Creative Gaga: Discover the brands which speak!
Brand communications is a lucrative channel of design as brands become increasingly conscious of how they appear in the market. Brand Communications Firm, Lopez Design seems to have developed a formula for what works best. From typefaces to colour, digging deep into the language of branding, they talk about crucial factors that can make all the difference.
CG: You make use of traditional scripts and language to communicate your designs for clients. How is that different from working using Roman Scripts? What challenges do you encounter? What makes it fun?
LD: The script is really a visual expression of a culture and geography. It defines a certain space like nothing else can. It is important to understand the cultural context even before approaching script while communicating to your audience. Language and script become the connecting factor.
The Roman and Devanagari scripts come from completely different origins, so they are not really comparable. When they are introduced in the same space, it is a typographical challenge. It can be a lot of fun but other times, it can also be a painstaking exercise to get it right. It is a real challenge for instance, to find a wide range of Hindi or regional fonts, as these are limited in number. There are good regional type foundries today designing regional typefaces, but to get sizable high quality choices will take several years. While creating a logotype in dual or multiple scripts, the problem is far diminished. We need to match and design only a few characters; the traditional rules of type design can be also set aside. It is tedious and nuanced work that requires designers with a love for detail and typography. There is a real sense of joy when it all comes together.
‘The Missing Pavilion’ exhibition was a response to the constant absence of an Indian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The poetic reflection of the artists explored emotions arising from the absence of our identity in the globalized world in a contemporary language. This reflected in the identity design, a large portion of the typographical landscape wiped out from the poster, to make a bold statement aligning with the artists’ point of view.
In the logo, leaving out the “i” – which is the very image of self and identity highlighted the sense of a gap. The dot remains though, hovering above, allowing the puzzle of partial presence, like hope, to linger in the consciousness of the viewer.
CG: Your branding comes alive with colour. Is that a critical element in your design process? How is colour a language on its own?
LD: Colour is widely accepted as a critical component while creating an identity programme. In India, orange and green have clear associations in the religious context. Similarly, whatever we develop has to be decided in relation to where we are placing it finally. Colour psychology and local cultural context both are considered in conjunction.
Each colour’s meaning and association support or embody the brand. Colour follows brand character and personality in the branding process. When a designer wants a brand to stand out in relation to their competition, the method of ‘colour blocking’ is used.
Even in nature, we find numerous examples of colour appreciated as the identity of an organism. Plants and animals may use colour for survival by mimicry or camouflage. This is similar for our world of people, but besides the universal connect with colour, it is our local interpretations of it that play a significant role in conveying mood and meaning. One should not think of a colour in isolation or with a singular context.
Bihar Museum – This identity and communication system is based on the three pillars of ancient civilizations of this region – Great Governance, Supreme Knowledge and Way of Life. These come together as the Bodhi Tree, which is associated universally with growth, learning and enlightenment yet is also special for Bihar. In the logotype, the Hindi rendering of ‘Bihar Sangrahalay’ supports the English name ‘Bihar Museum’ with the unique shirorekha line of the Devanagari script making a bilingual bridge. The logo is multilayered allowing many interpretations in the true spirit of Indian symbolism and celebrating the Museum’s vision of “Awakening the Glory of Bihar”.
CG: Branding is all about the product. How do you balance your creative ideations so that they match the brand and satisfy the client? Does it involve a lot of sacrifice and compromise?
LD: Branding goes beyond the product and is not exclusive to it. In today’s world, each one of us has the means to project ourselves the way we would like to be seen. Thanks to social media, the reach to a wider audience is easily possible. Every effort we make creates an impression. This is true for any entity that is capable of communication.
In professional branding exercise, this is just a beginning. ‘Digging deep’ is what we do when we work with brands. In a romantic way, we become one with the brand, so we think, speak and act to put forward what it stands for.
All creative thoughts flow out of this process, leading to insights and directions for communication strategy. Our design ideation then follows at this ripe time when everything has come to fruition. At this juncture, everything is in place and there is no conflict. The solution that emerges is always “just right” with a balance of all considerations.Creative Gaga - Jan/Feb 2016