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Digital tendencies and users’ expectations change very rapidly. Some trends become outdated and move beyond, while others gain ground. Earlier these trends used to last for a couple of years, but now they get replaced or upgraded almost every year.

Here are a few UI Trends that are going to rule in 2021 by Lollypop Design, and every designer must follow them.

1. 3D / Immersive Experience

 

One of the hottest UI design trends of 2021 is going to be 3D design. Through websites and applications, clients are moving towards offering an immersive experience to their users. The 3D design has depth, shadows, lighting, textures, which bring users an experience closer to the real world. Be it the illustrations or the typography, 3-dimensional designs certainly add an extra dimension to the overall look and feel of the final product. Technologies such as AR will further necessitate the designers to adopt 3D designing as one of their key skill sets.


2. Mixed Typeface


Even for the simplest typographic layout, using two different typeface designs will do a better job of establishing hierarchy and creating visual interest. The combination of typeface has been an ever-evolving phenomenon. In 2021 also we will see a lot of mixed typeface designs. When we say mixed it goes beyond the combinations of serif and sans serif, to mix typeface within a sentence or even just a title giving more focus and emphasis. The least risky “out of family” pairing is a serif and a sans serif. Select virtually any sans serif, combine it with just about any serif, and you’ve elevated the job above absolute conservatism.


3. Glassmorphism


Glassmorphism is the latest trend in user interfaces (UI) and is rapidly gaining popularity. One of the more mainstream applications of this design appeared in Apple’s macOS Big Sur which rolled out in 2020. The Fluent Design System, innovated by Microsoft, employs Glassmorphism as well.


But what is Glassmorphism?


As the name indicates, it has a transparent, glassy look. It is possible for users to see through layers. These layers can help to introduce hierarchy in the structure. The style works best when multiple translucent layers appear over a colourful background. The transparency, however, is not complete. Only the fill needs to be transparent, not the entire shape. That would create the desired effect. The background also needs to be chosen with care. A colourful background works best under Glassmorphism. Which is why iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur both use vibrant, colourful default wallpapers.


4. Soft Gradients

In the era of minimalism, it’s a design sin to stick to flashy and bright gradients. Designers have already transitioned into using smart gradients in their design. The trend for low-key gradients came from the web along with flat-design. However, gradients are needed in graphic design to give the image volume and “depth”, so you just have to refuse “screaming” colours. Sensibilities of the user have changed in the last decade. Experiences online are a mere experience of our physical existence, which is why technology and art often ape each other.

5. Emoji Designs

Emoji can help you say more with less in your UI design, and boost the user experience among all demographics. More and more designers are integrating the emotional component into mobile interfaces that make the user experience more engaging and enjoyable. Today, in almost every popular application you will find emojis. And this is not only social applications, but we are also talking about applications which are into serious business such as finance, banking, e-commerce, etc. You can find emoji everywhere — onboarding screens, empty states, coach marks, dialogues, and even push notifications.


6. Comics and Pop-art

Adding to the list of harmonious, feel-good UI design trends we’ll see in 2021, we’ll be seeing a lot of designs that use colours in unexpected, even surreal ways to create dream-like images. These designs make a statement by colouring objects in colours they normally aren’t. The goal here is to be playful and create escapist landscapes where people can find a few moments of solace away from our challenging reality.


7. Micro Interaction

While design solves universal problems, micro-interactions are the delightful moments your users have while using the product. These tiny enticing moments add incredible value in offering humane experience in a true sense to the end-users. And they are not just visual elements, they work the best when mixed with user’s action triggers. Micro-interactions are important not from a utility or ROI perspective, rather they increase the stickiness of the product and service and help generate positive word-of-mouth for the company.

Conclusion


As a designer, you need to be aware of these design trends. Constantly learning, improving and expanding your design toolkit are the only ways to build a reputation in the design community.


Which of the trends we’ve mentioned has excited you the most? Is there any other trend that should have been included in the list? Please let us know in the comments section.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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Representing people is no small task, especially when each one is a complex amalgamation of peculiar moods, styles, experiences and so on. Sketch artist, Prakash Thombre, readily takes on the challenge of transmitting real life onto the canvas through his various sketches of everyday personalities.

Life
Life
Life
Life

Observation is where it All Begins

Among the various subjects he sketches and draws, Prakash Thombre always finds Portraits to be most fascinating and interesting – mainly because he chooses his subjects from real life. Most of them, he captures on camera when travelling, later using them as references. He feels drawing Portraits helps to study people around us and connect with them – it’s like capturing their life narrative in lines and shades in the form of sketches. He has a keen interest in body language and face reading.

Life
Life
Life
Life

While observing people in real life, he generally tries to find the story about the person. Carefully observing the costumes, facial features, gestures, posture, etc. tells him an interesting story, which he then tries to capture in sketches and drawings. Aspects or elements like these help display and represent the core personality or temperament of the subjects. When he is observing a subject, he studies the minute details about their costumes, poses, gestures, expressions, facial features and so on. If everything compliments each other, it becomes an interesting story to capture in lines as a sketch or drawing.

Life
Life
Life
Life

The Style is Best when Synonymous with Spontaneity

Prakash is not very comfortable with following one style or technique, nor is he comfortable with the typical copybook fundamentals of rendering. He likes to be spontaneous with the tools and its application, and prefers the lines to be free-flowing and organic in nature – nothing rigid, nothing attempted. Further, with regard to the style of sketching and colouring, the nature of lighting and the likes depends on the time and place.

Usually, on location, he chooses to use the pencil, finding it to be the most efficient tool to play with the line pressure and tonal values. Sometimes, he also uses fountain pens, but with flex and fude nibs, as they provide fantastic dynamic lines, depending on the pen angles and pressure. The sketch artist finds water-colour to be the most dynamic medium since he feels It gives a lot of flexibility with the way one applies and uses it.

Using fundamental tools and techniques is the base of foolproof skills

If we take a good look at it, most of the designers today are inclined towards using smart devices to draw and sketch – like the iPad or Wacom Cintique – which Prakash feels cripple the true potential of the designer to draw with real tools. He rather opines that designers should use these tools but, at the same time, bring in and maintain the habit of drawing with hands and real tools, where they don’t have options like ‘Undo’ and the likes at their disposal. So, starting the design process with sketching using real tools will help explore and capture ideas quickly, and then explore further to refine it through Smart devices like the iPad or Wacom.

Published in Issue 41

Every year brings many opportunities and hopes along with celebrations. For this issue, we reached many visual artists and designers to know their expectations from the year 2018. This issue’s cover designer, Shreya Gulati is exceptionally impressed by the advancement of technology in design, especially how VR & AR has impacted new ways of creating.

 

Honing and sharpening one’s skills is always a quest for every creative. So, whether you have many or none expectations for the year, this issue is a must-read.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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The world of design is huge and every client’s need is different. As a versatile designer working for a broad spectrum with regards to commercial requirements, Rahul Arora is able to push his boundaries, explore more styles and learn in the process.

Digital art by Rahul Arora
Digital art by Rahul Arora
Out of ideas

The ubiquity of the Internet and digital technology today has opened the door to the myriad of opportunities. As the online platforms are transparent and great to showcase one’s work while discovering the work of others worldwide.

Versatile Designer
Koi Fish
Digital art by Rahul Arora
Book illustration

Style of the Designer is a Reflection of the Client’s Sensibility and Vision

With diverse projects and context, each client has a different agenda and every script has its own requirements. Sometimes, the sensibilities of the clients vary too; some have a clear vision whilst some want to develop by working in tandem with the artist. Therefore, the foremost step is to discuss the script/ project with the art/creative directors to get an understanding of how they visualise the final product. Latching onto their concept, a versatile designer has to create styles portraying the same.

Versatile Designer
Castle on the rock
Versatile Designer
Sneeze

The Characterisation is Pivotal in a Narrative

The characterisation is a gradual process that first involves understanding a few pre-requisites before delving into its creation. As, context, appearance, ideology, and age are some of the factors that must be thought out prior to creation. So that, the exaggeration of these features amplifies the ‘key qualities’ which evoke interest. Relating the surrounding with desired detailing to enhance and portray the protagonist’s role conveys the storyline.

Versatile Designer
Minister of Universe
Versatile Designer
The butcher

Tackling Different Avenues

Working on comics is like making a movie where you can convey stories through illustrations and words by generating it frame by frame. Studying the human anatomy and expressions is a must for a compelling narrative. Creating arresting illustrations that appeal to the readers, is challenging and a test for artist’s imaginations.

Versatile Designer
Lazy Sunday Ride
Digital art by Rahul Arora
Book illustration

Storyboards are the pre-visualisation of a story/film/ad-film. Here much importance is given to the character placements and the angles rather than the colour schemes in the suggested visuals.

Digital art by Rahul Arora
Book illustration
Digital art by Rahul Arora

Advertising, on the other hand, is completely distinct. With tight deadlines, the challenge is to prioritise and achieve the required quality in the given time frame.

Versatile Designer
The imp

Versatile Designer
Lift

Colour Schemes and Mediums have their own Charm

They play a major role in bringing a story to life and convey the important aspects of the composition to set a mood of the narrative. Traditional mediums such as oils, poster colours, pastels, watercolours and pencil sketching often allow the designer to hone his skills and learn the intricacies.

Digital art by Rahul Arora
Digital art by Rahul Arora
Lady with the lamp

When working commercially, a digital medium is much easier and straight-forward to execute. As you can easily start with a quick thumbnail that gives a glimpse of the idea which then can be elaborated to form the layouts and finally, pencilling and colouring it in Photoshop can be done post the client’s approval.

Versatile Designer
The Passenger
Digital art by Rahul Arora
An evening at the terrace

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.

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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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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In today’s digital world, traditional techniques and practices of illustrating and painting are getting lost. For example, who gets to see oil glazed on canvas in a design that is not antique? Anand Radhakrishnan, an illustrator, explores traditional mediums to express the mysteries and to enlighten the darkness that people and the world carry with them.

AnandRK - Enlighten
A city of Strange - Mumbai
AnandRK - Enlighten
A city of Strange - Mumbai
AnandRK - Enlighten
A city of Strange - Mumbai

Let the Subject Take Control

Style of a designer is determined by the content and subject that the artwork contains. Most believe that designers have their unique style, which some have, but the idea is to not pick a style and stick to it throughout, but to make it a journey of discovery and surprise.

AnandRK - Enlighten
A city of Strange - Mumbai
Illustrations from A personal project, Chaavi.
AnandRK - Enlighten
Paradiso Retailer Variant, Image Comics

A Designer is always Attracted by Expression

An expression is what designers are looking for when it comes to feeling inspired and figuring out the soul of their design. Nothing can beat expressions that human faces and body radiate. Every little pose or nuance says something about the state of mind of that very person, and as a designer, it’s fun to play with it. Look anywhere and you will see the outside world connect with your inner-self and it’s when they meet, the best magic happens.

AnandRK - Enlighten
Brigands#1 ActionLab Comics
Ink drawing for inktober.

Cover image of my project called ‘III’.

Sometimes, the Old is the Way to go

Digital has changed designers and the way people look at artworks these days. But often working with traditional media is favoured in order to break the clutter and stand out to enlighten. Oil, ink and graphite are some favourites that can be combined with techniques like hatching, alla prima painting using oil, glazing, collages etc.

Value study in graphite.
AnandRK - Enlighten

Messy is What They Call Neat

Upon first glance, any subject one observes has a sense of mystery and unknown about them. Those dark hollow spaces that our minds can’t fill, translate into an uncomfortable feeling that can be pronounced in design using patchy and messy textures. So even if the subject in your artwork is communicating the same thought that designer wishes to portray, the way it is expressed also counts. This makes the artwork more tactile and organic, which enlighten the viewer.

Value study in graphite.
Illustration for A college project. Chaavi.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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Working as a freelancer can provide many benefits, but with the number of individuals hopping into the industry today, it’s vital that you exert effort to make your resume stand out. This remains true for graphic designers as the nature of their jobs allows and encourages creativity in their work.

The quality of the resume you submit to potential clients can make or break your chances of securing a freelance job as a graphic designer as it plays a vital role in your employment in the design industry. Essentially, your resume gives employers an idea of what your skills are and how these can contribute to their companies.

 

For you to impress potential employers, and finally enter the freelancing industry as a graphic designer, improve your resume by following these tips:

1. Don’t Go Overboard

Naturally, graphic designers are creative individuals who are expected to think out of the box to provide their clients with great concepts and outputs. Creativity is also essential to ensure that their works are original.

 

But regardless of how creative you are as a designer, you shouldn’t go overboard when it comes to crafting your resume. Regardless of how tempting it is, you shouldn’t heavily design your resume with colourful fonts and cursive texts, as this will only make the document look cluttered. The appearance of your resume can affect an employer’s decision to hire you—and if it looks cluttered, they’ll likely move on to another applicant who submits a clearer, more streamlined resume.

 

Instead of using your resume to impress employers, keep it simple and informative. A clean resume can leave a lasting impression among employers, increasing your chances of becoming a freelancer. Utilize clear, readable fonts and avoid placing too many unnecessary elements. If you can’t help but put colours into your resume, choose only two, at best three, that is not too vibrant and are easy on the eyes.

2. Link an Online Portfolio Your Work

The content of your resume plays a vital role in your chances of landing freelance work, but this doesn’t mean that you should incorporate your work in this document and submit a ten-page long resume to employers.

 

If you want to show off your skills as a graphic designer, link to an online portfolio when submitting resumes online. Doing this is the best way to prove to employers that you’re capable of doing whatever skills you’ve indicated in your resume.

 

When linking an online portfolio or attaching samples of your work as a graphic designer, only include those that are related to the position you’re applying for and make sure they’re updated. Sending samples that are irrelevant to the position you’re applying for will only discourage employers from hiring you.


3. Use the Right Keywords

Employers who are looking for freelancers will maximize applicant tracking systems to make it easier for them to scan resumes and narrow down their options. This is one of the reasons why you should pay attention to the keywords you use in your resume because this can impact your visibility in these tracking systems.

 

To determine which keywords to include in your resume, look at the job posting published by employers and take note of what they’re looking for. Are they looking forward to adding a graphic designer who has experience in using Adobe and After Effects? Then add these keywords to your resume. Adding your skills in branding, colour theory, typography, and user interface on your resume will also make your application stand out in these tracking systems.

 

There are countless keywords pertaining to graphic design, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t stuff your resume with all of these. Only include keywords that are relevant to your skills that also match what the employer is looking for.

4. Highlight Relevant Technical Skills

Employers who have been recruiting graphic designers for years will likely know what to expect the moment they see resumes from applicants. More often than not, they already know that most applicants will indicate their experience in InDesign or Illustrator. There’s nothing wrong if you include these in yours too, but you shouldn’t stop there.

 

Another way to improve your resume when looking for freelance work is to highlight your relevant technical skills. Aside from including your experience and skills in using countless design tools, show your employer that you’re also knowledgeable in marketing tools. Other skills, like video editing and animation, should also be included in your resume as these can increase your value as a graphic designer.

 

To make it easier for employers to assess your technical skills, categorize this section into several buckets, such as marketing, coding languages, and design. You can also indicate your level of expertise for these skills to make it easier for employers to gauge your suitability for the job.

5. Master the Fundamentals of Resume Writing

Regardless of the position and employer, you’re eyeing to apply to, graphic designers still have to follow the fundamentals of resume writing. These are essential to ensure that you’ll end up submitting a document that highlights your skills in the most professional way possible.

 

For you to improve your resume when applying for freelance work as a graphic designer, take note of the following:

 

  • Condense Your Resume into One Page
    Employers don’t have the luxury of time, which is why you should, as much as possible, submit a one-page resume. Remember, your resume should be a snapshot of your skills and experience as a graphic designer and not a detailed list of everything you’ve accomplished in life.

 

  • Double-check Your Work
    Proofread and edit your resume at least twice to ensure that you’ll submit a document free from misspelt words and vague employment dates.

 

  • Organize Chronologically
    When including your history of graphic design works, it’s better to list them down from the most recent to the oldest. Don’t forget to include the names of the companies you worked for, the dates or durations of those jobs, as well as a short description of the scope of your job.

It’ll be Worth it

Your resume is important for many different reasons, but keep in mind that this isn’t your portfolio. Your resume isn’t a means to showcase your works (that’s what your portfolio is for); instead, it’s meant to highlight the experience and skills you can bring to the company.

 

Although it can be tedious to improve your resume, the efforts you’ll put into the process will be worth it as this document can become your ticket to finally land a job in the freelancing industry as a graphic designer!

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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Being different, standing out from the crowd and shining like a star is what every achiever dreams of, but not everyone achieves it. Jithin Roda has followed certain of his own principles since childhood to achieve this milestone of shimmer and brilliance.

Childhood
March

A kid who not only loved watching cartoons but was quite a few steps ahead of his age as Jithin could spend hours thinking and creating his own versions of these cartoons.

Childhood
Decapod Monsters
Indian digital Artists

Always wanting to do something which interested him, making a career choice came very easily to him. From childhood, with a mindset that constantly worked on creating the non-existent, Jithin decided to take up illustration as his profession as it was a tool for him to speak his mind and communicate with the world in a visual manner.

Childhood
Childhood
Creatures II

The Fantasy-land in Making!

A big fan of watching fantasy movies and an avid reader of the same genre of books, these interests transported Jithin’s mind to a parallel world. He has created a series of characters belonging to a fictional and imaginary world, some being inspired by animals of the human world.

Childhood
Orc

With concepts in the making and story-boarding, he has created some of his characters to be related to each other, connected through a story. He hasn’t left it at just generating faces and giving these faces a body, he has also worked intensely on the background of these creatures with an intricate level of detailing in both, the creature and their surroundings.

Childhood
Hunter and his beast

Sometimes the use of referential images helps him in channelizing his vision into visualizations in the right way, acting as a guiding factor and preventing him from getting lost in his world of imagination.

Childhood
Decapod Monsters

Digital Impressions!

Using only digital mediums to transform his thoughts into reality, it is quite an investment of time to produce the output he wants. Being a digital creator, he spends a varying amount of time ranging from just ten hours on one piece to a couple of weeks on another piece, depending on what is required of it.

Chilhood
Throne

Depending on the need of the artwork, he makes a decision whether to create his character just to be looked at from one angle in a two-dimensional frame or does the character have to be designed with a possibility to be viewed from multiple sides, which then needs to be done in a three-dimensional frame giving the viewer a complete insight into his imaginative thinking.

Childhood
Doblo

Out of the Box Methodology!

Sometimes being different and not following the traditional path of portfolio making works out to be more successful than the regular and generic way of going about it. This is true in the case of Jithin and his career. While creating his portfolio, he did not follow the way of making what everyone does, instead he just did what he liked!

Childhood
Cowl

His portfolio work, mostly being fictional, never really was a hindrance in his career options. It rather opened up many more doors for him. Not really wanting to work with studios and in-house jobs, being hired or not didn’t deter Jithin from doing what he loved.

Childhood
Flip

With the profile created using his portfolio, he has been able to find numerous freelance jobs as it gives him the freedom to express his creativity the way he wants.

Childhood
Ape

”For the beginners stepping into this world of professionalism and tough competition, he is of the opinion that one should try and improve in every possible way out there”

Childhood
Big Bug Monster
Childhood
Bulk

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 54

 

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Portraiture, as an art form, is much older than photography. Great portrait masters have spent their lives learning this art. Vikas Sharma, a self taught photographer, finds himself in the same pursuit. He shares some of the rules of portrait photography, with the hope that one breaks them.

Portrait by Vikas Sharma
Portrait by Vikas Sharma

1. Eyes do the Talking

They are the foundation of a portrait. What do you want to do with them? Strong eyes, spontaneous, piercing, dull, happy or sad? Eyes looking away from the camera? Or closed, perhaps? Look at the subject’s eyes and decide what kind of story they speak. You can read the subject’s mind just by looking into their eyes.

Portrait by Vikas Sharma
Portrait by Vikas Sharma

2. Composing the Story

Just as an artist draws on his blank canvas, think about how will you compose within your viewfinder. Are you going to show the surrounding or just a blank background? Again, this will be dictated by what you want to show in your portrait.

Portrait by Vikas Sharma
Portrait by Vikas Sharma

3. No Talking at the Back

The strongest portraits are the ones, which emphasise the subject by using a simple blank background. Keep things simple, unless there is something really exciting in the background that complements the story. If you are unable to control the background due to the limitation of a studio, use a shallow depth of field to blur out the background.

Portrait by Vikas Sharma