A visual artist in the form of a cartoonist and animator, Manoj Sinha shares his process and details of his work one bit at a time, in order to achieve the right balance across aspects such as the tone of colours, the shades of lighting.

Depth in Details.

Manoj Sinha likes to play with simple elements in a rather detailed and no-nonsense way to create a portrait that is very much life-like if not larger than life. He starts out with the basics and rough works, turning basic aspects of the persona more and more real with each step as he progress towards the final outcome. The result is a sharp artwork with lively qualities.

Step 1

Started with a simple, rough sketch. Since this involved a pretty basic shading-like technique in order to give the portrait an outline and overall context. This is good enough to start with and build upon.

Step 2

This step involved applying the base colours on the face alongside some light shading. The rest of the elements i.e. the hair, the dress and the earrings were kept the same as in the rough sketch that was the starting point.

Step 3

Further details were added to the lips and teeth. The smile brings out the core of the personality’s expression and so it was highlighted.

Step 4

Just one ear of the subject has been made visible in the portrait and so it was important to provide it the right amount of attention. So, more detailing was done on the ear.

Step 5

Dark textures and sharp lines were added around the eyes to give the persona a practical look. Similarly, the eyeballs were also given details highlighting the reflection of light in the eyes.

Step 6

Shadow of the hair falling over the right eye was done. Which enhanced the lighting effect that was given to the image in the previous steps, thus bringing about an actual feel of the subject by making the portrait more realistic.

Step 7

Details were added to the earrings, hair and face in the form of greater definition, colour and texturing.

Step 8

The final details to hair and skin colour were then added with fine lines and rough stroke smoothing. Reached the final desired result, bringing out the real personality of the subject.

Published in Issue 41

Every year brings many opportunities and hopes along with celebrations. For this issue, we reached many visual artists and designers to know their expectations from the year 2018. This issue’s cover designer, Shreya Gulati is exceptionally impressed by the advancement of technology in design, especially how VR & AR has impacted new ways of creating. Whereas Seerow Unni, a digital artist sees the simple and minimal design is here to stay for long. So, whether you have many or none expectations for the year, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!


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Meditation, Motivation and Manifestation are the 3Ms that Lovely Kukreja, relies on while illustrating. Taking us on step-by-step approach through his painting Goddess Durga, he explains the basic guidelines that play a pivotal role in the final outcome.


Nowhere related to the spiritual practice, meditation, here is the thought process, creative thinking before starting any project.

Step 1

Great ideas start as random scribbles (thumbnails, rough drawings and armatures). This will help in deciding the posture angle and composition. While doing these initial sketches, it’s important to mull over the subject aka meditate to set the mood; the vital areas to focus on to bring in freshness.

Step 2

Once satisfied with the sketch of Goddess Durga, start blocking tones in the grey-scale mode with the basic air-brush. You don’t really have to go fancy by trying several textured brushes. Just do the basic block-in while keeping the area to be focused well-lit.

Step 3

Convert your painting to RGB mode and start adding colours on a layer overlaid on it. Choose colour palette as per the theme. For the Goddess Durga painting here, I chose the unsaturated soft shades. Close your eyes and try to see the picture you have in your thoughts.


Stay away from textured brushes as it may blur the edges of your drawing.


Never search for style, but study. This is where research comes into the picture; the motivation gained from creative intuition, studies and reference materials. At this stage, it is important to collect facts about the subject of creation.

Step 4

Once the basic look and the feel of the painting is established, bringing the volume on each object can begin with the direction of light decided in the very beginning. At this stage, it is important to collect facts about the subject of creation.

Step 5

Detailing the elements e.g. water, foliage, trees and grass. Motivation is the key, to paint better with each stroke passing.

Step 6

Now it’s time to break the barriers and go beyond the sketch. After deciding the intricate details (cloth texture, ornaments, fur and hair), paint over the sketch on a new layer with free-hand for each subject.


If you are in process of learning to paint, try not to use any image.


It finally boils down to manifesting all the effort, knowledge and studies into strokes of brush applied. This is when you bring ideas to life. Those final touches, elaborating it with all those tiny details is vital to make it your personal piece of work.

Step 7

The working area is closed and fine details are added to each object after thorough research.

Step 8

Tonal values, sharpness and colour balance is adjusted.


Stay away from textured brushes as it may blur the edges of your drawing.

Step 9

Adding foreground elements gives a sense of depth to the scene. Elements like foliage, leaves and any life-full character create liveliness.


I suggest you to always keep the subject close to its originality. You are allowed to bring freshness while you keeping it intact within logical boundaries.

Issue 40-Motion Graphics Special

Published in Issue 40

We all have favourite TV shows and we passionately discuss the stories and characters of it. But sometimes, we tend to ignore the channel and its branding. Now with many different channels to choose from, we are experiencing many new branding overhauls to grab the audience’s attention. In this issue, we focused on Motion Graphics design and people behind some awesome channel rebrandings. If you are interested in moving design or animated content then this issue is a must-read for you! So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving your regular dose of inspirations!


Kevin Roodhorst shows us through the process he adopted to transform a stock image of the Buddha into one that represents the mysticism and divinity the being represents.

Classic Image to Supernatural!

The stock photos that were used were bought on shutterstock.com. Working step by step on the image, aspects of mystical dimensions were slowly developed by adding external elements, colour balance, textures and the likes, thereby providing a supernatural quality to the overall imagery of the enlightened being.


Step 1

This was used as the input image for the project. The main idea was to bring forth the underlying aura or vibe of holiness and divinity to the otherwise straightforward imagery that can be seen over here.


Step 2

Started with masking the Buddha statue with the brush tool in quick mask mode. Once masked, a hole was created in the middle of the concrete pieces that had to be placed on top. This served as a base for the process that was to follow.


Step 3

Here, the concrete pieces were integrated together and some shade was added to it, as well. The shade was made with curves. In the same way, the colour of the concrete was also adjusted with the colour balance and curve layers.


Step 4

On top, a nice water stock photo was placed with some rocks on the side. It was then adjusted to tone with a curve layer, further adjusting the colour with a colour balance layer. The layer itself was set to screen mode while, for the central portion, an underwater cave stock photo that had been set to screen mode was used.


Step 5

A nice looking coral stock photo was further picked up. For the basic underwater look, a solid colour blue adjustment was used on soft- light. The same solid colour was used for integration of the diver’s layer on soft-light along with some curves for the highlights and shadows.



A boat and some fishes were also used around the coral. The most important part was to make it look underwater, which can only be done by making it hazy i.e. brushing soft paint strokes of blue around the Buddha and lowering the opacity by quite a bit. Also, the particles around the Buddha brought a lot of realism. These are just tiny white dots with a lowered opacity and some gaussian blur applied. To make the Buddha look old, a lot of textures was added on top of it. Used cracked ground stock photos, likewise, were set to multiply or darken.


Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!


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They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. For a designer, it doubles up as a way to pay homage to an icon and inspiration. Digital artist Pankaj Bhambri re-creates a portrait of the duo from a reference picture, adulation and following. He explains how.

Step 01

Picked the reference image to start the portrait. Observed three things that would play an important role in the illustration – mid tone, highlights, and shadows.

Step 02

Started with basic doodling. Worked in layers as that would help to separate elements in the composition and allow experimenting with lights.


Step 03

Found a cardboard texture on the net. Used it as a base for the illustration which would act as a middle tone. Multiplied that layer after importing it into the composition.

Step 04

Refined the doodle a little more and then started with wet media brushes with the respective colour palettes. The first palette was for Lata Mangeshkar while the second one was for Asha Bhonsle.

Step 05

Started with blocking shadows first with thick round brush of size 12 px.

Step 06

Added black with round wet brush for more details in shadows. Downloaded ink splatter brushes from the net. Used them in different angles as highlights in the composition.

Step 07

Used one of those brushes with scattering count 5. Refined till the desired effect was achieved. Used a round brush of 3 px for detailing with stylized black and white lines.

Step 08

With the colour palette for Asha Bhonsle, started blocking shadows and then highlights. Lots of practice and observation of objects in different lightings helped in this job.

Step 09

Blocked with the colours in the palette choosing dark for shadows and light for highlights.

Step 10

For highlighting, used a wet round brush with white colour as a contour over it.

Step 11

Used splatter brushes for final detailings.

Step 12

Made a random flow of colour to differentiate the main object from the background. This made the composition balanced. Used writing brushes downloaded from the net on the splatter layer that separated the background.

Step 13

Added writing brushes on a new layer and filled the splatter layer with different brush sizes. Erased the edges to blend the writing with the splatter brushes.

Step 14

Used floral texture downloaded from the net to give some interesting background.

Final Portrait

Published in Issue 11

This issue also explored the Jewellery Design & Wedding Photography with some cool techniques to learn from experts in Gyaan section.


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It’s a long way from an idea to an animated film. Particularly when you are creating your characters, environment etc. and then animating everything to come up with a nice narrative. Animation filmmaker Sonia Tiwari experienced that journey while making the short film ‘Bhavri’. She explains the process.

Storyboard and Animatic

Assuming that a solid story and basic character descriptions are in place, the first and foremost helpful thing in animation is a series of storyboards to visually put together the shots in progression. An animatic is putting storyboards on the editing timeline along with corresponding sound effects, voiceover and dialogue. It helps in getting an idea of timing, pacing, acting choices etc., which are very essential for animation.

Shot Analysis

Each shot must have a motivation. Before animation begins one must know the background story of characters, their body language, emotions, physical action, what needs to be conveyed in this shot and what is the time limit for the shot etc. If the shot needs to be for only 4 seconds, we need to cut down on the amount of physical action and make sure there is just enough animation to convey the emotions clearly.

3D Animatic

If one has a 3D animation pipeline, it’s important to begin with a 3D animatic or pre-viz reel, where we assemble all 3D assets such as models, rigged characters, stage setting, props, lights, textures etc. and block all the camera angles. This helps in animating to a camera, making one only animate stuff visible in the renderable camera, instead of animating everything there is in the scene. An important tip is to ‘reference’ all 3D assets in the scene, instead of importing them, so that it is easy to update modifications made to original assets.

Animation Thumbnails

Animation thumbnails can be inspired by the storyboard, but here is where the animator really breaks down the animation and plans out the use of animation principles like weight, anticipation, exaggeration, timing, pacing etc. Using video reference, acting out in front of a mirror, noting down the timing etc are all great resources to draw thumbnails from.

Animation Blocking

This is the first step in taking all the previous animation homework and putting it into the scene. In a 3D pipeline, many animators block the animation with a stepped tangent (used in Maya), block holds and gets the timing as accurate as possible. This is where all the ‘key-poses’ are blocked out and in most cases, all body parts are keyed together. Nothing is offset as of now, just to get a neat view of the overall action. Some animators find it easier to use spline tangents (used in Maya) right from the blocking stage. It all depends on individual convenience.

Animation First and Second Pass

This is where we layer in details in the blocking. For example, if a character is jumping and landing, both feet won’t land at the same time, they will now be offset. While in blocking we only blocked the key poses, now is the time to offset, add in-betweens, expressions etc. It’s all about getting the emotion right and balancing holds with motions.

Feedback Cycle

Ask your fellow animators or seniors for feedback, fix the shots, ask for feedback again and again till the fixing is finally done. One must also know the overall production deadline to know when to stop taking feedback and hit the render button. No shot is done 100% but it needs to be good enough for the production schedule and project requirement.

Final Animation

Accumulating all feedback and references, fixing and layering details in animation, bringing it as close to the director’s vision as possible, letting it go through post-production process and making it fit just right in the overall sequence, makes a shot final.

Published in Issue 13

Coming from a country of stories and storytellers, Indian animation professionals are sitting on a gold reserve. Yet, we are miles behind the Western world. We spoke to few leading names to find out the reason and understand the Indian animator’s sensibilities and practices The house unanimously opined that we need to develop more original ideas and also create exclusive stories for animation, rather than going the other way round.


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As your logo is something which represents the company or brand for a significantly long time, so you will never want to go wrong on it. We have compiled some of the best logo design tutorial and advice to help you get the hang of all the functionality and techniques you might need for your next logo project.

1. Golden Ratio in Logo Design

2. Design A Modern Logo

3. 3D Logo Design

4. Simple Emblems & Logos

5. 3D Gradient Logos

6. Monogram Logo

7. Vintage Logo

8. Retro Logo Design

9. Monoweight Logo

10. Hole Logo Effect

Faces are an interesting subject, and often we come across one that has an expression telling a story. Vivek Arvind Mandrekar saw one such story in  facial expression of Amitabh Bachchan and captured it by means of a digital painting. Below, he takes us through the various steps in order to tell and capture such tales.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


It is an important step to follow before starting any painting as the image size will be little heavy to change anything later. So firstly, a basic raw sketch is drawn on a colour background which is further blocked through flat colours for defining shadows and highlights in different layers while keeping sketch as a guideline. The required areas are then dabbed for a smooth blending.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Step 01: This part is pretty straightforward, where blocked shadows and highlights are employed using basic selective skin tones.


Step 02: Further, various layers are painted using customised textured brush to obtain the final skin texture.


Step 03: The last thing missing from the skin is the realistic texture of pores and wrinkles. This is established using a scattered brush spread. Here, one must zoom in and out beyond actual pixels by studying the tiniest of areas to observe minute details with paint stroke of a customised textured brush. This is also one of the most time-consuming steps but makes all the difference.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Step 01: The beard area is under painted by blocking the base with a hard brush. Each strand is then painted by changing the size, angle, roundness and hardness of the brush with each stroke.


Step 02: The same is continued by altering the opacity and dynamics of the brush and by zooming in further to work on individual hair strands. This is one of the toughest parts to execute.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Step 01: For this part of the painting, both dark and light base is used as the base of the hair colour. Like the beard, here too each strand is stroked by changing opacity, angle and roundness of the brush.


Step 02: The base of each hair strand is then further built by applying a customised textured brush and painting each strand with a small hard brush to obtain the desired details.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Here, basic blocking with shadows and highlights is used followed by rendering to create soft focus effect with the help of a soft brush.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Once the beard and hands start taking shape, continue painting the shirt by filling in the creases with shadows and tones to achieve a proper compilation. Use light and dark tones to render the folds and blend with a soft brush. And finally, for thread stitch finish, use a medium hard sized brush.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Step 01: The eyebrows, eyelids, iris and pupils are painted using a basic brush by adding textures and colours. This is then blended with different layers and softhard brushes by masking the glass. The glasses are not painted in this instance. Instead, a pen tool is used to draw and clip mask, after which the edges of the glasses are painted.


Step 02: Once the eye basics are ready, the veins are painted and a sense of depth is added using a technique of zooming into each detail. Following this, the edges of the glasses are painted in. A great person to get inspired for spectacle painting techniques can be obtained by following the work of SheridanJ on her Deviantart page.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan


Once the painting of Amitabh Bachchan is ready, it is flattened and various dodge-burn tools have experimented for highlights and shadows. Furthermore, colour temperatures, balance and curves are also adjusted. Lastly, the background is worked upon through customised textured brushes and grading colours to a depth of field.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!


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E-commerce websites have become the driving force for businesses these days. With dynamic features like advanced filtering, animation, 360 degree product reviews and super product search, these have taken the web world by storm.

Such is the revolution that shopping is not just limited to women only rather is enjoyed by men through online stores with their extensive range of tech products. Now, there is something for everyone; yes, kids, parents and teenagers are in for some gain too. The main aim of these e-commerce sites is to engage with the web customers and cater to a wide set of target audience.


So, how can an ecommerce website emerge from good to best? Is it about looks or functionality? Do products matter or customer service? Or will the dash of extra features do the deed? Okay, that’s quite a thought. What’s sure here is that one thing won’t do; it is a game of parts! To get your conversion rates soaring high, it is important to be relevant and competitive in your elements. Of course there are no universal features or design elements that guarantee immense popularity, but there are general guidelines and also recommended options which shouldn’t be neglected at the time of creating an e-commerce website.


Here in this post you will find some very valuable tips for your layout that will surely make your online business flourish. But before we delve deeper let us look at some of the main goals that every e-commerce website plans to fulfill.

1. It’s All About Selling

There are many websites which are sheer wastage of time and effort. Why? The stores are designed just for the heck of it. There is no thought behind the creation. They are funky in looks but pretty useless when it comes to shopping. These websites are satisfied by just bringing the brand online or creating a physical store; for them, in the end, it is all about a big ‘buy’ button in a plain view. It is common for some businessmen, developers and designers to ignore such details, but in fact, these are the areas where they should pay a lot of attention.


2. Highlight The Benefits

Displaying a list of product types or a grid can be the best thing for your online store. Highlighting the special deals and ‘what’s new’ categories can allure the web surfers to buy. In fact, there are many online surfers who aren’t even clear what they want and are in just for hanging out. As an online seller, you must poke the market and show the users what they are missing out on.


3. Trust Is Must

People want to know what all is in store for them. That is the reason they are eager to know everything about the product they are willing to buy, the purchase procedure, payment methods, warranties and delivery service etc. i.e. all the details that will help them to finalize the decision and lock the transaction. Be particular that the relevant pages are linked well to the home page. Such a vision will prove helpful for the support team and will also lower the amount of pre-sale help requests.


Further, here are some features which will aid you in enhancing your web store usability and generating more profitability


4. Keep It Secure

Online transactions have become quite essential for us now. Because of their popularity, e-commerce websites can be a potential target for the cybercriminals. It is important for the online sellers to hide customer information and maintain necessary steps to ensure privacy. It all depends upon a secure e-commerce platform. With their line of advanced security features, it is no surprise that Magento and WordPress along with WooCommerce have become the big leaders of online sellers.


Make sure you have SSL certificate as it looks after safe connectivity between a user and the website. SSL certificate establishes an encrypted connection between the web server and visitor’s web browser. It means all communications or online transactions will be safe. Generally, E-commerce store runs over multiple sub-domains. So, You can secure your unlimited first-level sub-domains with PositiveSSL Wildcard Certificate of Comodo Certificate Authority for some of the cheapest SSL solutions.


Even you can also enable two-factor authentication as it certifies security by using username/password and a system-made code sent through email or text. Remember to use a firewall and give the policy link in the footer as it specifies the website’s privacy policies and guarantees the non-sharing of the customer data with third parties.


5. The Resolution Rule

Earlier e-commerce websites could survive by just posting a single image with some bullet points and a price tag. Shoppers evaluate the product by looking at it from various angles and as per the demands of different environments. The power to zoom gives them better feel of the product.

Technical points of the images should be kept in mind while uploading the same. Images that pose problems while loading or take lot of time to load will lead to drop-off rate of about 39%. Remember it is the images that sell not text. So, keep in mind to show multiple images per product. Let the photos be checked with high resolution and optimization for better page load.

6. Route To Reviews

Shoppers are deeply influenced by reviews. As a matter of fact, 92% of them pay heed to them. The star rating on a product is a major game changer these days. You might be under the impression that negative reviews will ruin your sale but actually, it is the opposite case here. Negative reviews can turn out to be positive. It is the human psyche which feels that products without negative reviews are not worth a shot and thus, think all the positive reviews are fake.


Based on the website’s functionality, e-commerce can utilize plugins from the most sought after review platforms like Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare. Futuristic e-commerce sites are making use of reviews as user-generated content to build social proof and increase fan following.


7. Best Offers

It is seen that majority of the e-commerce sites are resorting to the special offers tactics as a part of their marketing practices through social, email, text etc. People are very quick to pass judgment as to whether they like a website or not. So, making using of this trait you should try to capture their interest in a matter of seconds as soon as they enter the site. A small delay can cause them jumping to some other store with a more impressive home page. The sure shot way to pull your audience is through amazing shopping deals.

Many forward-looking websites make maximum use of the main real estate in the header section to sell special offers. When shoppers know that they are at advantage with a special deal, it inspires them to go ahead and purchase more than they intend to as well as explore more in the product section of the site. It is seen that millions of people get very excited during sales and discounted periods and go on a shopping spree just because the prices are slashed heavily in sale.

If a website wants to make the most from its current promotions, it is advisable to create a spectacular webpage that displays the lists of offers at hand, which will not only enhance sales but will be very useful for SEO as well. Alluring promises and different prices persuade the visitors to spend without giving a practical thought.


8. The Pleasure of Wish Lists

Wish Lists- The ultimate love of every user. How we love keeping one for fashion, one for books to read, one for holiday gift ideas and the list goes on. Yes, it is all about shopping, saving and sharing! E-commerce sites which are still far from having wish lists are hampering sales and leaving them on the virtual desktop table. Customers can appreciate nothing more than having their favourite items bookmarked and then use them later to buy in the future.

This is actually giving them larger than life! And, of course, executing a fabulous remarketing campaign dream. It is also a good way to share your brand with the potential buyers. When shoppers open up their wish lists with their family and friends, it generates popularity and creates free traffic with built-in social proof to a website.


9. Social Proof

Brands and online sellers that establish an emotional connection with the buyers score on the parameters of trust and advocacy. The social link is, without a doubt, the best platform to connect with your user these days. Integrating social profiles and user-generated content with an e-commerce site have become the need of the hour as it creates a strong brand character for the online sellers. Shoppers are flooded with a constant ping of ‘buy now’ and ‘get this’.

The brands that interact with the customers on a more social level create more loyal customers for life. Social media gives the e-commerce brands the platform to show their genuineness and establish an emotional link with the products.


10. The Payment Mode

In this era of Apple Pay and PayPal, quick and easy payment options are an absolute necessity for an e-commerce website. Take, for instance, Amazon, there is nothing more wonderful in this world than getting the option to shop in a single click. Shoppers with registered accounts on Amazon can actually buy by mere one click. Currently, there are many advanced payment methods online. The trick is to understand the target audience and incorporating the most robust solutions. If a website lacks in payment options, be particular in stating the reason for so.

Like an e-commerce site can restrain from offering Bitcoin as a payment option after it discovers that the value isn’t reliable. If buyers are techno freaks who are more inclined towards payment method, it is crucial to be clear as to why that mode isn’t an available option. Being transparent works in favor of the brand as it builds a trust and establishes a stronger relationship with the buyers. Payment options can be accessed at the footer or on the top right corner of sites.


11. Easy Contact

As we know that in an e-commerce website most of the business happens online and there is nothing more fulfilling than finding a clear-cut and well-designed ‘contact us’ feature. This implies particularly for high-end merchandise or technical products. Don’t make it tough for the buyer to contact for any query or to enable support. Place contact page as one of the prime features of the website. Facilitate multiple ways to reach the customer support via phone, email or through an online form. Some exquisite stores provide online appointment setting by the means of their contact page. Make a note to put in customer service social links and Google maps for locations.


12. Return Policy

Return policies are a significant attribute of any e-commerce website. Make sure that the return policy is clear and well framed or explained. This is another customer bonding feature for online selling. This will satisfy the buyer that in case they are finding faults in their purchase or need a different size, the brand is open to making changes. The latest survey by Invesp reveals that almost 30% of the products ordered online are returned back. Also, 92% are eager to buy again if the product return policy is not complex and very easy to follow. Even 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase.


Now you may find some of these tips very obvious and general and might be thinking ‘that’s not a big deal’. But even if the marketers and web designers feel that basic stuff like ease of use, high-resolution photos and contact information are quintessential details, remember these very points are itself the best practices and trademarks of awesome design. If you know most of the tips given in this post already and haven’t used them practically; buck up! It is never too late! The best blend that will make your e-commerce website scalable and robust is by combining the tried-and-tested features along with the unique elements to deliver powerful shopping experiences.


Article contribution by Think 360 Studio.

Though we are a country full of festivals all around the year, but this special time of year when not only you change your calendar but also the gifts, family dinners, celebrations and new year resolutions all makes it a special time in everyone’s life. Nithin Rao Kumblekar decided to capture this memorable time for the cover of Creative Gaga. Here he explains his thought process and step by step tutorial.

For any painting, to begin with, sketching is not only the most basic but the most important thing. The whole painting depends on it and can be considered as the backbone of any painting.


Here, I have focused on the subject from the top angle with slight fisheye effect. I did some scribbles first and then fine tune the outlines to make the subject clearer for the next stage. For sketching, I use Adobe Photoshop with Wacom Cintiq monitor and several different brushes which give the real feel of sketching with the pencil.

I normally use “Hard Round Pressure Size” brush by enabling brush pressure as well as thickness buttons in the top brush control panel. This will serve the purpose of getting the pencil sketch effect. This feature is also useful while colouring.

I have kept the main source of light from top hence the play of light and shadows are pretty simple in this illustration. Also, the characters expressions play very well depending on how we choose to place the light source.

Here, I wanted to get the festive feel in the entire colour tone. So I chose to get the orange and yellow tone which gives a warm feeling in the environment. The final colour tone can also be achieved even at the last stage by adding just a flat colour layer on top of all layers and then by trying different mode options in the layer pallet. But here, I chose to set the colour tone layer by layer. I did not use any colour filters, as I mostly knew which tone the final illustration should have.

The character colouring steps

To avoid any spill of colours at this stage, start by creating the characters and the props in different layers. And If you want to colour a specific part without disturbing the nearby object then you need to create each and everything in different layers and then group it under the character or the object name.


For example, in this illustration, I’ve created layers for the skin and clothes within the characters. And for the background, there are many layers for all the objects and that is where you may get confused.


When you have multiple layers then the convenient way to work on the desired layer is to hold the control/command key and then click on the part of the illustration that you want to select. The correct layer will be selected and then for colouring, again hold the control/command key and click on the selected layer under the layer panel, this will highlight/select the layer with selection marquee and you can begin the colouring. There won’t be any spill of the colour outside this selection.

After all the characters and objects are coloured it is time for the background light fixes. In these images, you can see the difference as I’ve added slight glow as well as little shadows to make the characters stand out. And finally after completing everything sometimes you might want to change the size of some objects or change few colours. Since we had everything in layers it is easier to do these minor adjustments even at the final stage. I had increased the size of the boy by about 15%. And we have reached the final illustration.

I almost forgot to mention one important thing that to always save the file and keep duplicating it. As sometimes, the file might get corrupted due to some system error or something else. But If you have duplicate files then you don’t have to begin the illustration from scratch. So saving is a good habit but duplicating the files is even better. Good Luck!

Published in Issue 35

The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. If you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!


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