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A Visual Identity is not just about aesthetics and appearance. It’s about communicating brand ethos with flair, and Design Stack does just that for upGrad.

Brief / Challenge

upGrad is an online higher education platform. It provides university education online for working professionals, especially those who are looking for a change mid-career. The e-learning platform vouches for its quality education through partnerships with renowned universities and brands. Hence, the brand positioning and identity needed to reflect a professional and premium tone that is in line with the brand offering.

Solution

Design Stack redesigned the visual identity to help translate the vision of upGrad to the branding. The requirement was to bring forth the idea of professionalism, career upliftment and a supportive and conducive environment through visual cues.

 

For this Design Stack uses curved lowercase letters teamed with an uppercase ‘G’ to convey professionalism and approachability. The up-pointing arrow in the watermark perfectly communicates how the brand empowers learners to correct their career courses. The arrow also gives a sense of positivity and optimism.

 

The striking red colour signifies the burning passion to make a positive change in life.

All the elements used in the visual identity come together to represent professionalism, warmth, positivity, passion and a promise.

Design Stack

A well-established branding and design studio based out of Mumbai specialises in creating relevant brand identity and communication through structured research, rigorous brainstorming and in-depth understanding of the brand consumers. Design Stack has worked with a wide range of industry verticals which include brands like TATA, Penguin Publishing, Cox & Kings, Asian Paints and more. The studio has also received numerous prestigious awards.

For more, visit designstack.com

Fun. It’s what everyone wants. So why not give it to them? Incorporating this very insight in branding and packaging transforms a non-living object into a fun-filled experience, believes self-taught visual designer Sajid Wajid. More on how adding ‘fun’ can make for memorable and lasting designs.

Branding and Packaging
RAJASAURAUS (THE ROCK STAR). This humorous character design for adlabds imagica ride can make anyone smile.
Branding and Packaging
Knowmad Sounds, Gig Poster
EAT IN HOME KITCHENS ACROSS THE WORLD.

It’s all About Adding Value.

Things that look good are important for the environment; they define a particular space. Good packaging or branding can add a great deal of value to a product. It’s not just about improving the appearance but the overall product itself. Good packaging is easy to recall. That can be done by adding humour or a fun element to your design. Packaging and branding can also make a difference in the sale of the product. And that’s where the feel-good factor lies for packaging and branding designers!

Branding and Packaging
Branding and Packaging
Album Cover for Eternal December
Branding and Packaging
Lala Hardoul, The Prince of Orchha

The Trick is to be Practical and Impractical at the Same Time.

If you’re just going to play it safe, chances are you will become predictable and boring. Today, products should be fun rather than being somber. That’s what people expect. In today’s times, the audience is open to being surprised by being offered something different. Everyone wants to own something totally new. And the only way you can give them that smile on their face is by taking your designs beyond your comfort zone.

KURLA. Everyone remembers a good laugh don’t they?
Branding and Packaging
Popsplatter, Coverpage Illustration
BANDS FROM BANGALORE. The personality of the brand is very well absorbed in these illustrations for adlabs imagicas ride, I for india.
MUMBAI BHAI.
DELHI BELLY. Illustrations for adlabs imagicas ride wrath of God.

No One Wants a Car in a Car Company’s Logo.

Branding is a symbol that speaks for the company it’s made for. It’s a lot more than just a group of elements that relate to the brand. The concept of branding has evolved, where a logo is meaningful only after it’s used. Branding needs to have a story to it, an idea. It’s like problem-solving through design. Brand recall is imperative and many people miss out on that these days. It’s all about being different and standing out. How well you can tell the story and portray it in the most interesting manner makes all the difference. Absorb the brand’s personality and play a little game of Pictionary with yourself. Simply keep in mind, the person looking at the logo should be able to identify with it.

THE CASTLE OF FEAR.
Branding and Packaging
antiSOCIAL, Gig Calendar for May 2017
DELHI BELLY. Humor and fun is the best way to ensure branding will relate to the target audience as demonstrated here.
MERA DIL LE GAI OYE. For all those who own a Royal Enfield would know that their heart beat lies in this bike.
BRAND IDENTITY FOR TURNING HEADS PRODUCTION.

No Matter What, There is Always a Limit.

Unfortunately, when it comes to design, a line needs to be drawn at some point. You cannot ignore the client or work without understanding the target audience. Imagine a Venn diagram, where one circle is you, the other is the client and the third circle is that of the target audience. The region of overlap between all three, that little area is where you work. That’s how much room you have to show your skills and creativity. That’s the challenge, but that’s the fun too.

CHEF CUPI D. This mascot for Kitchen Treasures tells the story of falling in love with your food.
THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION.
Branding and Packaging
Sofar Bombay, Gig Poster
LEO (SUNSIGN). These eye-catchy hand drawn zodiac characters definitely work for merchandising.
GET CARRIED AWAY. Ratability can’t get better than using symbols of what people use every day in their life - public transport in Mumbai.

Published in Issue 21

They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

 

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Strategic Design & Communication Agency VGC have been Aditya Birla Group’s brand custodians since 1997. The latest campaign, conceptualized and executed by VGC, is the next step in the Aditya Birla Group’s brand journey.

Aditya Birla Group

Brief:

The vision of the Chairman, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla whose deep commitment towards creating a brand of immense worth based on solid foundations of impeccable values, has seen the Group journey across many a milestone to emerge as a multinational power-brand of statesman stature, in the matter of just two decades.

Aditya Birla Group

The Group’s radical shift from being architects of a global India to a powerhouse across the globe & various sectors has now led to the understanding of how ABG is a big part of peoples’ lives at every step.

 

This called for revamping the group’s identity to match with the contemporary world.

Aditya Birla Group

Solution:

VGC has partnered Aditya Birla Group over two decades to build an iconic brand and continues to do so.

 

Over the years, VGC has conceptualized and developed all of Aditya Birla Group’s brand campaigns. Starting with the ‘Taking India to the world’ campaign, which introduced the Group as an Indian Multinational with diversified interests across the world, VGC through continuous strategic and creative efforts has helped the group reaffirm their position as a powerhouse across the globe and across sectors.

Aditya Birla Group

VGC refreshed the company’s identity, defining it as a new mark for new milestones. Based on this, the new brand language was extended across various touch points and collaterals, the details of which can be read here

To add more power to the deep-rooted brand that the Aditya Birla Group already is, VGC as its strategic brand and communication partner took the campaigning spirits to a whole new level!

Aditya Birla Group

Following the logo change campaign in 2016, VGC conceptualized a brand communication campaign called ‘Big in your life’, to highlight the Group’s journey to a super-brand that enables and empowers people at every step in their life. The campaign in India was launched as a television commercial and was digitally broadcast across USA, Canada, the Middle East and Japan.

Aditya Birla Group

While the previous campaigns highlighted and established Aditya Birla Group’s ‘Big’ geographical presence, economic might, omnipresence of the Group’s products and the way they touch lives across the world, this latest campaign showcases the narrative of the company moving from ‘Being Big’ to creating and delivering ‘Big Value’ for its consumers and people at large.

Aditya Birla Group

It introduced a new icon for the group – the Aditya Birla Giant, who travels across the world enabling, empowering and enhancing the lives of millions.

 

The film, directed by the globally renowned Eli Sverdlov and post-produced by Gravity from Israel, carries forward the surreal epic signature of all Aditya Birla Group’s films.

Aditya Birla Group

Conclusion:

The television commercial is about the group and its journey towards crossing new milestones, culminating with the logo reveal. With the conceptualisation of this commercial, VGC has taken forward the ‘Big In Your Life’ position and adds a greater purpose to the group. Big is what big does.

Aditya Birla Group

The evolution of the brand with time to keep up with the versatile eye-catching recognition-screens of the present day while still being true to its roots is a symbol of its genuineness and client-commitment that it has followed since its inception.

__________________________________________________________________________________________


Client:
Aditya Birla Group
Design Studio: VGC
Film Director: Eli Sverdlov

__________________________________________________________________________________________

What happens when a brand like Nirlep, that has been a pioneer in non-stick cookware since 1960, approaches you to revamp its identity after 27 years? Well, they win the first ever Designomics Award for Strategic Brand Identity Programme. They are also able to bring in 50% more revenues. Here’s how Elephant Design did it for them.

Brand Identity

Step 01

The brief was simple. Nirlep has been actively developing products for the modern lifestyle of young couples who look for convenience and style at affordable prices. The objective was to update the brand identity to reflect this new dynamism. Through a series of workshops and interactions with the leadership team at Nirlep, an idea web was articulated to outline what the brand stood for. The sessions helped in understanding and revealing the company’s strengths, product attributes, user requirements and their aspirations.

Brand Identity

Step 02

The design process began with numerous quick pencil sketches to bring ideas to life. These were then discussed internally and whetted based on contemporary appeal, differentiation against competition, building product attributes and highlighting company legacy.

Brand Identity
Brand Identity

Step 03

The shortlisted ideas were then taken forward to the next stage which involved creating digital sketches in black and white to gauge visual balance and relation with typeface. Some ideas developed further into newer interpretations while some were visually enhanced.

Brand Identity

Step 04

The concept that emerged as a winner was the one inspired by a pan-shaped form which also symbolized a leadership badge. Various explorations were tried out at this stage within the selected option. The colour red was retained to portray warmth and passion with which Nirlep products are conceived and created. The old American typewriter font was discarded for a custom designed set of letters, but the ‘all caps’ treatment was retained to reiterate the brand’s
leadership, confidence and trust.

Brand Identity
Brand Identity

Step 05

The new logo was compared to the old one. It is flexible and playful, just like their products. It signals the transformation of Nirlep from a userfriendly cookware brand to a comprehensive Kitchen solutions brand with global standards. The specially developed Logotype, Nulep, enhances the modern character of the identity. And the black badge, red wing, silver rim and logotype, come together to portray leadership, dynamism, sensitivity and stability of the company; everything the brief demanded.

Brand Identity

Step 06

Over the years, Nirlep has created several product brands that have become popular with diverse audience types. It was important that the new brand identity facilitated customization and flexibility for sub-brand extensions while retaining the presence of a strong mother brand.

 

The colorful renditions of the identity stand for innovation to delight young progressive consumers and connect with the sub-brand propositions – Aspa for partnering progress, Selec+ for lifestyle improvements and Acilis for eco-friendly materials and finishes.

Brand Identity

Step 07

Finally, logo variants were created for various printing and size limitations. These included simple gradient, flat colour, black & white and reverse versions.

Brand Identity

Step 08

An Arabic version of the identity was also created for their export business. The typeface was custom made to match its English version.

Brand Identity

Step 09

The new Nirlep identity was showcased through the brand book that detailed the brands journey to fit the lifestyle of young Indian couples.

Brand Identity

Step 10

The new brand identity was made widely visible by launching through various media both outdoor and in-shop.

Brand Identity
Brand Identity

Step 11

The old Nirlep logo was replaced by the new one on every product, completing the journey from paper to metal.

Published in Issue 19

A typography special, made up of not only Indian type designers or designers whose first love is type, but also few very talented international designers who open a totally new playground with sharing their insights and inspirations. This issue has exclusive interviews with Lucky Dubz Trifonas from Netherlands, Indian UI & type designer Sabareesh Ravi and Shiva Nallaperumal, who believes, type designers are the material providers to all the creative professionals. Also, includes a special making of Nirlep rebranding done by Elephant Design and an interaction with the ace product designer Aman Sadana.

 

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After a long day at work, who doesn’t love the idea of a perfectly made bed and a laptop with your favorite movie on and of course some snacks to nibble on? Probably every other Indian. Applause Entertainment is all set to provide such content and to help it reach out to a larger audience, the team of Dynamite has worked hard to design a visual identity/ branding that people will relate to.

Brief/ Challenge:

Applause Entertainment is a new-age content studio and OTT (over-the-top) platform, founded by the Aditya Birla Group that aims to cater to the current generation of Indian audiences whose favourite guilty pleasure is binge-watching movies and TV series, with a bowl full of snacks. To fulfil this, they are all set to produce and bring forth a wide range of content ranging from comedies to high-octane action shows.

Solution:

The task of branding this new forum-‘Applause Entertainment’ was taken up by the team of Dynamite, who began their creative journey to develop a visual identity, brand positioning & motion language for it.

“It’s not entertainment if there is no Applause.” became the primary point of communication of the company that became a major focus around which Dynamite developed the overall feel of the company. The team has worked efficiently to establish a visual look, tone and brand voice that depicted Applause as an entertainment powerhouse and a modern day solution to the average Indian audience who craves for story driven and entertainment content.

To develop the logo of the brand, the team at Dynamite decided to be true to it’s parent organization – Aditya Birla Group. Taking inspiration from its logo that is known to people for many years, they developed the Applause symbol (A) and modified it for different on-air and off-air branding.

The ‘A’ logo acts as a visual device of light along with the being the symbol of the brand, which subsequently became a combination that Dynamite decided to play around with. While one of the modification is the 3D extrusion of the A symbol that is being used in the on-air transitions, the others include the unique identity of the logo for posters and other content, that stays true to the original Applause symbol.

Overall, Dynamite has hit a home run in developing its visual identity, taking inspiration from the past and revamping it to suit what Applause stands for and aims to be. While the content at Applause seems promising, the look and feel of the brand is something that should be given much credit and a round of applause.

Design Stack

Design Stack is a Branding & Design firm that builds, strengthens and nurtures brands. The studio comprises of professionals with expertise in Brand Strategy, Graphic Design and Marketing Communications.


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As the festivity is all around, every brand or business is trying to impress the Indian audience. But what really works for us Indians? What is an Indian design? And how we can make designs for India? To understand it, we interviewed some Indian creatives who are successfully creating designs for the Indian audience. This issue of Creative Gaga is a light read for someone looking for inspirations or insights on Indian design and how the Indian audience can be enticed. So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving a regular dose inspirations!

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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.

Onassis Cultural Centre, a space that brings together people to express and discover diverse art and contemporary culture, needed a visual identity that translated the same. And Beetroot Design shows us how it’s done.

Brief/ Challenge:

Onassis Cultural Centre, a platform for artists to come together to showcase and discover contemporary bold art, required an equally bold visual identity for the season 2017-18. This Athens based institution needed the identity to be open and relevant to everyone, thus reflecting the core idea behind OCC.

Solution:

Beetroot Design Group, a multi-award winning, Thessaloniki based design firm, explored and created a visual identity for OCC, that is made for everyone, and yet so unique. Beetroot achieved thus by putting together all the typographies from the publications and events of the season, thus portraying them all under one visual identity. For this, the firm specially created software, Flow Type, which is now available for free. The software helped handle the high volume of typographies and played a key role in their manipulation, thus resulting in expressive free-flowing words.

The overall visual identity is an explosion of energy, colours, movement and boldness. Each piece of work is vastly different in its expression, but it is beautiful how they all come together to narrate a single story.


Client: Onassis Cultural Centre
Design Studio: Beetroot Design


Establishing a connection with their users is a smart game that brands need to play. By sharpening their intelligence and making good use of their wits, some brands have successfully made a mark and left a strong impact on the millennials.

Millennials or Generation Y are the demographic cohorts that directly follow Generation X. Often credited with coining the term Millennials, Neil Howe and William Strauss define the millennial generation as those individuals born between the years 1982 and 2004. This generation has seen their fair share of ups and downs, from being directly impacted by the 2007-08 economic slowdown to being the only generation in history to actively participate in the global shift from analog to digital systems, and of course, the growth and popularity of the internet and everything else that came with it.

Arguably the largest demographic right now, a Brooking’s data study shows that by 2025, almost 75% of the workforce will be millennials. Therefore, as they make up a large part of today’s (and the future) consumer audience, brands have started changing the way they speak, to effectively connect with this generation.

 

Let’s take a look at a few trends in design, communication & marketing for the millennial generation by VGC:

Millennial
Millennial
Millennial

1. Shorter Attention Spans, Shorter Content

With the inception of internet ads and social media, content (especially video content) has constantly been getting shorter. And with the introduction of Vine in 2013 (Vine allowed users to upload and share six-second long video loops), Snapchat and more recently Instagram stories, brands have found creative ways to connect with millennials in a very short time span.


Millennial
Millennial

2. Spending with a Purpose

If there is one thing that millennials support, it is a purpose or causes that they can get behind.

 

Brands with social responsibilities/purposes like Toms shoes (where for every pair of shoes sold, they gift a pair of shoes to an underprivileged child) or WeWOOD (that plants a tree for every watch they sell) connect very well with millennials as they feel that they’ve actively participated in an effort to make the world a better place.


Millennial
Millennial

3. Hype, Collaborations and Limited Period Drops

The Millennial generation can also be called the ‘Hype’ generation. Anything (from art to a product or service) that is able to generate enough hype becomes very attractive to millennials.

 

Take the Adidas x Dragonball collection (which was unique because an iconic Anime Saga collaborated with a leading sneaker brand) or the entire line of Supreme collaborations (originally a skate company, Supreme has collaborated with the who’s who of luxury brands), some a of which are downright weird, including a crowbar priced upwards of $250, which goes to show that any product can be a success if it is able to generate enough hype and perhaps, also drops for a limited period of time.


Millennial
Millennial

4. Bold Typography and Colourful Minimalism

How do you get a brand communication to stand out from amongst the tons of other content there is out there?

 

Simple, make it unique, creative, colourful and bold.

 

Millennials love minimalism, but the benchmark is much higher than what it used to be. Flat design, paired with bold typography and vibrant, contrasting colours make for an attention-grabbing website or creative piece.


Millennial

5. Personalized Experiences and Creative Participation 

Brands today have become more inclusive by getting consumers to participate in various aspects of the brand experience.

 

Take for instance Absolut Vodka, a brand known for its creative collaboration and promoting art & creativity, allowing young designers to take a crack at designing a bottle for the Indian market or Coca-Cola with its game changing ‘Share a coke with’ campaign, that made (nearly) everyone feel like they were special when Coke put their name on their cans.

When a consumer gets to participate in or co-create a brand experience, it really helps create a lasting impression of the brand in their mind.

 

As the millennial generation continues to be the largest consumer segment and as everything else around changes, there sure will be a rise in the number of exciting new trends, techniques, and mechanisms by which brands and consumers will interact.

Millennial
Millennial
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. And with many expert interviews, we got various unique viewpoints, as Elephant Design shared the importance of having a well-thought packaging design for products. And on another hand, VGC gave an insight into, how a brand should be created for the Millennials. But to top it all, with very deep logical design thought, Itu Chaudhuri says that the trends are a modern seasonal disease, and we designers should continue taking it with a grain of ethically-produced, iodide-rich rock or sea salt. All-in-all this issue is a very interesting and a must-read, if you’re looking for greater clarity and want to start your year with a lot of deep design knowledge about the brand development to packaging design, user experience design, to storyboarding and more.

 

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Starting from scratch isn’t that big a deal. Putting in your hundred percent, grabbing the right opportunities and administering patience go a long way in the evolutionary development of an idea. Gopika Chowfla shares her insight about the same.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Brand Identity for Veeba

After her graduation, choosing to work between 2 design studios and an ad agency to practice her learnings, Gopika joined the ad industry to do what she loved- illustration, logos, typography, poster making, packaging design and photography, and was mentored by amazing creative people at work like Frank Simoes and Mohammed Khan.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Logo and Packaging Design for Organica

The Genesis

In 1996 when the market was changing, print media took a back seat and film was reigning supreme. Being driven by the desire to be innovative and creative, she was not inspired by what she was doing and wanted to get into the realm of design. This gave birth to Gopika Chowfla Design.   Gopika Chowfla Design has evolved organically without much of a business plan or charting of a growth curve. The two driving forces for Gopika were enjoying the work she does and working with people who have the same motivation.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Packaging Design for Chelsea Teas

The Work-Culture 

A studio with the approach of making the clients’ job as own and this has helped establish long-term relationships with clients. Believing in a work ethic that is cooperative and in creating an environment that enables people to work and create in an engaging and supportive way, Gopika has always treated the workspace as a place of learning design as well as life skills.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Brand Identity for Spicejet Airlines

Her workspace is her life with her own children growing up around here and her colleague’s kids as well. Here, personal issues become shared events and everyone is welcome to bring their lives into this work space.   Gopika is proud of having created a space that has welcomed and nurtured as well as been enriched by some of the most talented and wonderful people. The result of this is evident in the output of the studio and the fact that people who have worked here never really leave.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Brand Identity for Spicejet Airlines

Growth and Expansion 

Gopika Chowfla Design was started as a dominantly print design studio but soon branding was their core strength. Getting into the digital space became essential and started extending their design services to web interfaces, primarily as an integral part of developing the total brand architecture as they like to approach brand development in as holistic a manner that they can.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Brand graphics and complete retail experience for Oxford Bookstore and Cha bar

Finding something exciting that challenges creatively, works as a starting point and is then executed in a manner that is fresh, logically thought out and beautifully designed.   When Gopika Chowfla Design was setup, clients typically engaged their advertising agencies for their brand and design-related jobs and these were done at very low fees by the agencies. So convincing a client to actually pay a proper fee to an independent design studio came with its own challenges. But soon enough a client recognized the value of engaging a designer for design specific projects as they got better, more specialized inputs. Seek clients who respect your work and give room to do what you do well.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Coaster design for Apsara

A Positive Outlook

Taking the challenges in a positive light as something new to tackle, it has never been a struggle to move forward. It rather is an enjoyable journey with plenty of interesting co-travelers and many important milestones.   With a young and agile team, we try and keep pace with changes that happen around us and respond accordingly. With social media being such an important part of communication and marketing, are into that area too.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Anya Hotels branding and design

Hidden Treasures

Loving what we do and letting the designers at Gopika Chowfla Design take charge of the assignments they are working on is Gopika Chowfla Design’s secret to achieve everything that they wish for. Making tow of her designers as partners. Gopika wishes to transform it into a cooperative where everyone is an owner, contributes to the earnings and takes a share of the profits.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Anya Hotels branding and design

Clients respect your work only if you respect it yourself. Figure out what you want your brand to stand for, be true to it. Don’t chase the money, go after the ideas and do great work and the money chases you! Surround yourself with talent and feed off it, so that it keeps you going when you feel like you’re drying up. Enjoy yourself, there couldn’t be a more fun job in the world – than as a designer.

Gopika Chowfla Design
Gopika Chowfla Design
Brand development for Apeejay Arts
Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

Behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must read. Full of insights and inspirations from the best of the talents, this issue is waiting to reach your desks.

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