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Elephant Design has completed 31 years in the design industry with being the number one many times. But celebration during the #lockdown and #workfromhome period was a challenge. And how they celebrated despite this challenge is inspiring for many.

They made an origami elephant in 28 steps and each step was choreographed in a manner that a person just shows one step and passes it to another for her/ him to fold the next one. It was shot by 67 team members with their phone cameras only.

Ashwini Deshpande co-founder of Elephant Design told us that they have always been asked ‘how you manage to work as a team?’ and this video is a perfect example of the harmony and collaboration within the team and of course with fun.

So we congratulate the whole team for the success and harmony they bring to the design industry. All the best and keep creating the great brands!

Creative Gaga - Issue 49


Last few years, India has seen a steady rise in design consulting needs from new mushrooming businesses, commonly referred as ‘Startups’. These are not necessarily the love child of newbies but also some industry veterans or serial entrepreneurs taking on new business challenges, who understands the importance of design. Here, Ashish Deshpande explains the pros & cons of designing for startups.

ASAP. CIIE-IIM-A incubated Bangaluru startup that created this “on the go” snack, design helped strategise and communicate a differentiating visual story. Pic by Elephant

A motivating enterprise environment in India, propelled by several industry & government initiatives has helped create a breed of entrepreneurs high on enthusiasm, technology savvy and willing to take the risk on new product service formats. Design is playing a crucial role in their journey as well as successes and there is increasing acceptance to the use of design in building a resounding brand & quality of product or service application. Paperboat is great example of a recent startup success story where one can observe design playing a key role. However, working with startups has its own unique hiccups and thrills.

Paperboat. A memory drinks based startup where design added emotive value to the brand, identity, language, pack form function. Pic by Elephant

• CHALLENGES with Startups


Let’s face it! Startups are ultra lean. Aligning business & technology solutions to a consumer-focused approach needs to be done at multiple levels. Since most startups, unlike the well-established corporate world, cannot afford multiple experts & agencies, a designer is seen as a ‘fix all’ for several needs. Involvement of a designer or design firm goes beyond a specific design assignment. Designer ends up playing a strategic role, trying to balance business strategy with design, brand image, product, pack, quality, vendor development, applications and point of sale, with key design language & marketing messages.


Most startups are either technology or business focused. Design is a weakness and so is the ability to profile and understand end consumer. Startups tend to get committed too early to a particular tech or proposition without ascertaining appropriateness, uniqueness and distinction of their offering. Despite a new idea, most times, the end offering is neither distinct enough, nor is perceived value appreciable. This grave omission places the fledging business at risk from the word go.


Paucity of key in-house expertise & resources, especially funds, forces design to be undertaken in an incremental manner, stretching across months at times. Design implementation also takes place at a slow pace so it is difficult to see the full picture or measure the impact of design. A healthcare start up, setting up new format of hospitals launched the service care product with just the new brand identity, However, the hospital experience that would resonate with the brand was placed on hold due to lack of funds. The result was apparent. Customers never experienced the distinction in the hospital value proposition and never understood as to why they should adopt this new hospital chain.

SynPhNe. Singapore based technology startup where design helped cutting edge tech become human through Industrial Design of Wearable stroke rehabilitation device focused on needs of patients. Pic by Elephant

• ADVANTAGES with Startups


Startups are a happy lot. Usual work culture is hands-on and people come across eager to learn, share and help. It is great to work with synergies of such teams and be part of an exciting journey. The results reflect on the design output. Client meetings are less of drudgery, are participative and consequently more productive.


This is one place where Startups score. They are willing to play along as you explore, experiment & test. There is negligible blame game, no departmental silos or ‘mother of all’ presentation to the King of the corporate. Results are quick and decisions are usually part of a co-creative play. Funds are the only constraint but then frugal approach and ‘jugaad’ prototypes are more than welcome. This approach works wonders for the confidence of the design team.


Many startups are working in the healthcare, social impact, agri-tech and energy space. Just the sense of what your work will potentially achieve can layer the designer in you with goose bumps. Each startup is a new challenge, whether it is B2B or B2C, it gives a sense of new purpose and when design helps enable such opportunities, the result is very satisfying. Design as core to startups is understood by the fact that many new enterprises have designers as co founders. Designers in India will have to quickly adapt to this new scenario and draw out a process to work with the Startup eco system. This culture is here to stay.

Plezmo. IOT based education platform that helps you learn program logic while you have smart fun. Pic by Plezmo
Plezmo. IOT based education platform that helps you learn program logic while kids have smart fun. Pic by Plezmo

Published in Issue 37

Recent demonisation and changing Taxes has pushed most of us in planning our finances more seriously. So to answer some of the basic questions for designers, freelancers and creative studios, we interviewed some of the creative legends to guide and share their wisdom. The issue includes interactions with Preeti Vyas from VGC on ‘How to pitch for clients or retain the existing one’ and Ashish Deshpande from Elephant on ‘Challenges of working with a startup’, along with some best freelancers like Archan Nair, Shreya Shetty and Paul Sandip, sharing their knowledge of working with various clients. Also, Sachin Puthran from Thatzit.com gave a 10-point no-nonsense guide for studios to handle their finances. A must read, if you are planning for the financial year ahead or worried about your handling your money matter, this issue can give you much-needed insight and guide you to a better financial health of your business or freelancing.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 49


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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Creative Gaga - Issue 49


Users are aware of trends, demanding trendy products. Brands succumb to these demands to have a stronger say and a longer stay in the market. Studio Elephant Design has elaborated on this cycle explaining the need of packaging design.

Trends are a reflection of how people behave, how they live and vice versa.


One may believe tech-based products like smartphones & AI assistants are changing the way people live. But there is as much change happening in their lives through humble packaging design. In times of extreme actions and judgments, it is believed that design becomes prettier. This actually is happening.


There are certain things individuals look for before buying foods, beverages, personal & home care products nowadays:

Packaging Design

1. Tell me a Story?

Story of origin, granny’s recipe, kind of music played to cows… Is it a superfood rediscovered? Was it made the exact same way people made stuff when the world was perfect? They want to know more, not just about the ingredients or the company behind it, but also the hands that made it. They are hungrier for stories than the food they are buying.

2. Small for me Please

Because of longer commutes and increased working hours that blur into socializing, people are looking for things that will help them stretch their days outside of homes. Small portions of handbag-insertables are a rage in colour cosmetics, face masks, wipes, hand sanitizers, and other personal care products for on-the-go use. Spoilt for choice and highly aware of what they consume, people prefer single serves in snacks, meals & beverages.

3. Be Direct

Farm to Face. Grass to Glass. Park to Plate. Yes. That is how people like stuff to reach them. They want it fresh, preferably hand-made, with least processing. Demanding honesty of intent and transparency on the label about what goes in, they like small batches made with care. Lesser the machine intervention, the better it is.

4. Give me an Eye Candy

Packaging is not just for protecting the goods, it needs to give the product a flaunt value, making it Instagram-worthy. Packaging can be an object of desire itself. So the “look” of packaging is as important as what it carries inside.

5. Sustainability Counts

Over engineered packaging is a big no-no. The simple, the better. Is the plastic used easily to recycle? Reduced packaging layers, lesser staple pins, alternative chemical inks & glues, these are things that the sustainability-aware users look for

• Game Changers 

Technology-based enablers are bringing some change too. The biggest change is in the way packaging can enable customization of every consumption experience. Technology & insightful design makes it possible to have small batches, personalized messaging or even controlled release of ingredients. Eg Kolibri (Japan) beverage bottle allows consumers to control the amount of sugar they want in their drink.

Recent advancements in automated packaging lines are not only more efficient, but also adaptive & flexible. They enable personalized packaging with individual names like the Coke cans & bottles from “Share a Coke” campaign.

Packaging Design

• Studio Sampler

Elephant helped develop a brand of Indian ethnic drinks that was based on nostalgia, aptly named “Paper boat”, taking one back to the good old days of childhood when life was simple and full of optimism.


Doy packs seemed a more sustainable choice against bottles, cans or cartons. The shape was designed to feel like squeezing a fruit and easy to open cap was inspired by paper boat itself. Graphics were simple and represented an uncomplicated, delightful world.

Packaging Design

The incredible part was that the brand refrained from using mass media for a couple of years. ON-the-shelf packaging did all the talking. And in less than five years, the brand made it to the top position in single-serve beverages, won many awards and also made it to the list of buzziest, most promising brands from India.


This is an interesting example because it aligned with all the five reasons for engaging with a brand and was created well in time to be able to ride the wave successfully.


For designers & consumers who don’t like to be cookie cutters, personalization and customization possibilities are like a boon. The only limitation would be ideas, which one is hopefully never short of.

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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Creative Gaga - Issue 49


Rebranding a well-established company, giving it new additional values and sustaining it of its exceptional worth in the eyes of its customers is not an easy task! Elephant Design has successfully achieved this in its encounter with Easyday of the Future Group.



The Future Group has had the exceptional ability to understand Indian shoppers, anticipate their needs and deliver good in-store experiences across all its retail chains including Easyday, Nilgiris and heritage stores.


Easyday is a re-imagined neighborhood food and grocery store that is driven by local communities and serves a modern, personalized Indian shopping experience to its members. For the local community of loyal members, it is the Naye Andaaz Wali, Apne Pados Ki Dukaan.


The Future Group was looking for an ability to build a strong unified brand expression and its fluid translation into retail experience. The ask included everything from building an evocative brand identity to visual story-telling, from presenting products in aspirational ways to translating shopper insights into store services and layouts.


Easyday now wanted to be unique and different by turning into an exclusive members-only benefits club, “Easyday Club”, offering a hyper local community shopping experience to its customers. Providing everything from home care, personal care and food to services like delivery, launch invites, etc, it wishes to be a one-stop-shop to meet all needs. It also has another format called ‘Easyday Fresh”, offering many more choices in fresh foods, dairy, fruit & vegetables.


The Future group partnered with Elephant Design to have their brand identity revamped and re-designed, along with the retail layout and principles.



Easyday is defined as a brand that is reliable, respectable and honest, powered by trust, passion and innovation and with integrity at its core.


Easyday is the Retail 3.0 experience where physical store experience is delivered with uniform digital layer that helps shoppers retain their own identity and also gives them access to exclusive offers in every category.


The process started out by pivoting the brand on fresh and a never-before shopping experience of everyday groceries meant exclusively for members.


Fresh Brand 

Fresh & deep greens were the choice of colors to represent the refreshing experience people could expect from the brand.


The logo incorporated the EasyDay name and had to be associated with savings to indicate a friendly neighborhood store and showcase endless goods & benefits for members. The use of a wallet as a logo seemed to have been apt with lower case letters showing approachability and the ribbon-like texture giving it a contemporary look.

Monochromatic and blended with a chalkboard treatment, a library of icons in one style, covering different categories of products was developed defining the visual identity of the brand used extensively, especially in the EasyDay Fresh stores.


All of the visual communication was built around the idea of community and helping farmers by buying locally sourced fresh produce. Freshness was a big part of the brand and was incorporated on the storefronts as well, lending a refreshing look to the stores.



In the spirit of building local connect, the logo has been carefully developed in several regional scripts without diluting the style & spirit. This shows the brand’s sincerity towards understanding and communicating in the same language as its members and adds to the approachability at every level.

First Impressions

With front doors acting as the first impression creators for any retail outlet, Elephant design aims at making use of this element to not only impress the existing members but also invite prospective members. The façade glazing leaves some room for imagination through friendly and conversational messages that tell about the benefits of being members and invites the visitors to check it out for themselves by stepping inside.


Store layout and design

At Easyday stores, bright lights, clean aisles, conversational signage, new launches corner and a promise of best deals in every category—all of this is a carefully planned experience around shopper needs & desires.


To ensure a consistent experience from store to store, no matter the location, there are certain common principles built within the store experience.


Internal pillars, walls, beams and product displays are accented in Easyday greens for a brand-centric look & feel which extends to shopping carts and baskets as well.


The aisle signages are in a Dinoc raw wood finish to offer a hint of rustic and a subtle affinity with ‘farm-fresh’ crate packaging.


In-store signage is treated as a means of conversing with the customer and is clear, compelling, friendly & on-brand. A community bulletin board is placed near the entrance-exit to encourage Easyday Club members to promote their services & share information on local events, for a more involved Community connect.


Grocery plus

The beauty of Easyday Club is that members can pick up the freshest gourmet salad dressing and eyeliner at the same time or even have it delivered by sending a simple Whatsapp message!


In time, Easyday Club will add other conveniences like delivery & pick-up of online purchases from e-commerce players or maybe a laundry service or utility bill payments depending upon what the members find valuable.


Tone of voice

Without great service, a well-designed store means nothing.


While training plays a major role in delivering consistent service, communication through wall graphics, signage, uniforms and carry bags help maintain a consistent & friendly tone of voice throughout the store.


So don’t be surprised to read a sign that says “Take care of yourself” guiding one to the personal care section or shopping assistant’s jacket that says “Looking for something?”



Offers and product-mix may change across locations depending upon specific local preferences, but Easyday’s thoughtful presentation and commitment to elevating the shopping experience would remain the same across every store, the idea being that members can shop with confidence knowing they will find great value they’ve come to expect from Future Group.


Within a year of the first Easyday Club store’s setup in late 2017, there are already more than 30 stores in running!


Client: Future Group | Easyday Club
Design Studio: Elephant Design
Solution/Expertise: Branding Strategy, Communication Design, Retail


Creative Gaga - Issue 49


Polishing century-old successful brand values to be in possession of a fresh and refined visual identity for ones’ clients and competitors is a must-do these days. “The Ruby Mills Ltd” aka “Ruby”, rebranded in collaboration with Elephant Design, is a perfect example to follow.


Ruby Mills has incorporated a century ago in the year of 1917 as a composite textile mill and still continues to grow its operations in manufacturing of cotton and blended fabrics.


With a track record of innovation and progressive business practices, Ruby Mills wanted to enter the next century with a clear brand positioning, well-defined values and a refreshed visual identity.


Ruby Mills teamed with Elephant, one of India’s leading brand strategy and design firms to showcase its transformation with a new brand identity system.


Rebranding a legacy that has been a significant part of India’s journey from fighting for #Swadeshi to proudly #MakeInIndia for over a century was a huge responsibility. Elephant was tasked with realigning the brand for today’s progressive aspirations while keeping the heritage & dignity intact.

Elephant wanted to develop the existing visual equity of Ruby in a contemporary manner, keeping its visual language flexible enough for online & offline media and product representation.


Inputs from stakeholders, top management and business associates led the Elephant team to reiterate & articulate values for the company. Inspiration was drawn from the brand’s core values of innovation, sustainability, ethical & responsible manufacturing and excellence in quality to build an ownable palette of icons for various communication needs.

Each icon was created with the same visual grammar and treatment as the logo symbol created for the brand. This was done in order to convey innovation and expertise of the brand and make it easier to adapt sub-brands and other business verticals.


The brand name connoted preciousness and worked as a solid foundation to work with. Using the structure of a Ruby, a dynamic and vibrant logo rooted in the brand’s tradition, fused with a contemporary flair was designed.

The red heart in the logo denotes passion, one of the brand’s core principles. An accent colour was added to show the brand’s evolving and multifaceted nature.


The new brandmark consists only the name ‘Ruby’, doing away with the entire company name “The Ruby Mills Ltd” in the previous visual identity. The new typeface for the logo was made in uppercase, with an amalgamation of smooth and sharp edges.


The variation of colours in the logo opened up a colour palette for designing the visual language. A library of graphics and visuals was created, entirely customizable with the brand’s requirements. This made Ruby adaptable and gave them the flexibility to foray into newer areas and ventures in the future.

The new logo and visual language were launched in a trade show, where it received a phenomenal response from existing trade associates as well as potential ones. The new identity was found completely aligned to the Ruby legacy and its progressive future. The Ruby team is in the process of implementing the newly designed language throughout their portfolio and intends to complete it in 2018.

Client: Ruby Miils
Design Studio: Elephant Design
Solution: Rebranding, Visual-Identity Design

Creative Gaga - Issue 49


Pune-based design agency, Elephant Design, recently displayed the power of the British Bulldog, Witlinger beer’s powerful mascot, in a re-branding initiative and process for the beverage company. Here is how they did it, as we run through the process behind the whole act.

When Pune-based design agency, Elephant, was approached to bring the powerful brand mascot to life, it did so by means of an upfront, affirmative and assertive new visual representation on the bottle to communicate Witlinger’s truly British personality.

#BlodyBritish - British Bulldog

Witlinger’s Wheat Ale is India’s first wheat beer, unique because of its distinctive sweet orange and coriander flavours, much like Witlinger’s Lager that has a distinctive lemon grass finish and is brewed with British Hops. The British origins of these beverages, and so also the associated touch of the region that can be found in them, is something that cannot be ignored or concealed. It is this very quality that was chiefly used as the foundation or basis of Witlinger’s re-branding initiative, proudly declaring and proclaiming the same to the world without any sense of guilt or restraint through the ‘British Bulldog’, Witlinger’s symbol and mascot.

#BlodyBritish - British Bulldog

The renewed and refined design with ‘British Bulldog’ as a mascot symbolises Witlinger’s true British origins in a fun and honest way, while mainly conveying a message of being bold. In light of this transformation, referring to the brand’s renewed design, Mr. Anuj Kushwah, Managing Director and Founder said, “This is an exciting time for Witlinger as we are showcasing our true identity and characteristics of being very British and honest with what we do i.e. making sincere and honest craft beer. This definitely adds fun in drinking good craft beer with the great bold design.

While many craft beers try to keep their origins vague or unclear, Witlinger decided to be a brand that rather wanted to convey its British roots unapologetically and openly. “We decided to leave the cliched British iconography, and found a true hero in British bulldog! The idea is to bring various facets of the persona to life on align with each of the crafted brews.” said Ashwini Deshpande, Co-founder, Director of Elephant.

#BlodyBritish - British Bulldog

Operating since as long ago as 1989, Elephant is a leading strategic design agency with presence in India and Singapore, engaging clients such as Britannia, MTR, Paper Boat, and the likes. The agency recognized the emblematic power behind this concept, and decided to stick with it through the means and processes of illustration and symbolism, knowing that it would bring about the desired impact and effect on the audience.

Creative Gaga - Issue 49


Ashwini Deshpande
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Every design student or graduate dreams of interning with the best agencies or studios and Elephant Design tops the list. Ashwini Deshpande, the co-founder of Elephant Design shares their well thought strategy behind selecting and mentoring interns each year just like how an elephant will mentor their calf to be part of their family.

As a student of NID, I was an intern at Lintas & Module Studio in Mumbai around 1986-87. First one made me realise that I didn’t want to make a career in advertising and second one gave me the confidence to be an entrepreneur. I can say this with conviction that my learning was far wider than the specific projects or work done in those internship months. And I can never be grateful enough to those who mentored me then.

At Elephant, we have interns not only from design & management institutes in India, but also from Turkey, Singapore, France, The Netherlands, USA & Mexico. Idea behind accepting interns from diverse disciplines and cultures is to make Elephant culture richer & more inclusive.

We strongly believe that an intern needs to have a good mentor who is patient, has empathy & encourages experimentation. So we never invite more interns than we can mentor. Out of a hundred odd expressions of interest, we select about ten interns every summer. We do look at the portfolio, but more importantly, we look at the readiness to become part of a large team and learn from everything that goes around in a very busy design studio.

Design is not a solo game. Anyone who is too focused on his/ her project is not welcome, as they would not integrate with the spirit of teamwork at Elephant. What we promise is a role in the team and expects the intern to enjoy the ride.


We also hire fresh graduates from some of the design schools in India and from them we expect passion to experiment, enthusiasm towards teamwork and ability to articulate ideas through visual story-telling. We like people who are curious, positive and flexible

Published in Issue 32

If you are a recent graduate or about to finish your college then this issue may have answers to many of your questions. Like, how to get the best placement or the internship? How to present best in front of the interviewer? Which studio or agency to choose to start your career? How to work in a team or choose to be a freelancer? This issue has advice from many experts such as Ashwini Deshpande and Gopika Chowfla who gave the secrets of choosing the right intern for their well-known design teams. And on another hand, Rajaram Rajendran and Ranganath Krishnamani advise young designer to gain multiple skills and be the best at them. Also, recent MIT Post Graduate Vinta Jakkal shares her secret with which she grabbed the great opportunity of joining the Elephant Design, Pune team to start her career.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 49


We all have a soft corner for the old brands as they been helping us in many odd times and needs. But as our lives are getting modernised so do our choices and requirements. To match that and continue to stay on our kitchen shelves, MTR has gone for a rebranding exercise with the help of Elephant team. Here, the Design Director, Mayuri Nikumbh explains the process and thoughts behind the rebranding of this age-old brand.

Tracing The Roots

With a legacy of over 90 years, MTR is a brand that has stood its ground for offering authentic Indian food products and emerged as a choice to reckon with for Indians all over the globe. When the process of re-branding started, there was a lot of previous equity, which was valuable to the brand and required to be retained. However, the consumer needs and behaviour had changed with the time and the brand needed to recognise and appreciate that by offering them just the right balance of the past and present.

Decoding Modernity

With a portfolio that boasted of more than 130 products across various categories, it was imperative to re-examine the entire architecture in order to simplify it while retaining some familiarity. Modern day consumer is bereft of time and seeks ease of navigation at the supermarket and now even on the grocery portal too. Studies showed that the modern woman doesn’t look at all foods with the same lens. There are varying degrees of authenticity, expertise, delight, convenience and health that she seeks through different types of foods. The task at hand was also to infuse more emotion into the brand – to appear more like a knowledgeable companion in the kitchen. Simply, befriend the consumer rather than intimidate her.

The Building Blocks

• Categorisation & Architecture

There were layers of information on the then existing packs that had now become redundant and not aiding the consumer in navigation or purchase decision. The pack architecture was simplified to keep the product name in focus for ease of purchase supported by the category colour coding for ease of navigation.

• Brand Identity

The brand identity was the first element that underwent a rehash. While it retained its original construct and appearance, it was infused with a dash of green – connoting natural, freshness and abundance – hence became more humane. This was further accentuated by softening the logotype by doing away with its formal serifs.

• Master Template

The colour red had already been ingrained in the consumers’ mind and established as a key MTR brand asset. It was a conscious decision to retain that but in a new template that would now tell the story of a food nation. MTR had predominantly been recognised as a South Indian food brand, and with this exercise, they now wanted to go pan India. A subtle map of India was included on the master brand template and with every dish would cue its origin with a small marker. The signposts and mnemonics being designed around the same theme were dressed as postage stamps and milestones.

• Mood Creation

Every type of food or ingredient evokes a certain mood. The best way to let the consumer know that the brand understands them was to bring forth that exact mood on the pack in a conspicuous manner. Three broad moods were created that would cover all the categories and be conveyed through colours, lighting, materials, utensils and ingredients in the food setting.

1. Authentic

With warm lighting      Earthy colours
Metallic, wooden or earthen containers
And Traditional ingredients

2. Contemporary

With bright lighting         Pastel colours
Modern table setting       Ceramic bowls and plates
Accompaniments             And Fresh ingredients

3. Delight

With celebratory lighting
Rich colours
Coloured bowls and plates
And the Indulgent ingredients

These helped in bringing out the uniqueness and avoiding monotony within the Masterbrand template and created an emotional connect with the consumer.

The final outcome was a revitalised avatar of the brand that retained its core and goodness but wore a new mantle of an approachable expert who has travelled the world and knows just what to serve.

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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Creative Gaga - Issue 49