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In today’s world where problems are evolving, so are the needs and desires. “As a product designer, you need to incorporate a solution in your design. And how refreshingly and creatively you can do that determines how well it will relate to the user.” says product designer Aman Sadana. More on what every product design must have and should do.

Inspired by the free-flowing ‘Devanagri’ script, this kettle uses an Indian inspiration
Inspired by the free-flowing ‘Devanagri’ script, this kettle uses an Indian inspiration

A Design Process is Like a DNA; it Forms the Crux of Variety 

Irrespective of the product, the process remains the same. A design process is the DNA which infuses the style or approach of the designer in his work. Plunge. This is the time to get inspired and get passionate about the project. Try to develop a thorough understanding of the product, its user and its context. Next, plan.

Inspired by the free-flowing ‘Devanagri’ script, this kettle uses an Indian inspiration

Take all the learnings and insights from the first phase and transform these into an actionable plan. Define your goals, timeline, deliverables, constraints etc. Then play. Get wild with ideas. Scribble. Ideas are never judged nor evaluated. This is the time to test the limits of your imagination. Finally, precision. Scrutinize all your ideas with the parameters listed in the brief. Mix and match ideas to make individual concepts stronger. Detail out the final concepts, keeping all stakeholders (marketing, engineering etc.) on board. After all the tinkering, testing and evaluation, one gets selected and goes forth.

It's time for your medicines! This alarm clock designed to store pills for forgetful patients makes a non-living thing come to life

Form and Function are Two Sides of the Same Coin

As architect Frank Lloyd Wright says “Form follows function – has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” While working on a project, try not to consciously work on the two separately. It is imperative that the form be honest to the product’s underlying purpose and not a false facade to hide it with. Like every designer, walk the tight rope between functionality and aesthetics on a daily basis. It’s a skill that comes with practice.

Fuze your phone and headphones. Doing away with the hassle of entangled wires by merging the phone and headphones seamlessly
Carry Your School in Your Pocket. Designed by Aman Sadana and Sudhir Bania, it featured as a case study for Core 77

“A design process is the DNA which infuses the style or approach of the designer in his work.”

‘Out of the Box’ Working! This design showcases how form and functionality are unified
This Bike Stings! Aggressive stance and speed of a bee is portrayed in this concept vehicle

Make Non-Living Things Move the Living

Great products not only fulfill their function and look great, but are also able to evoke an emotional response. Be it the petal shaped medicine, the bee shaped vehicle, or the ball-shaped cart, they are all intended to evoke joy and play in the heart of the user. The key word here is ‘surprise’. Give the viewer what they do not expect. Give them an experience through your product. Make your product do something no one ever thought it could do or be. Like the chair and slide furniture design; it’s bound to make even adults feel like a kid again.

Pepsi on Wheels. Inspired by the Pepsi logo, this design can be a moving vehicle or a stationary kiosk
Pepsi on Wheels. Inspired by the Pepsi logo, this design can be a moving vehicle or a stationary kiosk

Often, What Seems Non-Relatable fits Perfectly Together

How you assimilate what you see at a particular moment of time, dictates the fate of your design. That’s what sparks an idea in the mind, and a design on paper. Just like the jug design that was inspired by the Devnagri alphabet ‘Ja’ from the word ‘Jal’ (water). Typography is a visual manifestation of the culture it is rooted in. Hence, it was perfect to design a product that looked intrinsically Indian. So always look out for visual cues to contextualize your designs.

Is it a Chair or a Slide? This dual furniture promotes physical activity within the confines and safety of a house
Is it a Chair or a Slide? This dual furniture promotes physical activity within the confines and safety of a house

Don’t Let Your Best Ideas be the Ones That are Forgotten

One never knows when inspiration strikes. It might be on the drive back home, in the washroom or at the library. But when it does, make sure you have a sketchbook handy. Doodle, write and even keep paper cuttings. As a rule, keep hard copies rather than put them in soon forgotten compute folders. You won’t realize, but over time you are slowly inching towards having your personal ‘Black Book’ of ideas! Refer to this idea almanac constantly.

Yin-Yang-Fan! Together with Mithun Darji, this design uses symbolism to give Orient fans a refreshing look for their 2013 summer collection

Eureka moments happen to us all, but most of us just let them slip out of our minds. At the same time, try to keep yourself updated about new trends, materials and technologies. This ‘homework’ not only enriches your work but also vastly improves the chances of ‘connecting the dots’ while working on a design problem.

LG Ceiling Fan
LG Ceiling Fan

Published in Issue 19

A typography special, made up of not only Indian type designers or designers whose first love is type, but also few very talented international designers who open a totally new playground with sharing their insights and inspirations. This issue has exclusive interviews with Lucky Dubz Trifonas from Netherlands, Indian UI & type designer Sabareesh Ravi and Shiva Nallaperumal, who believes, type designers are the material providers to all the creative professionals. Also, includes a special making of Nirlep rebranding done by Elephant Design and an interaction with the ace product designer Aman Sadana.

 

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Aman Sadana
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Aman Sadana is a Senior Manager (Design & Research) at Atomberg Technologies, who did his M.Des from IIT Delhi and B.Arch from Sushant School of Art & Architecture. Having lived in Sweden, France and Japan, his unique cultural influences have worked for brands like LG, PepsiCo, Videocon, Orient etc.


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A typography special, made up of not only Indian type designers or designers whose first love types, but also few very talented international designers who open a totally new playground with sharing their insights and inspirations. This issue has exclusive interviews with Lucky Dubz Trifonas from the Netherlands, Indian UI & type designer Sabareesh Ravi and Shiva Nallaperumal, who believes, type designers are the material providers to all the creative professionals. Also, includes a special making-of Nirlep rebranding done by Elephant Design and interaction with the ace product designer Aman Sadana.

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Illustrations with a human touch are what people look for and designer Ashwani Nagar understands that concept very well. His illustrations maintain the feel and emotion that resonate with people which in turn help them connect to the artwork at first sight.

 

Inspired by mundane events and interesting everyday people, one of his projects called Life in a Metro, Airport Swag depicts his acute sense of observation of how people behave and react while undergoing their daily journey to and from work to home. Collaborating with art partner Manish Minglani, the series of 12 posters offer a microscopic view on peoples’ everyday actions and behaviour. Made using sketchbook, Photoshop and Illustrator, this artwork symbolises how humour can help educate and create positive change in society.

 

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Alien Attack, Life in Metro
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Taak Jhaak, Life in Metro
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Loot Sako toe Loot lo, Life in Metro
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Khaao aur khaane do, Life in Metro
Mast Malang, Life in Metro
Laila Majnu, Life in Metro
Hum Saath Saath Hain, Life in Metro
Dharna Pradarshan, Life in Metro
Asiye na mujhe tum dekho, Life in Metro
Show Stopper, Life in Metro
Super Power, Life in Metro

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Gone are the days when Illustrators used to take the back seat in the advertising world. With things today, they’re emerging as the forerunners of some amazing and memorable communication that is being recognized. No doubt, clients, like OLX and Docomo, are exploring this valuable asset with Nithin Rao Kumblekar.

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Namaste India Milk, Agency: ADK Fortune Communications Pvt. Ltd.
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Urbanrise, Agency: One MG, Chennai
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Contacting an illustrator for a TVC shoot might not be something we hear of everyday, but when OLX got in touch with Nithin Rao, it was a wise decision. The client wanted a campaign that would carry forward in print as well, and thus, saving time and cost, decided to get the shoot illustrated. Simple to look at, but the task was a challenging one for the artist. The OLX team had asked him to create every object separately in the layout so that they could pick each one later, according to their needs. Thus, the illustration required Nithin to create every object completely even if it was overlapped by the objects.

Wall graphic for Sulekha.com
Wall graphic for Sulekha.com

Wall graphic for Sulekha.com
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When Docomo demanded an illustration route for its exciting print campaign ‘The bedtime stories’, Nithin knew it would be storytelling through single visuals. Without over complicating the visual, he worked carefully with shadow and light to establish humor and wit using relatable scenarios. To give the story a setting, subtle placement of props were used, like the placement of a kid’s drawing book, school bag and water bottle with a fish on it.

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Client: Killer dryShampoo, Agency: Makani
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Client: Killer dryShampoo, Agency: Makani
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Client: Killer dryShampoo, Agency: Makani
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Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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Sushant Ajnikar, who draws inspiration from the vivid display of India’s art and colours, a designer in his office, but a parent to homeless little pups on the road, a caring husband to a worried wife, and a rider on the road enjoying the journey, the beauty that is riding. He rides to connect to the reality and more to meet his four-legged friends on the road, who are forgotten and ignored. Hop on to enjoy the ride further!

The design is an amalgamation of myriad things born out of the million thoughts crammed in our gray cells, where inspiration takes form in different shapes and colours. You feed your brain with all kinds of stimuli and when you sit down to churn out something, you never know what may actually trigger a thought. Riding gives me every stimulus I may ever need and hones my creativity. And that’s just one thing.

1. Riding Teaches To Be Disciplined

Both on and off the road. Discipline doesn’t curb creativity but it makes sure that what you intend to do, actually sees fruition. Learn to have discipline in doing my research. Discipline in following a plan and going about it or atleast try to.


2. To Be Brave

Be brave enough to ditch routine, and take on a new route. Try something new. Learn something different.



3. To Be Flexible

I cannot ride with the assumption that my life’s going to be sorted with all the facilities I want. I have to be flexible enough to adjust to any kind of adversity or scenario or surprises. Bingo for design (a designer). Flexibility is creativity’s best friend and a creative person should always be ready to adapt.


4. To Get Hands Dirty and Be Humble

I cannot do 16,000 km without getting some elbow grease, without sitting in the mud on a hot summer’s day, drinking water from a tap. Similarly, I will never succeed as a designer if I don’t do the groundwork. I need to start at the bottom, to get to the very top. No shortcuts here.

5. To Accept Fears

I am human and being scared of the unknown is only natural. But I need to accept it so that I can resolve it. In design, if something is challenging enough to scare me, I should be able to address it, instead of sitting on it, pretending to be cool and making unnecessary mistakes, as no one likes a smartass who knows nothing.


6. Makes You A Keen Observer

I observe everything. I now notice things that I wouldn’t have earlier and there is such joy in observing. The more I observe, the better I am able to sketch my memories out, the more I am able to adapt them to the design, if at all.



7. Teaches To Embrace Failure

When you are on the road, you may have these goals that you set out to achieve. However, you may not see its fulfillment, and the reasons cannot be controlled. And that’s completely okay. The best part of failure is that you get a second chance to do it all over again. You know what to expect then, what to do or not do. The same applies to design rejection and failure is as much a part of this industry as glory is. I need to be able to accept, learn and move on. You almost always end up doing better.


8. Riding Teaches To Keep it Simple

Don’t complicate stuff. Ask any self-respecting designer what they think is the best design and simple will almost always being one of the words that will crop up. Simple isn’t boring, simple can be adventurous, simple can be fancy, simple can be exciting, simple can be anything, it’s just how simply you are able to convey or do what you want to do

Published in Issue 33

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

 

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This century belongs to creativity and innovation. In everything we do. The way we live is a lot different from what it used to be earlier. Our engagement to shape our future has become intense and pervasive. Design is omnipresent. It is so naturally embedded all around us that sometimes we don’t even notice it. Be it in architecture, product, textile, fashion or graphic design. In the past few years however sensitivity towards design has taken a turn for the better. People today are more aware and are slowly but surely appreciating the impact good design can have in their lives.

Associate Creative Director and Partner of GCD StudioShahana Jain is going to specifically talk about graphic design as an industry and how it has built a standing for itself as a fast growing discipline. Communication design has seen exponential growth in recent years following the surge in consumerism and media. Branding, packaging and advertising are crucial to the success of a product or service in this fiercely competitive environment where presentation is as important as quality. More so with the explosion of digital media, graphic design has found a new area of expansion.

A new brand is created every day. With the new generation rearing to go, the startup ecosystem is fearlessly growing and new players are constantly aspiring to become big names. In such a scenario each one is trying to create their unique space and identity. Branding has therefore become an obvious starting point for those who want to make their presence felt.

For instance many design firms in India is constantly working with start-ups in the technology, FMCG and hospitality space to help them create a distinct identity that then interfaces with the world. Designers are contributing to the entire visual world around us. There is immense scope for designers in almost every industry.

More and more industrial companies are utilising the services of product designers as their inputs often lead to added values in terms of improved usability, lowered production costs and more appealing products. The design is, therefore, emerging as a much sought after career option. If you have a flair for design, the industry offers you wonderful opportunities to prove your mettle. We, as designers, therefore play a vital role in giving expression to an idea and have the power to influence the success of a brand.

With retail moving into self-service formats, the shelf appeal of packaging has become more important than ever. The market is flooded with products vying for consumer attention. Packaging design has become critical, as it is the initial point of purchase: the point of decision making for the buyer.

Attractive and relevant graphics, appropriate balance of colours and typography, as well as attention to forms and material make a significant difference in the aesthetic appeal of a product. Large corporates and businesses have realized the importance of packaging design and are continuously investing in revamping their product packaging so as to make it more in line with current trends and to counter competition.

Advertising has also evolved in last decade. With the advent of the digital media and people consuming information all the time, short, simple and impactful advertising has become the order of the day. You have to be instantly noticed to make an impression in a cluttered marketing environment.

The consumer should feel excited and compelled to ‘follow’ you, ‘like’ you or ‘tweet’ about you. Divided consumer attention can be channelized using the tools of good design. Given the changing fabric of advertising, more time and energy is being spent by big and small corporates on brand strategy including the use of effective marketing and social media tools to get the message out.

Digital, web and app development is an area there maximum expansion has happened. And it will only increase in the future. If you do not have web presence you’re not in the running. Meaningful content development, both visual and copy is essential to maintain brand presence. Smart UI and UX design including easy layout and navigation determines whether an app/website is user friendly and hence functionally viable. Therefore role of graphic design becomes critical in finding appropriate solutions for the task at hand.

From a global standpoint, design is no longer contained within the boundaries of any country, as the world wide net is really one holistic platform. It forces design to find some sort of universal language and designers to be aware of trends around the world. Every new brand is present on the net and the net is accessible to people in virtually every corner of the world.

While this was always the mantra for ‘global’ brands and MNCs – today even if you are a boutique coffee roaster in Coorg, you will have presence on the net and your brand and product will be accessible to people all over the world! So designers sitting in New Delhi or Beguserai, could be creating brands for a consumer in Tokyo or Chicago! And therefore designers need to be up to speed with developments and expectations not just in their local area or country but also on a global platform.

The design industry in India is adapting itself to deal with increasing demand for good, discerning design, both locally and globally. Design schools are equipping themselves with the best teaching tools and updated software knowledge to keep pace with industry requirements. Design companies on the other hand are beefing up their service portfolios and bandwidth by adding to their skillsets and expertise.

Freelancers have found new ground, as there is work for everybody. This is in turn is enabling the availability of talent to large and small organizations who are setting up their independent design departments to accommodate the gamut of work.

To sum up, the design industry is booming and is in a very promising space today. The future is getting brighter, every aspect of life demands a new approach, a new solution, a new way of looking at it.

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Imagine a rickshaw puller who sits majestically in his vehicle, like a king, murmuring an old song, that’s one of those moments, which brings rural India alive. And that’s exactly what watercolour artist Raj Kumar Sthabathy always tries to capture. His objective is to preserve this raw culture before it gets lost in today’s fast changing world.

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RajKumar- watercolour
Folk
RajKumar- watercolour
At Work

Simplicity inspires like nothing else.

The common Indian village folk has a distinct body language, costume and general way of life. The simplicity and rarity that is so engraved is highly appealing for any artist. Even with minimum colours, their lives can beautifully narrate themselves on the canvas. It’s surprising how small things can make them happy. And when this simple life is conveyed through a canvas, it calls for dignity. When people around the world admire a painting, the rickshaw man finds his own space in this huge, complicated world.

RajKumar- watercolour
Milkman
RajKumar- watercolour
Transport

Art captures the moment you missed.

70% of the Indian population still dwells in villages. And it’s surprising how little about them is known. Art is a time machine, taking people to times they’ve not witnessed or experienced. Traditional paintings, featuring rural folk, represent the memorable moment’s city dwellers have missed. Sadly, the rural man’s space is getting minimized by modern, urban expansion. And that’s where an artist must use his most powerful weapon, art, in order to gratefully record the rural commoners. So that those who have missed out understand the underlying intention, appreciate it and perhaps even do something about it.

RajKumar- watercolour
Rickshaw
RajKumar- watercolour
Fruit Seller

Rural is versatile. 

A rickshaw and rickshaw man can be converted into 1000 drawings. But it is very tough to do the same for a BMW or a millionaire. Even if someone is able to do it, there are high chances that it could be confused for an advertisement. That’s why rural subjects transpose into creative expressions more effortlessly, giving an artist a unique edge in his work. Rural India lets open hundreds of such possibilities to create engaging stories that are at the same time melodic, expressive and emotive.

RajKumar- watercolour
Man and Animal
Alley

Watercolour speaks the truth.

It is the only medium that has the ability to capture colours and fragrance of native India. What’s best about this medium is that it seems to have a mind of its own. The space of its spreading and the final result beyond the efforts of the artist make watercolour come alive. During the process of creating, it sometimes flows like water, spreading and selecting its own path to create new colours and images. Sometimes, even white spaces are created as they curve around certain places. When such magical transformations happen, viewers often perceive them as extraordinary talent of the painter.

RajKumar- watercolour
Going to Work
RajKumar- watercolour
Family

The more you experiment, the better the medium becomes.

Working with watercolour is also about making conscious efforts. Regardless of the independent nature of the medium, an artist can take it nonetheless, wherever required. Like using dark to light technique instead of the other way round gives the painting an intense definition. The way one creates strokes with the brush and colour also adds character to the painting. Working with modern and attractive strokes helps create unique artwork to startle the audience.

RajKumar- watercolour
Amma
RajKumar- watercolour

Passion can become a cause.

Modernism is what dominates the times of today. And everything around us is changing without an announcement. In today’s fast changing times, there are some things that remain the same. Like the rickshaw man who waits in the street for his pick up or the Kuthoo performer who practices the role of Draupadi with his long hair or those cow dung pasted walls. Before rural India flows away in the changes and loses itself to the pace, it’s imperative to capture it. For an artist, drawing inspiration from the rich experiences of rural life can turn into a mission to preserve the real and simple living and showcase it to the world.

RajKumar- watercolour
RajKumar- watercolour

Published in Issue 09

This issue focuses on strengths and weakness of Indian creative business with cover from Archan Nair. Also, include some of the fearless creatives who had made their mark in the industry without compromising on the quality of the output and many more interesting reads.

 

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Freelance illustrator, Pratima Unde, takes us on a journey of depicting human emotions on canvas. She thereby describes and provides insight on how it requires one to dive into the depths of the subject’s personality, so as to be able to aptly and accurately represent it.

Emotions
Monk.

CG. What fascinates you most about human expressions that you seem to choose them as your prime subjects?

PU. Even if you don’t know an individual personally, you can decipher a lot about that person just by looking at his or her face. Every day in our lives, we see hundreds of faces; each person wears a mask. But, if we get out of our own little selfish world and look carefully, the mask will disappear, and we’ll see a range of emotions on the person’s face – right from pain to happiness. I like taking off those masks through my illustrations.

Emotions
The Couple.

CG. What is your main intention that you wish to achieve or convey through your work?

PU. I try to bring out the emotions people go through; ones they subconsciously engage in, and which do not easily or readily show on their faces and in their expressions. The subjects I approach are very shy and prefer to keep everything to themselves, much like a secret or personal indulgence. I speak for them through my illustrations, bringing out what lays unsaid or unexpressed.

Emotions
Naughtiest.

CG. What are the most challenging aspects of portraying human emotions?

PU. People go through umpteen numbers of emotions, not only through the course of the whole day but also at single points of time. To select the one emotion that dominates or overshadows the others is a little tricky. I sometimes spend days observing the subjects, before I start to illustrate. It requires one to look beneath the surface and gauge at what lies underneath – just like an iceberg. That is the beauty and challenge of it – or, you can say, the beauty lies in the challenge.

Emotions
The Couple.

CG. How do you achieve representing your subjects wholly on the canvas?

PU. I usually sit face-to-face with my subjects and spend days with them. There’s always something new that I see in them each and every day – it’s like diving into the depth of the sea, inching deeper and deeper. A wrinkle, tear or smile can say a lot. So, I usually start with a rough sketch, using different mediums. I then keep making changes, until I’m completely confident and satisfied with what I’ve manifested on the canvas, is a true representation of the person.

Emotions
Addiction.

CG. What is the idea behind the textures you choose in your illustrations?

PU. ‘Giggling’ is the technique I use to highlight the facial expressions. I start with a simple dot that turns into a line which never ends. By going in a circular motion, I never actually realise where the line started, and where it ended. This style helps me provide a great amount of detailing to the illustration. It also helps me go in-depth to bring out their personalities precisely.

Emotions
The Villager.

CG. What do you enjoy most, in your work process?

PU. The final result is what I enjoy most about my work! I love it when people understand and relate or connect to my work. Conveying a lot about a person just through a glance is what I want to achieve through all my illustrations. When that happens, I feel happiness.

Emotions
Surprised.

CG. What would be your advice to others who wish to involve in a similar style of work as yours?

PU. Don’t try to emulate someone else, but choose a style that is solely yours, instead. That way, the work you create through it will be your personal best and most satisfying. Only you can create and execute your own trademark style. Trust me!

Emotions
Mother.
Emotions
Joyous Rajasthani.

Published in Issue 39

As the festivity is all around, every brand or business is trying to impress the Indian audience. But what really works for us Indians? What is an Indian design? And how we can make designs for India? To understand it, we interviewed some Indian creatives who are successfully creating designs for the Indian audience. Neha Tulisan, the founder of NH1 design, highlights to understand how we Indians live; how we grew up; and what moves us emotionally. Whereas Mira Malhotra, founder of Studio Khol, emphasises on the difference of Western and Indian Sensibilities. Also, we support keeping ourselves connected with Indian cultures, languages, history, aspirations and more, will help find the Indian context in everything we create. This issue of Creative Gaga is a light read for someone looking for inspirations or insights on Indian design and how the Indian audience can be enticed. So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving a regular dose of inspirations!

 

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