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Panini-Pandey-Creative-Gaga

A key factor to be successful is clarity on the path forward. Panini Pandey, a New York based visual artist seems to have all that and more. He explains his process, his thoughts on design principles, and the importance of a rationale while designing.

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Panini’s journey of being a visual artist began at the end of his last academic year of school, when he decided to stick with design. Also his uncle, who was the first person from his family to enter the field of advertising, became the primary influence who got him interested in digital design.

 

Panini thoroughly enjoys problem solving and loves working on identity system designs besides UI/UX. He recently developed an interest in film-making and intends to pursue music video direction and artist branding, without completely giving up UI/UX.

Panini-Pandey-Creative-Gaga
Panini-Pandey-Creative-Gaga

While talking about the key aspects for designing for a brand, Panini believes the design rationale is extremely important.

 

In order to give a visual identity to an idea, its vital to understand the brand thoroughly and balance the business aspects with the emotional aspects, so that the design not only communicates to the targeted demographic, but also does justice to the tone and voice of the brand.

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Before starting a project Panini likes to mind-map so he can come up with real ideas. He believes the first 10-15 ideas are on the surface and are possibly heavily influenced by something he has seen recently.

 

After he has sufficient key-words and material to start visual explorations. Although, at certain point, Panini likes to restrict himself with some rules to ensure he doesn’t get too confused. Design must be functional, not just beautiful. Panini likes his designs to have a proper breakdown with rationale for each visual element.

Panini-Pandey-Creative-Gaga
Panini-Pandey-Creative-Gaga

To perfectly blend an image with type, Panini explains that the type must compliment the image visually and retain the tone in which the message needs to be communicated. Playing with positive and negative spaces of the image for type layouts, and taking inspiration from the shapes and forms (if there is a possibility) to choose the correct typeface, is a great approach.

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Colours need to be chosen carefully as well. Different colours trigger different emotions, so colour schemes have a direct impact on a narrative, the same way it works in movies – how cold and warm colours can completely change the way we look at movies. However, I like to keep accessibility in my mind too when I decide a colour schemes.

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For Panini solving problems visually is the most exciting part about design. And as a visual artist, creative block is a challenge he needs to face on and off. He gets overwhelmed if he is too inspired, thus from the beginning he restricts himself to certain rules about what direction he wishes to explore further after the initial explorations.

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Panini finds his everyday inspiration from Instagram and Muzli app on Google chrome. And believes reading case studies is the best way to stay on top of trends, as well as gain a better understanding of the rationale behind other’s design in order to push unique ideas forward. Some trends saturate quickly because people follow them blindly and create aesthetically pleasing but non functional design.

Issue 47 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 47

Portfolios ready and design graduate all set to grab their first dream job in the studio and agency they admire. And on the other side, the industry is always on the look for the fresh talent to acquire. The issue is full of advice on, what to expect from your first job, how to be prepared to get the best opportunities and much more. So if you are a recent graduate or looking to hire fresh talent, this is a must-have for you. So go ahead and order your copy now!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

The young partners of Design Studio Hawraf, shut down their studio with grace and dignity, and let the world into the inner workings of their business.

When you dream of establishing your own design studio, you’ve got your entry into the industry all planned out. Careful thought is put into the business model, marketing strategy, and everything else required to begin. Right till the boat is sailing, the blue print is in place.

But you would never meticulously plan the ‘shutting down’ of your design studio, right? It just seems so bizarre, especially since the goal always is to expand and soar higher. But the death of design firms and companies is a reality. We see far more businesses disappearing than actually making it big. In such a scenario, wouldn’t it make sense to plan the end of your studio as well, instead of simply fading into the background?

As outlandish as that may sound, the New York-based design studio, Hawraf, did just that.

 

Hawraf was the result of a collaborative relationship between Andrew Herzog, Carly Ayres and Nicky Tesla, who worked together at Google Creative Lab. They founded Hawraf in 2016, and within a short period made quite an impact on the design industry. Hawraf is particularly infamous for its bold and interactive work, and pushing boundaries through lateral design approaches. Hawraf began on the ethos of transparency and increased engagement with users. They believed in being an open book, allowing the whole world to watch as they experimented, failed, learnt, and finally found radical solutions to design problems. An important principle that drove them is questioning conventional solutions and looking for ideas that are most relevant to the problem.

Here is an example of their out-of-the-box ideas. Andrew Herzorg once went around his neighbourhood glueing moss onto fire hydrants and subway stops. It’s a known adage that moss grows on the north side of a wall. As an experiment with wayfinding, Andrew put this idea to practice and pushed the boundaries of traditional design practice.

Design Studio Hawraf

Within no time their design work was recognized and greatly appreciated globally. Andrew was named as one of Print Magazine’s 15 under 30 New Visual Artists, and Carly was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, apart from the very many accolades they received.

Design Studio Hawraf

Yet, early this year the partners announced the end of Hawraf. What is interesting is that their decision to shut down had little to do with the studio success and more to do with their personal goals. After working together and watching the studio unfold and evolve, the partners soon realized that their personal ambitions were misaligned. With this awareness, they took the bold decision to shut down now and go with a bang, instead of struggling to make it work till the business turned sour.

Design Studio Hawraf

But what made this decision truly amazing, is the way they executed their exit. Hawraf was built on the principle of transparency and interaction. Keeping this in mind, they published their internal documents in a public google drive folder, for anyone to refer to.

The public folder serves as a guide to anyone looking to start on their own. Right from proposal decks, to pricing strategy spreadsheets, to do’s and don’ts of company culture, press tips, profits and losses, founders’ values; everything that an entrepreneur would encounter at the start of the venture is addressed in the folder.

In 2016, Hawraf entered the design industry and took the world by storm. And now as they shut down, they leave with equal style.

Design Studio Hawraf
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48