Thursday, July 29, 2010

What next?

I have spent the last week and a half looking through hundreds of typefaces and trying to find the characteristics of the alphabet that would be apt for my type integration options as well as fit in within the firms image.

There are a lot of things that affected my decision making
  1. General considerations such as stroke variation, width, weight, scale, form.
  2. Legibility vs. readability vs. recognisable symbol.
  3. How can the type be flowing into the each other, and yet be distinguishable?
  4. What can be done to make sure that the 'd' does not look like a 'c'?
  5. If a serif, then it should be one which does not disappear when scaled down
  6. The brackets of the serifs should not be rounded, but more angular.
  7. Each initial needs to be given equal importance, and needs to provide a linear eye movement. This  eliminated possibilities of exploring design principles such as hierarchy and visual anchor.
  8. How recognisable is a typeface? Is there a need to alter an existing typeface or create a new one?
  9. Is there a typeface which is used extensively in the current logo trend? Can it be avoided, or treated differently?
I wanted to reach a point where I could go no further in my progress before I asked for my mentor's feedback. After exploring options, trying out things that were experimental and not so experimental, and finally condensing my list to a few typefaces, and a few options, I waited for another two days, so that I could really stretch my mind to its fullest.

Today, a little apprehensive but nonetheless I had a meeting with Rashmi and Dev. I will be putting up the feedback shortly.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Initial doodles for the type integration unit. Please do give your feedback here. Thanks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Getting Feedback

After looking at my initial brainstorming, I have to do the following

- Start coming up with typographic integrations of DKM for the logo. This integration should act like a symbol, which can later be used independently of the name of the design studio.
Roger Federer initials -- an example of type integration

- Chalk out the promotions aspect a bit more. I should think of two aspects of the prospective product range. Instudio and for the general public. If a product range then how is it going to reach the masses? Who is going to buy it and how is it going to be sold? It is all very good to produce postcards, posters, t shirts and other paraphernalia, but is there a point? 

Ideas that have potential:
- Having monthly themes to the website, which would deal with a new application of the logo, and keep the visitors coming back. One of these themes is breaking type and zooming in. 
- Having a personalised feel to the website, where the employees could upload details of their projects, including process. 
- Integrating the personal characteristics of the studio in the identity. There are certain inherent characteristics about dkm -- music, typography, flexibility, youth... How can these factors be integrated within the identity?
-Having a dynamic identity -- Keeping different avatars for different categories of work doesn't work, because these categories keep changing, and the clients look at work project wise and not category wise. Categories such as "print" "publication" and "typography" make more sense to the design generation, not the target audience. Dynamism could be achieved instead, in its flexible application. The ideas of having a theme every month is one such way of going about it. 

My Workspace

My workspace in the Dev Kabir Malik design Studio

The Big Mindmap of Everything

Bold fun young simple clear cut flexible iconic quirky different visual aesthetic crisp fresh
Music library typography detail image making aspirations



            Client presentations

Design movement inspired
Embodying the visual style of the studio
Dynamic :
Different avatars for different categories of work.
Application of the identity
Promotional Videos on Youtube, Vimeo
Play your own music, play what we listen to, updates
Interactive ( creating a simple interactive space where the viewer can interact with “our world”. Examples:, what type are you?
A space where the team can update or upload their work and so on (Blog)
How often can the website be updated?

fun: tshirts, badges, posters, postcards, car stickers, calendars
utility: pen drives, stationery, planners, organisers, notebooks, bags
random : playing cards, matchboxes, cigarette boxes, storage boxes, customised music cds,
Promotion: tie ups with boutiques and shops, online, in studio, order & shipment
Themes: A theme can become a statement that is identified with the design firm. For example, Design Temple products are known for “sophisticated” kitsch Indian theme and some firms are known for doing “cute” work. Themes could be Indian, social, illustrative, typographic, design awareness, sustainability etc.  
It should be more than just a signboard.
Public Art, graffiti, a

A design palette: references of visual templates for clients, in order to help them articulate their needs better.
An yearly ‘festival’? Sponsors?

The client is often not familiar with design terminology and it always helps if the client knows exactly what he/she is paying for

            CLIENT SETS
            Illustrative, graphic, bold visual (kitchen, tabularasa, elevate, chi)
            Publication (Sunday Guardian, Covert, Inspire One)
            Social (Vaatavaran, Sttep, Lemon-aid)
            Luxury Branding (kidology, blues)

            Packaging, inforgraphics, motion graphics, web applications, exhibition design

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Most of my research is coming from here. Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler.
It provided for the gaps that I am not able to fill in my process of designing a brand.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Repositioning the Identity - initial brainstorming


Questions that came out in the meeitng:
What are the main forms of outgoing communication media?
In what position does the firm want to project itself?
How far and wide can the collaterals be stretched?

Qualities of the studio

- bold
- fun
- young
- simple and clear cut communication
- flexible
- iconic
- quirky, different
- aesthetic
- crisp
- fresh

Team qualities/characteristics or random things..
- typography
- music
- coffee
- library (in comparison with other places, it stuck out)
- image making
- aspirations

Reaching out to the masses
Very often design termanology means nothing to the client. what does he/she have to do with type, grid layout? Intricacies such as these should be translated into simple language.

Possible outlets

Identifying a market niche for a brand
client sets:
- illustrative, graphic, bold visual (kitchen, tabularasa ink, elevate, chi)
- publication (sunday guardian, covert, inspire one)
- corporate 
- social (vaatavaran, sttep, lemon-aid)

Expansion in terms of clientele:
- packaging
- infographics
- motion graphics 
- web applications
- Exhibition Design

music updates
fun links
interactive ( there are a lot of applications online which enable
users to form art with a few given tools.. is an example. 
Pentagram has a feature where you can find out which typeface are you. 
Blog like
Personal : Could the designers have their own personal page or something? Some sort of insight of the work environment in the studio?

setting a sort of an entrance...
hauz khas village is filled with these numerous shops and each one is a "design" store.. 
can there be graffiti or public art posterish boards outside which is part of the dev kabir malik identity and is integrated with signage?

How is the website updated and how often?

Technical questions: 
logo should be minimum what size? black and white? dual colour... etc? Is there a need? how can it stay consistent and yet dynamic..


small campaigns that people can participate in? The plausibility of this idea is still not sure.

Utility items and keepsakes like

some top of the head ideas for the identity:
- Definite form, but different fillers - colour, textures, medium (type, paint, vector pen etc), collage of work, 
- A unit made out of smaller units (each unit a different quality or something) the elements of which could flow out...and be more dynamic. which could form the whole unit.. and could flow out, deform, too.. like some of the dutch identities.. 
- sections. having sections of work, and each section has a different identity, ofcourse following the main identity... here things like substitution, metaphor, similarity in form, but dissimilarity in medium.. colour...texture stuff like that could work...Basically, having something common and something different
- different avatars.


types of identity and what message it brings out:
 typographic unit
simple bold clean clever, contemporary
rounded, flexible
inside joke?
experimental playful
dynamic, 3d
geometric, modular
complicated, busy
ornate, contemporary
hand drawn, though not necessarily child like?
calligraphic, cursive?

what sells? how does the "public" percieve things differently from us?

"word of mouth" is an important tool in promotion. public relations. keeping in touch with clients helps maintain public relations. Could there be something which the clients of dkm get yearly or something..I dunno actually.. this needs to be economical and not some sort of a giveaway thing... 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some reading in the library

Graphis Logo -- Rex Peteet
Graphic Design Referenced
Marks of Excellence -- Peter Mollerup
Graphis Poster -- Dr Frieder Mellinghoff, Paul Davis, Shin Matsunga
Design Matters// Logos

Some logo units I thought were interesting. I have no examples to show, since they are not online,
but what made them interesting was the unit, and how some of them were decontextualised completely and broken down to create some interesting quirky icons that would have a lasting impact. It all comes back to strategy and the way the firm wants to position itself in the market. Only when that is finalised, can an execution take place. 

In short,
Idea --> Execution --> Styling

Another excerpt that I found interesting in Design Matters//logos was about considerations.

Testing a logo
- emotional response
- Competition
- Brand Attributes
- Cultural Connotations

The very first meeting

July 8, 2010

The first review meeting really helped define the project for me. Up till now, I was still a little confused despite it being a simple project brief.

The first question that Mr. Ravindra asked me was "What is the design challenge in your project?" This question could be answered in two ways, one being the challenges faced while doing the project itself, and the other being what challenges I would be facing with my current set of skills and beliefs. Though at that time I only considered the challenges of the design brief, on retrospect I think there is more to it.

In my proposal my research questions revolved solely around branding. What about application? What was I going to design alongside? It could be a website, but it could also be something else. Mr. Ravindra also asked me to get into the skin of the company. What are their ideals? What is their mission statement? Do they want to project a funky image or something more suave? He suggested that I prepare a set of questions that would help me get a direction for the overall visual language of this project.

Alison and Danika both gave a lot of stress on finding out the expectations of the client and my own, and documentation. They really helped me spell out some of the loose ends of the project that I need to take care of. They suggested that I document even the slightest ideas, since each idea represents and depends on the experience of that particular moment. Even if these ideas are not taken forward, they could be the beginning of another direction now or later. My documentation will show how much I have travelled in the project, and how much I have been able to grow with it. They also gave me some feedback on client based project based learning, and how I should make the most of it. These are the months when I should make full use of my interaction with other designers in the field and learn from them.

There are a few things that are still not sorted out. These include:
-- Deliverables
-- Timeline
-- Expectations

The common feedback was that I should not forget myself in the project. Client based projects often become the do's and don't's of the client, and since the client here itself is a graphic designer, I need to make sure that the final outcome is me, and not him. This is perhaps going to be one of my biggest challenges through the project.