Fun with print

Welcome back to the world where graphic designers turn commonplace into unique by, well, having fun with print. In November 2015, we featured four eclectic design works where basic print projects like wedding cards, calendars and school textbooks were injected with a fresh lease of life by taking a nifty approach., Business

10 May 2016 | By Payal Khandelwal

For part two, we have five graphic designers who talk to us about the making of projects that include a brochure, postcards, a personal graphic art series, a restaurant’s identity, and an installation for a corporate brand – all employing a different approach in terms of either format or design to stand out from the crowd. Read on...

Ankit Khurana
Ankit Khurana, who runs an independent graphic design studio called Pepperelektrik, did the brand identity and space design project for Ziu, a new Thai restaurant in Delhi. He speaks to us about the project in detail.

Ziu Restaurant

How did the idea come into being?
The concept of the restaurant was by an innovative chef who was inspired by the varied possibilities of Thai cuisine. It was our job to sensually interpret it and create an ambience where one could go through these palate-challenging dishes. We worked on the spatial graphics and brand identity for the restaurant, and also got involved in creating stationery, menu, serving aids like coasters and social media graphics as well.

Tell us about the making of the project
Our main challenge was to communicate with pure visuals and textures without interfering with the diner’s absorption of the concept. It had to be clean, and yet contrasting with the space they came from.

So we worked with the texture of the space, studied its imperfections and merged them well to create a cohesive look that felt like there was a movement in the entire space of the restaurant. We worked collaboratively with the interior designers to make it seem like an escape to a new world with great tasting food and sensual colors and sights of Thailand, without using cliched tourism motifs.
We worked with the printers and the interior team to come up with various materials and spaces which we could work on. We covered the walls according to the visitors’ eye movement across the space even before they actually enter the restaurant. So, the glass facade to the main door and then the kitchen, backlit bar, walls and ceiling of the restaurant all have been designed with a purpose to create a cohesive feel.

Pavithra Dikshit, Tosha Jagad, Poorva Shingre

While working on client projects at their regular day jobs, graphic designers Pavithra Dikshit, Tosha Jagad and Poorva Shingre decided to start a side project called Postcard People to have some fun. The project’s main focus was to revive the idea of sending out postcards in a contemporary fashion. Postcard People instantly struck a chord with many people, and soon the trio was inundated with clients’ requests as well. We speak to Pavithra about what all they have done so far, and their plans going forward.

Postcard People

What was the inspiration behind Postcard People?

Postcard People started as a simple collaboration, and sort of became a part business idea over time. The inspiration was to be hands-on as a lot of the work we end up doing is on the computer and we wanted to break away from it. The three of us love postcards and we were toying with the idea of doing something with it, and we just did it.
When we first started out, we did public interventions with Godrej Culture Lab, Mood-I (IIT Bombay’s annual festival) among others, and also collaborated with brands and made custom cards. Now we’re pushing towards a model of designing postcards for retail so we can reach out to a larger audience. It also gives us a chance to do more public interventions as well.

Tell us about the making of the project
Of the showcased projects, two are our personal collections and one is for a client. The first collection we did is called #LoveAndHate which started from the base idea that we were really tired of cheesy love cards and wanted to do something different. So we did a series of love and hate cards which you can gift to people you really love.
The second collection, which will be released next month, came from the idea of making postcards that were ‘Quintessentially Indian’. And we didn’t want to do the usual monuments in different cities. So we thought of taking our unique traditional clothes and making postcards featuring people wearing them.
Another project is from a client project for Paper Planes which is an indie magazine subscription service. And the brief was simply to do something cool related to reading, so they could give it away to people they meet. So we thought of showcasing people’s reading positions all over without any explanatory text as a fun way of saying - the service is addictive.

Kashmira Sarode
Bangalore-based illustrator and graphic designer Kashmira Sarode was approached by Wari Watai, a design firm that was handing an installation project for Asian Paints, to do the illustrations for the same. Read more about the project below.

Asian Paints- My City My Home

Tell us about how the project started

Every year Colour Next, Asian Paints launches a new range of colours and to introduce and demonstrate them to the public, Wari Watai (formerly known as Trapeze) comes up with strategic solutions and installations. One of the installations in 2015 was themed ‘My City My Home’ for which I was the commissioned illustrator. The concept was ideated to me by Ram Sinam and Trusha Sawant of Wari Watai.

The installation is an exploded view of a city’s neighbourhood. It is a discovery of varied ideas about transforming your neighbourhood. The circular space allows for an interesting way of displaying these interventions and viewing the neighbourhoods from a macro as well as micro perspective.

The core part is an abstract miniature cityscape, created with various small neighbourhoods put together. It rests on a larger map which provides a macro image backdrop to the entire idea of creation of a city. Each part of the neighbourhood miniature further explodes into the peripheries of the circular space showing details of the various interventions inside. The intervention’s sections include art workshops for kids creating floor murals, cross-stich work on the fence for local women/enthusiasts, vertical gardens and neighbourhood cleaning up undertakings which transform the city’s dirty walls into clean colourful spaces.

The space comes to life with colours from the palette and each intervention provides an interest area for different demographic.

Tell us about the making of the project
My job was to observe the space around me as I travelled across the city and draw particular things which fit the brief.
I observed every little detail such as roofs and balconies of buildings, malls, signals, trees, dogs, cows, bridges, flyovers, lakes, shops, gated societies, slums, religious buildings, dhobi ghats, buses, taxis, traffic jams, joggers, dog walkers, people washing clothes, painting walls – basically anything and everything which would come under an umbrella of a city. And then I used these elements to create the city map.

The biggest challenge with this project was the scale of it. The city map had a diameter of 22 feet. So it was extremely crucial that every single element was detailed enough to not look too big or too simple. Also, creating roughs and lay-outing the illustration on such a big area was quite time consuming as well. I had to create multiple roughs to get the sparseness of the buildings and other elements and their proportions to each other right. It took a little over three weeks to finish the entire project.

Khyati Trehan
Graphic designer Khyati Trehan works with Codesign Brand Consultants in New Delhi. When she was a student of publication design course at National Institute of Design (NID), she did a brochure for Artistes Unlimited, a platform for the promotion of the performing arts – with music at its core. Khyati talks to us about this project.

Artistes Unlimited Brochure

How did the idea come into being?
I had intensively worked on layouts in my previous exercises. I wanted to take this opportunity to explore the often ignored part of print design, which is the form of the print itself; the idea that the book can be treated as an object and designed accordingly. In the context of brochure design specifically, I wanted to experiment with folding techniques.

The subject of the content in the brochure was completely open, so I took up Artistes Unlimited (AU), a music choir that I was a part of. Founded by Annette Philip, AU was a first-of-its-kind platform that sought to promote young artists in a non-competitive environment in the city of New Delhi.


Tell us about the making of the project
Many AU performances have been well-documented by the photographer Shiv Ahuja, who was really kind to provide photographs for this project.
I then referred to the technique of single sheet folding that I’d learnt during an open elective course in the previous year called ‘Origami Games’, and derived a fairly simple fold from the basics of Origami. The information I collected was passably flat, which means it could be read in any order so I figured it would make sense if the information could be presented all at once on opening. The opening and closing of the brochure ended up being very rhythmic, purely by chance to be honest, making it apt for the content that dealt with a music choir.

Shweta Malhotra

Shweta Malhotra is an independent graphic designer based in New Delhi. She started working on an interesting personal project called ‘Something Cool Everyday’ in 2014 as a design experiment. She created a graphic art piece per day for the entire year, and eventually showcased all the prints at an exhibition. Here’s what she has to say about the project.

Something Cool Everyday

How did the idea come into being?
It essentially came out as a form of personal expression with freedom to do what I want and experiment with graphic art in a way that you don’t always get to do with commercial projects. All my pieces were based on everyday life, with subjects ranging from fashion to travel to personal experiences and observations.

Tell us about the making of the project
After the project ended, it was showcased at the Alliance Francaise Gallery in Delhi as part of the ‘Design X Design 20 under 35’ exhibit. As part of the exhibit, I created one large printed poster showcasing all 365 pieces created, as well as a selection of 12 prints, one from each month of the year.