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“The idea is getting lost.” “How about a bigger logo?” “I can’t shorten the headline.” These are the often repeated lines in an advertising agency. For an art director, the challenge is to meet all such expectations in a single design. Senior Creative Director Denzil Machado explains how keeping designs minimalist and simple can meet all of these to satisfy both creativity and the brand objective.

Advertising
Cat Paws. When the idea is the visual itself, nothing else is needed.
Advertising
Doggy Paws. Print and Poster Campaign for Sanitol Hand Sanitizers

Leave it to the Audience

Advertising is different from other design areas like graphic designing and illustration. That’s because it’s an integrated communication that involves a union of the idea, visual and words. The idea, no doubt, plays the most important role. And then the art form must compliment it, which is where the challenge lies. The best way is to let the audience decode an idea, helped by a design. That’s when an artwork is able to achieve the objective for the brand, the client and the agency.

Advertising
Bhole Bhandari
Advertising
Bulbul Pandey
Advertising
Komal Kanya

Make Your Visuals Talk

The objective is to do more with less. It’s a great challenge to try and solve a problem visually, without saying much. Especially when you have to say it all, integrating the product, idea, logo, copy, etc., all in one communication. Unlike a film which has the support of a narrative or dialogue, along with music and moving images, visual communication in advertising has to be made powerful on its own. Making intelligent use of colours, motifs and patterns help in doing so keeping it simple and minimalistic is the key. As a great mind once put it, “Simple is beautiful, but it is also most difficult to do something simple.” This is definitely tough, yet the most exciting part of the business.

Slipping Rooster
Slipping Pig
Slipping Goat

Protect the Child Inside You

Usually, during the initial phase of an advertising career, people prefer to be spontaneous. At that raw time, they are primarily driven by instinct. And they just use elements because ‘they felt like it.’ However, after one reaches a certain stage and the game is played on a bigger level, it’s important to get a lot more calculative. It becomes necessary to carefully think through ideas again and maybe once again. It becomes important to ask ‘why am I using this font and not that? Why this colour and texture?’ You need to justify and reason out with everything you use. But the source remains instinct. The trick is to keep the child in you alive.

Reebok Gear
Reebok Gear

Find out the “Aha” Moment

Well, there is no one way to go about design in advertising. Every brief, every page is something different. The variations in the nature of the ideas, clients, brands and target audience enable an art director to experiment with a myriad style of visual expressions. Ranging from traditional Indian to contemporary, the page is all yours. However, the objective is always the same – to make decoding the visual communication an interesting experience for the target audience. Right when your audience connects to your communication and exclaims “aha”, your design meets success.

Tarantula
Lizard. Print and Poster campaign for Hanes Tagless Innerwear

Stop Aping the West

It’s common to spot an art director flipping through the archive or referring to books like One Show, DnAD, etc, for that little push when one is stuck. No doubt, international advertising is inspiring and is doing rather well on the global level, but there is a lot of untapped potential in India, especially when it comes to design. Look locally. Look around. Extract from our incredibly rich and diverse art and culture. There are so many simple yet striking elements that can say so much on their own. There is a high possibility that designs, created using traditional inputs, might not even have crossed the mind of any artist sitting in an agency anywhere in the world. And that’s what makes it unique, utterly Indian.

Poster for India International Jewellery Show, IIJS
Poster for India International Jewellery Show, IIJS

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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They were a fad back in the 70s. They are redefining jewellery design now. Beads are adding contemporary sensibilities to classical thoughts to create jewellery for the women of today. Jewellery designer Riddhika Jesrani tells us how beads play a major role in creating elegant and modern jewellery designs

Statement Orange Day Beaded Necklace

Beads Represent an Evolution.

Women are evolving. They are becoming bolder and are willing to try new things. Fashion-oriented jewellery is one of these. Working with beads makes necklaces look grand and glamorous. How light reflects off faceted beads and makes the wearer shine is inspiring. It’s the attraction towards contemporary designs and materials that women are choosing to wear around their neck rather than traditional pieces. However, it’s important to not make the change look so drastic. That’s why adding some semi-precious stones helps bridge that thinking and strike a balance between the modern and traditional. It’s how vintage stories can be told in a young, contemporary manner.

Jewellery Design
Big Bold Gold Beaded Necklace

Jewellery is an Experience.

While designing, one must think about the person wearing it. How do you want her to feel? Once you have the answer to that question, use material, form, texture, and colour to design that feeling in your jewellery. Each piece is a story that can only be expressed with these four key elements. For example, a faceted bead will add a different look in a necklace than a plain red round one. If you’re looking to make the design fun, then just add some felt beads. If you’re working on kids’ collection, keep the colours bright and the textures fun enough for the kids to enjoy.

Jewellery Design
Signature Beaded Happy Buddha Necklace

There is Symmetry in Chaos.

It’s important to first visualise the design, scribble it out if required. Next, think of a colour scheme. Once that’s in place, pick out beads of different shape and size and lay them out. Then start eliminating. In other words, de-clutter. And you’ll realize that in the end, all you’re left with is what you string together. Make sure you take into consideration the colour and size of beads in order to balance your design.

Jewellery Design
Signature Beaded Sunny Yellow Necklace
Signature Beaded Purple Burst Necklace

Jewellery Need not be Serious.

Put some fun in it. Create designs that remind the wearer that it’s not always about being perfect. It’s about enjoying the moment and being comfortable with the way things are. We all know how Indians take their jewellery so seriously. The idea is to get customers to buy a piece because it makes them smile and feel good every time they put it on.

Jewellery Design
Signature Beaded Statement Elephant Necklace
Signature Beaded Disco Necklace

Fashion is Freedom.

Following fashion trends is totally out of fashion. What’s in, is to believe in your own style and follow what makes you comfortable in your skin. It’s this freedom that a jewellery designer must pass on. Treat each piece as an incomplete sentence, with a belief that the story becomes complete only when it is worn. After all, it’s not just about what statement the jewellery piece makes, but also about how the wearer wants to make that statement.

Jewellery Design
Signature Beaded Icy Pearl Necklace
Signature Beaded Fiery Tortoise Necklace

Be Idea-Driven Rather Than Technique Driven.

Because, if the idea is in place you will figure out a way to make it. An idea or a colour scheme can be drawn from anything, anytime. It could be a rainbow you spot while traveling or the unique combination of colours in the food you’re having. Inspiration can ignite anytime and that’s why it’s important to keep your eyes peeled and ears perked up for anything exciting. Don’t worry if you don’t know the technique. It can be learned on the job. Just be original and believe in your creativity and creations.

Jewellery Design
Signature Beaded Pitch Black Necklace
Peacock Frenzy

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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Every one of us responds to emotions in our own personal ways. But for all of us, it is an explosion. Sometimes it is expressed through an outburst, at other times, it just submerges within. Every time we explode, we lose a little bit of us. Digital Artist Fahd Hussein captures a moment in that explosion to create his piece, ‘Extraho’.

Step 1

Found a collection of stock textures on the net that would be the building blocks for the image. Found a wall texture and smoke/ ink in water shot.

Step 2

Dug out stock images of a broken egg shell and a jelly fish. These would be part of the visual elements to be used.

Step 3

Picked out an expressive face from T-gar’s stock collection on deviantart.com to create the ‘protagonist’ of the piece. Arranged the model’s face on top of the texture and erased out enough to force a seamless blend. Colour-toning the image helped in setting the mood. The green was chosen to give it a little ‘creep’ factor.

Step 4

Time to explode the face. Chopped off the eggshell and placed it to fit the contours of the face.

Step 5

Added some shading and colour to get the depth. Air-brushing helped to get the desired effect.

Step 6

Blended in some cracked earth/ peeling paint textures for stress marks where the face exploded.

Step 7

Took the smoke/ ink pic and masked it out to get the ‘hot smoke’ feel. Blended it in Screen mode to get the desired effect.

Step 8

Took a couple of the jellyfish pics, inverted, huerotated and curve-adjusted the jelly out of them till they looked adequately ominous.

Step 9

Took another one of T-Gar’s lovely face shots and placed them in line with the flow of the jellyfish body.

Step 10

Masked out the extra bits and did the usual blend-mode/ colour correction routine till it started looking natural.

Step 11

Did this for multiple jellyfish till a swarm was created.

Step 12

Placed it all together. The finished piece started taking shape a little.

Step 13

Added appropriate shading to get depth. Some ink-splats and similar textures were added to enhance the ‘creep’ factor. A liquid spurt on the head, some spot colour and final colour-toning signed it off.

Step 14

Got the final image.

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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Riddhika Jesrani

A graduate from Parsons School of Design, New York, Riddhika Jesrani worked as a packaging design artist for four years before taking up jewellery design. After studying jewellery design from GIA, she started her independent label in Mumbai.


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Fahd Hussein

Part of the OnSeed Artist Collective, he designs tees, merchandise & corporate promotional campaigns for a living.


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Neha Hattangdi

A postgraduate in Fine Arts from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, Neha Hattangdi started her career as a graphic designer at White Dwarf Designs, Mumbai. Currently, she works as a designer at MetaDesign, San Francisco.


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What happens when designs rise from a curious, innovative mind and meets the kind of expression that is liberating? What happens when designs are an amalgamation of ideas and inspirations accumulated across the life of a designer? Graphic Designer Neha Hattangdi explores these possibilities by exuding her inner self in every design to instinctively create a visual solution. She reflects on her thoughts and process.

Ideas Kindled by a Flame of Self-Expression!
Branding for BERLIN & BEYOND FILM FESTIVAL
Branding for BERLIN & BEYOND FILM FESTIVAL

Put Yourself Before The Process.

The process of creation begins with visuals conjuring up in the mind after the brief has been carefully read and the brand understood. In the visuals lies a cue to conquer the challenge that awaits at the end of the tunnel. Freeing the mind from opinions and limitations, playing along as the idea expands through the execution, design that dittoes the designer’s thoughts come into being. This spontaneous process is the most flexible and productive way to go ahead.

A series of posters inspired by the song ‘Aqueous Transmissions’ by Incubus.
Poster using type and photography to visualize a song and its meaning and emotion.

Design To Unveil And Educate.

A design school is nothing like working with clients. Working with assignments fare through easily. Whereas a design presented to the client has to stand a series of tests. Fitting well with brand guidelines, personality and objective and of course, personal liking. Some clients believe in playing safe, some may not know anything about design. The need of the hour varies with clients. So educating them becomes a part of a design presentation and convincing them, the objective. A good design is worth all that.

Branding, Illustration and Packaging for DUTCHBOY PAINTS

Meet People, Meet Ideas.

Interacting with people is surprisingly very inspiring. That’s what gives way to know their experiences, their inspirations and their work. Blogs, photographs, art, music etc can definitely be the source of inspiration but nothing beats a face to face conversation. It actually lifts the veil from some of the best work and the thought behind them. Moreover, in every conversation lie cues and insights that can strengthen a design and give ideas a long life.

Trash Talk. Combines illustrations with loud type and bright colors to bring in fun and humour to a dull subject
Trash Talk. Draws attention to the garbage produced every day, encouraging recycling
Trash Talk. Catches the eye of urban citizens and makes them realise the importance of recycling

Keep Yourself Detached From Your Idea.

There are all kinds of ideas. Some ideas are born brilliant, they just seem to make things work. While others could be troublesome and require a lot of time and energy to get chiselled before they look good and some just don’t work. The best way out is to never have an attachment with a particular idea or thought. If it has merit, it will survive. If not, you won’t like it anyway. Since being one’s own critic can be tough, feedback and opinions from others always come to rescue.

Branding for AIGA NOW
Branding for AIGA NOW
Branding for AIGA NOW

When Planning Ends, A Great Design Emerges.

A great design must be well-planted, not necessarily well-planned. After the subject, the elements need to fall in place.

Branding for BE ALERT FOR BIKERS
Branding for BE ALERT FOR BIKERS
Branding for BE ALERT FOR BIKERS

However, the layout is best when it is spontaneous. It introduces a special thrill to the whole creation, apart from making it more engaging and challenging. The beauty of searching the mind while exploring new elements, whether they grace the layout or go, makes a design unpredictable, more innovative and intriguing.

Cover Design. For the book Trash Talk.
Trash Talk. Draws attention towards garbage produced everyday and the huge difference recycling can make

Freedom Is Being New, Every Time.

Though signature works for some, not giving in to following a particular style is liberating in its own way. A designer’s true strength lies in following intuitions and treading territories that don’t exist for others. Going away from signature makes happen distinction, all the time.

Just Like That. Hand drawn type with pen and ink

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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The fashion photographer Sharon-Nayak lists down the essentials to capture those moments that make an occasion special.

Photography Occasion
Photography Occasion

01 Set the stage

Preparation is key to a good photo shoot. The authenticity of wedding costumes, background, and type of props being used, all add to the realism in the image. It is helpful to keep varied samples of expressions and body language references handy. Show them to the model in case they get stuck in getting the right expression. You never know where the motivation is going to come from.

Photography Occasion
Photography Occasion

02 Be ready for the occasion

Have a fair idea of the picture frame when you pull the shutter. But be open to experimenting with different angles and approaches. Never try to force a composition on your shoot. If something doesn’t work, for instance hair, background or a prop, it should be changed or replaced. Bridal shoots, by nature, is a dynamic process. The right moment and frame can crop up from places you never imagined.

Photography Occasion
Photography Occasion

03 Light up the mood

Lighting plays an important part in capturing the right emotion and mood of the setting. Plan the kind of mood you would like to capture. Then experiment with the lights, playing with their intensity and angles. It will allow you to find the most interesting way of expressing the subject. For example, a more chiaroscuro effect sets the mood and create a beautiful play of warm earthy tones.

Photography Occasion
Photography Occasion
Photography Occasion

04 Read the lips

Bridal photography is all about capturing the unuttered thoughts. The expressions of the subject should talk about emotions that make us stare and connect. Each moment is a story that may talk about happiness, nervousness, bashfulness even awkwardness or any such emotion. Try to capture these moments without making it look staged.

Photography Occasion

Questions you should ask yourself before a click

  • Is the subject in focus?
  • Is the light creating the desired effect?
  • Is the subject interesting?
  • Is the image composed with balance?
  • Does the frame emphasize the subject?
Photography Occasion

05 Present it perfect

Treatment of the images holds a lot of importance. During postproduction, be ready to change tones, manipulate colour and composition and alter moods altogether. After all, what you present as the final frame is going to sum up all your thoughts and efforts.

Photography Occasion

Published in Issue 11

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

 

Order Your Copy!

Sharon Nayak

After a 20-year stint in advertising, Sharon Nayak turned pro with the camera, specializing in fashion and lifestyle. She has also cofounded Sharon Nayak Design, a boutique creative consultancy.


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True beauty is unaware. It’s raw and it’s free. It cannot explain itself, neither can be explained. It just exists. From this belief takes birth Eureka Alphonso’s project ‘Birds of Paradise’, a symbolic celebration of free-spiritedness, unworldliness and innocence of bird-humans.

Eureka Unaware Beauty
Timid Grace
Eureka Unaware Beauty
The White Queen
Eureka Unaware Beauty
Mohawk

Eureka’s characters are neither humans nor birds, but a species that is a mixture of the two. Each creature happens to have a face that reflects that part of us which is free, beautiful and unaware, all at the same time. Oblivious to their own beauty, protagonist’s expression is a glimpse of its personality, which in turn, is inspired by a bird. Like the Mohawk, inspired by a rooster, demonstrates the latter’s warrior-like qualities. The idea has been to capture the effortless beauty of the bird-creatures and contrast them with their innocently raw expressions. Because human beings are imprisoned in minds, birds are not.

Published in Issue 11

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

 

Order Your Copy!