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Maintaining the classic Helvetica simplicity, the latest launch gives new designers the opportunity to be more flexible and express themselves with digital versatility.

The Monotype Studio just released a variable version of the world’s most popular font, which provides the audience with millions of fonts in one file. Unlike the new one, the previous font formats required each style in a family to have a separate file whereas Helvetica Now Variable wraps the DNA for each style into one tiny package.

Designers now have the freedom to blend weights, from hairline to extra black and optimal sizes, four-point to infinity and use new compressed and condensed widths for huge flexible typographic expression. They can also move through the entire sequence to seamlessly mix, match and custom create millions of variations on the theme.

Image resource: Monotype

This also allows designers to add in an extensive width axis to help them fit more into less space. This serves as a responsive design for the web or for small supports like smartwatch screens or micro packaging.

Image resource: Monotype

Helvetica Now Variable Pro Roman and Pro Italic can be found via Monotype Fonts, or you can get it from MyFonts.com priced at $299 or €329 each. The Helvetica Now Variable Family Pack costs $499 or €549, although there’s an introductory offer of 60 percent off until 27 August 2021.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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BYJU‘S acquired Aakash Educational Services (AESL) in April 2021. A new combined logo has now been released to signify the merger of the two entities.

Aakash Educational Services (AESL), is amongst the popular academic test preparatory coaching centres in India. It has now been merged with the rather well known Bengaluru-based education technology company, BYJU’S, recognised primarily by its app that goes by the same name. This collaboration has been signified by a modification in the brand name of the two. Simply by adding a plus sign to a combined logo formed by bringing together their existing logos.

Logo of AESL and BYJUs

The managing director of Aakash Educational Services Aakash, Aakash Chaudhary, made the statement, “The seamless merger of Aakash with Byjus’s could not have come at a better time for the education sector. The hybrid model of learning has become the need of the hour both for the quality and the continuity of education. Our new logo has everything to do with ‘plus’. It represents a sign of value addition to our respective brands as well as to our customers. It also highlights our shared vision to create a new value proposition for the student community and boost the learning ecosystem.”

Since BYJU’S acquired AESL in April 2021, AESL has been creating personalised learning programs. These programs combine offline and online learning. They hence serve as tools for students to access and apply across both mediums.

Logo of AESL and BYJUs

Buji Raveendran, founder and chief executive officer, Byju said, “Our collective expertise in pedagogy, content, and technology has enabled us to build omnichannel learning. This offering will transform the test-prep experience for students.”

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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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Introduced in June 2021, Google’s new tool – Paint with Music allows you to combine painting and music with just some brush strokes. Being the second experiment of Google with painting as the centrepiece, this new tool functions uniquely!

Google - Paint with Music

Paint with music, powered by Magenta’s DDSP Library and aided by machine learning, turns the brush strokes into musical notes. Although your paintbrush is the main tool helping to make music you can play many instruments on the website or application as well. With just a little knowledge of music, you can make your Paint With Music experience easier.

The website gives you an option to select amongst a variety of sensory canvases; “in the sky,” “underwater,” “on the road,” and “on paper.”After selecting the canvas of your choice, select from the wide range of instruments, the one you want your brush to sound like. And once you start your experiment, on the stage canvas, machine learning (ML), and special sound effects come together to make your painting talk or produce music.

In comparison, Google AI’S Chimera Painter, which was launched in November 2020, Paint with Music is very different. Chimera Painter enabled users to create a fleshed-out creature based on a rough sketch and the tool added online features and textures and is primarily focused on the game developers.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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BBC Creative, the company’s in-house agency, recently launched its Japanese style Olympics 2020 campaign through a 1-minute trailer.

After a year of anticipation and postponement, the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics 2020 is not too far this month. Thereby, BBC Creative, in association with Nexus Studios and Factory Fifteen, has created a trailer in honour of the global sporting event through Japanese art and culture.

Referring to the project, BBC Creative Director Tim Jones said: “An Olympics hosted in Tokyo was a real gift – a city rich in pop culture, hosting the world’s most eclectic sporting event. It gave us the opportunity to push our campaign both conceptually and in its execution… I’ve watched the edit more times than I can count and I still spot something new or something I forgot we included.”

The minute-long campaign, ‘Let’s Go There,’ projects the ambience in Tokyo to be a celebration of the Olympics that reflects in all its elements – shops, street signs, arcades and even a J-Pop music video full of Olympic references.
Every frame of the video, though made to feel continuously shot through a single camera, is packed with a wide range of original artwork by Nexus Director and contemporary artist, Fantasista Utamaro. More than 50 “easter egg moments” spread through the 60 seconds ensure one spot a new element every time.
Factory Fifteen, the directorial collective made up of Kibwe Tavares, Jonathan Gales and Paul Nichols, adds: “We love bringing places to live with a heightened sense of reality and fantasy, often using the environment as a character. It was amazing to re-interpret evocative Japanese scenes with the world’s biggest sports and athletes woven into the city through authentic design and storytelling.”
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Taking a cue from each other and the current pandemic (COVID-19) situation, brands are altering their logos to incorporate relevant positive messages and stay connected with their audience.

Staying in tune with the times and realities of the day, many-a-modification and changes have come to be witnessed in various social arenas. In a bid to adapt and stay relevant, brands too are trying to connect with consumers by acknowledging COVID-19 Warriors providing some sort of respite through the likes of a variety of aid such as oxygen cylinders, food, beds, medicines and even financial or social support of one kind or another.

Dettol, as an example, has replaced its iconic logo with pictures and life stories of covid soldiers.
As many as four million such Dettol packs bearing a short description of these people and their humble acts are being sold across five lakh stores across India.
“These packs will carry a message of hope across the country,” said Dilen Gandhi, regional marketing director, South Asia, health and nutrition, Reckitt. “We believe these stories, when shared, give a sense of much-needed optimism among those seeing them. Therefore, as a brand, we have for the first time in Dettol’s history, given up our logo to share their actions,” he went on to add.
Similar is the case with Ghadi detergent, owned by RSPL Ltd – Introducing a face mask on its pack logo, encouraging people to follow Covid appropriate behaviour shipping with the message, “Bachaav Mein Hi Samajhdaari Hain” (Sense lies in being precautions).
Although only digitally, even Slice juice has managed to do so, allowing one to scan their logo through its Instagram filter to reveal an inspiring Covid Warrior’s story.
If such moves by brands can be a subtle and repeated reminder for people, helping overcome the pandemic, it’s a welcome move to be gladly acknowledged.
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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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The Indian company, Polygon, is making the headlines in the NFT world as it launches Beeple’s Wenew.

Polygon is a layer 2 ethereum scaling solution. Co-founded four years ago in 2017 by three Indian software engineers, Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal and Anurag Arjun, its vision and intent are to bring about a positive change in the usability and ease of the current decentralised NFT (non-fungible) ecosystem.

Beeple (actual name, Mike Winkelmann), the artist who recently sold his most expensive piece of work for $69 million in March, approached Polygon to reduce the environmental impact of his NFT platform, Wenew, which will serve to sell iconic sports, fashion and political moments in time. Beeple, thereby, hailed the company as the go-to Ethereum scaling solution.

As per Polygon, the launch of WeNew on its platform proves to be a significant new step to its growing NFT ecosystem comprising of tooling, marketplaces, big brands, artists, creators, and celebrities. Wenew’s iconic collections will also involve NFTs featuring Andy Murray’s Wimbledon 2013 victory, which shall be minted on Polygon.

Polygon’s Commit Chain applies the method of point of sale (POS) architecture, which is how the NFTs that are present on its platform turn out to be environmentally friendly and have a low carbon footprint.

“This makes Polygon the best scaling solution for Beeple’s WeNew platform, whose mission is to become the premier curator and provisioner of iconic moments,” Polygon said in a blog.

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban, owner of NBA team Dallas Mavericks, also recently invested an undisclosed sum in Polygon.
The NFT space has boomed recently with the oncoming of various musicians and digital artists accessing this route as a means to sell their work in the form of collectables or art.
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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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Renowned global toy manufacturing company, Lego, is now attempting to be ecologically sustainable by 2030.

Established in the year 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, the Danish company, Lego, is amongst the world’s leading toy brands even in the technologically advancing day and age of today.

Since the early part of the 1960s, most of Lego’s innumerable pieces of bricks have been produced from a form of plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
However, Lego is now in the process of creating a strategy that will make all its core products from environmentally sustainable materials by 2030. Its sustainability goals thus include creating bricks from bioplastic and being able to generate little to no waste. Just the previous year, Lego announced that it would begin eliminating single-use plastic from its boxes.
This time, prototypes of the renewed brick were created from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), a kind of thermoplastic that is used to make everyday items such as bottles and clothing.
This plastic, acquired from the USA, revealed that a 1-litre plastic bottle provided sufficient raw material to create about ten of Lego’s 2×4 bricks.
Lego went through the arduous process of trying out more than 250 different formulations of recycled plastic to come up with a brick that complies with the company’s quality, safety and play requirements.
At the same time, being able to find a material as durable as traditional ABS has been a challenge for the global toymaking brand.
“For us, the challenge comes from needing materials that can be moulded to the accuracy of a hair width to ensure bricks produced today fit with those made over 60 years ago, while being durable and safe enough to be handled by children day-in, day-out,” said Lego.
In spite of that, Lego stands by its word of inspiring not just pay but also a positive impact. “We’re committed to playing our part in building a sustainable future for generations of children,” it stated.
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Dabur to shift its Red toothpaste packaging to a carton-free one in a move to empower underprivileged kids at C.R.Y with notebooks while also being ecologically more conscious and sensitive.

Dabur Red Toothpaste

Dabur India Ltd has decided to get rid of the outer paper cartons from its Ayurvedic toothpaste brand Dabur Red Paste. The paper thereby generated from this process would provide notebooks to underprivileged children supported by Child Rights and You (CRY).

Simultaneously, a special outer paper carton-free low unit price (LUP) pack created in particular for rural masses is another work in progress that serves as an extended part of the initiative.

This being a first of its kind step by any Toothpaste brand in the country was highlighted by Rajeev John, Dabur India Ltd Vice President Marketing-Personal Care, as he announced the launch of Dabur’s initiative to shift to carton-free packs with a new eco-friendly design.

He went on to add, “This is a pilot initiative being rolled out in Modern Trade outlets, to begin with. Together, this move is expected to result in an annual saving of 150 tons of paper.”

This rather straight-forward change of simply shifting to carton-free packs leads to a significant impact on the larger difference it can make in terms of effective and efficient usage of resources, waste generation and management as also towards culturing greater eco-friendly sensitivity in people. A family of four can now thus be aware that the carton they would have otherwise discarded is now in the form of an empowering educational tool in the hands of a less privileged child. Dabur is to be donating more than 1.2 lakh notebooks as part of this campaign.

This carton-free eco-friendly packaging is being executed in key Modern Trade outlets in a joint initiative with Reliance Retail.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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The Indian award tally has increased by one metal since past two Cannes Lions Festival Of Creativity, Dentsu Webchutney visibly playing a huge role in it.They are now India’s most successful digital agency with innumerable awards.

Dentsu Webchutney, the digital agency from the house of Dentsu Aegis Network has contributed in increasing India’s awards tally at the Cannes Lions 2021 with 7 metals and 20 shortlists consisting of 4 Silver Lions and 3 Bronze Lions.

Being the only Indian winner on Day 3, Dentsu won in the Entertainment category bagging a silver lion for ‘The World’s Most Reported Trailer’ for Trigger Happy Entertainment’s Thappad starring Taapsee Pannu in the engagement/distribution sub-category. In the trailer the actress is seen speaking directly to the audience, encouraging them to report the trailer. Within a few hours of the trailer’s release, it was taken down by YouTube, becoming the world’s first trailer to be removed from the platform and proving that if abuse is reported action will be taken.

Subsequently, Webchutney won three silver and two bronze lions for VICE Media’s ‘The 8-Bit Jurno’ an initiative they took to keep updating the Kashmiris with the world who were missing out on news due to the limited internet access for more than 4 months. Together with Webchutney, VICE curated youth-relevant news and sent them through SMS to thousands of Kashmiris during those hard times.

On Day 4 of the festival, Dentsu Webchutney bagged another bronze lion under the Creative eCommerce category for Swiggy Instamart’s campaign ‘The Better Half Recipes’, which displayed a distinct idea of ‘equality’. This ingenious cookbook spittled the recipe amongst partners to bring ‘equality into the kitchen’.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 52