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Your childhood experiences, explorations and continued learning through life, greatly shapes the way we think and the career path we chart for ourselves. Veteran artist and animation film designer, Dhimant Vyas, is an example of this. He gives us a peek at his childhood and throws some light on the animation industry.

An alumnus of National Institute of Design (NID) and his previous work includes the title animation sequence for the highly acclaimed Hindi feature film ‘Taare Zameen Par‘, which was directed by Indian Film Industry superstar Aamir Khan.

 

During an earlier stint at Aardman Animation Ltd. Dhimant has worked as an animator on the Creature Comforts USA TV series. He has worked with brands like BBC, UNICEF, FCB ULKA, Zee TV, MTV, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, to name just a few. His work for Taare Zameen Par, Happy Planet, Cute Bunny, Y-snore, MTV promos and his photography has won him several national and international awards.

Q: Your work is often related to the flora and fauna. Can you tell us how your childhood inspired the theme of your various work?

Dhimant. I grew up in a small town called ‘Dhrangadhra’ near Kutch, Gujarat. I spent a lot of time amidst nature, as my town is surrounded by rivers, lakes and farms. Most of my childhood involved playing with animals, bird watching, gardening, swimming in the river, and playing with the fish.

 

I used to collect clay from the riverbed to make toys and pluck grass to create handicrafts. We had no televisions or mobiles then. Even the race to get better marks in exams did not exist for us as children; this leads to spending most of our time in the lap of nature. And all my observations of nature now reflect in my work in some way.

Q: Please throw some light on the different animation techniques. Which of these is your favourite, and why?

Dhimant. There are a wide variety of techniques like 2D classical animation, 3D Computer generated animation, Stop motion, Cut out, Pixilation, and so many more.

 

I have used almost all styles of animation, but the way clay animation has evolved somehow reflects in most of my projects. I don’t restrict myself to clay animation though. I especially love the 2D classical animation style.

The style and technique always depend on the requirement of the story. For Amir Khan’s ‘Taare Zameen Par’ I used clay animation. The animation needed to seem like handmade toys created by children. There is an organic feel to the medium which cannot be achieved through computer-generated animation. Clay is something everyone relates to as it connects us all to our childhood.

 

In film making, storytelling decides the technique. The story needs to be executed in a manner where the audience completely engages with the story, instead of focusing on the technicality of the film. The style should seamlessly integrate with the story.

Q: The audience connects very strongly with your work, especially because it’s got heart and warmth. How do you bring in that feeling and emotional connection to your work?

Dhimant. Hard to tell. Perhaps because I put in my heart into my work or my childhood observations of nature reflect in my work. When one enjoys their work, the audience picks up on that, and they enjoy it too. While working, I don’t focus on the final product, instead, I put all my energy in the process of creation and learning.

Q: What role do you think animation can play in education? And how important is it?

Dhimant. Animation can play a significant role in education. I have worked on creating educational content, and have seen the impact myself.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words; now imagine the impact of thousands of moving images in animation! It is a limitless medium. Anything can be created through animation and this is what makes it a powerful educational tool.

Q: Which one of your projects is especially dear to you, and why?

Dhimant. My favourite projects are Rag Malhar (Promo for Music Asia Channel), Creature Comfort of Aardman, title animation of Aamir Khan’s film ‘Taare Zameen Par’, Purple & Brown, and Shaun the Sheep created with multiple Oscar winner Aardman animation studio, U.K.

Q: What are your words of wisdom for a budding animator?

Dhimant. Enjoy the process of making films, as your passion shows in the end. It’s important to do quality work and strive to create the best because this will bring in the money later. Always be observant and ready to learn and explore and share your knowledge. With all this it is equally important to show integrity and honour your deadlines

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. We interviewed and feature experts opinion from the industry leaders such as Suresh Eriyat, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav Kumaresh to ponder on the use of animation for early education… So, go ahead

 

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Animated Explainer

The Internet is filled with free Animated Explainer Video Softwares that are easy to use. But you need the best for your brand! Which is why we’ve created a list of online tools to help you out.

The article was originally published on Studio Tale

It’s time to bid farewell to the written word. Brands all over the world have realized that consumers prefer video content over text. The industry is now reacting to this shift.

 

Today, the animated explainer video is dominating the marketing scene.

These video explainers are everywhere – Social Media, Product help pages, Landing pages of the brand’s website, you name it!

In this article, we’ve listed out the 10 best-animated explainer video software that will give you an edge over the competition.

 

Stop googling how to make an explainer video for free. These software are free and easy to use! And if you want to sign up for the full version of these products, we’ve added in the price range as well.

These explainer video software will help you create amazing explainer videos for your product or service and capture the attention of your viewers.

 

Ready? Let’s begin our countdown!

Rawshorts

Rawshorts is a brilliant online video animated explainer video maker for creating animations. It features a simple, user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, an amazing collection of explainer video templates, and a unique pricing structure.

 

Rawshorts is perfect if you want to convert slides into captivating animated videos. You can easily customize your video clips by adding audio, texts, and transitions.

 

However, keep in mind that this animated explainer video software needs a strong internet connection to work smoothly.

 

Full Version Pricing: $39 to $89 per month


Animaker

Create flashy and captivating explainer videos in minutes with this online explainer video maker.

 

Animaker brings together 3 different features in one place – Presentations, Graphic Design, and video editing.

 

Being a  DIY platform, it is extremely user-friendly and features the largest set of free explainer video templates in this list – including an improved whiteboard animation software.

 

Want to use data and stats in your video? Animaker allows you to create beautiful visuals for your numbers. You also have a plethora of animated characters who you can drag and drop into your explainer video.

 

Not to mention it features resonating sound effects that will help you add life to your video – something other animated explainer video makers haven’t quite got on point yet.

 

Full Version Pricing: $12 to $99 per month.


Powtoon

Know how to use PowerPoint? That’s how easy it is to use Powtoon!

 

This animated explainer video software features a wide variety of free explainer video templates and animated characters that you can use in your product presentation.

 

There is also a constant design upgrade that meets their clients’ high expectations.

 

Full Version Pricing: $16 to $197 per month.


Wideo

Wideo is a great animated explainer video software for creating all kinds of video content.

 

Easy to learn and user-friendly, Wideo features a drag and drop interface and has a large number of professional, free explainer video templates to choose from.

 

Other features include YouTube sharing, the ability to upload images and audio, and an extensive library of over 1000 in-built images at your disposal.

 

Wideo is available on Windows, Linux, Mac and is also available as cloud-based software.

 

Full Version Pricing: $19 to $199 per month  


Vyond

Formerly known as Goanimate, Vyond is a simple cloud-based video editing software.

 

Straightforward and intuitive, this animated explainer video software is simple for beginners to use and features beautiful in-built video templates.

 

Vyond features a simple drag and drop interface that allows you to create character-driven videos or compelling data visualizations.

 

It also has a large audio-visual library and is available on Android and iOS.

 

Full Version Pricing: $39 to $159 per month.


Viddyoze

Viddyoze is great if you need to create high-quality animated explainer videos in a short time-frame.

 

This cloud-based animated video software is really easy to use. It is the best explainer video maker for incorporating logos and text beautifully into your videos.

 

Viddyoze specializes in producing call to action videos and has over 700 templates to choose from.

 

And if you aren’t happy with the platform, there’s always a 100% money back guarantee!

 

Full Version Pricing: $77 or $97, one-time payment.


Biteable

Biteable has often been called “The World’s Simplest Video Maker”.

 

This explainer video maker’s tools are intuitive and easy to use. It has a great collection of pre-animated scenes to choose from.  It also features a high-quality audio library and has a great colour editing capability.

 

The result? You can create high quality animated explainer videos in minutes.

 

Full Version Pricing: $20 to $99 per month


Renderforest

Renderforest is a simple cloud-based explainer video maker that lets you create great videos in minutes.

 

Equipped with a comprehensive catalogue of animated explainer video templates to choose from, you can use it’s drag and drop interface to get the style and tone you need. It also allows you to upload images and videos, and play with colours and text in your video.

 

However, Renderforest has a higher pricing range than the other contenders on this list.

 

Full Version Pricing: $59 to $299 per month


Animoto

This animated explainer video software allows you to easily create beautiful animated explainer videos that can incorporate video clips and images.

 

It provides you with a selection of explainer templates to choose from and even has an in-built library of music for you to use. Animoto has also partnered with Getty Images to create a collection of over 1 million stock photos and videos that you can insert in your explainer video.

 

However, keep in mind that you cannot edit individual clips in this explainer video maker. Any changes or edits made will translate to the whole video.

 

Full Version Pricing: $9 to $94 per month


Moovly

This drag and drop style animated explainer video maker features an extensive library of over a million usable objects – be it stock images, videos or sounds.

 

Moovly also has in-built templates that you can use to create the right explainer video for you.

 

However, there have been complaints that this explainer video maker takes time to render the final product.

 

Full Version Pricing: $49 per month

And there you have it.

 

Those were our picks for the best-animated explainer video maker software on the internet today.

 

If you’re looking to create your own videos, these explainer video makers are going to give you some brilliant results!

The article was written by Koushik Marka and originally published on Studio Tale

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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The journey to a successful career in the animation can be thrilling and overwhelming. Renowned animation film maker, Vaibhav Kumaresh, tells us about the story behind his success and the establishment of Vaibhav Studios.

Lamput TV Series

Vaibhav Kumaresh has a unique unmatched style to his work. But Vaibhav traveled a long way before he met his success.

Animation
Lamput TV Series

Vaibhav completed his 10th grade, and then went on to pursue a 5-year graduation course in Fine Arts. In 1990 it was common to skip the 12th grade, and his parents were very supportive. Here he was introduced to drawing, sculpting, painting, printmaking, and photography; and specialised in Applied Arts. Later, Vaibhav joined NID where he explored and learned about the beautiful medium of animation.

Animation
Simpu for channel V

After NID, he joined Famous House of Animation in 1998. Animation legend, E. Suresh, was Vaibhav’s senior here and was assigned the task of setting up an animation studio at Famous. Together they produced several animation films. It was an exciting phase for Vaibhav.

In 2003 a lovely children’s film came Vaibhav’s way. He chose to take it, which meant he had to leave his job. Vaibhav confesses that it was the scariest yet happiest decision of his life. He joined forces with his wife, Suranjana, a product designer from NID, and Vaibhav Studios was formed. As projects kept flowing in, there was no looking back.

Animation
Nick Ident, Idli Song.

Vaibhav Studios broadly takes up two types of projects. First is commissioned work, primarily TV commercials where an advertising agency approaches them with a ready script. The Studio then interprets it in their own way, followed by direction and production. Second is when they build their own original IP and pitch those ideas and concepts to different clients. In the past 4 years, they have primarily worked on creating many original IP.

Animation
Buladi Horny Lovers

Vaibhav uses a variety of techniques and mediums to create films. He uses stop motion which is all physical materials – clay, wire, cloth, paper. For the traditional hand-drawn animation techniques, he uses paper, pencil, markers, erasers, correction pens, paints, and charcoal. Sometimes digital tools like Adobe Photoshop, Flash (now called Animate) to draw and animate are also used. For the digital 3D animation films Vaibhav uses Autodesk Maya and After Effects. At times his studio also shoots live action and mixes them with animated footage. Vaibhav believes the open source software, Blender, is soon emerging as an immensely powerful and artist-friendly tool for animation.

But Vaibhav adds that software is merely a tool. Using it does not guarantee one a good end product. The magic lies in the hands of the user of the tool.

Nick Ident. Mom And Brat.

Vaibhav recommends ‘Kampung Boy’ by Lat, as a great book with a beautifully illustrated story to read. He also recommends a few inspiring animation short film recommendations, namely, Madagascar – Carnet de Voyage by Bastien Dubois, Chick by Michal Socha, Father & Daughter by Michael Dudok de Wit

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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In an exclusive interview with Creative Gaga, storyboard artist Sachin Tiwari has given tips and shared his insights about creating a storyboard.

Storyboarding
Storyboarding

CG. What was your inspiration to choose the field of animation as your career?

Sachin. Growing up watching animated series like He-man, Barba-papa and many others. Seeing the characters perform various actions like talk, laugh move and dance always fascinated me. I wondered how it all works. Loving to draw, I would copy those characters in my sketchbook or even on any surface where I could draw, and eventually it took-up as a profession by undergoing a formal training from a reputed animation production house. This marked the start of my professional journey as an Animation artist.

Storyboarding
Storyboarding
Storyboarding

CG. What is a storyboard and what is it’s importance in a project? What are the different fields where story boards are essential?

Sachin. Storyboard is a shot by shot sequence of any written script represented visually using graphics or illustrations. It explains how the video will unfold shot by shot or look like on screen just like a comic book. It is very important for a video/visual-based project to have a proper storyboard of the script being produced.

Storyboarding
Storyboarding

In our everyday lives, sometime we have to draw a rough sketch to explain our point of view to make it easy to understand. Similarly storybord is like a road-map to visualise something which otherwise is not easily understood only through written words of the script.

Visuals make people understand the whole thing better. Thus, a storyboard undoubtedly plays a significant role in video production when a director needs to make the production staff understand his vision and show how exactly the product is going to be mapped out.

Storyboarding

These days many industries, apart from the animation sector, such as advertisement, live-action films, business explainers, television production etc., use storyboarding for their productions. The art of storyboarding is a powerful tool to help communicate ideas, and when used properly it helps to avoid common mistakes like a broken storyline, mis-matched dialogue and playback timing issues and keeps the whole team aware of what is to be done.

CG. As stories are integral part of storyboarding. But how critical are the characters of the story?

Sachin. Our sense of curiosity engages us to see what will happen next. Stories capture attention and we are hardwired to respond to that. An artist while drawing the storyboard, aims at creating visuals that convey the right message and the storyline and are relatable too, by the people. For this, a character is must to imbue the emotions. A story/plot is always designed or said to give a message, but without a character or protagonist, it is not possible to create any storyboard.

CG. What are the different kinds of projects that you take up and how do you decide upon the concept of creating a storyline for your projects?

Sachin. Majority of the projects I work on are story-driven cartoon film productions which are either episodic or full-length films. To start a project, one needs to understand about a few things like references, layout, framing, layering and lastly finishing. Although boarding is a team-based activity and anyone can contribute, but in today’s scenario storyboarding artists have to create and complete a storyboard, more or less, individually and have it approved by the directors.

CG. What are the different mediums that you use for creating story-boards?

Sachin. I personally don’t find myself dependent on any particular medium to create a storyboard. Choosing the medium should be result oriented, whether you use pencil paper, or any kind of computer-based software. In general, I use a paper and a pencil to create rough basic thumbnails. They’re pretty much scribbled for my reference. When satisfied with my scribbled drawings, I start creating them digitally with Adobe Flash. After translating the thumbnails into fine drawings, I then add the sound to set the storyline and timings for the final output.

CG. Time frames are an essential requirement for any creative project. How does time framing make a difference to the final outcome? And how do you balance?

Sachin. Yes, time frames are always there, and I try to adhere to them as much as possible but not at the cost of compromising the quality of work. I pass on the final work to the client only after being satisfied with the desired quality. I don’t prefer taking up projects with unrealistic time frames or where it is difficult to provide satisfactory results.

CG. What are the important factors to be kept in mind while storyboarding for a project?

Sachin. I work as a freelance boarding artist. Freelance means that you don’t always have work but the upside of working freelance is that no two projects are the same. There is ample variety and it is exciting to work on animation projects of different styles.

But still there are some important factors or a checklist, which remain same for every project and should be kept in mind, like:

 

+ Have I read the whole script?


+ Do I know the storyline?


+ How am I going to execute the scene?


+ Do I know the essence of the scene?


+ Do I have the proper material such as character sheets, prop sheets, backgrounds, audio etc.?


+ Do I have proper references?


+ Is my scene in-sync with the style of the animation required and flow of the episode?


+ Are characters matching with the layouts’ perspective?


+ Do I know where to minimize my efforts without affecting the quality?


+ Am I doing something to make the simple scenes better?


+ Am I planning according to the time deadline?

Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. So, go ahead.

 

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All of us watch online videos every day on our computers, smartphones and even on smart TVs. There is a surge in the rate at which video viewing is gaining momentum. Today, over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and above 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. And that’s just for YouTube!

Here, Jaseem Thayal Shareef, the CEO of WowMakers Digital Media Studio explains the benefits of having an explainer video on your website.

As per Cisco trends analysis, the video is projected to take up 79% of all internet traffic by 2018 and companies should leverage the benefits of this online video boom as it is not going to slow down anytime soon.

In tune with this trend, using animated explainer videos has become an effective online marketing strategy. More and more companies (both big brands and small companies) are innovatively using videos to their advantage. Explainer videos became popular in the last few years mainly because of its affordability and effectiveness in enhancing your business. Though explainer videos bring a whole range of benefits but here are the top 10 benefits of using it.

01 Clearly Conveys Objective

Using text to convey the product objective is a little tricky as it can be interpreted in many different ways. Explainer videos minimize the guess works and clearly explain the usefulness and basic function of a product or service.

02 Generates Interest in Consumers

More and more businesses are using visuals options such as images and videos to generate interest in their product as it is found to be very effective.

03 Intensifies Conversion Rates

According to Video Rascal study, over 80% of consumers prefer to buy a product if it is accompanied by videos.

04 Improves Ranking on Google

Websites with endless pages of block text and images are normally ranked lower in Google search. According to the Spork Marketing study, websites with videos rank much higher in Google’s global searches.

05 Increases Web Traffic

Going “viral” is a term that is closely connected to YouTube. Though there are no predefined ways to make a video “viral”, but many products have gained greater visibility through viral videos.

06 Helps Recall Information

More than voice or text, people remember what they see in a visual format. The average person remembers only around 10% of what they hear or read, but they remember 50% of what they see as per the Wharton Research Center study.

07 Brings Engagement

A multipage PowerPoint slide or a brochure with detailed text and pie charts are not effective enough to engage the audience. On the other hand, a well-produced explainer video with an interesting script and impressive visuals engages the audience in a better way.

08 Grabs Attention

When traditional web content and all those cool ideas are shown in an impressive video format, not only gives your website a cleaner look but also improves the chance to engage a potential customer.

09 Establishes Brand Identity

The prime reason that makes a customer come back to you repeatedly is the brand identity. It is important that the customer connects to your brand identity to gain trust and to make that happen; using explainer video is the best option.

10 Easily Sharable

An explainer video has a wider reach and it is not limited to just your website. People show interest in sharing the links of the videos they like.

Companies all over the world are creating videos about everything right from cause awareness to reviews, which clearly underline the gaining popularity of videos in marketing strategy. The promising future of video is waiting for you.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead

 

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A master piece is not just created by drawing a few lines and colouring the different areas formed. It indeed is a full package of detailing the model, the textures, the lights and the angles involved, just in the right amount, as Dushyant Bhardwaj explains us.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Lighting Doodles. A quick lighting doodle using basic shapes like boxes and spheres.

With a keen liking and special place for drawing and sketching in his heart as a kid, Dushyant Bhardwaj was inspired by the amazing sketches and art pieces that his cousin created on Lightbox. This got him learning in detail and depth what he really loved, sketching and expand his learning horizons to three-dimensional art. It even escalated his interest levels for the subject

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Wiring the Needles. A fun render experimenting with miniatures using 3DS Max, Photoshop and V-Ray.

An Artwork Without a Story is Like a Ship Without a Rudder!

This thought made Dushyant ponder about everything he saw around him. A picture with interesting lighting and gripping elements engrossed him and he in turn attached a story to it as this made it easier for him to put his thoughts on canvas while recreating the same scene.

 

Old, abandoned buildings and structures always caught his attention as they definitely had a story attached to them, which Dushyant tries narrating through his work.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Detective’s Desk. An apartment of 40-something detective while solving a crime committed in the city.

Detailing: The Key to Create Realistic Art!

Detailing depends on the kind of outcome that is wanted and also camera angles one works with. Adding details to a piece of art will definitely make it look real and believable, but if overdone can completely ruin it.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Little Radish. Based on the concept of Goro Fujita, a test scene to learn more about Arnold renderer engine.

While detailing a realistic image, it is important to keep in mind the overall view of the artwork while designing model and the intricacies of its textures. A stylised artwork would not require so much detailing as a realistic one would.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Abandoned Storeroom. The idea was to convey that libraries, books, newspapers, cycles and other old things are dying in the modern world.

An artwork with a closeup view would require one to focus first on the primary details like microelements, that will be in limelight, and then move on to the secondary details to be developed for the overall view.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
ISO Game Renders, Elvenar. Environments created for Innogames – Elvenar.

For instance, working on a texture which is rusty and has paint chipped off would require to concentrate on the area having the chipped paint, the formation of the cracks and the spreading of the rusted texture. Also, adding too much chipped off paint and rust may destroy it and take the life out of that asset.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Lighting Doodle. A quick lighting doodle using Maya and Arnold.

Lighting: A Creator or a Destroyer!

Lighting plays a crucial role in any scene. It can either can make a scene or break it. Deciding the lighting for the scene has to be a smart choice as it should be in tandem with the storyline and the subject of the scene as well as be successful in conveying the emotions attached, for the scene to be comprehensible for the viewer.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
ISO Baby Room. An experiment with the new render Fstorm to achieve a very soft mood with modelling, texturing and lighting.

Taking inspirations for lighting from Pinterest and other imagery for reference is always helpful. Dushyant Bhardwaj uses a mix of different digital softwares like 3DS Max, Maya, V-Ray, Photoshop, Arnold, to name a few, for the creation of his artwork pieces.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Junkbot. An experiment with substance painter to texture a junkbot modelled using 3DS Max.

Sailing in the Sea of Professionals!

Stepping into a market full of talented professionals has never been easy. For him to be successful, Dushyant Bhardwaj believed in the fact to create quality work rather than quantity. To be noticed and commissioned, he started putting out his portfolio on the digital and social media like YouTube, CGSociety forum and Artstation.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Room. Artwork inspired from the short film Alarm.

He suggests the same to budding and upcoming artists to thrive in the field they love. Also, as the saying goes, perseverance is the key to success.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Silent Witness. A scene to study about cinematic lighting and storytelling in a still picture.

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!

 

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Story-boarding is not just creating beautiful pieces of art. Instead it is presenting ideas and content in a strategical & comprehensible style. Saumin Patel tells us more.

Story-boarding

An illustrator at heart, Saumin started out professionally by joining an animation studio creating online cards. Eventually realizing his plus points, he decided to manage the backstage of animation, which is designing and illustrating for the animated projects, also known as story-boarding.

Story-boarding

What is story-boarding?

As the name suggests, it is a story told through multiple frames in a visual manner, defining an entire process in detail. Used for animated films or even shooting a scene in a movie, story-boards help the director in streamlining his vision and allow the team to align themselves with this vision to achieve the desired result.

Story-boarding

Story-boards are not just pretty pictures, they are the shots which supposed to evoke certain emotions and enhance the story, conveying an overall mood but could be subjective to each individuals’ interpretation.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Every element used in here becomes a character, be it fire, wind, trees, water or rocks, thus becoming a definitive source of information about what the scene is going to be like. In short, it is a manifestation of the creators’ thoughts through tangible elements.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Story-boarding puts forth the anticipated difficulties and helps in deriving solutions for the scene’s smooth-sailing.

 

The beauty of a story is that it can be expressed by different directors in their own unique style. So as a storyboard artist, it is essential to convey the essence of the director’s idea and vision in a clear-cut manner through these frames.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Story-boarding for advertisements is a bit different from that of films. Advertising is all about presenting to the client, hence the story-board needs to be completely finished and aesthetically appealing. Whereas for a film, it is about clear communication of ideas from the director to the entire team, showcasing the flow of the sequence to build the expressions and the mood. Beauty and aesthetics take a bit of a backseat in this case.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

An Artist’s Individual Style

Saumin’s style is mostly comic, giving a lot of details about layouts and backgrounds, thus making it simple and easy for the entire team to execute the shoot. For him, the excitement is more about brainstorming and presenting ideas and options to the directors rather than drawing the boards out. His style and work culture helped him carve a niche for himself in this sector and got him working for some of the reputed names in the film industry like Ashutosh Gowariker and Sriram Raghavan to name a few.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Work-life

A big fan of director Sriram Raghavan, Saumin along with his friend created an original graphic novel for the promotion of Agent Vinod, published by Westland Publications Ltd.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

For Raghavan’s Andhadhun, Saumin has worked on a few key sequences, creating boards in his own style to function as inspirations and concepts for the sequences. He has also created promo images for the Bollywood blockbuster Stree and has had the opportunity to storyboard a song and the climax sequence for Vikas Bahl’s Super 30.

Story-boarding

Words of Wisdom

There is learning at every stage.
Before story-boarding, it is necessary to study and understand films, television shows, comics, performing arts or any other subject that needs to explore. Reading fiction and non-fiction adds up to the knowledge base of an artist, thus helping him in expressing his work better.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding
Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. So, go ahead.

 

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WowMakers

A digital experience studio that provides a range of services – everything from animated explainer videos, branding, documentaries and corporate video production to UI/UX design, website design and app development for a host of international companies and Governments, WowMakers came into existence to fill in the void in the creative arts industry in India.


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A few of 2018’s still making it big and some new additions to the list, the trending trends of 2019 predicted by designers from different fields are put together here just for you.

It is said that change is the only constant and with each passing year graphic design trends prove this right. Be it packaging and illustrating for products or a promotional campaign for a brand, the design trends influencing each field have become a must-know today.

 

Will the previous years’ trends will be an influence on the upcoming years’ trends or will the two be complete opposites?

To get an answer, we have creatives from different sectors of the design industry enlightening us about the graphic design trends of 2018 and putting forth their predictions for 2019’s trends.

Job

Anthony Lopez
Award-winning designer, Anthony Lopez is the founder of Lopez Design.

Mira Malhotra

Mira Malhotra
A graphic designer, visual artist and the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design Stack

Design Stack
A Branding & Design firm that builds, strengthens and nurtures brands.

Sonia Tiwari
Pursuing a PhD in Learning Design and Technology from Penn State University.

Aaron Pinto

Aaron Pinto
Commonly known as Kidsquidy, is not only a graphic designer and illustrator but also the drummer for two Mumbai based metal bands, Providence and Gutslit.

WowMakers

WowMakers
A digital experience studio that provides from animated explainer videos, branding, documentaries and corporate video production to UI/UX design.

Anix

Anix
Anix has twelve years of experience in the world of graphics. He has worked with brands in India and abroad. He is creative director at Adaar.

To get a fair idea about what design will look like in the 19th year of the 21st century, read through!

BRANDING TRENDS

2018 Highlights

Brands are switching over to the social and digital media by cutting through the traditional medium of print to be used as their promotional and communication strategies.

According to Inderpreet Singh Seehra from Design Stack2018 saw simplification, strong colours and symbols that stood out in digital mediums as the key features for major branding projects. The brand identity of SBI (a complete case study here) created by them is an example.

SBI-Rebranding
New-Logo

The use of gradients, motion design and experimental typefaces was a ubiquity of 2018. The Identity for Fakultet for kunst, musikkog design, UiB, by Uniform, as a dynamic brand in motion; and Baboon by Sagmeister and Walsh, for its approach to colour and its humour logotypes showed the brands walking towards a more dynamic approach to differentiate themselves from the competition, says Mira Malhotra, the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design
Brand Identity for Baboon
Design

Not all changes are on the positive side. She has brought forth a noticeable change in the fashion industry to go for lifeless, characterless logotypes in the name of minimalism. Burberry was probably the most disappointing of them all.

This was a gist of 2018. It’s now time to leave the past behind and peep into the future and see what is going to be trending this year.

1. Ownership to Users and Personalisation

According to Anthony Lopez, branding systems are becoming very fluid and are designed to go beyond the logo. Branding has to be ambidextrous and the identity has to be able to adapt itself in multiple ways for different situations.

An example of the Partners’ Forum 2018, which was held in New Delhi. The identity takes on varied forms, manifesting in appropriate ways across collaterals. Further, we take the branding forward through products that reflect the identity, making it memorable for the future. The mission of the Forum stays with its participants, for a long time after.

Design

(The 3D Pipli logo animation was created by Studio Eeksaurus who collaborated with Lopez Design, celebrating the message of the Partners’ Forum.)

Talking of personalisation, brands will be seen as containers – people can put in what they want to express themselves through the brand. Eventually, the brand starts to become an extension of an individual.

Also, Anthony mentions that putting design in the hands of the customer and encouraging them to take ownership has led to people creating their own graphics besides photographs. For example, on Instagram, the user can add many icons and can also have a poll. Others provide stickers with a product to place it on anything the user wishes to put on.

Design

Design Stack highlights that people always relate to design or products that invoke positive feelings in them. For instance, a fortune cookie or a name on the bottle of coke is quite relatable to a consumer. Customising the logo with the name may or may not trend in 2019, but customising the logo with quotes, jokes, city names or graphic elements that people can relate to will continue to be used for a long time by designers.

2. Less is More 

The ‘less is more’ ideology has always been the underlying principle of design and will continue to play a vital role in the future too, says Design Stack. For an increased response on social networks and effective and aesthetical communication, brands will make use of simpler forms, clean shapes, bold colours, motion graphics and videos.

Not wanting to add unnecessary frills and fancies in a logotype has been an upward trend since Turner and Duckworth’s famous stripping down of the Coca Cola brand, says Mira Malhotra. Following the trend of less is more, there’s a chance one can go too far, cut out all frills and have a logo in a banal, forgettable neutral typeface, resulting in a sameness across brands and their identities.

 

But she’s also of the opinion that the trend of less is more can also work wonders for a brand’s visual identity differentiating it from the rest, if worked on smartly! Animated logotypes will be a resort for many.

According to Anthony Lopez, graphics is only one component of branding. The brands of the future need to be flexible across all aspects, influencing a user’s experience by drawing their attention to the brand’s character, behaviour, a tone of voice, influencers, associations and endorsements. Graphics, in such cases, is the mechanics used with adherence to the framework of the brand guidelines. When all this is done with precision, the concept of conveying ‘more with less’ becomes a possibility.

 

Motion graphics including multi-dimensional graphics will definitely become a lot more common in the future.

3. Typeface Experimenting – going back to the roots

Anthony Lopez voices the fact that a large part of branding is about strategy and delivery of content through various means, and typefaces are just one part of this contributing to the visual medium. For multi-device existence the typeface design will include the factor of scale-ability and the flexibility of the digital medium, in particular, will allow for easy and varied versions of the designed font including features like effects to type, highlighting, shading, colour options and animation.

According to Mira Malhotra, going beyond designing the logo for the brand and experimenting with typefaces to grant a uniqueness to the brand will be new in. With Google fonts and so many free quality typefaces infiltrating the mainstream, (when free, it becomes mainstream easily) people, especially clients will have a better taste in typefaces, hopefully implementing daring decisions by clients in terms of typefaces.

Design Stack points out that 2019 will be the year where the designers will want to strike a balance between the old and the new, recalling the importance of the roots and fusing them in with the trending styles. For this, the Indian type foundries are creating contemporary regional scripts which will play a big role in the coming age of Indian design. Versatile fonts that work well on both digital and traditional media will be sort after.

Bombay Brasserie - The Indian Culinary Expert
Design

4. Sophistication and Boldness

Design Stack predicts brands experimenting with logos and colour schemes. A bold yet sophisticated palette is what is intended as the yielded result.

Design

Mira Malhotra also foresees boldness in the upcoming year. Whether its bright colours, pastel neutrals, or just black and white, anything that stands out bold will make it to the brand collaterals across various mediums.

Anthony Lopez sees 2019 as a year of logos becoming more and more fluid, vibrant and versatile. Brands may launch sub-brands, but the prime brand logo is what will go across the face of the brand. Logos inherently need to be simple for high recall. However, within the face of the logo, more permutations and combinations will be observed. This allows the brand to cater to varying clientele and different platforms.

ANIMATION AND MOTION GRAPHICS

Highlights of 2018

Anix, the creative director of Adaar mentions that 2018 was a phenomenal year for animation and motion graphics witnessing trends like seamless transitions, liquid motion, digital-surrealism, isometric design, a combination of 2D and 3D, big, bold typography complicated visual effects, 3D pastels and photorealistic rendering to name a few.

Design
Design

2018 saw a refreshing visual representation of strong female leads with powerful accessories and expertise in a specialisation (vs the stereotypical princess/Damsel in distress) like Mrs Incredible from Incredibles, Mai from Next Gen, She-Ra from Netflix’s reboot of the popular 80s cartoon, and Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2, says Sonia Tiwari.

Design
Mrs. Incredible from Incredibles
Design
Mai from Next Gen
Design
She-Ra
Design
Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2

Sonia also observed interactive animations, in general, becoming subtle in action, pastel colour blocked and with cleaner backgrounds, a trend that originated from the iconic game Monument Valley 1 in 2014 and Monument Valley 2 in 2017. She cites INTURN’s webpage as an example to follow.

Design
INTURN

WowMakers describe 2018 as a year of rapidness. Videos had fast cuts and rapid edits, bright pop colours, neon moods and colour gradients. Vertical viewing and videos for the same rose in prominence as mobile platforms recorded the most screen time. An ‘In Your Face’ attitude permeated all forms of visual media far beyond animation and motion graphics, reeling the viewer in.

In an attempt to engage the viewers, the visual representation followed the ‘Bigger is Better’ or the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ philosophy. The text was bigger and bolder than ever, constantly changing and creating new text out of the shells of the old. 2018 saw the ‘Glitch effect’ gaining popularity. ‘Morphing’ that has been around for a while also topped the charts last year, creating magical illusions through seamless transitions.

Design

Anix explains that with media, connectivity and its scope of influence, availability and reachability, motion graphics is taking over the prevalence of still graphics. From commercials to product shots, marketing campaigns, sale presentations and game design, animated and motion graphics endow an astonishing display and communicate the product’s prowess in a way that would be impossible to communicate otherwise.

Samsung

Let’s take a look at what 2019 has in store:

1. Animating the Education

According to Sonia Tiwari, simple, iconic, vector-based motion graphics will overpower contemporary educational content, because of the large amount of content to be covered through the browser and mobile platforms that require optimised performance, seamless integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS) and keeping up with the refined design sensibilities of young millennials. A few good examples of this visual style and animation are Kurzgesat in a Nutshell series and Lumosity.

Design

2. Purpose Over Design

For Sonia Tiwari, the UX is like our brain or heart, built on the logic and feelings, and the UI is the face or skin, the outer layer that connects the user to the inner workings of a product. This distinction is important to understand that the trendy-animation and visual design must not be shallow or cosmetic, but really try to serve a purpose.

For example, a medical application that can use interactive animation to locate/define a problem through an interface – sounds useful. But interactive animations over a wireless setup app with buttons that liquid morph into new shapes sounds pointless.

 

WowMakers say that the shift from UI to UX is evident, and it is now time to cater to modern users with short attention spans and being bang on-point. ‘We don’t create a product and wait for customers to come. We create a product based on the customer’s wants and needs.’ Because not incorporating the market demand will result in a loss of clients.

For example, vertical videos have been the rage of late, and true to that, there has been an increase in requests for vertical videos or adaptable videos that could work well in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Animation and motion graphics will have to adapt to multiple platforms without losing its core message.

3. VR & AR Carving Their Way

According to the team at WowMakers, animation and motion graphics in a VR and AR setting opens up a host of different possibilities and increases the scope for imaginative ideas that could work wonders on immersive platforms.

Design
Courtesy: Atlassian

As per Anix, the creative director of Adaar, the rise of Virtual Reality from being a gaming-focused ambitious fantasy in 2012 into an actual medium utilised by multi-national corporations and organisations around the world is in itself is a great example. Alternatively seen, purpose over design is now trending everywhere!

He also mentions that micro-interactions are subtle animations that enrich user experience and allow the user to engage with an interface in a single moment. Micro-interactions are possibly one of the biggest UX trends to date and are growing enormously. They are a focus point for the digi-sectors to up their game.

4. Fiction v/s Realism?

Fiction and Realism will both have their place in animated media, says Sonia Tiwari. The director’s vision, needs of the brand, likes of the audience, budget and timelines etc. will be the deciding factors for one of the two to surface at the top.

She has observed that the educational children’s media has had a very long history of fictional characters/plots to keep the narrative or moral of the story more relevant than realistic details of the characters like race, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. From Sesame Street to Curious George, fictional characters in children’s educational media are a “forever trend”.

 

While representing real issues like child labour, poverty and family health, she brings to notice that animated media uses some element of realism to keep the message focused or help establish a clear correlation with the narrative and content.

An example is Eeksaurus studio’s recent PSA for WHO that features Pipli art style human characters, which hits right in the middle of fiction and realistic spectrum, presenting real issues/human characters in a fantastical way.

The WowMakers’ team believes that with technology growing by leaps and bounds, magical realism can represent how technology interacts and changes human lives. At the same time, realism can be used to show the human face of technology.

5. Kinetic Typography

2019 will be a year enthralling the audience in a sober manner. WowMakers voice that the kinetics of type will be put in use, similar much to the process of animating characters or an object, like stretching, distorting, jumbling, twisting or making it disappear. Seamless transitions, much in fashion, will ensure a smooth video without jumpy transitions and cuts that can disorient the viewer.

Design

ILLUSTRATION TRENDS

With characters and entire backgrounds rendered by just a few lines and shapes, according to Aaron Pinto, Minimalism was one of the main themes for illustration in 2018. Also, the 90’s made a huge resurgence with retro, cyberpunk, glitch and neon colours being some of the mainstays of this style.

Design
Design
Design

The forecasted illustration styles surfacing 2019 will be following:

1. Raw and Unprocessed

These days the work shared online is very processed and digital, says Aaron Pinto. They are basically collages that are composited aesthetically for Instagram. But 2019 will see less processed and more organic designs being back in fashion. Hand-drawings and rough sketches are expected to take centre stage.

Design

2. God is in the Details

With a quantitative increase in the making of superhero movies and the release of a number of series, there has been a steady demand of comic book type illustrations. Also, detailed black and white inked illustrations are making a comeback. 2019 might just see it peak.

Design

3. Being the Attention-seeker

We live in a day and age, where there is an overload of content that is being consumed at an unprecedented pace.

 

To stand out from the crowd, a good visual is a great way of engaging or gaining the interest of the consumer while scrolling through the vast barrage of content being thrown at them. And more often than not a great illustration will do that job better than a photograph or even typography.

4. Complications Subjected to Simplifications

With monotones and monochromatic themes having showcased their presence in 2018, 2019 is sure to be a witness to these themes surfing the waves of illustration styles.

 

Aaron Pinto has mentioned that a lot of illustrators are trying to bring simplicity in their colour schemes as opposed to their normal saturated style.

Fluid shapes are catching on slowly. Geometric patterns and halftones seem like a good bet as well.

 

Also, simple seems to be a growing trend in general. So why not in illustrations!

Design
Illustration

Hope this article helped you to know and grab those key factors of graphic design that will be trending in 2019 to differentiate you from the rest.