The Aha moment

Last night, at exactly 00:01 hours, I had an Aha Moment! A moment of epiphany, where I knew exactly what was needed. I was working on a logo design project and trying out various options and explorations. The moment the Aha moment occurred, i knew this was it!

Aha Moment: a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. A moment of clarity.

A smile captured my face, and the next couple of hours were spent doing the design. It was a moment where I was sure that the design that I decided upon as a result of that Aha Moment would be the one that the client selected. It so happened that the client did select that very design.

Designers are known to live by intuition. With more experience , the intuition becomes stronger and often they are able to come up with designs in a shorter turnaround time.Do these Aha moments come as a result of long churning by the subconscious mind on the designs, or does it arise from a totally blank slate. Does it occur in the influence of something or does it just come by.

I asked the same question in my class in the TCD program today, and asked the students about it. Got a lot of interesting expressions! Many laughed at the entries. But in the end they relate to it.

The Aha Moments

I would love to hear from more designers on what gives them their Aha moments!

Redesign of the AA logo

The new American Airlines logo

So the latest news is that American airlines has gone a change in their logo and an overhaul to the branding. The old logo has been in use for around 45 years, and that goes to show its timelessness! A classic in itself, it has stood test in time. So now all eyes would be on the new logo and whether it can do as good. In the times that we live in today, it is easier said than done. Many people these days value Brand experience more than just a visual identity.

A branding redesign exercise is often associated with a change (for the better) customer experience spanning across the passenger services, in flight services, and the processes of doing other things. It would indeed be interesting to see whether this redesign in the Brand creates the value of the corporate overall as well.

One will always be cynical about change. As designers however one is entitled to their subjective opinion, fit to be passed as a judgement. It is a good thing that they released the video, as it is good to know the story and aspirations behind the change.

My opinions on this Redesign? I am always apprehensive of the redesign of the logos of  large corporates. Any high profile company’s change of logo and brand reminds me of the Gap logo redesign fiasco. Because the old logos have been around for so long, it is often challenging for people to accept the new one. Moreover, it is also due to the fact that the level of understanding visual languages amongst the audience these days has gone up. The logos themselves are reproduced and used on many more places than it used to earlier.

I personally think that . . . → Read More: Redesign of the AA logo

What keeps you alive?

I am a person driven by passion. I love doing things that inspire me towards being a better human being. I think that is a characteristic that every designer should have. In the classes that I take, I often ask the students to bring some soul into their work, and also drive their work with passion. It is this passion that keeps one alive and moving.

I recently came across this quote, and I loved it. It embodies the exact thought I had about people being driven by passion and doing things that truly inspires them. I created a poster out of it, to continue my love for Graphic Design as well.

What keeps you alive? 

For the love of Graphic Design

Of  late I have been enjoying my time in creating posters. This is a tribute to my love for Graphic Design. Here is a poster in the series of promotional posters that I am doing for the child education project in Bihar. The illustration is done by an intern Jean Haag.

What do you want to know today?



The effort in a logo design

Often I have clients come to me stating that they want a logo designed. When I quote them say an amount X, which is decided based on the different parameters in background, dependencies, usages, etc.

I try to convince them on why I charge how much I am charging and that there is a lot of effort involved in the logo design process.

Recently, a reputed filmmaker friend said; “There is no rule to make a logo”. I disagree with that statement so much. It almost forces me to question him, “Is there a rule to make a film” ? I know there is. But let’s not get into the discussion on that.

A logo is an outcome of a lot of hard work and thought process. To make a simple logo is difficult. It is NOT as simple as just opening up powerpoint or any other software and creating it in a few minutes.

Here is a video that I came across about the design of the Rio deJanerio Olympics logo. See the video to understand the level of complexity involved and the philosophy behind a logo design exercise.


The new Hero Moto Cop (Hero Honda) logo

A lot has been going on in the corporates, with many tie-ups and mergers. These activities are resulting in a lot of identity being changed and new ones being formed. Change is required for a company to grow. And identities are often a key part of the entire makeover process.

Recently Hero Honda went through one such change, and has now re-branded itself at the Hero Moto Corp. It also introduced its new logo.

Here’s the design brief for the logo design :

“The new logo stands for the new face of India – that youthful energy and ‘can do’ spirit. It is in true sense the “Indian Catapult” which signals that while it is deeply rooted in Indian values, it is also poised to go for global expansion – a Leap of Faith.” 

The new Hero logo

My initial thoughts on this was definitely not positive, as the logo as such was a bit difficult to comprehend. The logo is definitely contemporary, especially with the font it has used. But then that was the case with another recent logo fiasco, the Airtel one.

This new Hero Moto corp logo has two components to it. One is the graphic part and the other is the text / typographic part. The graphic part in this case is a 3D one.

The beauty of this logo is that it is simple. It’s easy to reproduce. But thats about it. I have more things to say that are not in its favour.

The problem with 3D logos that play with the concept of positive and negative space is that often it is un-noticed. And even to experts, it becomes obvious only after spending some time staring at it. So it is not surprising that many failed to notice the H that is . . . → Read More: The new Hero Moto Cop (Hero Honda) logo

Let Mr Vaughan know...

The Vaseline Ad

Brilliant example of taking a current affairs topic of controversy to create a marketing campaign and using it to an advantage.

Simple, to the point and high on impact!

Making print ads more interactive

Of late one can see the usage of QR codes in advertisements. So much so that it has been catching attention. It’s there on prints, can be found on the web medium and even displayed at notice boards and other common areas in public spaces. In case you are not familiar with it; QR codes stands for Quick Response codes and was meant to be a code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. (Read more about it here on the Wikipedia page)

With the introduction of more phones that are based on the Android and the Symbian 3 platforms, it is but natural to have more applications that will make use of it.With the 3G network slated to come on a larger scale in the market too in the next month (Tata DOCOMO has already started the promotions for it), the number of applications will only increase. If there is anything that is sure, it is that the interactivity level of the users with their devices will increase.

It is this aspect of Interactivity that is the focus of this article. One can imagine and agree people spending more time on their devices (the phones, ipads, tablet pcs etc). With everyone trying to create solutions for different user groups keeping technology in mind, the number of possibilities are vast.

The down side of this would be the vast pool of information that will be available at the disposal to the user. In such a scenario it is very important to get the right piece of information in the shortest time possible. And that is precisely where the QR Codes (and another thing called Data Matrix) come in handy. Just feed in the information that you need to be coded, into many of the freely available, . . . → Read More: Making print ads more interactive

Google Chrome’s New Logo

Chrome Installer

So it seems to be a season of change in branding and shifting to newer logos. We have been seeing a lot of them and Google joins the bandwagon too, with the change in the Google Chrome logo.

I did not like the logo in the first place, for the sheer reason that it was difficult to replicate and was not flexible to be used across different mediums.

On that front I do like the new logo, that it is easy to replicate and reproduce across different mediums.When you are thinking of a

I like it for its simplicity, but find it lacking in personality. It does not do justice to the brand that we have come to think of Google as.

So I as such, have mixed opinions on the logo. I do appreciate the fact that there is this effort on making all logos of all it’s products using the same set of colors, so that it represents as a part of the whole Google family.

The transformation

Reminds me of this earlier comic strip that was in the social media when the first version of Chrome was launched.

Would be really interesting to know about the design thought process behind the logo. Wonder if its available anywhere as a case study.

The Pure font

So, Nokia has decided to let go of its iconic font the Nokia Sans that adorned its handsets and website and other materials for quite sometime, and replace it with Nokia Pure.

Nokia Pure (image courtesy –

Here the entire suit of fonts to see.

Nokia Pure-all in family (image courtesy –

I love the fact that they are really putting the word usability at the core of things.

The move could also be seen as a step to to align its branding with the decision to move to Windows Phone platform, where they use the Segoe WP font.

Also got to see this video from the Font Designer’s workshop where the font was created! Super video this one!

PureReversal from Build on Vimeo.