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The design has the power to solve any complex problem. Elephant Design using this power of design to create exceptional brands and develop amazing products for their clients. They have recently created many inspiring brand solutions and we have showcased some of them here.

The Task at Hand: Packaging and Naming Nostalgia in The Form of Authentic Curry Pastes.

The Story

Tangy Turmeric wished to create a range of products that could cater to those who, for some reason or another, we’re unable to experience the goodness of home-cooked food. In the traditional Indian context, Ghar Ka Khaana (as it’s called) is nutritious, wholesome, pure – and most importantly, delicious. But could it also be convenient?

That was how Tasty Tales was born. Their ready-to-cook curry pastes are free of preservatives, which is a double-whammy for their target audience since the new generation associates packaged food with additives and ‘synthetic’ taste.

Moreover, meticulous research has led them to craft these products in the way they were intended – straight from the grandmothers’ hidden cache of recipes, committed to nothing but a memory.

The Focus

Envisaging the right nomenclature for a brand that wants to bring traditional, authentic and regional recipes to consumers in a convenient packaged format. Creating a packaging system for the brand, enabling differentiation and helping it stand out on the shelf.

The Design

Elephant worked with Tangy Turmeric, the parent brand to find the right nomenclature. The Grandmother became a central figure in the brand’s identity. Since her recipes would be passed down from one generation to the next in the form of oral storytelling sessions, the team created the nomenclature: ‘Tasty Tales’, and it was met with immediate acceptance. The name was easy on the tongue, had a good recall, and represented everything that was nostalgically delicious.

Based on the nomenclature, Elephant also designed a packaging system for the products that had strong visual cues for aroma, taste and authenticity – playing on the ‘grandmother’ to be the originator of regionally authentic recipes that are also convenient to execute.

The package itself is a stand-up sealable package with an interesting choice of a jar shape, which Elephant helped to enhance. Like one of those porcelain jars found in the days of old, complete with cloth and string graphics, the package hints at the promise of authentic goodness within, while also being convenient for the product.

Published in Issue 49

The Design in 2020! Each year starts with many predictions, anticipations and a lot of hope for bad things to go out and good things to come in our life. The year 2020 has already started with eventful initial months and may hold more surprises in coming times. To understand what’s coming from the design perspective, we featured some of the best design projects from last year. Also discussed a few broad questions like how minimalism will affect our designs or what all an illustrator to keep in mind to be successful and much more.

 

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The phrase, “if you think you can, you can” is possibly the best way to describe Divya Negi, an engineer turned artist. While working at odd jobs to support herself after obtaining a Master’s in Nanotechnology and before pursuing her PhD, Divya began drawing.

 

It was that it dawned on her that nothing in the world made sense except art. This profound realisation fueled Divya’s decision to start her career from scratch in the art industry.

 

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Divya Negi - Think
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Brands face new challenges everyday as consumers become increasingly aware of the social and environmental consequences of the choices they make in the marketplace. One of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior has been with respect to eco-friendliness. Buyers today not only want to make sure that a product (packaging) was manufactured through a green process, but they also demand that the carbon footprint of the entire consumption cycle is minimised.

A 2019 survey of millennial shoppers in the US found that 64% of them are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products and 78% are influenced by a company’s commitment to reducing pollution. This trend is perhaps stronger in India as a report by leading management consultancy firm AT Kearney last year showed consumers in the country are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly or socially-minded brands across categories such as automobiles, apparel, personal care, fresh and packaged foods.

Sustainable Packaging

According to a UN report, we produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year — that’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. More importantly, a lion’s share (almost 42%) of the plastics produced each year goes into packaging. As such, a good starting point for a brand to become eco-conscious is adopting green packaging practices.

Here Shreesh Shankar, founder of Sukkrish AADDS, lists sustainable packaging trends that your brand can choose from:

1. Corrugated Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Designs by Impprintz Design Studio

Corrugated packaging basically is the brown boxes with streamlined sides you receive from online retailers. They are recyclable since they are made of multiple sheets of paper. With the coronavirus pandemic not showing any signs of abating, e-commerce is set to pick up even in products that shoppers earlier preferred to buy from a brick and mortar store. Get ready to receive a lot of corrugated boxes this year and be prepared to dispatch many if you are brand.

2. Returnable Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar
Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Source: Repack

There’s a new R-word in the block — returnability. Returnable packaging will be another consequence of the pandemic-online retail boom that’s happening now. It involves the use of sturdy and reusable material so that the package can be moved up and down the supply chain more than once — thus ensuring an eco-friendly way of returning goods from the consumer’s end.

3. Biodegradable Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar
Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Design by Prompt Design

Styrofoam is one of the most common ways to package electronics and other fragile products. Also known as expanded polystyrene foam, this material is not biodegradable and often finds its way into water bodies where it kills aquatic life forms. Moreover, most Indian towns and cities don’t yet have efficient ways of waste segregation. Given these realities, a brand that uses biodegradable material like cornstarch for packaging could really win the hearts of environmentally conscious customers. Pro tip: Go an extra mile and make your packaging compostable to stay ahead of the curve!

4. Edible Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Source: Evoware

Nature, they say, is a great teacher. Most fruits and vegetables are dual-purpose — both the core and the peel can be consumed in different ways. Taking a cue from this, innovative packaging practices have surfaced to minimise waste. Both the food and the package it is wrapped into can now be eaten. For some motivation: An Indonesian start-up recently manufactured sandwich wrappers from edible seaweed.

5. Go Vegan!

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Design by Visibly Vegan

Yes, you read that right. Petroleum-based inks have been used for printing and packaging for the past fifty years because of their short drying time and cost-effectiveness. However, greener alternatives such as soy and vegetable inks have been around for a while but they may be costlier and slower to dry. But they also have huge upsides — many printers say soy ink is clearer and works better on recycled paper.

6. Smart Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

The definition of packaging today has evolved — it’s no more just a container. The advancement of electronics and digital technology has meant that packaging can serve multiple purposes. Basically, smart packaging can help improve the shelf life of a product through moisture control, monitor temperature changes, and storage time.

7. Marie Kondo Your Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Design by otília erdélyi

Perhaps the biggest pop trend in design in the past couple of years has been the adoption of the Marie Kondo way — to tidy up. Elaborate packaging is wasteful and also time-consuming for the customer. Adopting a minimalistic packaging aesthetic is not only sustainable from the environment’s perspective, but it’s also more appealing to the end-user.

The sustainable packaging market was pegged at $237.74 billion in 2019 by a Mordor Intelligence report. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% to 313.93 billion by 2025. This tells us that brands are reading the tea leaves right in adopting sustainable packaging practices. Greenwashing on social media channels isn’t going to cut it with environmentally aware consumers — they demand that brands walk the talk. If you are a business with your eye on the future, you would do well to adopt sustainable packaging today!

Conclusion

It’s important to tell your customer how many times the container can be recycled or how it should be disposed of. The Eco Trends survey quoted at the beginning of the article has a great motivation for communicating green practices to the customer — 76% of millennial shoppers feel positive towards companies who are educating consumers on ways to be eco-friendly.

The sustainable packaging market was pegged at $237.74 billion in 2019 by a Mordor Intelligence report. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% to 313.93 billion by 2025. This tells us that brands are reading the tea leaves right in adopting sustainable packaging practices. Greenwashing on social media channels isn’t going to cut it with environmentally aware consumers — they demand that brands walk the talk. If you are a business with your eye on the future, you would do well to adopt sustainable packaging today!

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Why does your soap dish look the way it looks? And why do you hold a spoon the way you do? You probably wouldn’t have lost any sleep over these questions, not even when these everyday objects doesn’t work right!

E veryday products, they are so numerous and ubiquitous. They form the material framework of our existence, enabling it to function, not only in practical or utilitarian terms but also in ways that give pleasure, meaning and significance to our lives. But why don’t we notice them? Most of us travel by the same route every day, do similar tasks every day, go to same places and although we are awake and seeing things around us we are not actually looking at them consciously. Hence, such products are frequently taken for granted.

Design, to my understanding, is much about having an eye for such details and bringing back life to mundane objects. I would like to emphasize on the act of “Observation” as a necessary tool to design useful products.

 

For quite sometime now I have been deeply intrigued by the everyday mundane objects lying all around us. The market is flooded with a plethora of redesigned products but very few redefined objects.

When one re-designs a product, one tends to retain the essence of it’s being…the soul. However gives its body a complete make over…without even hitting on the mind. When we re-define, as the word itself suggests, we work on the soul of the product, we question its very existence. Thus, giving the product a new mind and a fresh body.

 

A beautiful body is as important as a beautiful mind. An aesthetically balanced product drives the customer close to itself. “Form-material” relation is one of the demanding parameters of a good-looking product. It makes it desirable. Color adds the oomph factor!

The mind is that aspect of the product, which interacts with the user/customer. Sometimes it directs the user to handle the product in a particular way and sometimes it doesn’t.

 

Soul is the essence of its being, its purpose, satisfying the user’s wants/needs.

 

It brings about the WOW! Factor. A good product is which is a perfect balance of BODY – MIND – SOUL.

Tips to design Everyday Objects by Paul Sandip



Step 01

Empathise

The first step is to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. This involves observing, engaging and empathizing with people as well as immersing yourself in the physical environment to have a deeper personal understanding of the issues involved. Empathy is crucial to a human-centred design process and it allows designers to set aside their own assumptions in order to gain insight into the user’s mind.

 

Let us take the example of a regular multipin electric plug.

We all use them probably everyday at our office, home and even while in transit. It is such a mundane object that we do not even notice it most often. However, I am sure you would have sometime felt if the product could be improved. As a designer of everyday objects, I took this opportunity to elevate the experience of using a multi-plug.

 

The pain point I identified with was that the pins of a 2 pin plug get loose and tend to fall off when plugged into the multi-pin electric plug, causing sudden switching off of any gadget in use.

Step 02

Define

Next step is to analyse your observations and synthesis the pain points in order to define the core problem that you seek to solve. In my project, the exact problem was that the regular multi-pin electric plug had a flat bottom and there was nothing to stop the loose 2 pin plug from falling off due to gravity.

Designing of Everyday Objects - Paul Sandip
Step 03

Ideate

At this stage, we generate a lot of ideas. No idea is good or bad. I had this idea that by slanting the bottom side of the regular multi-pin electric plug the loose 2 pin plug might get self-locked due to gravity. My idea was to capitalise on the root cause of the problem to create the solution. Gravity caused the plug to fall off, now gravity will help it stop.

Designing of Everyday Objects - Paul Sandip
Step 04

Prototype

There is no shortcut to success. It’s time now to produce a number of inexpensive, quick models of the product so that we can investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage. This is an experimental phase, and the aim is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified during the first three stages.

 

The solutions are implemented within the prototypes and, one-by-one, they are investigated and either accepted, improved and re-examined or rejected on the basis of the users’ experiences. By the end of this stage, the design team will have a better idea of the constraints inherent within the product, the problems that are present and have a better/more informed perspective of how real users would behave, think, and feel when interacting with the end product.

 

After several iterations, I arrived at an angle of 40° for the slant which now stopped the drop of 2 pin plug due to gravity.

Designing of Everyday Objects - Paul Sandip
Step 05

Test

The final product was tested for all electrical and safety compliances and launched in the Indian market as the Angular Multiplug. It has become an iconic best seller for the brand.

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Fashion photography blends commercial photography and fine arts. After you understand the communication objective, it is important to understand the role of different elements as well to fix the final frame. Fashion Photographer Omkar Chitnis shares few techniques and insights that help in getting a visually dynamic fashion frame.

Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Campaign for Tiana Jewellery
Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Campaign for Tiana Jewellery
Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Campaign for Tiana Jewellery

Choosing the Subject

The process starts with the subject. It can be a model, a product, a service, anything. The other elements should be used to support it. Magnification of the shot comes next. For example, if you are shooting for a clothing brand, you need to take a full-length shot. If you are shooting for makeup, you have to take a close-up shot. The background is a very important aspect of any picture. It enables you to complete the image.

Warp n Weft
Warp n Weft
Warp n Weft

Planning the Frame

Unlike Landscape photography, in fashion, you design a shot and accordingly go about models, magnification, poses, lighting, etc. The kind of lights, the distance at which they are placed, the shutter speed, the aperture etc. everything makes for the final frame. Keep in mind two key factors, the amount of light and the expected temperature of the image. Also, in the post-production, temperature and tones of the picture should be adjusted accordingly to justify the picture.

Floglow for Afrostyle Magazine Vol11

Choosing the Tone

There’s a vast difference in lighting for colour and black&white images. While shooting in colour, tone and intensity of colours matter whereas in black&white, grayscale of the colours matter. Some tones may look interesting in colour but flat in black&white. So, as a photographer, understanding the grayscale of every colour is important. Thus, clothes, accessories, background and even the hair colour of the model matters in a black&white shoot. Capturing a frame in colour and then making it a black&white is a wrong technique

Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Millenial Maiden for Khushi Magazine
Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Millenial Maiden for Khushi Magazine
Whos That Chic campaign for Peacock Magazine

Setting the Context

Expression and attitude of the model is really important to make an impact. But since fashion photography is also about clothing, you need to ensure clothes are not getting blurred or losing the colours, details etc. Make up and model should compliment the clothes, the subject of the shoot. Keeping the lighting soft gives soft results, retaining the softness of the skin and expressions.

Creating the Mood

Sometimes, shooting in low shutter speed helps you create depth and mood, being helped by a little-blurred hair. Shooting men is different from shooting women. One should decide the look of the model – sexy, confident, soft or blunt. Lighting comes to play here. Generally, a bit of contrast works in men’s shoot to enhance the sharp features. It’s important to understand the anatomy, nature and character of the personality. When features are a bit blunt, bright lighting helps you enhance the features and hide the flaws. Similarly, high contrast lighting creates drama.

Unwavering Heritage Lofficial July 15
Unwavering Heritage Lofficial July 15
Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Unwavering Heritage Lofficial July 15

Shooting in the Open

Outdoor photography is a different task altogether. If you are using only sunlight, you will have to be very precise about the time, the angle of the light and the location. A study of the light source helps you a lot. Sometimes you can use sunlight as a key light and use flashlights or continuous lights to fill the excess shadows or vice verse. When you shoot in just sunlight, background matters a lot. Remember to not let it overpower the model at all. If need be, light up the natural background as well.

Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Blood Moon
Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
Falguni SND Shane Peacock SS20

Adding the Elements

Many a times, the fabric on the model creates drama. Keeping the overall image dark makes it more interesting. And a blurred background creates a nice depth. Using backlight can create a nice dimension. Having a bit blurry foreground creates mood in the picture.

Presenting it Perfect

After selecting the final shot, colour correction is a very important step. Just a tinge of colour helps you create a different mood altogether. Cropping the picture is also an important part. While shooting you should know what to shoot, but you should also know what should be kept and done away with while editing.

Fashion Photography - Omkar Chitnis
The Red Opera

Published in Issue 10

With this issue, we are exploring yet another discipline of design – Web and UI. With the changing times, Indian designers are increasingly opting for this new medium. But are we really prepared to take the global challenge? What’s missing and what do we strive on? We invited few leading practitioners of the industry to deliberate on this issue. So, go ahead

 

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Illustrator and Cartoonist, Hrishiraj Gawali tells us about his art journey and it is a reflection of the society.

Hrishiraj Gawali - Art

Hrishiraj’s journey in art started with doodles on his bedroom wall as a child. With his passion he saw his career unfold in the creative field. He believes there is no end to this journey as it is ever evolving and expanding.

Hrishiraj Gawali - Art

Fortunately, for Hrishiraj his creative endeavours have been smooth and fruitful until now. He is enjoying his journey and hopes for it to continue this way. While creating his art, Hrishiraj is organic about his process. Instead of chasing theories and philosophies of art, he would rather dive into the work and see what appears on the canvas. He generally uses Photoshop to paint, but he also loves the traditional medium of paint on canvas, pastels and watercolours on paper, etc.

Hrishiraj Gawali - Art

The art that Hrishiraj creates is a reflection of the society, thus he draws his inspiration from the things he sees around him. His Transgender series is one such reflection. Transgender or eunuchs have been marginalised in India on many fronts.

Hrishiraj Gawali - Art

They have faced harsh discrimination in health, housing, education, employment, immigration and law. Yet, peculiarly, their blessings are considered very auspicious, and curse is one to avoid. This series illustrates some of the day to day aspects of their lives, right from dressing up for a function, to being shunned by the society.

Speaking of design trends, Hrishiraj believes the trend is moving towards making artwork quickly. And plenty of software technologies are being built to cater to this need.

Published in Issue 48

A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss! So, if you are planning to or have already become a freelancer then this issue is a must-read for you.

 

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Advertising is one such arena where one can achieve as much as they’d like; provided, that they’ve got the skills, talent and of course the courage. Nasheet Shadani, believes it’s for every illustrator to make the most of this opportunity and create magical pieces that can manifest themselves as memorable communications.

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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India

If the Idea is the Soul of Any Work Then Illustration is the Body.

It is common belief that it’s tough for a fresh college graduate to walk in with a portfolio and land into advertising directly. Common notions are that one needs ‘contacts’ and ‘references’. That’s not true. A good portfolio is the key into this exciting world, provided that the work contains not only cool designs and illustrations, but strong and unique ideas behind them as well. Once you make your way in, the world is yours. And for an illustrator, it’s a very exciting place. There is a bit of illustration in everything you create, whether it’s a logo design, typography, calligraphy or even a photo shoot.

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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India
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Love Problems More Than Solutions.

Pablo Picasso once said, “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things”. Once a new style is cracked, the job is done. Then it’s all about moving on to explore something new. It’s important to go for the best style that suits the brief rather than retro fitting what you are good at. It also depends on the brief, if the best solution is a minimal vector graphic then why waste energy and time in creating intricate miniature art?

Poster for Vodafone India
Poster for Vodafone India
Dancer Meets Potter, Dancer Meets Puppet. Surajkund Mela theme is used to invite people on behalf of Vodafone using vivid and vibrant illustrations.

Do the Doodle.

Whatever is the result, it all starts with a doodle. Never sit on the computer directly. It is always better to think, let your subconscious work on the problem then transfer your thoughts into paper and use that doodle as a building block. Remember that even though we’ve got incredible programs and software at our disposal, they can’t do the thinking; they cannot generate ideas. Surrounding yourself with interesting and creative things can help inspire. Whether it’s things you collect from your travels or simply dig deep into the rich Indian culture, design and artistic forms are all around us.

The Elves and the Shoemaker, Santa’s Gift and Wicked Harry.

What’s Stopping You?

Short deadlines, overnight work, client’s not so friendly feedback and budget issues are few things that, sometimes, stop us in doing great work. But it ultimately depends on the kind of brand you’re working with. There are clients like Vodafone who love illustrations and there are other clients who are more focused on photo shoots or stock images. Can you imagine Amul advertising without those funny illustrative ads? Once you figure out that illustration is the best answer to this brief then the real job starts to convince the client on the benefit of using illustration in that particular case. Illustration in advertising is very different from illustrations elsewhere. Here, every single line must serve a purpose and should add to that overall message.

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ORIYA, URDU, MALAYALAM. A campaign to promote the dying art of calligraphy.
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COUPLE. A print ad to show the ill effects of bad breath in a funny way.
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Illustration for Taxi Fabric

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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Is it about ‘less is more’? Is it about having a completely blank pack? Or white space around the design? What exactly is minimalism all about? It has been there for a long time but do we know the true de nition of minimalism? Will it be a benchmark for good design in 2020? We ponder over some of these questions in a discussion with Elephant Design team.

Priyanka Karyekar - Minimalism-Elephant Design

Priyanka Karyekar
Lead Designer, Elephant Design

I feel minimalism is about ‘making the most with minimalistic elements’. It is about simple and clear communication without the clutter of unnecessary elements. It also helps give a premium and evolved image for the brand.

There is a lot of visual clutter on the shelves. How can a brand create an impact in an overwhelming environment? Many brands are going minimalist in packaging to better stand out on the shelf. It gives the consumer the right information in a clear way. It creates the perception of honest communication and helps the brand build trust. Too many claims make the brand look as if it is trying too hard. This overdone way of promising may sometimes result in loss of believability.

A lot depends on who the intended audience is. Just because something is in trend doesn’t mean one has to apply it to all. We must know our consumer. The Paperboat can go minimalist and have an impact on the consumer’s mind but at the same time brands like ‘Kurkure’ where the philosophy is all about ‘Taste’, the pack needs to have a vibrancy, dynamism and abundance.

There has to be a difference in interpreting design based on the type of consumer. Evolved consumer vs. a consumer who is looking for value for money products needs to be addressed differently.

Several brands are adapting minimalism in their branding. They want their brand to reach out to the masses but want to remove unnecessary layers from their logos. There is a probability of creating strong brand recall if there are lesser but stronger elements in your brand visual identity. Visible, readable and feasible for print as well as digital are the primary benefits if the visual identity is crisp and sharp.

I believe Minimalism is a tool more than a trend! If you know where to use it, how to use with the right amount of proportions, you win!

Minimalism-Elephant Design

Nikhil Phadke
Lead Designer, Elephant Design

Minimalism is an age-old concept and has been interpreted in various ways in human history. I believe minimalism is simplicity in anything and everything.

It’s about going against the unnecessary excess & ornamentation of things. It is about being smarter and decluttering your life, buying only what you need and not what you want. Thus, reducing your carbon footprint and making your life simple and easier to navigate.

Minimalism as a design trend is a relatively newer concept. Starting in the American art history in the 60s where you saw its influence in paintings and Installation arts.

But how we interpret minimalism in functional design is much different. We can see its origins in the digital world first where Google famously used the tactile reality of ink and paper in their material design language. Thus making the whole look and feel of their UI very simplistic, flat, and very easy to use and navigate. This made their design seem more honest and grounded as compared to the bloated & flashy Samsung’s UI and the vibrant & translucent Apple’s UI.

In packaging design minimalism is also being referred to as ‘simple packaging’. Which may seem easy but anyone in design will agree that cracking anything simple is a very difficult task. In simple packaging we can let go of the bells and whistles and reach to the core task of the packaging, keeping it functional and smarter. In doing so we reduce the material costs involved like inks, substrates, filler materials and more and also automatically making the packaging environmentally sustainable.

To understand whether the minimalism trend will sustain through 2020 or not we need to talk about who the current audience is. Generation Z or Alpha is growing up with technology and information at their fingertips. They are very opinionated and individualistic with most believing in freedom and transparency in their life. Most in this generation who are well informed are environmentally conscience and cause-driven who prefer honesty in the brands they use. Thus they will essentially buy the brands that align with their thought process.

With this evolving audience and the need for brands to be environmentally conscious & smarter either through design, technology or materials, this minimalism trend will surely see a rise in the coming years. In India where everything is over the top, Indian designers will find their way of making this trend work.

We recently got an opportunity to design the airport pick-up zone experience for the leading international cab-ride brand Uber. We had to be cognisant of the Global Brand Guidelines which are very simple yet very thoughtfully done for an international market. Instead of having a logo they have a typeface with a set kerning and set leading, a specific layout structure and simple guidebook for using 2D graphics. Internationally the visual language usage is strictly minimal but we soon realised that India needs a different and perhaps a more obvious approach.

So we had to design a different system in graphics which was India specific but kept as minimal as possible. This project made us aware of how we need to navigate between global guidelines and local insights so that the travellers with short attention span have the smoothest cab-hailing & pick-up experience in the simplest possible way.

Minimalism-Elephant Design

Yugandhara Dalvi
Lead Designer, Elephant Design

In the last decade, technology has taken over our lives at a rapid pace and it has changed a multitude of things. Mobile devices are almost becoming an added organ of the body. We are changing ways of consuming information. Needless to say that the marketing bombardment on us has increased manifolds which in-turn has reduced our attention span.

While all these changes are happening fast, our behaviour & ways of doing things are evolving accordingly. This calls for a need to change the way we reach out to everyone. Thus, minimalism today is a necessary change or rather the need of the hour. With faster networks and smart devices, people can pull out the information they need instantly. Thus the biggest challenge is getting their attention and giving them smaller bits of information to consume and designs that intrigue them.

So moving to minimalism in packaging design is the way forward. Most of the clients have an elaborate story to tell through their packaging. The challenge is how to break it into smaller bits of information though infographics, images and written content and turn it into a storytelling piece. Add to it the need to use a relevant design that would break the clutter and help the brand stand-out.

To cite an example, we worked on the packaging of Fittify – a newly launched healthy + gourmet food products range by saffola. With many brands targeting either healthy or gourmet category, to position this range as a combination of both, needed a lot of information on the pack. Thus we had a plethora of messaging to be done on the front of the pack like superfoods used in it and the nutritional panel for health, whereas the image of Master Chef who curated the recipes, as well as an appetising food shot to convey the gourmet story. So we broke down this information into smaller consumable formats and used mnemonic, imagery and minimum text to create an eye-catching design.

With this being the case with most of the clients, rarely you’re surprised by a client who gives you a free-hand to explore genuine minimalism. We got that opportunity with the Paperboat – a brand of ethnic beverages and foods. Since the brand’s story was to create nostalgia with a few lost tastes and flavours, we thought it could be represented in a simplistic and minimalistic manner. So we went bold with minimalism (in 2012) and brought out the life of the flavours through bright colours and simplistic graphical representation of fruits and ingredients. And all this happened when the competing brands had set a norm of showing images of fruits. Needless to say, the design stood out in any aisle or shelf and got a tremendous response.

Thus as technology is evolving, several things are evolving with it. The future of minimalism is difficult to predict. Maybe, there will come a time when package designing will directly create cues or triggers for smart devices to narrate their story. With the IoT (Internet of things) packaging already taking shape, it’s not too far that the product packs will interact with their consumers directly through their smartphones. So while it’s difficult to predict this fast-changing future, one thing is for certain, Minimalism is the way forward.

Latest Issue

Published in Issue 49

The Design in 2020! Each year starts with many predictions, anticipations and a lot of hope for bad things to go out and good things to come in our life. The year 2020 has already started with eventful initial months and may hold more surprises in coming times. To understand what’s coming from the design perspective, we featured some of the best design projects from last year. Also discussed a few broad questions like how minimalism will affect our designs or what all an illustrator to keep in mind to be successful and much more.

 

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Yogesh Bhusare is Mumbai based artist and illustrator. After graduating from D.Y. Patil College of Applied Arts & Crafts, Pune, he joined an event agency, thus kick-starting his artistic career. He possesses a singularly unique & inspiring style, which involves much doodling and collage.

 

He works strenuously to perfect his craft and explores various medium and style regularly. Here are some of his experiments.

 

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Perspectives and Visions
Reality or Fiction?
Creative Gaga - Inspiring
Time is of essence
Accessorise!
Thoughtful? What's on your mind?
Suffocated and painted (in agony), lost and angry. That's what animals must be feeling due to humans.
Creative Gaga - Inspiring
Time is of essence

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Vibrant colours, dark themes and Metal would define the artist and drummer Aaron Pinto who shares the influence of art and music on his quarantine time.

Boop. Digital illustration contributed to “Design Fights COVID” which provide food and medical supplies to stray animals

How did you cope with quarantine and how has the situation affected your art and creativity? Have you been struck with any unexpected challenge?

Aaron. I have been coping well. My home doubles as a studio and therefore my workflow is uninterpreted and just as it was before the quarantine. I created some exciting pieces, as well. This process of creative isolation has made me take a step back and analyse and refocus. The only challenge I’ve faced is maintaining my energy level since I couldn’t properly exercise.

Tarot Parrot. An imaginative wordplay on Parrot and Tarot.

Have you participated or came up with any art challenge? How you spent your quarantine time?

Aaron. I’ve participated in ‘Design Fights COVID’, an initiative by Art and Found and I’ve also partnered with a few bands to create some COVID specific creatives. Apart from that, I’m working on my apparel line and a series. This is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Can you elaborate on your contributions to ‘Design Fights COVID’?

Aaron. Design Fights COVID partnered with a few NGOs which are helping smoothen various aspects of life. As I love animals, the NGO I partnered for is ‘World for All’. It is an organisation which provides medical aid and food to stray animals.

Quarantine - Aaron Pinto
Manifest. A comment on the superficiality of people and their pursuit of online validation.

This pandemic has proven that during a crisis, people turn to art for solace. Do you think this will leave a lasting impression in the field of art?

Aaron. Whether it has created a lasting impression can only be found out in retrospect, but in general, I think people will feel a little more connected with art. Art therapy is universal, and I believe that everyone does this intentionally or otherwise.

How has quarantine impacted your livelihood?

Aaron. I believe I’m one of the lucky few to be busy with a lot of commercial work this quarantine since jobs are scarce with many brands busy taking stock of the current situation.

Quarantine - Aaron Pinto
Day off. A surreal pop take on a creature of dark taking some time off.

How do you manage to differentiate workspace from your home? Has your productivity been affected due to this?

Aaron. I assign a time for each task I’ve set out for the day. That way, I’m able to be productive and not lose my mind by just working the whole day. I also have my drumkit at home and use it to break the monotony. This was my life before quarantine as well, so very little has changed.

What are some of the projects you wish to pursue as soon as this quarantine is over? What are the projects we can look forward to from you?

Aaron. The apparel line is my top priority. I’m actively pursuing mural since I’ve always wanted to do that. I’ve also got some unreleased work in the pipeline with international bands, which will be released soon.

Squishy and Spongy. Merchandise developed for the single Squishy and Spongy by the band Primitiv.

What is the influence of music on your artworks?

Aaron. The music I listen to guides my artwork and helps me finish the piece. Conversely, I create a visual to help me produce music. Since music is always playing at home, I am continually inspired. I’m currently working on a series inspired by synthwave and metal music.

Vibrant colours and gothic themes seem to be your signature. When did you start incorporating Metal in your artwork? How did you develop/discover your style?

Aaron. If I define my work in a sentence, it would be – using bright colours for depressing themes. I’ve always had an affiliation for Metal, comics, cartoons and toys and these have a significant influence on my inking style and colours. Album art should define the aesthetics of a band, and I’m exposed to this from childhood. This, I believe, is the most significant factor for my style. Even though I’ve worked with various bands, I don’t think I’ve reached my signature style, yet.

Quarantine - Aaron Pinto

How is album art different from other types of illustrations? How do you develop an illustration for an album?

Aaron. Album art is music translated into visual form. It must represent the music, and the listener must witness the sync between the music and art. Before I commit to a band, I listen to their music, because I cannot work with a composition I don’t enjoy. I go through all the lyrics and immerse myself into their vibe. I then adapt to music and work with it. I always finish the linework first, since I believe that every artwork must look good in black and white first.

What is your advice to aspiring creative professionals?

Aaron. Find your style and own it, since there is a lot of art out there. If you are true to your voice, it will pay off in the end.

Quarantine - Aaron Pinto
Eviscerating India. Tour poster for the band Gutslit and Godless 2020 India tour.

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

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