1

Itu Chaudhuri

Many of us look for upcoming trends to be ready for future demands of customers or clients. You already must have read many articles on predicting trends at the beginning of each year. Here read on for a very unique view on design trends by Itu Chaudhuri, founder and principal at Itu Chaudhuri Design.

It’s a modern, seasonal disease. The new year brings with it a thick flow of trend forecasts, cheery and sweeping, and we read them with the forgiving spirit that the holiday season demands. For Deep Design, it seems foolhardy to indulge, yet churlish to desist, so here’s a holiday smoothie on trends themselves.

Some trends forecast, such as those in fashion, are meant to be self-fulfilling. The great and big among the fashion industry make them. Thus buyers know what colours and styles to buy, and retailers know what to stock. The media is in it at the start, happy to report what the well-dressed citizen will be wearing. The consumer, she of the clued-in, independent mind, is eager to confirm: it’s only fitting. Paris/Milan/Mumbai know best; empty shelves help no one.

Trends

The communications industry, unlike those that stock things, doesn’t face the risk of empty shelves. Yet trends there surely are. The dozen or so portfolios and the artfully designed CVs that our office reviews monthly give a clear view into what the bottom of the food chain has been eating. A set of colour palettes, a certain taste in typefaces, and a tendency to gratuitously quantify, in order to contrive a graph to replace text (give yourself a 75% hardworking score, or three and a half stars).

But unlike fashion, there’s no Big Design, no dominant source heavily invested in the forecast. Pantone, a widely used colour communication system, comes closest to announcing trends, along with paint manufacturers who try to drum up interest in their new shades, a hue and cry, if you will. For the most part, these graphic trends result from simple imitative impulses. This may account for the relative stability of these design trends.

DESIGNERS (WHICH INCLUDES COMMUNICATORS, MARKETERS AND POLICY MAKERS) SHOULD CONTINUE TO TAKE THE TRENDS THEMSELVES WITH A GRAIN OF ETHICALLY-PRODUCED, IODIDE-RICH, ROCK OR SEA SALT.

But common to all trends forecast, and trend commentating, is the theorising that identifies and proposes the driving currents. Inevitably, large, global turns of politics and their economic, social and cultural facets are called out as driving forces: Brexit, Trump and unless you are observing news fast (another micro-trend) you know the rest. Deep Design, too, has indulged early and often, such as linking the discontents behind the rise of the US prez to those boosting the rise of Patanjali long before the final elections, not to imply direct link but to speculate on a similar mood driving both.

Trends

Anti-globalisation and nationalism are the most familiar labels applied to this phenomenon. Commentators hear the voices of groups who feel ‘disenfranchised’, speaking with eerie simultaneity across continents. These voices have exhausted their patience with the ruling intelligentsia, and abhor its factual (or specious, or false), well-articulated utterances: better a mis-spelled, ‘feeling’ untruth that promises action, than an unproductive, pedantic truth. Going further: a suspicion of democracy, technocracy, complexity and balance, and the citified, corporate or university culture that spawns them; a yearning for viscerally inspired gestures. (Other strands omitted for brevity).

The trends forecast that respond to these may be summarised (in a post-truth kind of way!) as a return to roots and basics; a preference for imperfection; the recycled; rough and natural finishes (call them unfinished). The broad theme: authenticity.

Pantone’s Colour of the Year is Greenery 15-0343, to represent ‘fresh beginnings’ complemented by earth and mineral tones, and upcycled materials. Primary colours (from flags, and nationalism) remain in force. Expect packaging to be literally and otherwise transparent, to convey the authenticity of provenance (add: bucolic-ness and humanity). Photography, it says, will be more ‘real’ in terms of the human subjects, with emotion (add: imperfect skin) getting extra marks. The trend towards active, sports-inspired wear continues (cementing the general trend towards informality)

Despite the smell of truth about the causes that drive these trends, designers (which includes communicators, marketers and policy makers) should continue to take the trends themselves with a grain of ethically-produced, iodide-rich, rock or sea salt.

For one thing, many of these trends are old and long-running. Look at restaurants that have opened in the last ten years in your metropolis, and note how similar many of the trends you spot in the concept and the design of the space. Exposed air conditioning ducts, cocktails in jam jars (Deep Design’s pet peeve), rope, rough-hewn wood, local produce and food fusion. And watch for authentically brush drawn lettering on menus, coming soon to a grubhouse near you.

Further, trends forecast are popular because they feed our confirmation biases; many may well have other less (or more) obvious causes, preventing a proper understanding. Several trends run concurrently and play out differently depending on cultures (defined by geography and age).

LONG-TERM TRENDS MAY EXERT A MORE STRATEGIC FORCE WITH WHATEVER YOU ARE DESIGNING. BUT IT’S BEST TO BE ALIVE TO THE BABEL OF THE CONVERSATIONS WITHOUT BEING IN A HURRY TO ISOLATE ANY ONE SIGNAL, IS THE GOLDEN PATH.

This means paying attention to the invisible drivers behind the trends. For example, the most valuable lesson from post-truth is an ancient one: that the tendencies of people to think through the filter of their identities, anxieties, and pride trump all others. In this state, they will ignore ‘good design’ as a source of meaning. That’s what Trump’s diabolically plain election identity conveyed—nothing—which may have resonated with his voters as authentic, much better than the professionally designed, pointing-ahead, promise-laden ‘H’ from a Capitol-ist they didn’t trust.

Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. And with many expert interviews, we got various unique viewpoints, as Elephant Design shared the importance of having a well-thought packaging design for products. And on another hand, VGC gave an insight into, how a brand should be created for the Millennials. But to top it all, with very deep logical design thought, Itu Chaudhuri says that the trends are a modern seasonal disease, and we designers should continue taking it with a grain of ethically-produced, iodide-rich rock or sea salt. All-in-all this issue is a very interesting and a must-read, if you’re looking for greater clarity and want to start your year with a lot of deep design knowledge about the brand development to packaging design, user experience design, to storyboarding and more.

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

It’s not hard to see why working professionals would despise automation and new-age technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. After all, these marvels of digital era are after their jobs, or at least that’s how it appears anyway.

It doesn’t help that new reports are released every now and then that only serve to instill fear in the people, such as the new PWC report that says that 38% of US jobs will be automated by 2030. In all fairness, these projections can be quite scary. However, do we really need to worry about our jobs? Let’s find out.

Logo Designers

Design Industry Today and Tomorrow

There is no denying that automation has its advantages which is why there are all kinds of AI-based applications in the design industry already. For instance, we have AI logo makers like Tailor Brands that allow small business owners around the world to create high-quality logos in a matter of minutes. The users don’t even need to have any kind of graphic design experience, and the service itself is quite cheap. However, human logo designers needn’t be afraid of these technologies.

Most industry experts believe that AI won’t kill jobs but rather create more jobs. It will also make jobs easier by taking care of the dull and repetitive tasks like automated email responses, record-keeping, accounts management, etc. According to a report shared by UK-based non-profit Nesta, creative jobs like computer programmers, designers, musicians, etc. are least likely to be affected by automation.

In the words of Hasan Bakhshi who is the director of creative economy at Nesta, “tasks that involve a high degree of human manipulation and perception will be more difficult to automate”. Since logo designing is also a highly creative job, professionals in this space don’t need to be intimidated by AI logo designers.

 

The following are some of the biggest reasons why:

Logo Designers

1. AI lacks Emotional Intelligence

It’s hard to argue against the significance of emotions in graphic design. Any marketer and graphic designer worth their salt will agree that emotions can take product design to new level. Since this is a domain where AI simply can’t match humans, at least for a long time, human logo designs will always have the upper hand.

2. Medium and large enterprises don’t have budget limitations

The main reason why AI logo designers are so popular today is that they can be easily afforded by budding entrepreneurs who have a limited budget but have to cover all kinds of other expenses. These small business owners can’t spend hundreds of dollars on just the logo design when they need money to build a comprehensive e-commerce platform, purchase inventory, set aside some funds for marketing, and then some.

 

Large organizations don’t operate on shoestring budgets. They can afford to spend some decent money on the logo design which is why they won’t be the customers of AI logo makers.

3. Some brands will always seek a “Human Touch”

There is something quite satisfying and natural about a human touch that it’s nearly impossible to create a world where it doesn’t exist at all. How else would you explain why so many people still shop from their favorite local stores even though there is an online store for every category where products are available in unbelievable variety and discounts that are hard to match?

 

It doesn’t matter how advanced we can make our programs like logo designers, there will always some brands that will want to explain their requirements to a human graphics designer, i.e. someone they can have discussions with and share ideas on an emotional level.

Conclusion

AI and machine learning are powerful technologies that will make our lives easier, there is no question about it. However, as long as will listen to songs, watch movies, and need spellbinding illustrations and logos, there will always be humans setting new trends and captivating our attention with supreme imagination and creativity.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this digital age, an illustration is worth many more. One of the most evocative forms of communication, illustrations perform the crucial task of both informing and entertaining an audience through widespread integration in published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations, video games, and films.

Illustrations are an outlet of creative communication that captures the imagination of our era. From humble drawings made on paper, these have evolved into digital art-pieces that are developed on gadgets like Cintique, Wacom, I-pads, Surface pro pads and so on. Not only are these mediums easier to use, but they also lend artists more creative freedom through evolved tools that assist experimentation in newer ideas and style.

Illustrations are changing the way we view the world. Children born in the late 80s or 90’s grew up with the dawn of the Internet. They were present in a world that progressed from hand-held phones to smartphones; a world that transcended into hyper-connectivity. The immersion of the current generation in digital devices has propelled us forward and also altered the way we communicate forever. For baby-boomers technology feels pervasive, but for children, it’s available in welcome abundance. Illustrations are an integral part of this world. Digital art is all around us and will be for generations to come.

Below, we have discussed how illustrations have played a crucial role in easing the digital transformation and the widespread impact can be gauged from the changed human habits. This, in turn, has impacted the working of businesses largely. Let’s dig in:

Illustrations

1. Changing Human Habits 

Visual communication overcomes the barrier of language and is, therefore, palatable to a larger audience. Compounded with the fact that in the current day and age the average person looks at their mobile 100 times a day, we have digital art as the single largest commander of attention span ever known to man. Illustrations are instrumental to this change. Today it’s all about storytelling and making an impact through visual design; let’s observe how illustration has morphed our communication:

Illustrations

Expressions

Today, we see a sort of resurgence of the archaic era wherein expressed emotions were preferred to their verbal form. Smiley faces and visual dialogue fill up a conversation more than actual words do. Ruled by emojis, stickers, and gifs, the expression has become extremely easy in online conversations. All of this is created by illustrations that practically experiment to provide the world with an endless plethora of options for creative communication.


Illustrations

Learnings

In a world as fast-paced as the one we live in today, hours spent reading have taken a backseat. Visuals summarize text to make learning faster and simpler, in a matter of seconds. Children’s storybooks or detailed infographics – visuals communicate it all. Digital illustrators are skilled in being able to depict all kinds of information through these visuals.


Illustrations

Entertainment

The gaming industry, cartoons, and movies have witnessed a major shift in the style and quality of the graphics and animations used. Each movie or TV series character we watch and fall in love with, from superheroes to sci-fi personalities, is shaped by a brilliant team of illustrators. The gaming world was taken by a storm with the introduction of PUBG, an online multiplayer game. The visuals used became widely popular owing to high quality and attention to detail, which can be completely attributed to the team of visual thinkers and artists that worked together to give the idea its shape and form.


2. Changing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

With changed human habits the way businesses operate and communicate has also changed dramatically.

Illustrations

Marketing

Illustrations are instrumental in the growth of the marketing industry. With the growth of users of depictive media, businesses have gone visual, and have created digital products. Graphic elements are being used to create strong brand recall through thought-provoking and memorable imagery, so as to enhance the success rate of the representation of products and services. Illustrations that stand out have the power to provoke consumer actions that result in conversions. Every advert performs the primary function of familiarizing the consumers with different facets of the product, however, only those that can appeal to human emotions can be rendered truly memorable. Therefore, graphic design and illustrations are the most effective for the cause. Visual advertisements in print (billboards, newspapers, magazines) or on digital platforms (social media, blogs, online publications) can truly compound the impact of good content and rake in revenue.


Illustrations

Data Visualization

The presentation of data in a pictorial format enables decision-makers to see analytics presented visually so that they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. Interactive visualization coupled with technology in the form of charts and graphs provides for insightful details to tell a compelling story. Combining illustrations, facts, and text, infographics are created to narrate a story, visually. From tech-intensive businesses to B2C businesses like Swiggy – everyone has taken to utilizing design and illustration to optimize their productivity.


Illustrations

Digital Branding, Customisation and Personalisation

With the constant evolution of technology, our business communications are also changing rapidly. We are looking into micro-level personalizations and interactions. Every business house today uses illustrations to be able to relate and emote with their target audience. A unique digital identity is created with the help of customized illustrations. Digital content heavily uses graphics for higher identifiability for the consumers. From simple icons to complex illustrations – skilled illustrators create them all, using many elements to personalize business communications.

Illustration Trends for 2019

Pop art as seen in the 1970s has been revisited extensively in design in 2018, introducing the world to new possibilities of visual communication. With creativity and visuals defining company values, companies are opting to strengthen customer interactions using pop art in digital design.

 

The bold and distinctive pop art illustration styles we explored, will be visible in web and mobile applications, games, movies, branding and advertising, e-cards, kindle, and much more. Packaging too has evolved to incorporate trendy designs and consumer trends.

Illustrations
Illustrations

1. The Comic Book Style

This style is typically composed of strong black outlines, realistic sketches of people and dramatically strong colors. The most influential element in this style, however, is the halftone pattern, which is a dotted texture used to depict light and shadows.

 

Application: It is most suited for usage in posters for marketing and advertising, and for storytelling applications such as e-comics, Kindle books, etc.


Illustrations
Illustrations

2. The Photo-Montage Style 

Using cutouts of separate images to compose a new picture, this style allows for different objects to assimilate into a whole new image! It can even make the use of magazine and newspaper clippings to allow contrasting elements to fuse into one unique image.

 

Application: It is mostly used in greeting cards, stationery products, and banners for branding and communication across digital and print platforms. It also has good use under ‘About Us’ section on websites.


Illustrations
Illustrations

3. The Glitch Effect

This effect is created by using duplicated images and placing them at different positions and angles. Different hues play with each other to create a kind of ‘glitchy’ interference. The glitch effect has a wide range of uses.

 

Application: Print media, gift wrappers, mobile wallpapers, and music albums, digital platforms with informal communication.


Illustrations
Illustrations

4. The Image-Illo Blender

A blend of photographs and illustrations, this style creatively helps in expression and exudes a contemporary aesthetic.

 

Application: It is used in album art design, website, and app design, branding, magazines, and fashion.


Conclusion

Storytelling is better told with visuals for higher engagement. Illustrations hold the attention of a reader and etch them into the reader’s memory for a long time to come. The illustration is one of the most important forms of visual communication: it informs and observes, delights and decorates, instructs and inspires. The future of pop art in the design world is bright and evolving, and 2019 is set to see it make a revolutionary come-back.

Article by Ghazal Qadri and Aakansha Menon, Illustrators at Lollypop Design Studio

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Currents in the graphic design world are constantly changing, and those trends that keep adapting, growing and switching affect the entire business world. If you want to release a product, create a new website, rebrand your business, or invest in your advertising, you need to know what is in and what is popular right now.

However, quality and popularity are two very different terms that you need to have in mind. Some trends are popular for a short time –they light up in flames as fast as they go out. So, if you’re on a serious project and you’re in need of a valuable design that won’t be forgotten quickly, then you need to do your homework and find out which trends will be left with a quality stamp. The following definitely worth your attention.


Asymmetry

Although symmetry isn’t dead, it’s clear that it’s now shadowed by a trend which enables richer options when it comes to composition – asymmetry. Because of its form, asymmetry opens more possibilities for accenting; it’s simpler to make action buttons visible this way, for example.

words

Bold Colours

Pastel and soft colours are now a thing of the past – neon as well, thankfully. During this year, many outstanding pieces of graphic design contained two strong, vibrant colours. If you decide to go with this trend, you can be positive that your brand will stand out.

5 Essential Tools of Motion Graphics

Geometric Shapes 

Those with OCD will be happy to know that there’s still some structure left. Geometric shapes have been introduced to graphic design, and it’s not at all uncommon to see them used as a minimalistic element. So, if you desire simplicity, this is a trend you should turn to.

Visual Communication - AnantKulkarni
All About by Anant Kulkarni
Visual Communication - AnantKulkarni
Phone Cover Design Applications by Anant Kulkarni

Illustrations 

When we speak about the trends that marked 2017, illustrations must be mentioned. Original artwork finally found its place in the contemporary graphic design, so you shouldn’t be surprised if your run into a website that consists only of illustrations. They give a whimsical storytelling vibe to the digital world.

While we’re on the subject, you should also pay attention to modern retro – it has very interesting elements that simultaneously breathe with urban and vintage. These two currents will give your business a spirit and make it alive.

Meroo Seth

Dynamics 

If you’re ready to go beyond limits and incorporate something completely different into your brand, then you should know that now is a perfect time. Dynamics designs that are completely chaotic and without any frames or outer lines are a new movement that’s taking over the internet. So, if you think you need something bold, daring and unexpected, this is the thing for you.

Another consequence of disorder is a mixture of photography and other elements – open composition. So now you don’t have to dwell on a decision in order to figure out whether you want to implement photos or original artwork to your business because you can go with both.


Playful Fonts 

Up until recently, graphic design was minimalistic, which also implied that the lettering needs to be neat and clean. However, these limits were also broken, and now it’s not at all uncommon to come across playful writings, scattered letters and cropped titles. It’s a trend that goes well together with reigning chaos and designs without determined restrictions.

It’s obvious that this trend can do damage to your business – it takes a real professional to develop a design like this that works well, so make sure you find the right person for the job.

words

Cinemagraphs 

A wonderful addition to all trends listed above are cinemagraphs – a moving picture is the final puzzle piece that the world of graphic design needs. However, simplicity is the key here; if you want to implement a cinemagraph on your website, make sure that it doesn’t draw too much attention to what you have to offer. But, if you make the right decision, you can be positive that it will leave a wow impression on your visitors.

It’s obvious that minimalism which was extremely popular up until this year, became boring to everyone. So now, graphic designers worldwide turned to drawing and experimenting, and welcomed chaos into their work. Each of the trends listed above will linger on – it’s up to you to see which one is the most suitable for what you have in mind and need realized.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Sometimes, unplanned things happen to be the most cherished. Like a work of art that is created with no distinctive thoughts or direction. Employing this random tool in her designs, Rohina Thapar gives us a glimpse into her black and white free-flowing world.

Rohina Thapar - Free flowing
ELEPHANT FISH WITH A CRANE.
Rohina Thapar - Free flowing
CATERPILLAR LADIES.

Like a flowing string of spaghetti, Rohina makes use of the timeless combination of black and white, to create designs dictated by spontaneity and randomness. Unique in her approach, most of her designs have no justification or meaning behind it. Rohina chooses to go with the flow of lines, letting them bring out the final form, before jumping in to steer it into a conscious dimension. The presence of rhythm and surreal thoughts and elements in her creations, offer a sense of completion even with the absence of colour.

Rohina Thapar - Free flowing
FLYING FICTIONAL DAME.

Published in Issue 22

This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad Mumbai, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy New Delhi, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design Pune, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School Goa and many more. This issue gives a fresh perspective of talented graduates and their unique approach to design.

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47