Lovely and Spectrum strike right note with Pandemic reaction - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

By 10 May 2020

Lovely Offset in Sivakasi has created some fun designs for wedding cards to bring a smile on the lips of married couples. While Vasai-based Spectrum Scan has manufactured face shields with PET.

In this Sunday Column, Spectrum Scan and Lovely Offset show how you can launch a product innovation in a crisis

As coronavirus dominates, Lovely responds with fun wedding cards

Sivakasi-based Lovely is one of the leaders of the Indian wedding cards segment. Their design team has conjured a new brand of cards with an iota of humour and keeping it relevant to the times ahead

“In these trying times when operations are shut, ideation and looking at developing new design concepts became a priority. These designs catch the attention of our target market and also relevant to the times ahead,” says K Selvakumar, director of Lovely Offset Printers.

Founded in 1961 by C Kadarkarai, the company specialised in printing self-designed papers and wedding cards even back then. Today, Lovely’s wedding cards range is very popular in Chennai, Sivakasi, Madurai, and Coimbatore through its own showrooms and 32 franchisees which sell only the Lovely brand. 

“We had noticed photographs coming out of weddings happening during the lockdown and that turned out to be an inspiration for our artist to work on this series,” explains Selvakumar.

The company usually churns out around 1500 designs per year for all types of prints including several highly customised designs.

“We have a team of 25 designers both in-house and several freelancers who work with us to produce some very unique designs,” he adds.

The lockdown-inspired series is designed by Humshini Mohanraj who was able to see the humour and bring out the playfulness with a splash of colours,” says Selvakumar.

The design was created on an iPad Pro using Procreate, a popular raster graphics editor app.

“While the design has turned out well, the pre-press challenge to rasterise the files properly remains, because most illustrators use complex tricks to achieve the perfect design,” explains Selvakumar.

“People have been thrilled. It kind of refreshed the minds of people who are planning to get married in the near future. We already have received many enquiries to develop similar cards for their wedding after the lockdown,” concludes Selvakumar.

Fun with cards

What would be your dream wedding card job?

It would be a traditional card with lots of special effects using printed electronics.

One movie star or sportsperson whose wedding card Lovely would like to design?
Ranbir Singh. 

 

The best embellishment in a wedding card?
The interplay of embossed UV and hot stamping.

How many marriages has Lovely overseen?
At least 5,00,000 weddings.

What is your marriage vow?
"To infinity and beyond".

The most fun thing about an Indian wedding?
Personally inviting people and giving them a warm smile when they turn up for the wedding.

Who or what do you hate the most?
The word "No" or when someone says, "No, it is not possible"

What is your favourite phrase or saying during the wedding season?
The wedding card sets the tone for your wedding celebrations!

How big is the wedding market in India?
About Rs 10,000 Crores.

The favourite wedding you attended?
Nadar Kalyaanam. Weddings of my brothers.  It was fun to both organise and attend!

What is the strangest request for a wedding card?
Someone wanted to print 200 cards. Each one a unique design customised (not personalised) to suit the taste of every guest. Different shape, sizes and concept for every guest.

What is Lovely's greatest ambition?
To be the top exporter of printed goods in India. 

 

What piece of kit would you like to see invented in the post Covid world?
Immunity boosting diet and lifestyle. No vaccines.

What was the best wedding deal that you’ve pulled off?
The wedding card for a big business house in the south. Five varieties of cards - 25000 cards in total.

What advice would you give a young married couple?
Marriage is not a photo op ritual. It is a sacred institution. People should give up egos and ensure marriages last a lifetime.

How big is the wedding market in India?
As per a 2018 KPMG report, the wedding industry in India was about USD 40-50 billion. Growing at 25% annually.


Amit Shah's Spectrum Scan creates a unique face shield with PET to help during the Pandemic

Vasai-based Spectrum Scan is on a mission. After creating a foldable medical bed with corrugated fibre optic, the print firm has created a face shield with 500 micron PET

The Covid face shield

How was it produced?
It’s made from Virgin APET material ... the visor is mounted with low tack protective film. And simple die-cutting and weeding.

What was the inspiration?
To contribute to Covid fight and keep our people motivated.

 

What type of R&D did the job entail?
We have seen many ideations before we finalised this dressing design. Incidentally, this design is made in the USA by Dimensional Innovation. There were sample trials to test east of comfort, and our own production.

Which materials are you using?
Virgin APET - opti clear.

Usability? Throw and use?
This is USP of the Shield - one can wash and use as many time he wants.

How long for you to manufacture?
It’s an extremely productive design and hence in a day we can make 50,000.

 

What challenges need to be overcome?
Many - to get a permit, making factory ready after long lockdown... bring people from their home etc.

What has been the feedback?
Initial feedback is very encouraging.

Any message for the industry in these tough times? 
Ultimately humans will triumph.

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