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Warner Media recently merged with Discovery forming Warner Bros. Discovery.

Image: courtesy Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv/Warner Bros. Discovery

A mock-up logo design for Warner Bros. Discovery, a new partnership between Warner Bros. and Discovery, Inc, was leaked. The golden design received plenty of criticism, with people saying that the design looks like it was made with Microsoft’s WordArt. But now, Warner Bros. has finally revealed the actual design. The audience may not be satisfied with it but they are certainly relieved.

The mock-up logo [Image: Warner Bros . Discovery]

Designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who explains that the rebranding reflects Warner Bros. Discovery’s goal “to establish a creative powerhouse that builds on its history as well as its unmatched talent and vision for the future”.

The new logo features a minimalistic design with a simplified wordmark. The designers have worked to take the overall look in a modern direction. Creating more symmetry between the letters was one such tweak. Without the ribbon of text across the middle traditionally usually used in the shield, the size difference between W and B is more obvious.

Image credit: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv/Warner Bros. Discovery

“Creativity, storytelling, longevity . . . all of these qualities are built already into that shield,” says Sagi Haviv, partner and designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.

Image: courtesy Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv/Warner Bros. Discovery
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Tawainese computer hardware company, Asus launches two new Zenbooks accompanying a new logo.

Asus New Logo
Image credit: Asus

The new Zenbooks launched just this week are direct competitors of Macbook Air, featuring OLED displays and ultra-light and portable designs. The AMD Zenbook 13 S joins Asus’ growing lineup of 13-inch OLED laptops, and the Zenbook Pro 15 Flip OLED is a convertible laptop that is powered by the 12th-Gen Core processors and an Arc GPU.

Old (left) vs new (right) (Image credit: Asus/Future owns)

Instead of the word ‘Asus’ on the lids of other laptops, these two additions will have a new arrow-shaped logo. This is certainly an upgrade from the company’s previous boring old wordmark.

Netizens reacted to this major change to the company’s look by pointing out that the new logo looks rather like the Starfleet Insignia from Star Trek.

The Starfleet insignia (Image credit: TrekCore)

Adding to that, it seems the new Asus monogram logo isn’t entirely new, it had appeared on the company’s Behance page and at the Computex Taipei International Computer Show in 2019 celebrating the company’s 30th Anniversary with in addition to many new products. But this is the first time we’ve seen it on any of Asus’s cheaper consumer devices.

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The animation industry in India has come a long way and has a long way to go. Renowned animation filmmaker, Suresh Eriyat, gives us the ground reality of the industry today, and where the future lies. In the process, he also teaches us a few things that make the animation world go round.

The Indian Animation Legend, E Suresh, has been a pioneer in storytelling and animation through films. He currently heads his animation studio Studio Eeksaurus. He was the first to launch clay animation commercials in India. A few feathers in his cap include creating Amaron battery advertisements, music video Bindu re Bindu, the Simpu series for Channel V, MTV Poga series, Johnny Bravo goes to Bollywood, Levis Slim vs. Slim, and so many more.

His short films, Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk, and Tokri, both won National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Animation Film, apart from winning almost 60 national and International awards at various festivals with over 150 official selections globally.

CG. Where does animation stand today in India? Is there a gap in the understanding of what the animation industry encompasses?

Suresh. There are several gaps in the way animation is understood in India. Internationally ‘animation filmmaker’ and an ‘animator’ are similar. There the animator is synonymous to a filmmaker who uses animation to make his/her films bringing in a holistic process to the film making. In India that is not necessarily the case. Firstly, the animation is associated with cartoons in India. Beyond that, it is widely believed to simply be a technique. And this is used in the Indian animation industry mainly to provide a service, as a BPO format. Unfortunately here animation is seen as a skill set equivalent to learning software or a tool, and not as a conceptual ability of a person creating ideas to tell a story. It is not seen as the overall process.

Another misconception is that animation films don’t require direction/a director. These are all misnomers because it is not yet a popular medium here. The way it is taught or talked about by some of the academies in India, also adds to the confusion and misleading terms.

CG. What do you think it would take to change this perception in India?

Suresh. It would take more exposure to see these films, and gathering a better understanding of what animation is, for this change to occur. This will eventually lead to recognition for animation and its various forms. The evolution needs to happen where people become more aware of animation.

 

In the West, people have been with animation for many decades now, so they understand all that it encompasses. They understand that it is a tool to tell powerful stories. In India, the animation is still young. I am sure in another 10 years we will be where all these countries are in terms of understanding of the medium.

CG. When you are making your films, what sort of target audience are you looking at?

Suresh. I make both short films and advertising films. Both have different agendas. Advertisement films have a definite purpose, either to spread awareness about a brand or convey a message. In both cases, a behavioral change is desired. The brief and objective are very clear and the process involves a lot of research. We go by the design process where there is a defined problem, a defined target audience, and a very clear message to convey. The advertising films have a wider reach in that sense.

My short films, on the other hand, aren’t targeted to a market audience. Instead, they are targeted to a crowd who are artistically inclined and who appreciate the process. The films also target the festival audience, so that they see what India is capable of creating. It is important for Indians to not just be perceived as a service but also as great storytellers.

CG. Where does India stand on the global platform in the animation industry and film making?

Suresh. At the moment, we are not considered capable. Nobody thinks India will make good content. Right now, there are only a handful of companies that are known to create content in India. But the majority lot of animation professionals is complacent about creating something original. We need to tell more stories and make more films to be put on the map.

CG. In your work, how extensively do you use the design process?

Suresh. We often use the design process in the craft of film making. Through this process, we arrive at the most appropriate form and direction to convey the story in the best way possible. Different production houses are bracketed for making a certain type of content. It took us some time to establish ourselves without being labeled in that manner, and instead to be perceived as a design-driven production house.

We are known to work with any medium in order to make the idea stronger. I have directed and produced close to 500 films now, and I don’t consciously try to come up with a new medium, but somehow that has always happened. Each of my films has a unique look and feel to them. This is mainly the result of the design process that we use to strengthen the idea we want to convey.

CG. Creative professionals often begin to make the same kind of work, and then get stuck to that style. How did you escape that?

Suresh. While making films we first look at the story and then the form. We never begin by deciding the form. Many people tend to decide the form first thus stick to it. Sometimes clients go to them because they are known for a particular narrative style or a form that they specialize in.

Creating work with similar form is understandable because of our influences. We see things around us and try to include them in our work. But this is exactly why the design process is important. It diminishes the tendency of aping something or following a trend.

 

Our attempt has always been to push the form further than the predictable and strive to make it more cutting edge and niche.

CG. What makes a good story? What is good storytelling?

Suresh. No story is good or bad. It depends on how memorable a story is. And this depends on how engaging and captivating the audience is by it. And all this comes down to how the story is told. Majority stories have a similar pattern, the intro, the middle, the climax, the end, etc., but how you manage to tell the story in a captivating way is what counts. For example, the story of Ramayan and Mahabharat has essentially been the same. But the style of narration has changed with time. Every story can be told in many ways. Narrating it in a way relevant to the context is important.

CG. What is the importance of humour in storytelling?

Suresh. While narrating a story, the audience needs to feel good about it, and humour is a sure shot way to do that. It lightens up the mood and adds a twist to look at reality. Laughter is definitely a great ingredient.

CG. An example of great use of humour is the awareness campaign for Mumbai women that you had created. Can you tell us a little more about that, and how humour worked there?

Suresh. The Mumbai police claimed that in Mumbai, anywhere a woman is in distress, all she needs to do is call the hotline, and the police will reach her in within minutes. This was something they were proud of, but when I checked around, no one knew the number. So I decided to create a campaign to create awareness.

We did not want to go by the obvious approach of showing women morose or stressed ‘victims’, because that does not work at all. Through the communication we wanted women to feel empowered and get the courage to face the world. We wanted them to imagine the hotline was their weapon.

 

The beauty of this campaign is that the way it was executed, still makes it relevant. The form has a cartoon look, but artistic styling sets it apart.

CG. Many youngsters look forward to a career in animation. But Indian parents are very concerned about how lucrative this industry is. How would you respond to that?

Suresh. The animation is unlike mainstream fields like medicine, today in India. Instead, it leans towards art and culture, and these are essential elements of the fabric of society.

 

Another thing is, if you empower a student with animation, you are making him independent because animation films can be made single-handedly. It is like writing a novel. Just by investing time in it, sharpening your skills and exploring different mediums, a career can be made out of it.

If you are good at it, work will always come your way; because we are living in a time where the demand for entertainment is going to grow. Earlier the platforms were limited, but now there are so many non-linear avenues for accessing entertainment like Netflix and Prime. There is a lot of content that needs to be made available, because not it is turning into a library of content. In that sense, there will never be a dearth of work.

 

Apart from this, there are so many other emerging sectors connected with animation like the education sector, AR and VR experiential environments, simulations, etc. There is a tremendous scope and I don’t see parents regretting this in the future.

CG. Tell us why you see specialization as a danger today.

Suresh. Nowadays the younger generations are too focused on a specialization. It is necessary to know peripheral aspects that could influence art or the specific subject one is into. When you are thinking of a story or making a film it requires a certain sensibility towards what is going on politically, socially, and environmentally what is happening in the country and outside. Youngsters today find this irrelevant. They focus so much on their specialization that the ideas they give are no more holistic. When you are a specialist, the danger is not being aware of the bottom line issues.

There is always a contradiction between generalization and specialization. The organic path would be specialization after generalization. I am talking purely technically, but in life also, if you have a wider opinion on things, you have a much better view on a specific topic.

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!

 

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American ice cream chain Baskin Robbins, which has had a fresh logo in the works for a while, finally replaces the old ‘pink and blue’ for a little more succinct one.

The previous Baskin Robbins logo had a playful and ‘childish’ typeface with a hidden ‘31’ claiming that they had 31 ice cream flavours – one for each day of the month. The rebrand covers all elements of Baskin-Robbins’ visual identity from the employee uniforms to the packaging.

Baskin Robbins New Logo

Also adding three new limited-time flavours: One is Non-Dairy Mint Chocochunk, another is Totally Unwrapped, made with peanut butter and chocolate ice creams, caramel swirls, fudge-covered pretzels, and fudge and caramel covered peanuts.

While addressing customer feedback the Baskin Robbins leadership team heard some customers felt very attached to the brand, which they associated with childhood trips with parents or grandparents. But they also heard that there were “some opportunities in being more relevant,” said Jason Maceda, Baskin-Robbins president to CNN.

Baskin Robbins New Logo

While it’s important for brands like Baskin-Robbins to gain traction with people who remember them from their youth, they also need to keep in mind the new customers coming in. The redesign is all set to redefine the company’s tagline, ‘seize the yay’, which aims to “turn fans of yesterday into brand loyalists of today and capture Gen Z’s heart with everyday moments of ‘happy’,” according to the agency behind the makeover.

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Design Stack shares their journey of creating the digital face of Bank of Baroda’s new-age digital bank, BOB World, reflecting upon the challenges and trials that led to their bold new design.

Client: Bank of Baroda

Services: Brand Strategy and Brand Identity

Bank of Baroda, also known as BOB, required a brand identity and strategy for their new-age digital bank, BOB World. BOB World is the digital face of the Bank of Baroda, offering various banking services in the digital World.

 

The brief was to create a strong brand identity for this digital bank while reflecting the values of the parent brand – Bank of Baroda. The branding must speak of the legacy and trust BOB holds in the minds of its customers along with being contemporary, relevant and universal.

Key Requirements

The branding must be:

  1. Youthful
  2. Contemporary
  3. Friendly
  4. Relevant to urban and semi-urban customers
  5. Approachable to older customers yet appealing to younger costumers
  6. Remain close to the design language of Bank of Baroda to reflect the legacy and instill a sense of trust among the customers.

The Problem

The primary challenge was to arrive at the name for this digital banking service: A title or term that is short, modern, and sleek while reflecting the parent brand, Bank of Baroda. The second challenge was to establish a strong position in the digital realm. Finally, the branding must be youthful while also reflecting the older and more traditional values of the parent brand.

Strategy

Design Stack and their client came up with the name BOB World for this digital banking service. The name BOB is an abbreviation of Bank of Baroda and checks all the criteria: short, modern, and sleek. The term ‘World’ hints at the expansive sphere of services this digital bank offers while also implying Bank of Baroda’s worldwide presence, within fact the most prominent international reach. This crisp, young brand name, ‘World’ also instills a sense of community among users.

Apprach

Design Stack developed a brand identity taking inspiration from the binary system, a universal symbol relevant to consumers. This design language transcends age, geography, and demography. It further connects the audience through a future-ready language, one that is digital. The word ‘bob’ in the logomark is in lowercase to emphasize ease and friendliness.

Digital Bank Brand Identity
Digital Bank Brand Identity

The color vermillion from the parent brand, Bank of Baroda, is vibrant and youthful, checking multiple criteria again. The use of italics in the logo and iconography offers a sense of movement, in sync with the parent brand’s design language since Bank of Baroda also uses subtle italics, reflecting progress.

The Design

The brand design must be:

  1. Young
  2. Vibrant
  3. Playful
  4. Short
  5. Digital Friendly
Digital Bank Brand Identity
Digital Bank Brand Identity

The ‘bob’ logo is made from the binary code—101, using a typeface specifically designed by the Design Stack team and plays up the italicized style established in the parent brand’s identity. The colours used in the branding are Vermilion and Deep Blue which also leverage the Bank of Baroda trust factor by drawing on a core asset. The iconography and other signature graphics represent the speed, movement, and dynamism of the brand and services offered by this digital bank.

 

The logo is designed to fit small spaces, especially for mobile phone applications.

The team also developed a brand manual with complete and detailed design guidelines for any future references. In addition, the manual provides templates and examples to help the brand look and act consistently across all media, leaving no room for ambiguity.

Borrowing crucial elements such as italics and colours from the parent brand, the design reflects the values of Bank of Baroda and instills a sense of trust among consumers.

Digital Bank Brand Identity

Also read, how Design Stack renewed the classical identity of SBI?

Published in Issue 54

In this post-pandemic world, everything seems to be gradually coming back to normal. Still, the way we study, work or consume has changed forever, which forces us to rethink our strategies and recalibrate our learnings. In this issue, we interviewed many design experts and teams to understand how they see these changes and their forecasts for this year. This issue includes Shashank Mishra’s soulful interview, in which he explains how he translates his deep inner feelings into stunning artwork. Also, have some of the best design case studies along with an insightful interview of a 3D illustrator from Paris, Romain Braccini. So have a happy reading! Stay safe and feel inspired!

 

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The real world is rich in experiences. But the one created by our imagination has greater possibilities. Inspired by the latter, Ishan Trivedi lets his brush loose when he goes on a fantasy drive to create captivating and surprising works.

At times, things that don’t exist inspire you the most.

Artists inspired by fantasy usually create a world of their own through their work. It is like the window to the soul and mind. If one wants to create realistic art then photography is the best manifestation of the real world. But beauty lies in showing people what they have never seen before, or rather something they have never even imagined.

Imagination
A pop-up book of adbenture of Hindu's blue God Krishna
Imagination
A pop-up book of adbenture of Hindu's blue God Krishna

It’s about crossing the horizons of imagination each time to discover something untouched and unseen. Artists are lucky today, in that, they don’t belong to the Renaissance, Realism, Romanticism or Classicism era. Now is the era of experimentation.

Ganesha and Mooshak
Ganesha and Mooshak

Imagination has no rules.

Ever wonder why most of us are amazed at a child’s imagination? That’s because it is unrestricted and free, because it follows no rules. In other words, it doesn’t go through a reality check. Same works for a true artist. Because imagination takes you where no one has gone before, it is a strong base that an artist can use to take his work beyond the ordinary.

Imagination
Imagination

Imagination has no rules.

Ever wonder why most of us are amazed at a child’s imagination? That’s because it is unrestricted and free, because it follows no rules. In other words, it doesn’t go through a reality check. Same works for a true artist. Because imagination takes you where no one has gone before, it is a strong base that an artist can use to take his work beyond the ordinary.

Imagination
Imagination
Imagination
Raja & Maharaja's Character Designs

Imagination is something very personal and one can’t design according to the point of view of the audience. Successful art works the other way around. The art must be such that it gives the audience a totally new perspective.

Illustration for a book about Krishna from Scholastic
Illustration for a book about Krishna from Scholastic
Illustration for a book about Krishna from Scholastic

Where there is a character, there is a story.

When you imagine a character, you imagine it in a particular setting and context. Knowing the concept is important as it brings out the right characterisation. How else will you know who is the villain or the hero? Hence, story and character are never mutually exclusive; they are both present to complete each other .

Nimboda (A Magical Tale of India) - A Picture Book
Imagination
Happy New Year 2020

Colours have a language of their own.

We may not realize it too often, but colours have been communicating with us for a long time. The ‘Tiranga’, for example, where each colour stands for something to make the flag meaningful. Colours have natural associations and psychological symbolism. The fact is that people feel comfortable when colours remind them of similar things. Like a shade of blue triggers associations with the sky and a psychological sense of calm and tranquility.

Illustration for 'The Enchanted Prince'
Illustration for 'The Enchanted Prince'

Owing to such importance that colours have for people, successful design requires an awareness of how and why colours communicate meanings. The point is, colours have acquired the ability to define any mood or contrast. Hence, a good sense of colour is important because it helps to define art physically in terms of shade, saturation, hue, tint etc. by giving it a deeper setting.

Illustration for 'The Enchanted Prince'

Light defines form and texture.

Otherwise, how do we know the difference between metal and glass? That’s why, lighting and shading is an important tool for artists to give definition to objects and bring the differences out. Sometimes, the colours of light and shade help create an illusion too. Such a treatment also gives an overall mystical appeal to the work, making it look dreamy and fantasy-like.

Illustration for 'The Enchanted Prince'

Beauty is the best experience for the senses.

No doubt, an idea is very important for making any painting, sculpture or illustration. However, aesthetics is also as important. Because it is the perfect kind of knowledge that senses can experience. It is what people first take notice of. In order to captivate the audience, an artist must beautifully present its final work. For that, an artist must ensure a lot many things. There must be a sense of balance, keeping in mind the proportions, colour combinations and arrangement of elements that give art its final aesthetic appeal.

Imagination

Published in Issue 05

With some of the best illustrators to political cartoonists, this issue covered independent Indian Design language.

 

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