THE BLUE HILLS DIALECT
A Wildlife Photographer from North-East India wished to start an initiative to bring forward the ethnicity, culture, wildlife and people of North-East through his photographs. I was given the responsibility to brand its identity. After a series of brain storming sessions and discussions I came up with The Blue Hills Dialect. THE BLUE HILLS DIALECT is an endeavor to showcase the best of the blue hills way of life, the rich culture and traditions of its amazing tribes with a concerted effort through visual stories. Here the term ‘Blue Hill’ is derived from Assam which is also called the Land of the Blue Hills and Red Rivers. North East India is a region blessed with several local dialects that add to its diversity. The word ‘Dialect’ is used to express the common Visual Language of North East’s beauty through the photographer’s lens. TBHD’s logo portrays a Camera’s Landscape Icon as seen on autobuttons. The original mountain and cloud that appear in the icon are replaced by a simplified hill and a moon. The stylised rectangle derives a slight inspiration from the instagram vintage polaroid camera logo. Its rectangular form has been given organic styling. One-horned Rhino is a global symbol representing Assam and North-East India. Its silhouette is inserted to symbolize the land that is NE India. The idea was to use a combination of Brand Mark and Emblem mark styles of Logo Design to communicate without the words and bring about an ease for people to associate with the initiative.
SILVER SPIDER KNITTING LTD.
I had the opportunity to do a make-over of Silver Spider Knitting Ltd. – a brilliant fashion manufacturing company based out of Toronto. Its a feel good factor to style the company’s brand where you work on an everyday basis. The brief was to re-brand its visual identity by using the old elements. I proposed to create a contemporary version of the spider icon, which I created using elements of geometry. I amalgamated the icon with text to create the new identity. The colors remained the same.
There was a time in the online social media marketing scenario when Indian photographers started their FB pages with names like ‘XYZ Photography‘, ‘Dash dash Photography‘ in order to promote themselves. People started using part of their names or initials so much as if they were bound to use the syntax: photography. Was it so mandatory?Gradually, this trend spread like forest fire. It became so viral that by the end of around 2010, every other photography page on FB was named in a similar fashion. Back in 2011, the social network was over flooded with such pages which now no longer belonged to just/only Professional Photographers. They were owned either by photography enthusiasts whose ‘about me’ columns read Amateur Photographers or by people who simply owned expensive DSLRs & its relatives. Amidst such saturation & a pool of cliched identities, it was difficult for a genuine photographer to actually sound/appear genuine & professional. New Delhi-Based Concert Photographer, Kaushik Bhaskar was also a victim of such times. It was a grave situation as he struggled for an appropriate Identity for his Photographic Portfolio for Professional Services. He wanted to digital market his business through Facebook and we all know how it was like to be a photography page on fb during those times. When I first spoke to him, he had somewhat decided to go with the mob. As a designer + friend I felt it was my duty to put his thoughts in the right path. This is when an identity was born amidst cliches – [O]BSCURA.
Aricia/KSO India wanted to develop a brand for its doormats product line in their home decor section. Their wishlist included the following: a simple one-word identity, the name should be incorporated in the logo and it should speak about their high-quality products (doormats).I was inspired by the English word ‘ULTIMATE’ to create ULTIMAT. In English language, ‘Ultimate’ is defined as ‘the best achievable result of a process’. Similarly ULTIMAT communicates that my client’s mats (products) are the best/ideal outcomes of their imagination & craftsmanship. Symbolizing perfection & supreme-ness, ULTIMAT resonates their (doormats) high-quality standards.
I like drinking hot beverages. Do you? It seems, coffee has become a major addiction with the working class, hot chocolate is a kids delicacy & Green tea is turning to be a favorite with the health conscious. The North-Eastern state of India, Assam has an abundance of small tea growers. Majority of what they churn out is the inorganic variety-Orthodox. But, with the increase of endorsements by health magazines & considering its international demand, Green Tea is taking the lead in Tea business in Assam. There are a few environment conscious tea growers who have realized the potential of green tea & are marching ahead in the path to manufacturing tea in natural, organic environments in Assam. Chenehi Tea Farm is one such a Small Business Initiative. Founded by an agriculturalist & a pioneer of organic tea farming in North-East India, Dhiren Phukan, Chenehi Tea Estate produces natural, hand-made Assam Tea. It also takes pride in being one of the first tea gardens’ from Assam to export Green Tea overseas to Canada. In one of the talks by the Chief Minister of Assam that I attended, the audience giggled when he said ‘We Assamese (people of Assam) don’t know how to market ourselves well’. I chuckled too at his statement. But somehow I find his words correct when it comes to the branding scenario of SMBs in Assam. Business doers readily pick Adidas, Allen Solly, Revlon etc. just for brand name-sake but they hesitate to invest in branding their own business/products. Some because of ignorance, budget etc. Others, because of lack of good branding knowledge & direction. I’m yet to find out the reality that so many smart business people still don’t understand the power of a brand. While working with Small businesses, I realized that the one thing which has the most dramatic impact on the success or failure of a modern-day business is also sometimes the least understood.
While volunteering with a friend cum entrepreneur for development of small scale industries in North-East India, I happened to meet Dhiren Phukan-the man behind Chenehi Tea Farm. On one of the occasions, he gifted me a sealed pack of fresh Green tea from his new batch. I brewed some of that tea when I got back home. Such was the flavor & aroma that I am now an official fan & an addict of Dhiren’s tea. But, when my eyes turned to the logo on the packaging, I was disappointed. Such good tea needs to be respected. And by respect, I mean branded well. I don’t blame this man from rural settings for holding no knowledge about branding & identity. I am unhappy with the designer from the city who charged him heavy for such a logo. I felt as if it was my responsibility to help Dhiren & his awesome Green tea. My personal love for the beverage was another reason for taking up this re-branding project.
Love Your Neighbour or LYM Movement is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization founded by women, for women. They are driven by a passion to empower women to become confident community members. They advocate the sharing of resources and talents in local and global communities with a belief in fairness and respect. It is my privilege to be part of such a noble cause. During its formation last year, I had volunteered to sculpt their visual identity. The team was looking to use the letters L,Y,N together which would evoke a feeling of love, togetherness, and standing by each other. I derived my final inspiration from the ‘holding hands’ human gesture which symbolizes support, morale booster, instills confidence. I used this philosophy in my design to mould the letters in order to form LYN icon.
While working on creating a branding strategy for a BrandEq client, one of my tasks in the project was to conceptualize an identity for International Jazz musician and gospel singer – Noel Benjamin. The brief was to create a Type dominated logo with his name. Sophisticated, black, minimal and bold were a few of the keywords. I guised the letter ‘J' in 'Benjamin’ in the form of a musical note to add a hint of music element to the identity. That really worked.
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