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Packaging has been for long an ignored discipline of design. But the trend has changed nowadays, and it is becoming an exciting space for designers to showcase their artistic and innovative skills. Graphic design studio, Impprintz, derives inspiration from the products to add to the experience of the buyer and user. Here, Simran Sahi and Rahul Sureka talk to Creative Gaga about how they successful packaging!

Packaging for Gift Boxes Blue Tokai

CG: Your designs seem to follow a geometric formula and are pretty systematically arranged. Is that your design style, or does packaging follow a standard formula that clients ask you to apply?

Impprintz. The idea is to keep things simple yet delightful. With packaging, it’s not an anomaly to face a series of variants within the same product range. Therefore, the challenge lies in creating something different while maintaining a strong cohesive visual family. Another vital element for packaging designers to be mindful of is information architecture which helps buyers navigate systematically through the communication.

Packaging for The Little Pondicherrian
successful packaging
Incense Gift Packs.
successful packaging
Incense Gift Packs.

CG: According to you, what makes a successful packaging design? You use a varied sense of bright and attractive motifs. Is that what you feel makes a product stand out on a shelf with other competitive brands?

Impprintz. The inspiration for packaging is more or less derived from the product and its unique attributes. Packaging design can be successful on various levels and often requires a combination of attributes like its ability to attract, engage and inform. Simultaneously, it must also deliver a tactile experience with the apt choice of material and optimum fabrication, a well-thought-out functionality, and the difference and joy in it. Of course, the well-designed and attractive packaging on the shelf is going to grab your attention.

successful packaging
Pondicherry Collection Incense.
successful packaging
Pondicherry Collection Incense.
Seasonings by Milagro

CG: How is packaging different in today’s times? Apart from just a pack that people throw away, how do you get your designs to serve a greater purpose? Or is the purpose only to lure people and then packaging design loses its purpose as soon as the product is purchased?

Impprintz. The primary purpose of any successful packaging is to protect the product. By using vibrant and positive colour schemes, artistic illustrations and imagery and durable materials, packaging can prove to be an informative, enriching and an educative experience even in the process of selling/buying the product.

Mason&Co Limited Edition
successful packaging
Indigenous organic boxer shorts.
Zuka Chocolate Bars

CG: How is packaging for an incense stick different from say, a bottle? Do you believe it’s the same thought process and concepts that need to be exercised or does packaging design vary from project to project?

Impprintz. In terms of process, all packaging design projects begin with a similar set of questions and critical analysis, but then they begin to take shape within their own parameters. Each project has its unique requirements, vision, communication, market segment, timelines and fabrication possibilities. What never changes is the spirit to deliver the best; more than what the client asks for.

successful packaging
Special Incense Packs.
MasonCo Diwali Packs

CG: And finally, what advice would you give people who want to take up packaging design and make a difference?

Impprintz. Packaging design is a field in itself. It is a container of creative storytelling where two-dimensional design meets the third dimension. It is important to promote people, products, and concepts that you believe in. Keep trying new methods and ideas; there is always more to learn.

successful packaging
Mason & Co chocolate bars.
successful packaging
Mason & Co chocolate bars.
Packaging for Herbs by Milagro
successful packaging
Massage Oil Boxes.

Published in Issue 26

Packaging is the first vital step towards enchanting the audience. Who doesn’t like a cute box or a trendy bottle? With this issue, Creative Gaga lets the cat out of the box to reveal the world of packaging design. Featuring various local and international designers like Petar Pavlov from Macedonia and Brandziac from Russia, Elephant Design and Impprintz from Pune, the issue promises to be a keepsake for many.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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It’s a digital age, one doesn’t need a subject to pose before them for hours, simply a photograph is enough. Graphic design student, Sri Harsha Andukuri takes us through a step by step guide on making a digital portrait of any famous celebrity, in this case, Hollywood’s own Scarlett Johansson.

Step 1

Fixing the Canvas and Preparing the Outline

The process of portrait begins by fixing of the canvas. This is achieved through Photoshop, where a new file is opened with an A3 size. This is followed by creating an outline of the image using a red colour, on a new layer. The colour red is selected because it highlights profiles and edges in the middle of the painting. Then, marking of highlights and shadows in a new layer using red colour and a textured brush with opacity 7% and 14%.

Step 2 

Filling Base Colour for Skin

Once the above step is completed to satisfaction, a colour palette of shades, tints and neutrals are made for the skin. A new layer is then added and a neutral colour with full opacity is used as the base colour for the body. At this point, any colour exceeding outlines is erased.

Digital Portrait of Scarlett Johansson

Step 3 

Detailing the Face

This is then followed by creating a new layer yet again, where the base colour of the eyes is filled using a brush with full opacity. Here, colours exceeding any outline are erased. Subsequently, a new layer is created for highlights, shadows and details for the eyes. The next step requires painting in highlights and shadows of the nose and other facial areas using a colour palette with a textured brush bearing 7%, 14% and 21% opacities.

Step 4 

Detailing the Lips

Following the fixed colour palette, a base colour is filled with 100% opacity first for the lips. Highlights and shadows of the lips are drawn in a new layer with a small size textured brush with 7% opacity. Using a small brush at this point enhances precision and detail.

Step 5 

Painting Rest of the Skin 

Going further down, shadows and highlights of the neck area, collarbone and chest are painted using the colour palette for the skin.  Used a textured brush of opacity 7% and 14% in a new layer.

Step 6 

Painting the Dress 

In a similar way, the base colour, shadows and highlights of the dress and its drapes are painted. Here too, a separate colour palette is fixed for this.

Step 7 

Painting the Hands 

Keeping shadows and highlights in mind, the arms are also painted in a similar way as in step 5.

Step 8 

Detailing the Hair 

The most challenging part of the portrait is a painting of the hair. The most time-consuming step; a new layer is filled with the solid base colour of hair, taken from a selected colour palette. Carefully then, hair is divided and marked into different parts according to its flow. This is followed by the creation of another new layer in which a number of strokes are drawn along the flow of hair in each and every part which is marked. A new layer over this one is then added which is used to blend all these parts using a brush with less opacity, in order to link the hair flow.

Step 9 

Fixing the Background

Finally, a new layer is added below all of these layers and filled with a solid colour. A shade of the base colour is selected, as in the palette, and is painted in a new layer to create a vignette feeling to the background. Another layer is subsequently added in which a 30% opacity gradient of black colour in multiple modes is employed. Upon completion, save the file as a jpeg and open in Adobe Lightroom where the portrait can be post edited for the desired outcome.

Published in Issue 25

Creative Gaga kicks off the year with an issue that asks the important questions, is it the web that’s leading the brands or the other way around? With 2014 witnessing an increase in brands investing in digital marketing, 2015 will only be bigger. We can say India has accepted the revolution, where more and more people are opening browsers to e-commerce, literally window shopping, and setting up shops online as well. The issue brings together renowned designers with digital experience, who discuss and throw light on the pros and cons of this change and where we possibly are headed with this in the future.

 

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Arshad Sayyed

Arshad Sayyed Chief Creative Officer of Wallcano

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Pandemics have always forced people to break with the past and imagine their life anew. Recently the whole world has come under the siege of the Coronavirus. Resulting in every human is trapped in his house. “Trust no one, Did you wash your hands? I am unwell, am I infected?” such thoughts must be flocking your mind constantly. However, there are two sides of the same coin. Let’s have a look…

On the personal front, ‘Quarantine Time’ has turned into ‘Quality time with my family’ which is very surreal. Bucket list, box cricket, home decoration, hobbies have become the discussion points on the dining table. Not only this, but I have also become the ultimate master chef in the kitchen. However, this surely gives you an eerie feeling when you step out of the house to buy groceries and find silent streets, no children playing, no more groups of college students on couples strolling. And not to forget the biggest blessing in disguise is the gift on mother nature which is on her healing course. The much-underrated hand sanitizer has become the talk of the town.

The ‘Work From Home’ culture has become the new cool. WhatsApp, FaceTime & Zoom is dominating the once serious conference room. Online classes and payments with less personal contact are making us entirely tech dependant. Future upcoming offices might start using the ‘six feet concept’ where working desks will be kept six feet apart reminding people to distance themselves. Also, hand sanitizing stations and lesser full-time workforce will become a compulsion.

Whether this is a paradigm shift or just a passing phase is uncertain for now. I would like to collect whatever good we receive from this pandemic and put to use. Hence a lesson well learn. Remember we are all in this together! WE ARE CHANGE.

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Through original and vibrant illustrations, Ranganath Krishnamani captures the look and feel of Corona virus induced pandemic. Here is a conversation to unravel the art, colours, style and mindset of the artist battling the quarantine.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Drying out our new accessories.

What are some of the unforeseen inspirations and problems you’ve stumbled upon during this lockdown?

Ranganath. I firmly believe that limitation is an excellent opportunity to kindle creativity. The confines of our home can urge us to be imaginative. My quarantine series is a self-initiated project where I attempt to capture urban life and its nuances during Corona virus pandemic. I captured our new normal by portraying human beings inside everyday objects, thus emphasising the current state. Creative inspirations can be found everywhere, outdoors or indoors, this project is an excellent example of that.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Lights On. A salute to all the superheroes in the front line, fighting against all odds, serving people, saving lives.

Has this Corona virus pandemic changed your perception of the world? If yes, how has it affected your art?

Ranganath. The quarantine made me rethink about my choices and my lifestyle. I enjoy nature, and I understood the value of my freedom because of this lockdown. Corona virus pandemic has highlighted the unbeatable human spirit, this along with the new way of life are the themes I’m currently focusing on.

Together. A creative take on staying home with family and following some simple guidelines. Stay Home!

Art is not an essential service. Has this affected your work? How are you managing such an unprecedented situation?

Ranganath. Fortunately, neither my professional front nor my self- initiated art projects are affected due to Corona. Through art, we can communicate, educate and bring changes in the society. Art is the medium I use to convey my ideas. My objective is to engage the audience and bring positive changes.

Blending work. Video calls, mindfulness, fitness and experimenting with new flavours and recipes. The new norm!

What are your thoughts on work from home as an artist? What kind of impact does this have on your working process?

Ranganath. Studio or at home, it doesn’t make any difference to me. Creative work requires long hours of focus and deliberate practice, the place does not matter. The advantages of working from home is that because of current technology, we can meet our clients, share our work, get feedback and work on it without having to travel or wade through traffic.

Brewing work from home. Finding our own little comfort work corners at home to get work done!

Corona virus pandemic has made us realise that in trying times, people turn to art and literature. Do you think that this is going to create a lasting impression in the field of art?

Ranganath. Art and literature are great methods to unwind and deal with stressful times. People have returned to their hobbies, and they now understand the value of art and literature. I’m sure that this trend will continue. I hope this period help people realise their passion and dreams, giving them the confidence to take risks and try something new.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Prioritising fitness. Making time for the much-needed physical activity during the week given the restricted access to outdoors.

How did your journey in art begin?

Ranganath. I’ve always nursed an affiliation towards art. I distinctly remember drawing on the walls of my house at the age of six. I began reinforcing my passion once I obtained formal education in art. My journey started with pencils, charcoal, acrylics and watercolours. And with the advent of digital art, I began exploring diverse fields within art and started experimenting with my style. I consciously attempt to create artwork with meaning and purpose that goes beyond aesthetics.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Celebrating the extraordinary person called mother. Someone who motivates you to eat healthy, stay fit and take care of yourself.

From Kathakali dancer to Taj Mahal to still life, your artworks are varied and diverse. What is your creative process?

Ranganath. My creative process is to try and do something every day. Travel inspires me; I sketch the scenes and thoughts in my sketchbook, and once I start making connections with other elements and situation, I turn it into a series. I approach all my artworks as series since it helps me refine my perspective and dive deeper into the subject. My process begins with a simple exploration of ideas; this helps me develop a central theme and concepts for the series. I try to form a connection between objects, situation and scenario, thus narrating a story from my perspective.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Social Distance - A great opportunity to revisit a hobby. Try something new, Stay safe.

How does culture influence your artworks?

Ranganath. Culture plays an integral role in my artworks. I try to capture the uniqueness of our culture, which is under threat due to globalisation. The setting, objects and costumes subtly contribute to the narration. My works are a reflection of my interpretation of all that fascinates me. Irrespective of the medium, the common thread which strings my artworks together are culture and identity.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Celebrating the extraordinary person called mother. Someone who motivates you to eat healthy, stay fit and take care of yourself.

Could you shine some light on the techniques used and the process behind your colour selection?

Ranganath. My colour palette largely depends on the subject portrayed. It is generally minimal, ranging between three to four colours. Initially, I used to work with monochrome since it allowed me to focus on the form and composition. Colours have the power to change the overall mood of artwork; I started using it responsibly once I understood this. I first choose the colours I intend to work with, from there it is just a creative problem solving, where we manipulate the colours to arrive at the best possible outcome.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Giving time a break - enjoying me time by the window, getting a glimpse of the outside world between online meetings and video calls

It is particularly intriguing to note that upon going through your artworks, most of them, though detailed, do not possess detailed facial features. Is there any significance for this?

Ranganath. I refrain from adding facial features since it deters the audience from the overall story of the artwork. Furthermore, the viewers can comfortably perceive themselves in the scene when the artwork is devoid of faces. However, this is a recent style; in the past, I have created artworks with facial features as well.

Enjoying the fresh summer showers from the confines of the patio.

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

Aaron Pinto
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Aaron Pinto aka Kidsquidy, is a visual artist and also the drummer for the Deathgrind Band Gutslit. He has previously worked with MTV India as their senior designer. Aaron primarily works with the Indian subculture from designing album covers and band merchandise to art direction and creating music videos.


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We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

We all have seen many pencil sketches but these artworks created by the artist Premraj Meher are little unique.

 

The artist smartly captures the essence of the Indian cities, culture and state in each portrait. He tries to embed multiple Indian iconic symbols, patterns and props strategically to enhance the overall composition. Each artwork brings its own unique story and inspires you to create one of your own!

 

 

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With the vision of his masterpiece shining bright in his mind, illustrator Yogesh Bhusare has been working towards his design and product brand since the day he graduated. Expanding his knowledge and skills regularly, he has worked with well-known clients and is close to achieve his dream. Here are the highlights of the conversation with him.

masterpiece
Tribal India. Fusing tribal art with the new tincture of modern vibrant colours.

Urging himself to experiment with styles and daily referencing has broadened illustrator, Yogesh Bhusare’s portfolio and helped in his transition from an event agency to Taproot India to an art director at Leo Burnett. Picking up positives from his work place combined with sheer hard work has led him to display his thoughts that are close to materialising into his masterpiece.

masterpiece
Arty truck. Inspired by Indian Trucks.

CG. From minimal illustration to multiple image collage to freehand doodling, you seem to be trying all the different styles. How does it help you and which one of these styles you enjoy most?

Yogesh. I love experimenting with styles. I usually do a lot of referencing and that’s like a daily habit for me. When I come across something that is new and inspiring, I try to experiment with it, adding my sense of art. My personal style involves much of doodling, but I am inclined more towards experimenting rather than sticking to one style. An awesome concept in mind will just be useless without the proper skill, discipline and style to make them.

This was a small art tribute given by the artist for our loved president and the rocket man of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

CG. How do colours, detailing and typography make themselves heard on your canvas?

Yogesh. Colours represent the mood that an artist is in while typography is like the feelings. Every artist uses them to display the thoughts he has in his head. Detailing is the factor of patience and the satisfaction of the artist.

masterpiece
As day turns into night in this illustration, the rapt human is frozen into inaction much like the city he lives in.

CG. You have worked with many big bands, so how do you manage to engage them with your illustrations?

Yogesh. I see them through my perception as a common man and what would bring that sense of attachment and engagement to me when I see the brand. I then try to incorporate the same in my work

Modern Sanyaasi. A theme that exists across the religions, is taking Sanyaas i.e. abandoning the settled life and walking one’s way to godliness.

CG. How do you develop a client-designer relationship? How does that help or hinder the design process?

Yogesh. Communication and transparency between designer and client lead to trust, flexibility, diplomacy, collaboration and creativity. Designers are not the mind readers, so it is important for designers and clients to develop a partnership by working together, collaborating ideas and asking questions that explore and specify all key factors, details, and goals of a project. This helps the designer to develop his art and makes the whole process easy

Holy Men of India. This piece is an abstract portrait of the symbol of everything holy in India viz a Hindu sadhu.

CG. What is your dream project? How close are you to achieving the same?

Yogesh. My Dream project is to own a design and product brand, and I am close to it I believe! In fact, I have just started my own brand on a small level. My brand name is AWWSOME and eventually will see it growing with time.

Space Age Ganesha. Doodling has no bounds; this theme is most clear in the technological avatar of Lord Ganesha.

CG. Your advice for the young illustrator on achieving the early success in career?

Yogesh. Many people just dream about what you have and wish they had a career like yours to carve the thoughts on a paper. If you have the passion and you are lucky enough to be in the profession of your choice, make the best out of it.

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

 

36 Days of Type is a project that invites designers, illustrators and graphic artists to create their own interpretations of alphabets and numbers. More information about the project here.

 

Illustrator Parvati Pillai beautifully captured the variety of fairytales in each alphabet.

 

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It’s really good to see more inspiring illustrations and designs by Indian Illustrators/Designers during the second phase of COVID-19. Let them coming and keep sharing your creations to be part of this list.