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We are amidst the times of discussion and debate about art, craft and design. In spite of that, the fact remains that a piece of creation should ultimately let the audience experience a sense of joy and a desire to touch or possess the work, believes designer Pallavi Sen. She reflects how, at the core, the job of a visual is to create an aesthetic tool to create happiness and joy.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Pomfret
Pallavi Sen - Joy
Rooster

Patterns create a visual experience.

Despite all the opinions and arguments about the trend in the art world, pure aesthetics should still be the top priority objective for a visual. To achieve this, patterns play an important role as a tool. It captures the viewer’s attention, providing a space to just gaze and wonder, rather than look for a more complex explanation for why that piece of work exists. When you repeat motifs, you create something beautiful, abstract and unrelated to our everyday life. For instance, a mango stops being what it is when you repeat it a dozen times.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Raja Rani
Pallavi Sen - Joy

Placement defines the effect.

Things of obvious beauty, when placed against something unusual, take the viewing experience to a different level altogether. The traditional Rangoli at every Indian home is a beautiful work of art in itself. But when placed against an ordinary door, like a grey floor or a dusty sidewalk, the effect is heightened. Or say, an Ikkat piece draped over a record player. If you want to add to the visual effect of the piece, combine repeating motifs and an unusual placement.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Pallavi Sen - Joy
Circus Circus

Colours help focus on the subject.

Colours act as a tool in any artwork. It becomes a character of the story and stays the same, no matter where it is placed. Some colours have a strong effect on the viewer. They take over what you make and you become an instrument. This happens a lot with high pigment colours. They are so dazzling that any mark looks wonderful. Keeping it all in one bold colour like red helps unify all the different lines and shapes into one image, against a stark background. At its best, a work should be a declaration that the beautiful object is still most important and make you feel the joy when you look at something.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Madhuri

At times, the material decides the design.

Be open to your approach of materials while creating something. The recommended way is to keep adding materials to your work as you find them and then decide if it fits or not. Sometimes, however, you can work the other way round. Make a colour palette, draw the design out and then go shopping for fabrics. But even when it is so planned, you may find something that feels great to the eye, like a fabric that is golden or has wonderful movement. Whenever you see something lovely or interesting, try and incorporate it. You’ll be surprised to know how, at times, the material decides the design.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Pattern Pot

Stay true to yourself.

Everything you see, hear, feel, experience are sources of inspiration. Look at books on design, a new design in homes, innovative products, designers showcased at fashion weeks and even architecture from the past. Take a stroll in a museum and watch the many different styles and trends across the world and hundreds of years back in time. Keeping your eyes open to all of these keeps you in touch with what is visually attractive. All this while, stay very true to yourself and your idea of beauty & joy and always encourage and allow yourself to change.

Pallavi Sen - Joy

Published in Issue 16

We always wish we had someone to show us the right way of doing things when we were starting our professional journey. And that’s why we have based this issue on graduates. The cover feature is an ensemble of advice from top names of the industry. We have also showcased few talented fresh graduates from across the country, keeping with the theme. You’ll find Tom J Manning and Pallavi Sen share their international exposure as well as insights behind their unique approach. Also featuring Shreya Shetty, a prominent concept artist, who shares the secret behind the believable characters she creates. She believes, with practice and patience, anyone can be a good artist.

 

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Utilising technology through the mediums of light and sound, designer and interactive performance artist, Michael L. Dolto enjoys honing and nurturing individuals’ awareness of their environment. This approach and attitude are what provide him the constant nudge to guide the younger ones.

As a new academic year is about to commence, one is reminded of the expectations one has of the educational experience. All is not rosy, neither all thorny, for that matter; it is mostly a mixed affair—there are “good” and “not-so-good” aspects of any educational institution, Indian or foreign. Students, generally, are quite adept at recognising negatives over the positive. As per Michael Dolto, though, the best bet is to make qualitative judgments while employing parameters such as the follows:

1. Malleability

It is useful to have a set of academic goals for oneself. At the same time, the context to be in school should be to get exposed to things you didn’t even know existed. Certainly, you may have ideas as to what is out there, but it is more likely that you will be able to discover fascinating new things through your time spent with faculty. You have to remain open to possibilities and be true to your own interests, and so also consider it fine to shift your goals based on the experiences of your education.

All is not rosy, neither all thorny, for that matter; it is mostly a mixed affair—there are “good” and “not-so-good” aspects of any educational institution, Indian or foreign

2. Experiment

Students are often stressed about finding work when they graduate. In the creative industries, there is no formula, per se. The professional market is starting to realise that the world is capable of changing very quickly. One’s marketarketability will increase with the ability to adapt. This ability is developed only through experimentation and taking chances with one’s work. This experience will only make you more confident and able to adapt to any professional opportunity that much quicker.

3. Process over Product

Every design school should focus on developing an individual’s creative process, not the individual’s product. What makes you valuable in the workplace is your ability to solve problems; to reconcile parameters with resources to make the ends meet. If a faculty gives you a bad critique of your work, reflect on the processes you implored, not the end product.

4. Detachment

A creative process should include a sense of detachment. The object is not important; the object is an expression, just as you form your sentences in dialogue. You need to learn how to detach yourself from your work. It is the only way to develop your critical and analytical thinking.

Success in any creative field is a measure of one’s ability to develop analytical and critical thinking. Teachers and peers will help you, but only you can become a best observer of yourself.

5. Perspective

An education in design is likely very different than the education you have previously received. The foundation of one’s success in any creative field is a measure of one’s ability to develop analytical and critical thinking. Teachers and peers will help you, but only you can become an observer of yourself.

6. Environment

In evaluating your education, understand that the texture shifts at all academic institutions. Faculty enter and leave on their own trajectories, so the chemistry of faculty can vary tremendously. Some years may be better at a given institution, compared to another. Thus, “good” and “bad” is a relative dialectic, as the teaching methods of one institution will likely vary greatly from another institution at any given time. Not everyone learns in the same way, so the effectiveness of the experience can vary among individual students.

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Uttam Hasabnis - colour
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The day we evolve from the life’s basic needs and moved to cave paintings, rituals and festivals, the colours have a special space in our life. Uttam Hasabnis, a creative consultant at Cub Design, believes that even right colours for a brand come from a deep understanding of the brand’s target audience and it can makeor break any brand.

The colour of your brand is not only an essential character of your brand’s story but also important in all forms of communications. Colour has the unique ability to make or break the success of a product. The right colour decision for your brand doesn’t cost you much. But the wrong colour can really impact the overall performance of your brand.

At Cub Design, we believe that the positive effects of colours on the consumer decision certainly can help enhance the brand image and due to the different meanings of colours in different cultures, we need to consider the attitudes and preferences of our target audience when choosing a correct colour for a brand. The best way is to do an in-depth research. It creates in us a feeling about colour. Observe, experiment and see how they make sense for you. We give all necessary freedom to our creative team to explore the brand and its environment physically to bring out the perfect colour that supports the brand positioning. And make sure the process must be based on:


Specifying the type of target audience.
Understanding the concepts of colour in the targeted culture.
Deciding on what emotion the consumers will experience.

And taking a critical look at which colours are being used in the market.


Sometimes, choosing a colour that stands out can help. Once you’ve determined what it is that your audience is looking for, you can best decide on the colour to help them find it.

At times, rebranding is important to indicate that the brand is still modern and progressive. When freshening up logos and products you have to think about whether or not you want to retain some of the past, or scrap it entirely, ‘However, this isn’t always the best option’. Most brands want to hold on to the equity and goodwill of their image, by maintaining some of the colours. But yes, you can add a secondary colour to refresh the brand image.

When choosing a correct colour, you must think far beyond your personal opinions. Also, it should never be an exercise driven by the personal taste of the superiors involved. Properly chosen colours define your brand’s value, strengthen and support your brand positioning, enable awareness and customer recall, and distinguish your brand among its alternatives. Picking the right colour should never be underestimated.

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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As the digital world has made the world smaller, design has coalesced as well where different forms are uniting and new evolutions are seen. Illustration ‘Type’ is one such avenue of type design which can add more meaning to characters and words. Visual Communication Designer, Shaivalini Kumar throws some light on the key points to be kept in mind while venturing down this path.

Design is like a chemical reaction.

We’ve studied it in science how some reactions slowly yield products. That’s exactly how design works as well. It all starts with the hint of talent that predisposes one towards the creative side of the world, just like potential energy which when comes in contact with culture, people, books, dialect, surroundings and food explodes to yield a great product – a designer! Inspirations that cradle us from childhood combine and release themselves through creative energy which manifests in various forms. It’s all about finding magic in the mundane to create extraordinary designs.

cover
Design for Education.

Design for Education.

cover
Inner Spread

Inner Spread

It’s all about reading the letters!

Typography is a challenging area of design where one is limited with a form that is already defined; an ‘a’ has to look like an ‘a’ in order that people read it as ‘a’. This is where “illustrated type” has been a saviour for many designers who are inspired by the possibilities that typography has to offer. Combining illustration and graphic design, this mode of design allow designers to bridge their two areas of interest. In order to redefine a form that is already defined, it’s important to re-look at it often with a theme or a storytelling perspective. This is where a simplistic base structure is crafted and then modified by either constructing on top of them, modifying them, detailing them and giving them depth, all in a way so that each letter has its own story to tell.

Publication Design

Publication Design

It’s also a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

If you’re a digital artist, as most designers are in today’s world, it’s really important to be well informed with technological updates that can help enhance the design process. For those who are on the move a lot, working to make quick sketches using the Adobe Photoshop Sketch App on the iPad is a great way to utilise technology. One can then render the artwork on the laptop. Think of it as a scribble made digitally! While creating artwork, it’s also important to research extensively about the technicalities of design as well as what is trending. The last thing you want is to create something that could have turned out better. Read about artists as well, follow blogs, create a blog, share stories and most of all, collaborate and be an active member of a prolific design community in order to stay abreast with all the latest.

Illustrated type

Judge a book by its cover!

It’s popularly said that never judge a book by its cover. However, interesting illustrations and design is changing this belief. When a designer designs a book cover, their aim is to not only showcase the content of the book, but to also create a personality for the cover which is emotive and inviting. This vision enables the audience to engage with it on various levels. Think of it like packaging design and how critical that is for brands. In order to help make covers relevant and appealing, graphically illustrated typography and elements can be used that are designed to have a personality that suits the subject. In other words, make the matter the hero.

Hero Hoodies Identity Design

Hero Hoodies Identity Design

Published in Issue 30

Since stone age when individuals were identified with certain marks, branding has always been an integral part of our life. It has evolved so much that now every success can be connected to branding behind it, but still brand creation has always been a mystery. We interviewed the branding experts, who are behind some of the very successful brands. Lopez Design, have shared the story behind the recently developed branding of ‘Bihar Museum‘ and also shared the basics of brand creation in the ‘Gyaan’ section. Young visual communication designer like Shaivalini Kumar shared her love for the letter design while experienced graphic designer Anup Shah dwelled upon his passion for calligraphy. In brief, this issue is packed with branding and typography design experts who can help you solve the mystery of the brand creation! Hope you will enjoy the articles!

 


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Craft is something that designers are forgetting. Inspired by the look and feel of real shapes, creative designer and art director, Nico Castro from Spain, talks about his design process. Rendered with technology, he believes design can take on any form!

CG. Your designs pop out. Tell us what your design style is. What elements and factors do you incorporate to make your designs unique?

NC. I worked for many years in TV Branding, especially closely with 3D design and set design. To develop my work, I mostly use realistic textures as well as some handmade patterns to combine with 3D techniques.

CG. What are your inspirations? How easy or difficult is it to get clients and audience to understand your take on a design which appears to be very modern and contemporary?

NC. I see different things every day. I consider modern architecture and industrial design as a good reference to understand structure. I think contemporary art is very close to the new style. The clients of today are less literal and brands are exploring more abstract concepts.

CG. How does technology feature in your designs? How would you say globalisation has made it easy for you to reach out to the world from Spain?

NC. Some 3D Softwares are very useful and friendly to use. A lot of things are easier to create and experiment with. I think there is a very interesting wave of CGI artists and designers today. But I believe in the approach to combine these 3D techniques with the design.

CG. What Spanish flavours do you work within your designs? Your fascination with 3D, is that a coincidence or a signature?

NC. I think that I don’t have any Spanish or Argentinian flavour in relation to my job. I work for clients around the world trying to fulfil their expectations, working on CGI and 3D.

CG. What’s next for your illustrations and graphic design? Do you have another destination in mind?

NC. There are always new ideas in the mind and new challenges around. I’m never too sure of what the next step will be. I guess it’s more about the journey than the destination.

Spain Design
Massone. Design has no
limits, justifies this design for the sets of famous
Argentinian DJ, Gustavo Massone.

Published in Issue 30

Since stone age when individuals were identified with certain marks, branding has always been an integral part of our life. It has evolved so much that now every success can be connected to branding behind it, but still brand creation has always been a mystery. We interviewed the branding experts, who are behind some of the very successful brands. Lopez Design, have shared the story behind the recently developed branding of ‘Bihar Museum‘ and also shared the basics of brand creation in the ‘Gyaan’ section. Young visual communication designer like Shaivalini Kumar shared her love for the letter design while experienced graphic designer Anup Shah dwelled upon his passion for calligraphy. In brief, this issue is packed with branding and typography design experts who can help you solve the mystery of the brand creation! Hope you will enjoy the articles!

 


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Designs can make use of various modes of expression to meet desired results. Some are simple and minimal whereas some can be loud and boisterous. The latter is a path that visualizer Jalpa Shah takes on her designs. Using loud colour combinations, fun elements and some bit of humour, her designs are a perfect recipe for a memorable design experience. More on how she achieves what she plans.

loud colour
MONDAY BLUDLE -THE GEOMETRIC MAN.

Doing it the bold and quirky way!

The way a designer designs isn’t their style, but rather their intention; their intention to get the message across in the most effective and entertaining manner. For some it might be simple and soft and for some designers, the bold and quirky route might be the shortcut to their viewer’s hearts. For most designers, this happens autonomously without having to put much force into it. Bright stark colours, shapes and geometric patterns help attract attention and are eye catching. Such can be a sigh of relief, a stressbuster, especially in the world like today’s where everything is so busy and monotonous.

loud colour
MONDAY BLUDLE - TERI MAA KAA. Inspired by daily experiences

Perfection lies in the hands of the beholder!

Even though technology has conquered the thoughts and imagination of many designers, the use of pencil and paper, the traditional tools of the trade, are signs of a perfectionist. One has to master the art of drawing on paper because that’s how it is transferred onto a digital platform for enhancements and drama. The feeling of pencil hitting paper is like liberation for many, and inspires great imaginations to take raw shape. That goes in saying that versatility is highly important. Don’t get distracted by learning about technology on its own, there’s no point if you’re not learning about the world around you.

loud colour

First comes ‘what’, then ‘how’!

Try and focus your designs on the end result. That will give you direction to achieve what it is you want. Whether it’s a smile on the viewer’s face or a brief for a client, when you can visualise the final expectations and reactions, the journey to achieve that becomes easier. Vibrant elements work to achieve that as they serve as eye candy and bring about a sense of understanding and content to the audience.

loud colour
BAHOT JOR SE AAYI HAIN.
Whatever pressures you may have in life, release them to relieve yourself!

Word art is a complete picture.

Typography is a type of design that is gaining huge momentum and appreciation by people. Many designers are creating display fonts in unique styles and using traditional and modern inspirations. The aim is to illustrate type form which makes a complete visual when seen as a whole. These days, type is also a visual and when illustration and design are infused together with letterforms, the outcome is a beautiful narrative

Published in Issue 29

As the growth of a tree can be determined by the strength of its roots, in the same way, we can try to presume the growth of design by the quality of fresh talent. So we dedicated this issue to all the Design Graduates of 2015. It includes all the young talent from last year graduates to recent graduates and students who will be graduating in next few years. We also tried to understand the impact of digital medium on our design education and Ms. Deepti Pant, Heads – School of Communication, Media and Films at Pearl Academy shared her thoughts on the same in Vantage View section. We have featured design graduates from varied fields of design from most of the top colleges and institutes like MEER s MIT Institute of Design, DJ Academy, Pearl Academy, Symbiosis Institute of Design, Wigan & Leigh India and many more.

 


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Designer Prasun Mazumdar didn’t only want to make his name, but wanted to make it into a brand. Here, he takes us back in time to tell us how he created his design studio pmd, right from scratch.

Brand

After working from a make-shift studio in his apartment for one year, in June, 2010, Prasun decided to expand. Without any second thoughts, he started evaluating his goal and visualising the work process involved. “You have to take the plunge.” he says, sitting on the other side of the table and thinking back.

One of the major decisions was to work out a logo and finalise a good name for the studio. The fact that his initials suffixed with ‘design’, made for an ambigram that was very exciting, it reaffirmed the decision about christening the studio as “pmd”.

Prasun Mazumdar studio

“Everyone starts from scratch. No one is born with knowledge.” says Prasun. When he joined NIFT back in 2004, he knew a challenging path lay ahead of him. The broad roads of Delhi and fashionable friends at NIFT made him accustomed to exploring and absorbing the unknown; a characteristic of a good designer.

Prasun Mazumdar studio

Once he was equipped with the foundation, he commenced a studio website and undertook small branding projects. “It’s even more difficult when you don’t have a portfolio, because the artworks you’ve got are those that were done while working for others.” reminisces Prasun.

Prasun Mazumdar studio

However, great things came gradually. Call it luck or destiny, Prasun was lucky to get a call from Rajesh Pratap Singh to design posters and artworks for his forthcoming rock collection. The fire was started, now all that needed was a constant supply of wood. Thus, an office space was set up. This was important because waking up and getting ready for work brought discipline, which is key to success.

The first brand identity system project and contract for PMD came from Stellar Children’s Museum, where Prasun designed their logo, print and space. “I reached office with new glass tumblers and juice packets. Looking back now, I guess the meeting was my first big success. They loved the half done office space and my work.” Prasun smiles and says.

Prasun Mazumdar studio

Published in Issue 23

The issue explores a topic which is close to every designer, the Business of Design. We try to understand from the experienced ones that when is the right time to open own studio and what more you should get in your toolbox before taking the plunge! We had interactions with many talented studio founders like Rajesh Dahiya, Archan Nair, Ishan Khosla, Prasun Mazumdar and Anupam Tomer. Also featuring some of the best talents around the world such as Martin Grohs from Germany and Avi Sehmi from Canada along with Sourajit Sengupta from New Delhi. This issue not only provide answers to many questions but also initiate many new ones to explore further! We hope you will enjoy exploring the possibility of your studio with this issue. Happy reading!

 


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