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Water will evaporate to become steam or freeze to become ice. Certain formulas and physical and chemical characteristics never change, even during the experiment of design. Change however is controlled by the elements in play, whether its colours and shapes or lines and patterns, the end-result is dependent on various external factors as well. A Brand, Strategy and Experience designer Sourajit Sengupta takes us through some of his design principles. Have you got your design goggles on?

Design
Branding for Travosh
Design
Packaging for Travosh
Design
UI for Travosh

Be the Solvent to Create a Solution.

Design is not just about creating an artwork. It’s a solution that varies from brand to brand and person to person. For a designer, it’s like dressing up according to a particular occasion. Is it going to be fun and funky or formal and sleek? It’s not about what you feel like or what you want, but what the situation demands from you. The key is to understand the brand and dissolve yourself in it enough to be able to think from the clients perspective. Consider it like a science experiment, where the process and procedure must rigorously be followed in order to get the desired results.

Design
Sandoitchi Logo
Design
Sandoitchi Branding
Branding for Lokmat
Branding for Avendus

Don’t force it.

Force might facilitate everything in the scientific world, but when it comes to design, forcing it has never worked. Firstly, one must be in the field for their love and passion for design and not because of external pressures. As long as you love what you do, the journey will appear effortless and smooth, making you a perfectionist sooner or later. And that’s when it will translate in your work. Design has to be invisible and basic. It does not have to be forced. It’s not about simple colour palettes or minimalism, it’s about what is relative for that project. If it relates, it becomes memorable and recallable.

Branding for Empyrean School
Branding for Empyrean School
Forum Mall Book Design
Signage Design for Forum Mall

Give your Dreams Milestones.

Development is a series of chain reactions, where thinkers took what existed even beyond. For example, a light bulb couldn’t have been invented if electricity hadn’t been discovered. And the later wouldn’t have been so if a kite wasn’t flown. The concept is same for design. Start off every project with the caliber of making it a dream project. Creating a difference in the design world is a huge consideration and can be best achieved by creating smaller milestones that may someday combine together to make a difference altogether. The key is to be open to all types of knowledge and methods. Put your hands on different styles and projects, especially the ones that are out of your comfort zone

Design
Space Design for Reliance HQ
Design
Space Design for Reliance HQ
Design
Space Design for Reliance HQ

Published in Issue 23

The issue explores a topic which is close to every designer, the Business of Design. We try to understand from the experienced ones that when is the right time to open own studio and what more you should get in your toolbox before taking the plunge! We had interactions with many talented studio founders like Rajesh Dahiya, Archan Nair, Ishan Khosla, Prasun Mazumdar and Anupam Tomer. Also featuring some of the best talents around the world such as Martin Grohs from Germany and Avi Sehmi from Canada along with Sourajit Sengupta from New Delhi. This issue not only provide answers to many questions but also initiate many new ones to explore further! We hope you will enjoy exploring the possibility of your studio with this issue.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

In a want to make the UI and the internal functionality of the brand as easy as the services the brand provides to its users through its app, Uber teamed up with Wolff Olins to create their dream brand system through rebranding process.

Brief

Uber is a tech start-up connecting riders and drivers that turned into a global mobility platform in a short and quick span of only eight years.

 

Having embraced new and future modes of transportation—from bikes, to tuk-tuks, to flying cars, it needed a holistic brand system that was instantly recognizable, works around the world and was efficient to execute, accommodating all of its needs and services within.

Solution 

Wolff Olins partnered with Uber to reimagine how the world moves, creating a system that connects with all modes of transportation, in all places, for all people—including internal Uber teams. The project was an intensely collaborative effort between Wolff Olins, the Uber Brand Experience Team, and MCKL Type Foundry.

For All Places

With Uber operating in 660+ cities and having its highest growth areas in regions outside of the US, such as Latin America and India, the brand had to have a system to be able to work globally.

 

Keeping this in mind, Wolff Olins adapted a universal ‘beyond-simple’ global brand instead of pursuing a complex identity system, localized through colour and pattern. This universal system gave teams the freedom to make it relevant to their audiences with culturally specific content.

For All People

With a new wave of leadership at Uber came a renewed commitment to safety which until now was product-driven. But safety was a much larger context. It was the brand’s need and requirement to speak equally to riders, drivers, and employees, which led to answering the question, “What does safety mean for different people at different times?”

 

This resulted in the introduction of Safety Blue to the colour palette. It’s unique to Uber and meant to be used sparingly to indicate important moments of support, care or connection between the user and the brand.

For All Teams 

The decentralized nature of Uber’s operations meant the company needed a system that could be easily implemented by a wide range of practitioners around the world in a broad spectrum of digital and physical applications. The system isn’t just for marketing designers, but for product teams, customer service, and beyond. Its success depends on how useful teams find it.

 

This required brand system of Uber is made up of nine elements, each one explained below.

Logo 

A wordmark instead of a symbol, the logo is approachable, easy to read, and takes full advantage of the name recognition. Optical kerning, refined weight, and defined clear space, as well as well-delineated placement in relation to other content, all help to make it as instantly recognizable as possible.

Composition

The composition system is elegant in its sheer simplicity of use —  it creates a subtle “U” wherever it appears.

 

By defining the grid based on the logo, the system stays flexible and beyond easy to apply. The U-frame optimized for content is used for hoardings, billboards and other advertising formats.

Typography

The typography is as unique and easy to use as Uber is.

 

Inspired by the world’s best used transportation examples, it was designed to maximize its impact across all applications while keeping it easy to read, own-able, and highly recognizable.

Iconography

The icons are inspired by global transportation iconography and drawn from the same shapes as their typeface, creating a seamless system from text to icon.

 

The arrow is part of the iconography but can be used in copy as a shorthand between destinations, whether geographic or states of mind.

Colour

A tight colour palette, dominated by black and white, draws on the colours used in global navigation.

The high contrast of black and white, the primary colours of Uber’s palette, make the text as legible as possible.

The use of a set of bright secondary colours makes the UI interesting.

 

The Safety blue, unique to Uber is used sparingly to call out moments of support, assurance and other important interactions between a user and the brand.

Motion

The motion system expresses the simple and easy movement that Uber makes possible. In an attempt to create a completely own-able motion system, the broadcast packages and the key motion states within the product are aligned in a manner to have just one set of motion principles and base motion states.

Photography 

The photography inspires Uber’s audience of young and old, partners and customers, local and global. It builds on how it feels to move from motivation at point A to the emotional payoff of arriving at point B.

Illustration

The illustration draws from Uber’s logo and the transportation language inspiration of the typeface. Simple shapes, clean lines, limited colour and heightened reality give the illustrations a branded feel and make it easy to understand at a glance.

Tone of Voice 

Uber’s global tone of voice focuses on the mindset they share with their users: they see the world as it could be and work to make it a reality. Beyond word choice and style choices, Uber’s tone of voice focuses their belief in putting their audience first.

Conclusion

Built from stakeholder input from around the world and tested on the ground with creative teams, Uber’s brand system is simple, flexible, and globally recognizable.

 

The learnings of what the business needed globally during a period of transition were used to drive their work of creating a brand that both served their business and engaged the audience.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Considering how everything is progressively going digital today, the web scenario is fast evolving. With that, web design is becoming more relevant and significant than ever before. Read on to find out what these current trends really are.

The internet is changing the world – it is changing how we do our every day and even specific tasks. When it is present at so many different levels and applicable in such diverse ways, the manner of presentation, functionality, usability, etc. all become rather important than just add-ons.

Web design has thus become relevant beyond purely aesthetics. Take a look at some of the current trends here, for there’s everything from integrated animations to parallax scrolling.

01
Mobile First

The computer has virtually shrunk by quite a large extent to become the size and fit of our pockets, hasn’t it! Well, from everyday functions to the relatively complex ones all available o the small screen, it is no surprise to find that friendly UI/UX, clean layouts, vibrant icons, menus and their pop-downs have all become fundamental elements of the digital design domain.

Designed by Irene Molina González
Designed by Stanislav Hristov
Designed by Johny vino™

02
Integrated Animations

Who isn’t amazed by animations! So much so that it is the ideal tool and platform to engage even the grown-ups across various media. Its quirky, fun and interactive nature manages to capture the imagination and attention of one and all. No doubt, an integrated animation is readily found to be applied upon so many different web platforms today.

Designed by Stan Yakusevich

03
Broken Grid Layouts

Symmetry is not necessarily everything. Perhaps, not every time and in every place – it all depends on the context and the way asymmetry is applied. A mixed-and-matched amalgamation of lines, shapes, colours, forms, textures and the likes, broken grid layouts are only symmetry re-defined and re-imagined.

Designed by Sofia Pukovetskaya

04
Round Corners & Fluid Shapes

Rounded curves and fluid shapes are the new trends on web layouts and have become the “in” thing of current times across the web world. The clarity and simplistic yet effective minimalism of this form have overshadowed and conquered the rigidity and sharply defined structures of geometric forms such as angular designs. A soothing change to the eye, one could say.


05
Custom Illustrations

Custom illustrations are the all new rage today, as far as the latest evolution of web design is concerned. With all things custom, the look, feel and feel of different branding can be made so exclusive and distinct from the rest. This is one thing clients are always excited and encouraging towards.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Arun Pattnaik has been designing UX & UI with empathy and compassion for the user; employing classic design principles rather than blindly following trends has been helping him build his own fortress of work that he isn’t afraid to show off.

CG. What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have that help you achieve your desired UX & UI?

Arun. I start with the user persona, which is important to understand the users’ needs, behaviour, expectations, and general psyche, and thus build the product around these factors. Once I have a detailed persona set up, I research ways to best match business goals with the persona.

 

During this process, I create workflows, user journeys, and eventually wireframes, keeping the stakeholders in the loop at all times. Many designers tend to skip the wireframe phase due to the time it takes. However, I find that those extra few hours at the beginning stage can potentially save several days of rework.

 

Next, I usually look up to the clients’ competitors, in order to validate my ideas and approaches. Dribble and Behance are also great resources to look for general design inspiration.

CG. How do you narrow down to a specific element and work on making it more important? How does your core thought (the subject of your work or the way it is executed) make its way from initial ideas to the final output?

Arun. There is no magic here. I make sure the user and his experience remain at the core of entire product’s process. As mentioned earlier, starting with user persona helps a lot. A quick hack is to ask yourself questions like, ‘what does the user intend to do?’ ‘What is the user’s expectation here?’ and ‘Is this the best way to do this?’ at every step of the process.

 

While listing down possible features, which could be built-in the product, I usually identify and separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘good-to-haves’. One of the must-haves becomes the USP, which becomes an integral part of everything from initial idea to the final output.

CG. How is your approach different from others around you? What inspires your work and develops your style?

Arun. I don’t think my approach is very different from other designers. But I spend a lot of time researching, a.k.a. sharpening the axe, before actually starting the design. And this has worked very well for me so far.

 

Apart from that, I make sure to put a lot of empathy into each project I work on. I believe empathy towards the user is what makes or breaks a product. A lot of research goes into every successful design you see today.

CG. What are the key points you consider along with the client before you start working with a new product/company?

Arun. I ensure to completely understand the client’s goals of a project. If it’s a new product, I usually start with a basic market research, followed by user interviews. As a UX & UI guy, my priority is to build a bridge between the user’s expectations and the business goals.

 

There are times when the client would ask for more features. While the client can see its benefits, it also adds risks of building too many features your users might not even want. For a successful product, you need to draw a line between what you can build and what you should.

CG. We live in a multi-media world where people want quick information and fast response rates. Creative businesses have wide opportunities but also challenges. How has this affected your style of work?

Arun. This is actually a good problem to have. With more challenges, the product designers are getting increasingly innovative in solving problems. We’re seeing an entirely new level of design thinking across product designs, especially digital products. From iPhone to Hyperloop, innovation is constantly being driven by challenges.

 

This hasn’t really affected my style of work directly. Being a one-man consultancy, the biggest challenge I face is to manage all the non-design tasks which I manage with few auto-responders and the quality of my portfolio.

CG. How important is the UX & UI for the success of any project? And how do you make the client understand the same?

Arun. There is no such thing as ‘no UX’. A product either has a good UX or a bad UX hence it is very crucial to focus on creating a good UX from the beginning. If you use something and don’t feel great about it, then either the UX is badly designed or not designed at all.

 

The business value of UX design is so colossal; one can simply not afford to ignore the importance of a good design in driving your product’s success. It is even more important for young businesses and start-ups, as they usually lack a brand reputation to fall back on. In the last few years, the start-ups have been able to give head on competition to the industry behemoths.

 

I get a lot of clients who either do not know about UX design or have a misconception that it’s just a small part of UI. While onboarding the clients, I usually give them a few examples to explain the importance of investing in good UX.

CG. Your advice to budding UI and UX designers?

Arun. Design with empathy and have compassion for the user. If you want to guarantee a great experience, you need to learn how to fulfil the precise expectations of your users, with the minimum of effort. Focus your attention toward the design problem instead of individual design preferences may help.

 

Paint the back of the fences. Pay close attention to details. Sometimes the difference between your product and your competitors’ is a number of details you put in.

Lastly, if you’re a designer and new to freelancing, brace yourself for a lot of struggle in the beginning. Everyone does it, everyone starts there, including the top designers you keep hearing about. If you don’t get work outside, make sure you work on the inside.

 

When you work hard, it shows. You work doesn’t only need to be a client’s project. Build something on your own, and don’t be afraid to show it off. You will get negative feedback; use it wisely to get better.

Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good, we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!

 

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