Ideology.

I want to give something back to the society, Richa used her skill-set to make documentaries and done photography on various social issues, many of which have been used as fund-raisers by different organizations. According to Richa, an artist is fully satisfied when he utilizes his creative best with full liberties. But sometimes, commissioned and client works come with a restriction on the imagination. She overcomes these restrictions in creativity while working on personal and social projects.

Photography

Stumbling Blocks.

Photography being a very strong medium of communication comes with its own set of limitations.
The content portrayed to the masses should be crisp, clear and innovative, devoid of complexities and philosophical connotations. Producing work in a multi-cultural country like ours, one needs to respect the sentiments and emotions related to various beliefs and ideologies that are followed.

Photography

Motion-graphics today constitutes the peak of communication systems. But Richa is of the opinion that the still medium of photography is of much more explanatory worth than a motion-graphic.

Photography

Garnering professional experience while studying absorbed the survival pressure for Richa, which would have otherwise existed. Hence, she had the cushion to work upon all the technical and professional mistakes and keep growing in her field to become the success she is today.

Photography

Words of Advice 

For the budding professionals of the field, she has some quick tips to keep in mind:

 

1. Be original with your ideas or even if you are drawing inspiration, do not replicate.


2. Develop your style and stick to it.


3. Don’t blindly follow rules. Be creative and as experimental as possible.


4. Be open to learning and keep researching about the latest happening in the industry and technology.


5. Never be satisfied or you will stagnate your growth.


6. Take calculative risks.


7. Give something back to the society.

Photography

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. So, go ahead.

 

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Establishing a connection with their users is a smart game that brands need to play. By sharpening their intelligence and making good use of their wits, some brands have successfully made a mark and left a strong impact on the millennials.

Millennials or Generation Y are the demographic cohorts that directly follow Generation X. Often credited with coining the term Millennials, Neil Howe and William Strauss define the millennial generation as those individuals born between the years 1982 and 2004. This generation has seen their fair share of ups and downs, from being directly impacted by the 2007-08 economic slowdown to being the only generation in history to actively participate in the global shift from analog to digital systems, and of course, the growth and popularity of the internet and everything else that came with it.

Arguably the largest demographic right now, a Brooking’s data study shows that by 2025, almost 75% of the workforce will be millennials. Therefore, as they make up a large part of today’s (and the future) consumer audience, brands have started changing the way they speak, to effectively connect with this generation.

 

Let’s take a look at a few trends in design, communication & marketing for the millennial generation by VGC:

Millennial
Millennial
Millennial

1. Shorter Attention Spans, Shorter Content

With the inception of internet ads and social media, content (especially video content) has constantly been getting shorter. And with the introduction of Vine in 2013 (Vine allowed users to upload and share six-second long video loops), Snapchat and more recently Instagram stories, brands have found creative ways to connect with millennials in a very short time span.


Millennial
Millennial

2. Spending with a Purpose

If there is one thing that millennials support, it is a purpose or causes that they can get behind.

 

Brands with social responsibilities/purposes like Toms shoes (where for every pair of shoes sold, they gift a pair of shoes to an underprivileged child) or WeWOOD (that plants a tree for every watch they sell) connect very well with millennials as they feel that they’ve actively participated in an effort to make the world a better place.


Millennial
Millennial

3. Hype, Collaborations and Limited Period Drops

The Millennial generation can also be called the ‘Hype’ generation. Anything (from art to a product or service) that is able to generate enough hype becomes very attractive to millennials.

 

Take the Adidas x Dragonball collection (which was unique because an iconic Anime Saga collaborated with a leading sneaker brand) or the entire line of Supreme collaborations (originally a skate company, Supreme has collaborated with the who’s who of luxury brands), some a of which are downright weird, including a crowbar priced upwards of $250, which goes to show that any product can be a success if it is able to generate enough hype and perhaps, also drops for a limited period of time.


Millennial
Millennial

4. Bold Typography and Colourful Minimalism

How do you get a brand communication to stand out from amongst the tons of other content there is out there?

 

Simple, make it unique, creative, colourful and bold.

 

Millennials love minimalism, but the benchmark is much higher than what it used to be. Flat design, paired with bold typography and vibrant, contrasting colours make for an attention-grabbing website or creative piece.


Millennial

5. Personalized Experiences and Creative Participation 

Brands today have become more inclusive by getting consumers to participate in various aspects of the brand experience.

 

Take for instance Absolut Vodka, a brand known for its creative collaboration and promoting art & creativity, allowing young designers to take a crack at designing a bottle for the Indian market or Coca-Cola with its game changing ‘Share a coke with’ campaign, that made (nearly) everyone feel like they were special when Coke put their name on their cans.

When a consumer gets to participate in or co-create a brand experience, it really helps create a lasting impression of the brand in their mind.

 

As the millennial generation continues to be the largest consumer segment and as everything else around changes, there sure will be a rise in the number of exciting new trends, techniques, and mechanisms by which brands and consumers will interact.

Millennial
Millennial
Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. And with many expert interviews, we got various unique viewpoints, as Elephant Design shared the importance of having a well-thought packaging design for products. And on another hand, VGC gave an insight into, how a brand should be created for the Millennials. But to top it all, with very deep logical design thought, Itu Chaudhuri says that the trends are a modern seasonal disease, and we designers should continue taking it with a grain of ethically-produced, iodide-rich rock or sea salt. All-in-all this issue is a very interesting and a must-read, if you’re looking for greater clarity and want to start your year with a lot of deep design knowledge about the brand development to packaging design, user experience design, to storyboarding and more.

 

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