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Everything around us is the result of a design thought, conscious or unconscious. Diving deep into the story behind its creation inspires original creativity. Ruminates the young and promising illustration & design studio, LOCOPOPO, founded by Lokesh Karekar.

Illustration for Royal Stag Whisky packaging Design
Illustration for Royal Stag Whisky packaging Design
Illustration for Royal Stag Whisky packaging Design

We Live in a Designed World

There is design in every object or thing around us. From a bus ticket to apparels, from roads to an entire city, and every single thing around us is designed. Good or bad, it has been “designed” by somebody. The environment that we grow up in defines our choices of colours, patterns, purposes and forms. As consumers we prefer for a certain kind of design. And as creators, we subconsciously play the role of a designer, conceptualizing a product according to our choices. This is the most fascinating fact about the world around us.

Illustration for Taj Vivanta
Identity design for Myoho - a fashion apparel brand
Identity and label design for SIX FIELDS wheat beer

Creating is The Best Way to Get Inspired

Inspiration can come from anywhere. That’s the most heard statement in the life of a designer. What we do with it shape up our creativity. Travelling is just a beginning to imbibe ideas. Scribbling, doodling, clicking photographs, recording incidents is the next step. As creative minds, we need to keep dabbling with the triggers so as to come up with our own ideas. This is what keeps the mind of an artist fresh, original and prolific.

Identity design for Mango Pickle
Collateral design for Mango Pickle
Collateral design for Mango Pickle
Coaster design for Mango Pickle
Collateral design for Mango Pickle

Our Roots Define Our Identity

Our culture has a rich reservoir of forms and content. As designers we should search within and dig out references that are related to our roots. But the quest doesn’t stop there. Being part of the larger global family, our job is to merge our design sensibilities with the international one. Keeping the composition and colour preference modern and the choice of figures and patterns Indian, or vice versa, we are actually contributing our bit to make our own art socially appreciable. It’s time we simplify, modify, create shapes and motifs inspired from Indian traditional styles and implement them correctly with proper use of colours.

Brand illustration language created for festival mailers for Aditya Birla Capital
Brand illustration language created for festival mailers for Aditya Birla Capital
Brand illustration language created for festival mailers for Aditya Birla Capital

Illustration is an Illusion

And of course, a beautiful one. It’s wonderful to observe how it seamlessly integrates into the central thought of the project at hand. Ranging from minimal and form based work, where the whole charm is concentrated in one form to very detailed, sometimes bright and vibrant imagery, illustrations are carriers of ideas and have no existence of their own. Trying to define style through one’s illustration abilities is a wrong approach. Rather, one should focus on one’s communication abilities and explore the preferred design tools.

Illustration for Jack Daniels
Packaging Design for Jack Daniels
Play card Design for Jack Daniels
Play card Design for Jack Daniels

Every Medium has an Inherent Wit

As designers our job is to give a contextual twist and make the humour relevant to the design. There is fun around us. We don’t even have to search for it. If our process of getting inspired is right, it automatically transforms into our works. Be it illustration, collage, clay modeling or even product design, the medium inherits this wit and automatically gets translated through the specific language of the medium. The human figures in my work often follow a feeling of caricature as that is what I imbibe from the human faces around me.

How the stability of the Indian Rupee affects industries like infrastructure, automobile and banking. Created for Moneycontrol.com
How the stability of the Indian Rupee affects industries like infrastructure, automobile and banking. Created for Moneycontrol.com

Be Original

Look around and you’ll find your voice resonating in one of the elements of your root, your own culture. Get inspired from it, and embark on the journey of finding your own language.

Illustration created for LAKME - Absolute Salon advertising campaign
Lifestyle Illustration created for Lodha Bellissimo

Published in Issue 04

This is a Inspiration Special. The issue with the best insights from some of the top space designers and advertising tips from Happy Creatives with some exclusive mix of media experiments in type and digital art.

 

 

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Snow, rain, forest, desert – nature never followsany particular style. Graphic design studio, Prasun Mazumdar Design believes in a similar variety. Inspired by nature, it likes to work with natural tools, the hands, to create artworks that are organic and free-flowing, just like nature itself.

Design
Installation art for DLF Promenade
Design
Shiva Illustration

Nature is the Best Reference.

Wings of a butterfly. Tail of a peacock. The sunset sky. The veins of leaves. Nature is full of such beautiful designs and v aried display of creativity. The idea is to make a regular morning walk in the park seem like a walk through an art gallery. Spend more time with nature. Register natural patterns and forms. That’s how you’ll gradually realize that lessons from a book don’t help as much as dir ect interaction with life and nature.

Design
Illustration for Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rock Collection
Design
Designed for Royal Enfield

Variety Makes This World an Exciting Place.

Graphic designers must learn this from nature. Everything that exists around us has been designed for a particular purpose. Designs should also have a similar aim, an appropriate purpose. Nature is a live demonstration of the various simulations and executions of the same subject. Like that tree in front of your home. It’s the same tree that looks different in the morning sunshine as compared to its dark shadows dancing on a wall at night.

Pundits. A mixed visual language, showing the musical combination of heavy classical notes backed by electronic beats
Through the Words of Mr. Bond. Illustration for ‘The Kashmiri Storyteller’ by Ruskin Bond
Should start again? The world after the apocalypse with the crow holding a hope in the form of a seedling
Jim. Tee and denim design, inspired by Jim Morrison, showcases his persona using shapes and colours

Design Should Not Be What You Want It To Be, But Rather What it Should Be.

The main problem these days is that many designers are creating artworks that ‘appeal to the masses’. That’s usually because clients want it that way. In a world where everyone interprets art differently, such works of art are ineffective. Moreover, they are detrimental to the diversity that is inherent in nature and society. As a result, the whole world of art and design is getting formulated. The philosophy should be to do good designs and make them for what they are meant to be.

Metamorphosis. Inspired by constellations and night sky phenomenon, the design shows metamorphosis at different levels around us
Metamorphosis. Inspired by constellations and night sky phenomenon, the design shows metamorphosis at different levels around us

Nature Gave Us Tools.

We decide its use. Like our hands. It gives one a lot of options to experiment with allowing for new outcomes every time. Technology has helped graphic designers immensely. However, working with hands is a different feeling altogether. The idea is not to be different, but to feel your work as you make it. Those pencil impressions on the thumb, the colour and ink stains on the palm, the aching joints of the finger s, are all signs of raw and fresh work.

Tanabana. The word ‘tanabana’ means matrix. This illustrative book cover was made with a thread like effect
Packaging for Smuze

Your Design is an Ecosystem.

If trees, rivers, animals, birds, insects, soil and rocks were design elements, a forest would be the artwork. It’s for a designer to bring together unrelated elements to make it seem like one harmonious family. Singling out one element and making it rich can disturb the balance of the overall layout later on. Hence, the bigger picture should always be kept in mind.

Design
Packaging for Spichi
Design
Packaging for Spichi
For Royal Enfield

Evolution is a Way of Survival.

Mutation, we all know, is what keeps life going. Nature has an appropriate solution for revival and survival. The same concept can be applied while making identities. Using the right fonts, understanding them and their usage, can create identities that can stand the test of time. Experiment with fonts, mutate them. But before all that, know the surroundings, that is, the philosophy of the brand, its placement in the market and various other factors affecting the brand. Keeping all this in mind, make necessary changes to the font to get a desired result.

Rebranding for Erna’s Gourmet
Rebranding for Erna’s Gourmet

Self Belief Leads to Adaptation.

While starting off as an independent venture, don’t narrow the choices. Try your hands on everything. Be everything. Don’t restrict your capabilities. Of course, the change from a protected environment to the wilderness is not easy. But if you’re good, nothing can stop you.

Designed for Jawa

Published in Issue 11

This is a Design in India Festival Special! This issue also explored the Jewellery Design & Wedding Photography with some cool techniques to learn from experts in Gyaan section.

 

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Saloni Sinha
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After completing her Bachelors in Design from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Saloni Sinha did her Masters in Design from National Institute of Design. Currently, she is working as a Senior Visual Designer at Frog Design. Her approach to design is rooted in conceptual thinking, visual styling and experimentation.


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Digital Art Special! We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Archan Nair, Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.

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Whether a mystery is intriguing or not depends a lot on how you tell it. “Abstract ideas, when combined with the correct medium, give rise to captivating artworks” says illustrator Saloni Sinha. She shares some secrets on how to attain the idea-medium sync.

Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story

It’s a no chicken or egg analogy.

The idea comes first. Period. The medium gives a vent to portray the context like in ‘Skating Glory’, an installation made for NID Bangalore’s annual fest. For this artwork, illustrations using poster paints were made on corrugated sheets which were later cut into skateboard shape so as to give it a fun and raw college-like look.

Skating Glory
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story

At times, the medium participates in the idea as in the case of the glass etched illustration ‘Evolve’. The creature that is depicted is embedded rather than staying in its free form, implying the translucency of the creature’s existence.

Evolve
Cornucopia, Event Poster

Mix it up to sort it out.

Mixed media works best when it comes to abstraction of ideas. The traditional style of inking, when later coloured digitally, helps give the artwork a modern philosophical look. The idea in ‘Escapism’ is all about observing, guarding and the dilation of these when observed from a different perspective. And the digital aspect, like the hazy boundaries and the surreal surroundings, help dramatise the theme.

Escapism
Amogh Symphony - IV, Album cover art
YSP - Chaos // Despair, Album cover

A mix is also noticeable in ‘Droid in Process’ that has an illustration against a digitally created futuristic background, giving it a unique appeal.

Silver Tears - Ensnared, Album cover

While working with mixed media, it’s important to not let the medium disrupt your idea. The medium should enhance the thought. Like in ‘Profanity’, digital tones of light and dark are used to showcase the power of the illustrated dark lord.

Profanity
Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society, Branding and Educational Posters

Colour code the thoughts.

Though colour patterns vary from medium to medium, the basic fact remains that colours are selected keeping in mind the mood of the context. The saturated ones suggest vigour and powerful ideas as in ‘Bloom’. The creature’s bright green dress gives a vive of purity and harmonistic perspective of nature. Her bright red hair gives the feeling of passion and joyousness that nature has to offer.

Bloom, depicts the comfort and the bloom of the nature

On the other hand the dull colours talk about the subtleness or the illusive nature of the idea. ‘The Grand Escape’ stays in the grey zone to highlight the underlying theme. The artwork suggests the collision of thoughts in an abstract way which leads to the breakfree of a mind that then spreads into a different zone.

The Grand Escape
Practo, UI/UX

Symbolisms, metaphors and analogies are also mediums.

Abstraction involves disguising plane visions. The illustrated mechanical hand of Frankenstein in ‘Bring Me to Life’ depicts the conscious idea of destruction by our own. But the twist in observation here is that the posture of the hand is not threatening in any sense, rather it is playful. The ugly mechanical hand tries to explore the beauty of the butterfly in a way he isn’t aware of, as he was never taught the love behind his creation. The underlying thought, is that the ugliness we are born with doesn’t traverse if the love and care doesn’t.

Bring Me to Life

In ‘Tangles of Insanity’, the creature, its lustrous outgrowths and the dark background can be compared to the mind and mood of the artist who spreads the brushes rhythmically on to the canvas, creating a dilemma for itself and plunging into the dark corners of the mind in order to deviate from the general consciousness.

‘Not Just Another Pill’ uses the analogy of the effects of drugs. The random outburst of mixed feelings out of the node and the hand symbolises, it’s about how you take the pill and adapt it in your life. Metaphorically, it’s the feel good factor of a thought or an idea incepted in the human mind.

Not Just Another Pill
Jeepers Creepers - In Constant State of Crisis, EP cover

Published in Issue 14

Digital Art Special! We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Archan Nair, Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.

 

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Everyone notices a unique look and style. It’s the same for a logo or branding. “They are the face of a brand.” says Ketaki K, founder of Cub Design Studio. “And the industry is all about uniqueness, memorability and connect.” Here, she takes us through some simple remedies that can brighten your skills.

Branding for Simpli Eat
Branding for Simpli Eat
Branding for Rosy Bow Fashion

Change is the only Constant.

Every brand has diverse challenges and needs customised solutions. This means that the thought process has to be different for each brand. Designs have to be unique for each brand and are never repeated as they are a result of brainstorming, discussions and experimentation. However, what remains consistent with every project is a trendy fresh look for each design.

Branding for Krushnai
Branding for Krushnai
Branding for Glorious

How far you can imagine starts from how closely you observe.

A brand’s design is its identity. It’s very important that the design does justice to the brand- that’s exactly what its meant for! The briefing is most important, as getting a good understanding of the client’s requirements and the brand’s personality is key. As that is what will catapult your imagination when you get to work.

Packaging for K n U
Stationery design for K n U
Product Design
Branding & Packaging for LivRaw

Less Goes a Long Way.

A logo is the face of the brand. And in order for it to stand the test of time and become the brand itself, it needs to be simple and devoid of any complications. It must be easy to handle so that over time, it can be placed on any medium, from paper to billboard or from fabric to mugs. Consider the logo of Nike; a simple ‘tick mark’ that has worked so well for the brand.

Logo Design for Panditji - Veg Restaurant
Branding for Panditji - Veg Restaurant
Branding for Panditji - Veg Restaurant
Stationery for Panditji - Veg Restaurant

It’s all about what people remember.

The growth of a brand to a considerable extent depends on brand recall. Unique designs ensure people and consumers remember and recollect the brand and its design. Panditiji and Head Safe brandings are funky, playful and strongly distinctive. The client expects a ‘unique’ brand, the brand demands a ‘recall’ value and the target audience looks for a ‘connect’ while a designer needs to ensure all the above are met seamlessly. Nothing brings more joy than creating a lasting value.

Branding for Head Safe
Branding for Head Safe
Stationary for Bake Factory
Branding for Bake Factory

Design is everything.

Though branding can have different perspectives, any good branding should be simple and yet bring out the connect in an interesting manner. Understanding the product/service and then solving the problem is crucial. Always remember, design is a solution for a brand and not just a mere decorative thing. If you do this every day, you’ll never go wrong

Branding for Bake Factory
Packaging for Bake Factory
Logo Design for Vasundhara Jewellers

Published in Issue 21

Branding With Packaging! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

 

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Imagination is the greatest form of flattery and for a designer; it doubles up as a way to pay homage to legends, icons and inspirations. Illustrator Shesh Kiran created the caricature portrait of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. He explains how.

Portrait
Portrait

Step 1

Started the rough sketching with new file of 300 dpi resolution. I used the tablet pen for this sketch with the various brush sizes from 25 to 30.

Step 2

Create a new layer below the sketch layers and filled it with black colour. Kept the fill opacity to 62% which makes the rough sketch partially visual.

Step 3

Added a new layer and started filling the flat skin colour in this layer. Also added another layer for colouring the clothes.

Step 4

Used new traditional texture brushes to detail the hair, eyes and skin tone. Airbrushes were used to bring shades and highlights of skin.

Portrait

Step 5

Further worked on the skin using ‘transform’ from the brush presets to lighten the skin and to create the softer tones using airbrush.

Portrait

Step 6

From the reference image collected the cloth colour palette to bring the real life feel. With the airbrush started detailing the clothes with the selected colour palette.

Portrait

Step 7

Gave a final touch to artwork using various opacity and ‘flow’ on hands, fluet and background as per the requirment to bring the depth and lighting. Hence arrive at the final portrait artwork.

Tools Used:

• Adobe Photoshop

• Wacom Bamboo tablet

• Airbrushes & round brushes for painting.

Published in Issue 21

Branding With Packaging Special! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

 

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Shesh Kiran
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Shesh Kiran, a Bangaluru based illustrator and animator who loves to create caricatures & cartoon characters and worked with many multimedia companies in his 10 years of experience.


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Branding With Packaging! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

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