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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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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.

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.

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.

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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