People’s Budget Initiative (PBI) is a civil society coalition, which promotes the inclusion of people’s movements, grassroots organisations and NGOs in the policy processes that determine the priorities underlying government budgets in India. Design of a logo was commissioned when PBI was conceived, it aimed to bring a sense of formality and energy to the initiative besides of course being a visual representation.

Out of the several options presented basis the creative brief, the logo that was finalised was based on a group of slices from a pie chart (representing budget). The slices were arranged in an overlapping circular formation depicting a coalition. Bold dots placed above every slice of pie made the combination look like a group of people, seemingly sharing information and ideas about budgets. The graphic had a sense of movement or dynamism about it, suggesting an initiative. The bold dots lent to the graphic a decorative touch and overall also resembled traditional Indian folk design, which went very well with the idea of PBI being a grassroots movement or a movement ultimately aiming to benefit the marginalised. Equal size of every pie and dot in the logo represented equal and democratic participation of all stakeholders. Pieces of pies arranged at different angles suggested people from different regions (of India) coming together for a more transparent and effective budgeting process.

The geometric graphic was contrasted with a script typeface to complete the logo unit. The beautiful script font Bradley Hand, which has a nice positive feel, helped to give the logo a personal or human touch (that of a people’s initiative). Being India-related, colours used in PBI logo were based on Indian flag colours, but were toned-down into earthy shades to represent a grassroots initiative. The two colours used did not contrast much with each other in terms of tone, they almost blended with each other, and thus suggested sharing or collaboration.

A greyscale version of the PBI logo (above) was also created for reproduction in local newspapers and for low-cost (one or two colour) print jobs.

Owing to high probability of PBI logo being printed locally and on outdoor media like cloth banners, artwork for screen printing (above) was also created.

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IGT, International Glazing Technologies, is one of the leading providers of profile systems based interior and exterior glazing solutions in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India. Design of a corporate website for IGT was commissioned soon after their logo was designed. Overall planning, information architecture and development aspects of the website (including technologies used) were skillfully handled by Crossover Technologies.

Above: IGT website homepage layout

Much like the IGT logo, the website layout had a strong visual frame, which was derived from the appearance of glazing on modern buildings wherein large pieces of glass are often supported by metal frames. A thick grey border or frame divided the logo, image, navigation and content areas and also brought about clarity to the layout.

Above: An inside page of IGT website

Each page of the website followed the same design template, careful attention was paid to spacing of every element (including text) in the layout. A decent selection of images was provided by the client and so different project-related photographs were showcased on every page. The top right image on every page had a horizontal frame going through it, to give the impression of looking out through a window. A faint, light green colour vertical bar was used as a design element on the right hand side of the website layout, it went on to overlap the top right image giving a feel of glazing or transparency; it also helped to ‘fill’ some of the available width of the layout and therefore restricted too many words from appearing in every line of page content, leading to good readability.

Above: Projects Photos section of IGT website

Apart from green colour, only blacks, whites and greys were used in the layout. Aquamarine green, often seen in glazed exteriors of buildings and IGT’s brand colour, was used mainly in the background. Overall, IGT website had a strong, no-nonsense, professional and corporate look, much like the values IGT as a company believes in.

South Asian Alliance for Budget Accountability or SAABA is an initiative by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), New Delhi (India), supported by Oxfam Novib. It seeks to create a South Asian alliance of civil society organisations in the region, engaged with budget analysis and advocacy for strengthening governance accountability.

A logo design was commissioned at SAABA’s initiation. While several logo options were presented basis the creative brief received, the logo that was finally approved was based on the simple idea of bar graphs representing budget. Four pairs of bar graphs, each in 1:2 proportion, were symmetrically arranged in a tight group or graphic suggesting alliance. Placement of the graphic at a 45 degree angle brought a sense of movement or dynamism to the logo and together, the tight group of bar graphs also seemed to form two intermingling ‘S’ (for SAABA) shapes. Each of the four pairs of graphs was given a different colour, the overall colour palette chosen was ‘ethnic’ and sober, considering the region and seriousness of the initiative. Use of four different colours in the logo graphic symbolised richness of information and ideas that partner countries or stakeholders would share through SAABA, equal size of each set of graphs represented equal or democratic participation by all members.

The famous font Helvetica was used to write SAABA because of its neutral, uniform, strong and stable appearance. The logo was devoid of a strong ‘style’ because a dignified, non-flamboyant and serious look was important in this case.

Overall, SAABA logo unit looked robust, stable and energetic, perhaps fit enough to represent an alliance! A greyscale version of the logo was also created for reproduction in black-and-white or for low-cost, one or two colour print jobs.

Design of a play mat on the theme Water World was commissioned by the well-known toy brand Rubbabu to be bundled with their Water World playset for kids (age two years and above).

Above: Computer rendering of the Rubbabu Water World play mat design

The design of the 3’x3′ play mat was kept very simple, with ample space for one or two kids to sit on. The design elements retained the simplicity and character of Rubbabu rubber-foam toys and were kept to a minimum to give kids only a little hint to play on what looked like a mini ocean with a beach!

Above: Photograph of Water World toys on the play mat (courtesy Rubbabu.com)

The design was screen printed in 7 colours on cloth, using safe, non-toxic inks. The aim of the product was to provide a safe area for kids to play on or indulge in and also learn about natural life in oceans / rivers / lakes.

Design of corporate logo for International Glazing Technologies, Gurgaon, India, providers of high-end glazing services, was based around the typically geometric and modern look of buildings with glazed exteriors. Rectangular pieces of glass held together by linear supports in-between, a characteristic of glazing, was actually showcased in the logo with letters ‘G’ and ‘T’ playing the role of the supports. Letter ‘I’ was represented by a large dot symbolising the sun and placed within the logo area to convey a special quality of glazing that allows sunlight to enter glazed interiors and yet provides shelter from it.

The light or aquamarine green used in the logo was derived from the green colour actually used in glazed glass, it represented IGT’s stress towards environmentally friendly processes and solutions. The green also symbolised transparency (both of the product and the company) and honesty as fair dealings is one of IGT’s core policies. Black colour, much like the thin frames between glass used in glazing, was used to add strength and support to the logo, it symbolised IGT’s strength and competence in the field of glazing. Univers Condensed Light was selected as the font (to write ‘International Glazing Technologies’) owing to its sleek-yet-strong, stylish, structural and geometric feel.

The logo, together with the baseline, was designed to be used as a comprehensive unit. Overall, IGT logo had a strong structural and technical feel (glazing requires a high level of technical competence) and was meant to appeal to both architects / interior designers and home / building owners.

To create awareness about electronic waste amongst schoolchildren in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India, painting competitions on the theme Thinking about E-waste were organised in select high schools in NCR in late 2009 by Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group and GIZ India. To take the issue and message of electronic waste further, design of a 2010 wall calendar containing 12 selected paintings from the competition was commissioned.

Above: Thinking about E-Waste wall calendar cover

All 12 shortlisted paintings were in portrait orientation and that, to begin with, defined the tall format of the calendar, which was laid out in 11″(w) x 17″(h) size in consultation with a printing consultant. The calendar cover showcased all 12 paintings that were featured on the inside pages. The high quality finish and creativity of the paintings by school children amazed the organisers and designer alike; since they were quite playful, it was decided to have a playful design as well (since schoolchildren were the main target audience) but one that would simply support (and not disturb or dominate) the wonderful works of art showcased on the calendar.

Above: Thinking about E-Waste wall calendar detail

Flat, rectangular areas of grey colour with distorted edges (representing worn-out electronic components) and uneven lines (suggesting waste or discarded wires) were used as background design elements to strengthen the layout and to make it interesting. A stylistic or novelty typeface with a strong electronic feel was used for all calendar text.

Above: September and October pages of the calendar

Each calendar page consisted of one painting occupying a dominant place or space in the layout, along with name and school information of the student who made the painting and a small fact about electronic waste. The title, of course, featured prominently on every page.

Logo for FranConnect Inc. USA, leading provider of franchise technology solutions, was designed around two ‘F’ letterforms symbolising franchiser and franchisee. Arranged in perspective and like an open-ended grid, the two fused letterforms portrayed smooth, strong and seamless integration of the franchiser and franchisee through FranConnect and the technology’s ability to connect or network over a potentially large or endless (geographical) area. The logo essentially represented the strong relationship between the franchisor and franchisees that FranConnect helps to forge.

Ultramarine blue and saffron colours were a given and adapted on to the logo from the client’s previous brand identity. Eurostile, the typeface used to write FranConnect, was selected for its robust, modern and technological feel, qualities that are also found in the offerings of the company.

FranConnect logo was quite often used in reverse colour scheme (shown above) on communication material.

The map above was designed to be used in take-away menus, flyers and advertisements for Indian Spice, one of Jaipur’s (capital of Rajasthan, India) best-known vegetarian restaurants. Indian Spice is situated on JLN Marg, one of Jaipur’s most well-known roads and very close to Jawahar Circle, near Jaipur airport; in short, a location that is known to almost everyone familiar with the city. It was thus decided that all clutter be eliminated from the map and it be kept as simple and elegant as possible for Indian Spice is a formal, dine-in restaurant. The leaf from the Indian Spice logo was used to pin-point the location of the restaurant; light orange and maroon, colours from Indian Spice’s brand identity palette, were used to dress the map.

Let’s Go Zero Waste poster was designed for Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group to create awareness about waste amongst school children in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India. Text for the poster was provided by the client and the visual of an empty wastebin from the top, also looking like a zero, was used to compliment the text. The visual was shot by an employee of Chintan using a digital camera and poster text was wrapped around it, reinforcing the Zero Waste message.

The overall layout including fonts used conformed to Chintan’s brand identity. Bright or neon-ish colours were used to make the poster look energetic and appealing to young minds. Keeping the budget and sizes of school notice boards in mind, 14×19 inches was chosen as the poster size. It was printed in 4 colour offset.

Logo for AuthBridge, one of India’s leading background screening and risk management consultancies, was designed at the inception of the company. The logo is essentially based on ‘A’ (for AuthBridge) letterform that together with the dot of the ‘i’ (from ‘Bridge’) forms a human figure, representing talent. A tick mark made by extending the shape of the A letterform and superimposed on the human figure symbolises the right talent, that AuthBridge specialises in selecting for clients.

The box around the logo graphic represents the strong focus and effort that AuthBridge puts in authenticating the credentials of each and every prospective individual. The thin figure, that seems to be happily moving forward or jumping with joy, depicts the company’s values of positive energy, sensitivity and enthusiasm. The figure also forms a ‘bridge’ across the two sides of the box, suggesting that AuthBridge helps its clients to bridge the gap between themselves and the right talent.

The thin typeface used in the logo, suggestive of the electronic age, contrasts beautifully with the curvy human figure and they together represent use of cutting edge technologies as well as the strong human touch the company puts into its activities.

Black and green colours used in the logo helped AuthBridge create a distinct identity from companies or competitors engaged in similar operations, that mostly rely on blues, greys and reds. The strong Green, in this case, symbolises green signal or approval of the right talent and also sincerity. Black symbolises strength, screening and also secrecy—which is an important part of the company’s activity.

The invitation card above was designed for Merged, a solo show of abstract paintings by well-known artist Deepak Tandon, held in September 2003 at Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, India. One of the most intriguing pieces of art displayed at the show was a circular, rotating painting, the design of which, after considering some of Deepak’s other paintings, was shortlisted and used in the layout. The painting design was placed in the middle of a 6×6 inch square size and invite text arranged around its circumference in a clockwise direction, to typographically simulate the movement of the painting itself. The circularly arranged typography, together with the abstract painting patterns and dark colours, created strong feelings of intrigue and mystery and were aimed to prompt people to visit the show.

The invite was a two colour print job with black and white colours screen-printed on dark grey cartridge paper, the surface of which was used as the third colour. Owing to use of only a few cartridge paper sheets for the entire print job and two (screen-printed) colours, the invite was quite economical to print. Overall, the design had a strong abstract quality, much like the artist’s work.

The Rubbabu brand consists of a wide range of soft, safe, intuitive, eco-friendly and pleasantly different toys for kids! Rubbabu logo was designed at the inception of the brand (in July 2004) and in essence reflects the playfulness that the toys are all about.

Above: Initial Rubbabu logo, in CMYK

The soft, 3D shape of the logo gave a strong hint of a tangible product (in this case, a toy) and the letter R (for ‘Rubbabu’) took the shape of a car, reinforcing the playful aspect. The letterforms were custom designed after studying carefully the curvy shapes of the toys and the colours used were again based on the colours the toys actually came in.

Above: A tagline was added to the logo some time after it was designed

This colourful logo was designed to appeal to kids and parents alike and embodied the soft and friendly characteristics of the toys. Rubbabu is now a popular, globally recognised and respected toy brand.

Above: Rubbabu logo on product packaging

Rubbabu is a registered trade mark of Rahul Butalia and licensed to Iseo Chemdis Pvt Ltd, India.

Brochure for ‘Water‘, Mayank’s fine art photography show held in New Delhi in July 2009, was meant to serve the dual purpose of an invite and a handout for visitors to the exhibit. As a concise piece of information about the show and the artist, it was designed to be handy, attractive and economical.

Above: Printed Water brochures

Since the printed quantity required was only 400, keeping cost and logistics in mind, conventional offset printing was ruled out and digital offset chosen as the printing process. Considering the maximum size of 13×19 inches that the digital offset machine could print, an open size of 18×6 inches was selected as the brochure size so that two brochures could print on a single 13×19 inches sheet of paper.

Above: 18×6 inches brochure (open size) with two folds in-between

The open size of 18×6 inches was creased at two places and folded into a ‘Z’ shape to become a 6×6 inches handout. Cordenons 145 gsm Natural Evolution ivory paper was selected for the print run after considering its stiffness, texture, warm tint and cost. Use of Cordenons environmentally friendly, chlorine-free paper also supported the photography show’s underlying message of water (or nature) conservation.

Above: Rule of thirds grid overlay on the brochure layout

Working backwards from the size and format defined by the printing process, layout of the Water brochure was created around a classic rule of thirds (in this case isometric) grid, wherein the images were horizontally offset across the pages by a third. The design aimed to create curiosity about the fine art photographs and therefore only showcased crops from four selected images. The four images contained a healthy mix of patterns and colours, giving a hint of the ‘variety’ of photographs to be displayed in the show.

Above: The brochure folded in ‘Z’ shape with just the cover visible

Brochure text was set in the typeface Joanna, italics text was set in Times New Roman. Text for the brochure was written in a poetic, soft and understated manner and therefore grey colour, with a hint of blue added to it (for strength and obvious relation to water) was used as the text colour. Unlike many art show brochures, the photographer’s name and show details were deliberately downplayed, allowing the concept and imagery to dominate the layout.

Above: Brochure middle page layout

The three faces of the brochure contained show name and poetry, show information and information about the artist, respectively. It was printed only on one side with back side of the paper left blank. An electronic or PDF version of the brochure consisting of three separate pages was also created and e-mailed to invitees, it can be downloaded from HERE.

CBGA, the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (New Delhi, India), is an attempt to promote transparent, accountable and participatory governance and a people-centred perspective in preparation and implementation of budgets. Logo for CBGA was designed around the same thought and consisted of bar graphs representing budget allocations and development, and below them human figures in negative form symbolising people at grassroot level, transparency and also people’s participation in the budget and governance processes.

Purple and green were the two colours chosen for the logo after exploring a range of colour schemes. Purple symbolised innovation for CBGA often employs innovative techniques in its work and green symbolised growth and development. The fairly neutral, robust and geometric font used in the logo gave cues of a strong organisation with integrity working for transparency and accountability. ‘CBGA’ was offset to add a touch of dynamism to the logo, suggesting an entity that is constantly moving forward. A centrally aligned baseline helped to strengthen the logo unit.

Above: Inside spread of a printed GIST corporate brochure

Corporate brochure for GIST (Global Information Systems Technology Ltd.) was designed in 2006 when GIST was one of India’s leading suppliers of technical and scientific journals (the organisation’s visual identity has since changed and area of activity greatly expanded).

Above: GIST corporate brochure cover

The four page, single-fold A4 size brochure was meant to provide a quick and concise overview of the organisation. The basic brochure design and colours were derived from the GIST logo and aimed to create a strong visual identity for the company.

Above: GIST brochure back (L) and cover (R) spread

The brochure was required in a short time owing to an approaching event and visual assets like office or corporate imagery were not ready with the client, therefore, background text and illustrations randomly taken from technical, historical and scientific journals were used in the layout to make it interesting. Large (globe) logo graphics were contrasted by watermarked text and technical diagrams, together they suggested access to knowledge from across the globe. GIST office addresses and details of partners / publishers were given on the back page of the brochure.

Above: Inside left and right page spread of GIST corporate brochure

Content on the inside pages of the brochure, together with some technical diagrams, was loosely laid out in and around a large (globe) logo graphic in sans-serif font (just like in the logo). Complimentary colours were given to the two facing pages.

Above: GIST corporate brochure inside pages detail

The brochure, printed in 4 colour offset, helped to portray a strong, interesting and intellectual image of the company and was devoid of any clichéd corporate brochure imagery.

Logo for DEOC (Diversity and Equal Opportunities Centre), an India based inclusive social enterprise with the vision to promote equal opportunity and inclusion in all spheres of life, was developed around the brief of having a simple, no-frills logo, keeping in mind DEOC’s serious and sensitive area of activity.

Lower case (understated) letterforms of Helvetica, the iconic san-serif typeface often used in disability signages, were used to develop the logo wherein oval shapes of letters d,e,o and c were treated as design elements and joined to compose an interesting logo unit. Lowercase letterforms also gave to the logo a sense of movement or energy.

Grey and Green colours were used to dress the logo. Grey being a neutral colour and often the colour of choice of professionals the world over, a ‘serious’ colour depicting serious area of activity. A bright green, often used to depict sustainability / development / growth / ethical business activities was chosen as the second colour.

Four different letterforms of similar (round) shapes in alternating colours, joined together, represented inclusion and diversity of talent, the organisation’s main proposition. Together with an all lowercase tagline (which helped to strengthen the logo) the composite logo unit paved the way for developing a simple, serious, clean yet pleasantly distinct visual identity for DEOC.

To provide information about Roots Education’s CAT (Common Admission Test) preparatory programme to prospective students, a detailed pamphlet or handout was designed and refereed to as ‘mini brochure’ because of the fairly large amount of information it contained in a compact format.

Above: Printed copies of the mini brochure

3 folds within the open size of 14″(w) x 9″(h), printed front and back, yielded 8 faces in the brochure layout, each of which was used to house a different chunk of information (this was the client’s idea). The brochure folded into a compact 3.5″ x 9″ handout.

Above (from L-R): Mini brochure cover, back and half-open views

Owing to the large amount of information, the brochure design was largely typographic with only one typeface (Trebuchet MS, a part of Roots Education’s brand identity) used in different sizes, weights and colours for interest and emphasis.

Above: Mini brochure outside portion, spread

Deep blue and neon green (the colours that defined Roots Education’s brand identity) were the only two colours used in the layout; in fact, the mini brochure was a two colour print job (two special colours printed in offset) that, together with its compact size, helped to economise on printing cost. Each subsequent face of the brochure had alternating colours that helped to make the design interesting but more importantly, allowed the eye to easily focus on one face of information at a time in an otherwise intensive layout!

Above: Mini brochure inside portion, spread

A large watermark of the company logo graphic (tree) was used in the background as an additional layer to add a subtle element of interest, to break the rigidity of the layout and to reinforce the brand identity. Overall, the mini brochure layout adhered strongly to Roots Education’s visual identity, looked interesting, bright, energetic and enthusiastic and conveyed the seriousness of an MBA preparatory programme to young MBA aspirants.

Tiger Lagoon is a luxury nature resort near Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India, built with the architectural concept of villas or rooms spread in a woodland alongside a large, natural water body or lagoon. Both words in the resort name (Tiger and Lagoon) evoked strong visual cues and were thus used to develop the logo concept. Based around the form of a Tiger paw, the logo simply shows huts or rooms spread alongside a lagoon. Organic or natural shapes used in the logo, which reiterated the concept of an eco-resort, were contrasted by slightly stylised and geometric typography, giving a subtle ‘exotic’ feel for Tiger Lagoon is an upscale and exotic resort. Strong shades of brown (for a natural and woody feel) and blue (for water) were the colours used in the logo, which was designed as a composite unit to be used across a wide variety of media.

The image above shows usage of Tiger Lagoon logo on stationery, which was screen printed using (only) the two brand colours on beige coloured papers.

Brief Introduction

Offering high quality, no frills, practical and personalised communication design solutions with a human touch to clients in India and abroad, Mayank designs for both print and web mediums and specialises in logo design, brand identity and information design. Mayank's graphic design solutions are backed by over a decade of work experience with top international and national brands and organisations.

This weblog features some of Mayank's favourite 'real world' design projects, articles and more. All designs and text featured here are copyrighted and showcased with permission from respective companies and/or clients.

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