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Founded in the year 2015, PhonePe is a digital payment company headquartered in Bangalore, India. Founded by Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer, this app is based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and it aspires to build a large, scalable and open transaction ecosystem that creates the maximum impact for all the stakeholders. We approached LiquidInk Design intending to completely redesign the website with storytelling visuals.

Storytelling Visuals for PhonePe
Storytelling Visuals for PhonePe
Storytelling Visuals for PhonePe

Brief

The primary task was to reimagine the PhonePe web experience and visual language while retaining the essence of the brand and not straying too far from its original identity. The designers were requested to craft a user interface highlighting the company’s tagline “PhonePe, Karte Ja Badhte Ja”, especially since the company’s brand identity was going through an overhaul. The design must reflect the beauty and intricacies of the Indian consumer while working alongside the taste and aesthetics of the modern world.

Storytelling Visuals for PhonePe

Challenge

Representing the contemporary country whilst incorporating the traditional and cultural elements of the Indian culture proved to be a challenge. The designers had to inculcate the style and aesthetics of India while retaining the freshness and uniqueness of the designs. PhonePe is associated with strong purple, and it is necessary to imbibe the colour in the interface. While the design reflects the Indian aesthetics, it is essential to refrain from making it stereotypically India; thus, this fine line called for an innovative and creative approach.

Storytelling Visuals for PhonePe
Storytelling Visuals for PhonePe

Solution

The designers were provided with the creative freedom to craft a captivating interface. Working alongside the team from PhonePe, the studio created an illustrative style that is strongly tied with an Indian aesthetic. They achieved this by making sure that the elements they used, right from the baskets of fruits and vegetables, the modern coffee shops, the chai and the newspapers, which were associated with the “Press” were all intrinsically but not stereotypically Indian.

“We approached LiquidInk Design a year back intending to completely redesign the website. We wanted the website to be a reflection of who we are as a company, and we also wanted the ethos of our new tagline “Karte Ja Badhte Ja” to reflect through the visuals and storytelling. Liquid Ink partnered with us and worked very closely in bringing out the critical essence of who we are as a company to life. The imagery and storytelling style they have used is distinctive, unique and very engaging.”

Priya Patankar
Head of Communication, PhonePe

Published in Design Case Studies – Vol. 01

Every year many exceptional design briefs are being answered with brilliant solutions by many talented designers. Some manage to reach the limelight through awards and other recognitions, but not all. And that is where the ‘DCS-01’ comes into the picture with detailed case studies highlighting the challenges, research, and the unique solutions to each obstacle faced in reaching these final design solutions. An inspiration and a collection of quality design projects created in India recently. So, if you are creative freelancer, agency, studio, corporate or a design student, who needs inspiration and want to know the process of making great designs, then this is a must-have book for your collection. Order it today to reserve a copy of this limited stock book.

 

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Art is once again gaining its momentum among the public thanks to the influence of social media. Hence, we at Creative Gaga wished to understand and shed some light on the role and importance of illustrations and its place among the Indian Brands.

As the world grows increasingly mechanical and societies turn grey, our innate desire to find colour guides us towards the world of art. This ardent need for creative expression, coupled with technologies, can be stated as some of the many reasons for the increasing solidarity for art witnessed in recent years. Illustrations, in particular, are obtaining a singularly strong foothold on the Indian Brands.

“An illustration is an art of crafting an image to convey a message for a particular reason,” explains Sajid Wajid Shaikh, a self-taught visual artist specialising in illustration and design. Sajid’s artworks speak for themselves through their severe lines and abstract forms. Having partnered with companies such as Google, Facebook, and Adidas to name a few, Sajid possesses tremendous knowledge upon the use of visual languages, such as shape, form, line and colour to convey the necessary message. His artworks are often a departure from the reality, portraying the everyday subjects in an abstract style and often coloured vividly. “An illustration is engaging and independent of the boundaries set by the physical world, as they are a fraction of an artist’s imagination, which provides the room for artistic liberty,” said Sajid.

The artist attributed the growing popularity of illustration to its ease and accessibility. “With the advent of technology and internet, illustrations are relatively easy to produce and are quite flexible in terms of the time it takes to make the changes and get the desired image,” explained Sajid. He supported his statement with a series of his projects and commissions.

Illustrations for Granfalloon
Branding for The Granfalloon

“For example, The Granfalloon project. The Granfalloon is a production house based in Mumbai. The idea is to show a state of mind and location that brings people together who may otherwise have nothing in common. And so, we made the two partners fly on a Carousel, one is trying to catch a fish in the sky, and the other is trying to fry it,” explains the artist. “Moreover, illustrations can effortlessly give the brand its character, as they crafted to fit the brands’ needs, and are comparatively easy to make, change, modify and scale. Hence, with all things said, illustrations are taking a seminal place in the marketing and communication department of major corporations,” noted Sajid.

Stationery for The Granfflloon

Poster for The Granfalloon

Agreeing with Sajid, illustrator and graphic designer, Pavan D. Rajurkar believes that the growth of the illustration field can be attributed to three primary reasons: New Tools, Growing Modern Media and Less Manpower & Minimum Resources. “From my experience, I would say that the medium of illustration isn’t as demanding as other mediums like films or photography, which would require certain resources and manpower. One can communicate the same thing through illustration with limited resources and in less time,” explains Pavan.

Illustration for Vinay Electrical

Pavan D. Rajurkar has been working in the advertising and design industry for the past seven years, upon completing his Masters in Animation Film Design from National Institute of Design. Having worked for numerous advertising agencies such as JWT, Interface, and Radio Mirchi, among several others, Pavan draws his inspiration from colours, culture, mythological stories, and is especially inclined towards Indian art forms. It is this penchant for something Indian and local that has helped him find his style and visual language. Hence, what better authority to further explicate on the role of illustration?

Illustration for Vinay Electrical
Illustration for Vinay Electrical



Having attributed the growth of the field to three reasons, Pavan further elaborates on his points. “Firstly, the access and ease of digital tools allow creation and publication with much more ease. New tools including, digital devices, software, print & colour technologies have reduced barriers and opened new avenues. Secondly, today social media is a chosen hub to cater to a wide range of target groups, which contributes to the ever-changing styles of the artist. Since they are always on their toes, learning from different styles and techniques from around the world. On the other hand, brand requirements have also evolved with time in terms of frequency, promotional activities, design language and such. Moreover, their primary need is to maintain a regular social media presence which can be easily fulfilled by illustrations,” elucidates the artist.

Illustration for Vinay Electrical

Illustration in terms of brand designing is nothing new in our country. “The art of illustration has its share of history with brand designs in India. The industry is vast as many consumers, industrial products and services have been using this medium to build their brands and promote their stories, since time immemorial. Therefore, I believe that illustration is not forging a new place in the industry because it already has a place of its own. But it is evolving, as the brands reuse this traditional form of communication in a modern system,” elaborated Pavan.

Illustration for Natural Ice Cream

Thinking in similar terms, Satish Gangaiah provides us with a unique insight into the field. Possessing over seventeen years of experience as an illustrator, visual artist and graphic designer, Satish has worked with numerous national and international companies such as Bosch. “The field of illustration in India has evolved tremendously and have started to cater to a broader audience now. In my 17 years of experience, I have witnessed a lot of change in the way art used in creative representations. There used to be a time when there was a heavy reliance on the use of stock images. And now, we can witness this trend gradually fading. At present, there is more thought given about the ‘end-user’. Everyone seems to think of the prospective audience before the design process begins. That, in my opinion, is more professional and also renders the design or the artwork more relatable with its target audience,” Satish explains.

Illustration for Bosch

Illustration for Education App

Furthermore, the artist believes that present-day art and design are evolving to cater to the end-user or the target audience by reflecting the local trends and colloquial flavour. Hence, shaping foreign brands to be more appealing and approachable. “I have worked with multinational companies such as Bosch, where they wanted to represent themselves with a local context. They wanted to portray how their expertise in the automotive sector can help build local economies and create local jobs, specifically catering to an Indian market. And, they wanted to portray it to a vast audience in the simplest of mediums. Illustration connected them to their target group, and the project portrays this,” states the artist.

Illustration for Killer Launch

Approaching the subject from a different perspective, Nithin Rao Kumblekar feels that the market has been changing in different directions for the last few years. He attributes this restlessness in the industry to the ever-growing and ever-evolving development in the available platforms. “Maybe all were confused and didn’t know what medium works best for the brand. As we all know, print media has been diminishing for the last few years. And most of us had no clue what true digital marketing is, many creative ideas got rejected because the client was unsure where to put the money,” said Nithin. This disquiet in the industry reflects in the briefs the artists receive.

Illustration for REVV
Illustration for REVV

The story-based illustrations no longer desired due to time constraints. In its stead, a plethora of creative methods got developed for the illustrations. These works of art are no longer confined to print media they are also being used in digital and television commercials. “Grey Worldwide, Delhi approached me to illustrate characters from their television commercial for car rental brand Revv. Initially, it was for the online ads, but later they decided to have these illustrations to be part of the commercial as well,” explained Nithin.

Indian digital Artists
Illustration for REVV

Illustration for REVV
Illustration for REVV

Just as print media, illustrators for online advertisements also have various format and size specifications. “In some cases, it is difficult to have one single layout which will adapt to different sizes. McCann Bangalore was designing creatives for promoting an event for TVS called MotoSoul. The event had many activities; clubbing all these activities together and then designing the ads would be a nightmare. So, the creative team asked me to create the illustration in a way that all the characters should be different layers so that they can move the required activities and characters from the illustration to fit different sizes and executions,” said Nithin, illuminating his personal experience.

Illustration for Moto Soul TVS

Nithin has also observed a rise in demand for illustrations in small, local brands. He attributes this to the increasing exposure due to digital medium, filling him with hope for a brighter future for design. “I have no clue how the market will change in the coming days. But I’m sure illustration will never go out of fashion. It certainly evolves with every step.”

A Bachelor of Arts graduate from the University of North Bengal, Samir Narayan is a concept artist and illustrator based in Kolkata, India. Rendered with great love and care, Samir’s illustrations are often vibrant and playful with a pinch of humour to entertain the audience.

 

Drawing inspiration from mythology, folklore and everyday life around him, Samir’s carefully illustrated works are mostly crafted in the digital medium.

 

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Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan


Illustrations by Samir Narayan

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Adaar shares how understanding the contribution and significance of various aspects such as subject matter and the passion behind the designing process can help gain clarity from conceptualisation to execution.

Passion Behind Communication Matters

CG. What do you feel forms the basis of your motion graphics work?

Adaar. The subject matter at hand and the passion behind communicating the same are what we really focus on – if we connect to it personally, magic happens. So, that’s what we consider as the basis of the kind of work we take on and how we execute it.

CG. What is the contribution of colours in motion graphics, and how do you apply them?

Adaar. Colours speak for themselves and always enhances the mood and effect of what is being conveyed. They are very essential to make an impression and convey the feel of what is being communicated, like red for appetite and yellow for joy. It contributes a great deal without saying or doing much – that’s the beauty
of it.

CG. What is your process of choosing the right colours and achieving the right tone and contrast in them?

Adaar. Colours enhance life around us by telling us volumes of any mental process. It has its influences on human emotions, more than one can imagine. So, the impact of the subject matter on the target group is the chief driving force behind choosing the right colour. The nature of the colour chosen and how it is applied to a certain piece of work shall determine its effect on the audience’s and in turn its response to
the work.

CG. How do you determine aspects such as the apt proportion, balance, symmetry and the likes?

Adaar. Passion for work done and experience allows one to gauge minute details over time. The drive to get things perfect and the effective delegation of work determines the details for us. That’s the process and approach we keenly follow.

CG. How do you feel symbolism, concept and the likes contribute to the communication in a motion graphic?

Adaar. The objective behind a symbol is to make a quick memory shot without forsaking the meaning of what it represents. A symbol can influence visual perception by connecting the viewer or client to the core driving ideology of the company at hand. The use of symbolism and its comprehension is very subjective. Different people can perceive it in rather diverse ways. We believe it must convey the direct idea at hand in the simplest way that ensures a quick comprehension.

CG. What is your advice to others practicing your style of design?

Adaar. Observation is the key. It can open up your senses and perception to a whole new and wide range of aspects that you might not have conceived earlier. Likewise, there are so many styles. Refer to them; in fact, refer to as much and as many as you can, as that is what keeps you growing. And, keep updated – with current technologies, contemporary needs and situations, ideas, designers & artists and so on.

Passion Behind Communication Matters

CG. What do you feel is the future of motion graphics towards which it is heading?

Adaar. Scope of motion graphics is massive in the field of advertising, gaming and immersive technology, and it is evolving like anything. We are very happy that clients are approaching for innovative and quality motion graphics projects. We see a bright future ahead of us, and are quite excited to see what it holds.

Published in Issue 40

We all have favourite TV shows and we passionately discuss the stories and characters of it. But sometimes, we tend to ignore the channel and its branding. Now with many different channels to choose from, we are experiencing many new branding overhauls to grab the audience’s attention. In this issue, we focused on Motion Graphics design and people behind some awesome channel rebrandings. If you are interested in moving design or animated content then this issue is a must-read for you!



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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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Krushi Bhawan is a building built for the Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment by Studio Lotus. The 130,000-square-foot administrative centre houses a staff of almost 600 workers, as well as contains community interaction and learning areas.

An administrative building in Orissa

Located in Bhubaneshwar, the state capital of Odisha, which is home to several agricultural villages and is India’s third-largest grain supplier – is Krushi Bhawan. Zooming in from an aerial view, you can find the new campus next to the old ministry office. The architecture is subtle, yet stands out from the other power structures nearby, including the Police Commissionerate Building and the State Guest House.

Originally, the intention was to create a solely administrative facility for the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment of the Government of Odisha. However, Studio Lotus, the Delhi-based architectural company tasked with designing this space, believed that it was time to rethink government building architecture. The architects’ idea to integrate public activities and communal spaces in order to construct a building that would contribute to the city’s social infrastructure was immediately accepted.

An administrative building in Orissa
An administrative building in Orissa

The inclusion of a stilt level in the courtyard provides excellent air circulation, while the facility’s series of staggered masses shield it from intense sunlight. The architects have maximised the use of locally produced materials resulting in a low carbon impact throughout construction. The structure even has a rooftop solar power production system.

An administrative building in Orissa


An administrative building in Orissa

The Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment’s administrative offices is located in the complex, which is surrounded by courtyards with ponds and trees. The upper floor’s brickwork components form a pattern that resembles Odisha Ikat, a traditional dyeing method from their state. Studio Lotus has used three distinct colours of clay from the local region to replicate the patterns in bricks. The holes in the facade assist to keep the building cool naturally.

“The ground floor has been designed by the architects as a free-flowing public area that extends out onto a Plaza, which is an extension of the street, in an attempt to bring the building into the public realm”, Studio Lotus explained. The bottom level has a learning centre, a gallery, an auditorium, a library, and training rooms, all of which are in line with the project’s goals. Likewise, the rooftop has been intended to accommodate urban farming displays and agricultural best practises demonstrations. The plaza features an amphitheatre as well as a garden with a pond for natural cooling. The entrance is via a tree-lined walk with stone colonnades that also serves as a shaded spot for employees to take their lunches.

An administrative building in Orissa
An administrative building in Orissa

Krushi Bhawan is a unique piece of architecture made fully with regional materials and methods. Laterite and khondalite stone from local mines were used to construct the pedestal and a portion of the north wing. The khondalite was hand-carved into lattices that surround the central courtyard, which features a stone inlay floor with an annual calendar based on the crops. Rice paddies are shown in bas reliefs carved into the laterite on the complex’s main plaza in the manner of Odisha Pattachitra scroll paintings, which are traditional cloth-based scroll paintings. Dhokra, a form of metallurgy mastered over 4,000 years in India, may be found on screens in the building’s hallways and on the light fittings on the columns.

What should brands be paying attention to in 2021 by Lulu Raghavan
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A good place to start is a better understanding of where consumer behaviour is headed. Mintel predicts that there are seven global consumer trends that will impact how brands will need to adapt their strategies for winning and keeping consumers.

Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director of Landor & Fitch has taken the headlines from Mintel and explained each trend in her own way.

1. Health Undefined

Health and wellness have risen to the top of every consumer’s priority. The conversation starts with safety – which is no longer table stakes for brands – but then moves on to a holistic sense of wellbeing that consumers are embracing. From sleep and meditation conversations that have gone mainstream to an interest in a slew of immunity-boosting products, health and wellness are manifesting itself in all aspects of consumers’ lives.


2. Collective Empowerment

Consumers are increasing awareness of their collective might. When they rally together to align around causes close to their heart, they can make a huge difference. Black Lives Matter has shown just how much grassroots involvement by consumers to impact change in a number of areas will be the norm going forward.


3. Priority Shift

Millennials had already shown the big consumer shift from material possessions to experiences. Post-Covid, the concept of ownership will be redefined even further. There might be two extremes here and lots of in-betweens. One segment will return to a far simpler, minimalist lifestyle. On the other hand, once we emerge from lockdown there will be a huge YOLO segment that will want to live life king size at the moment and embrace full-on physical OTP experiences.


4. Coming Together

The isolation during the pandemic has created more of a desire for consumers to link up with other like-minded folks through shared interests and beliefs. We’ll see an explosion of virtual communities on digital platforms that connect consumers more closely with each other. From greater bonding with neighbours to more outreach in the community, social togetherness at the local level will gather momentum.


5. Virtual Lives

Increased number of hours spent online got consumers super comfortable with consuming digital experiences. Some may be so comfortable with virtual living that stepping out of the house may not be a necessity after all.




6. Sustainable Spaces

2020 redefined our relationship with space and has forever changed our expectation from the spaces that we inhabit. This coupled with increased concern for Planet Earth, there will be a heightened consciousness on sustainability which will flow into all aspects of our lives.


7. Digital Dilemmas

As we’ve embraced digital, we’ve also increased our desire to escape its stranglehold. From Zoom fatigue to eye soreness to a host of other negative impacts on our health and wellbeing, consumers everywhere are struggling to define the right balance of the real and virtual that will be beneficial to their physical and emotional wellbeing.

So how should brand owners make sense of all these changes and think about the implications for their brands?

Lead with Empathy to Deepen Consumer Understanding

Putting ourselves as brand owners in our consumers’ shoes has never been as important as it is now. It’s time to examine all the ways in which we collect and analyse our consumers. How well do we understand our consumer – not just their behaviour with our brand but their broader world? Do we have a clear picture of who they are? What are their aspirations and anxieties? How can we add real value in their lives? Which of Mintel’s’ trends impact our business more than the others? The implication is to immediately commission primary research or collate and study secondary research on our consumers.

Areas should include understanding the consumer as an individual (broad), their relationship with the category (more specific) and their relationship with our brand (laser-focused). It is best to get your team involved in collecting the data and culling consumer insights. There is no better way to get close to your consumers and have real empathy for them.

Question Everything and Reimagine Why You Exist as a Brand

This is as opportune a time as any to fundamentally rethink the business and its very reason to exist. Brands will surely need to find a legitimate purpose to own, ways to create relevance and ways to stand out from the sea of sameness in every category.

 

It will take a lot of open-mindednesses to kill the sacred cows and think of fresh, new ways in which to add value in your consumers’ lives. The insights gleaned in the empathy stage should be the foundation of reimagining your brand’s purpose.

Think of a Holistic Brand Experience to Serve Your Consumers Better

The consumer journey framework is the most useful tool you can use now to map every interaction touchpoint with your consumer – be it physical, digital or human – and plot how you will engage deeper and more holistically across all the touchpoints of the brand experience. It’s goodbye to SILOS and hello to a unified view of consumers by all parts of your organization to truly serve them better.

 

In short, brand transformation in the service of business and consumer behaviour transformation is the need of the hour.

 

It’s time you embarked on this to give your business the competitive brand edge it needs.

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The new Euro Cup logo is out. Recently launched in the virtual space through social media, UEFA made its call for a non-racist 2024 Euros loud and clear.

After the 2022 football World Cup, the 2024 Euros is the next big football carnival the UEFA is already preparing for.
Set to take place in Germany, the new Euros logo is already out on social media. Along with a light show at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, unity and inclusivity were presented as the main theme of the logo redesign.
The symbol had been based on the European flag colours, in the shape of the host Olympiastadion in Berlin. The logo still features the traditional Euro Cup, along with the use of bold colours and a new oblong shape. Meanwhile, the ‘O’ in Euro, represents the Olympiastadion.
EURO2024 Logo
The unleashing video reads ‘Everyone is invited to bring their colours.’ UEFA also go on to say in the video “For all generations, all voices and all of us, united by football.”


The animated video has over 350k views on YouTube. The colours of the logo appeal to every nation in Europe instead of solely Germany’s black, red and yellow, thus representing “a ‘EUROS for ALL’.

The logo makes it clear as can be that the upcoming Euros is meant to be an occasion that connects people and communities through compassion, diversity and integration. A lesson to build on from the racist outlast following the previous Euro finals.

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A logo is the face of any brand. And who better knows the importance of a logo in branding, like Canva? The graphic design tech giant has come up with a new logo for their own brand recently.

New Logo of Canva

In today’s digital world, brand identity is the only unique language you can use to distinguish your position from others. Canva has recently brought up a change in their logo, which might have been missed by most people. This itself shows success in how much the brand has established its identity. The logo no longer remains in the icon format like before. Nevertheless, it is consistent in using the same radiant turquoise to a purple gradient that goes well with the existing brand language.

New Logo of Canva

Canva believes that design should be easily accessible and understandable no matter where the onlooker comes from. Their collective mission as a company has always been to empower the world to design. Design plays a key role in everyone’s lives and Canva has just helped us see it in a different light. Their brand has definitely evolved from their initial days, and their perspective has now changed to embrace flexibility. They claim that the reason for the change was to be easy enough to use across all mediums alike.



Canva has made it very clear that this is not a case of rebranding, but refining their existing brand image. Their product offers simplicity and accessibility to design, and that is exactly what their logo represents. This logo has first been iterated by Rob Clarke, a famous type designer and lettering artist. The company claims that this can be designed by their platform as well. This version of their logo that is hand-drawn as well as optimised for the screen shows how creativity is for all.

New Logo of Canva
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Illustrations are potent tools of communication. If used wisely, they are capable of creating wonders, especially in the world of branding. Illustrations can profoundly impact the viewer, thus imprinting the brand in a potential customer’s mind. This aspect has edged several marketing specialists to urge upcoming brands to associate themselves with an original illustration. Read further to understand the use of illustration in branding, as explained by the Italian illustrator Monica Alletto.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Space Travel, 2019



The first impression is essential for forming any sort of lasting bond. When it comes to a product, this first impression is established through branding. By definition, branding is a process through which a company ascertains its identity by creating a name, design, and symbol unique to it. This vital process is bought to fruition with cleverly composed, thoughtfully drafted designs, often accompanied by gorgeous illustrations.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Il Miglior Riparo, 2021

It is through the use of such wonderous illustrations that Monica Alletto, a renowned illustrator from Italy, designs illustrations for brands. Born in Palermo, Sicily, Monica graduated in didactics and Pedagogy of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo. Her habitual practice of seeking challenges and continuous self-learning resulted in her signature style where vibrant colours and soft shapes are predominant. Monica boasts a brilliant career that is divided between exhibitions, magazines, agencies and publishing houses.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Gira_Sola, 2019

Her illustrations are a result of her keen observation, experimentation, passion and rigorous practice. “Illustration has always been an important part of my life. It helped me communicate with others while also helping me overcome my walls of insecurities that only became higher with age. Thus, there is no defined beginning for when I started to illustrate. It has always been with me and always will be.”

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Cover Catalogues Margò_2020/2021_ “Bali, Africa, Caribbean and Maldives”

These illustrations are not just another work of art, but a tool of communication, narrating the brand’s story and its ideals. But its function does not end there; “the illustration must also increase the product’s potential, both in terms of appearance and sales to the customer. Shapes, colours and signs must be able to communicate with each other and in turn with the product, with the sole objective of making you understand what you are sponsoring,” explains Monica.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Cover Catalogues Margò_2020/2021_“ Maldives”

Hence, one can simply state that communication is a highly crucial aspect of a design. While being a visual treat, the illustration must also engage with the potential consumers and enforce the brand ideals. To communicate these effectively, Monica offers three critical factors to keep in mind during the designing process, and they are, “The theme, the sensation to be showcased and the audience Once these three factors are defined, the chances of success in the production phase will be higher. I want to add a fourth factor, which in my opinion, should never be missing. It is ‘the unexpected’. This factor leaves the possibility of inserting something at random, which might have seemed wrong initially, but can work up to your advantage if analysed and implemented correctly,” elucidated the artist.

Cover Catalogues Margò_2020/2021_ “Greece”

But these factors hardly scratch the surface. To successfully narrate and reflect the brand, the illustrator must first know the brand and product. “It is necessary to talk with those who work closely with the product, enquire its origin, the target audience and possible changes in its future. Understanding the history of the brand is also crucial. These will ensure that the illustration increases the product’s appeal, mirror the brand’s history and hint at innovation.”

BioSicilia soft drinks - Bibite Polara, 2019

Alletto’s signature style is a minimalistic illustration, sketched with simple shapes and a vibrant colour palette. These illustrations deliver a clear message in the simplest form. “These minimal artworks arise from the most complex thoughts. After a thorough analysis of the theme and rigorous brainstorming, a beautiful idea is born. Once all the superfluous things are taken away, the idea is clear and simple,” comments Alletto.

The idea is then implemented through cleverly composed art pieces consisting of basic shapes. “An illustration in its simplest form carries with it a very clear message, even as it leaves some room for personal interpretation. A message becomes apparent only when it is understandable to as many people as possible. Hence, the more universal the form, the higher the read.” The artist further explains their composition process, “A composition works if the elements find their balance and provide a coherent overall picture.

But finding the perfect balance between elements is not immediate. I draw series of drafts; this will take me to the final work. I start with the sketches of all the illustration’s crucial elements and work with them, like a puzzle, until I find the perfect balance for that illustration.”

Monica’s passion for art is profound and asks young artists to let their passion guide them. “When you create something, be it for yourself or a client, your love for what you do should motivate your work. Your passion for your work will help you excel in your field, help you stand out and remain fresh and current. Your art is your mirror; it reflects you. So, always be sincere, and you will learn to love your work.”

Published in Issue 52

The pandemic has brought many different challenges for everyone. But educating our young ones is among the top priority. The issue focused on how design education is still possible while most of us are locked in our homes. We also interacted with illustrators and photographers such as Jasjyot Singh Hans and Anirudh Agarwal, who seem to stand firm with their uniqueness in this time of chaos. Overall this issue serves food for thought with visually stunning creativity on a single platter.

 


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