Google.com commemorated the birth anniversary of the Hindustani poet Sri. Munshi Premchand in its own style.
This caught my attention for a very special reason; because this resonated with my long time thinking around “how better logos can be designed in Indian language scripts”? In the past 12 years, I got a few opportunities to symbolize Indian virtues in a text/logo graphic. But most of the times, the requestor would ask me to type a text in English and use the font that has a Devanagari flavour to it (something similar to what Google has done). Their intent was probably to keep the readability going smooth in English while we also have some desi touch to it.
I have a different opinion about this for 2 reasons; one- we have unlimited scope to experiment with various Indian languages and there is no reason to be trapped with this idea alone; two- Devanagari script alone does not represent all Indian languages. Many scripts like those of Odia, Gujarati or any South Indian languages do not have a horizontal line on top like Devanagari has. I felt, we should not be contended by just limiting our work to using a font and calling it desi; in reality it would not be. There in unlimited, untapped potential lying in each one of our language scripts for enhancing our creative expression.
Have you seen the green coloured G series Big10 buses in Bengaluru?
Cool! But it is less likely that you know the fact that the logo has Big written in both Kannada and English characters. (Tilt your head left by 45 degrees to see the Kannada script; must laud Mr. Ashwin Mahesh for the creativity). That is interesting, isn’t it?
As a designer one question that always haunted me was: “Do we have to think of logos using English script alone?” Since all our businesses run mostly in English, it is very common that we end up thinking concepts in English. But off late there is an increasing trend of naming the firm in Indian languages. This is where the untapped potential of Indian scripts gets unveiled.
There are many ways to form a logo: –
- Having a meaningful graphic (agnostic of script) and combine it with a normal text reading the firm name
- Just have a unique font to write the firm name and play with colours and text alignment
- Have the text with company name (characters) altered to accommodate a meaningful graphic within it and you don’t have to type the name of the firm separately (or in some cases you may also have to do it if the graphic only has acronym of the firm name)
While we have plenty of logos in the first 2 categories in Indian languages, I would like to discuss the third category in this article. A text-altered logo graphic in Indian scripts is extremely popular in the film industry where film names have creative shapes formed with the respective language scripts; but the popularity span of these logos is much short lived compared to those businesses whose products/services are consumed for many years.
In the last 2 years, I was gifted with some opportunities to spread my wings in this sphere. The first logo where I could partially get such an idea going was for the firm Namma Stage. While designing this logo, care was taken to retain the readability in English to the maximum extent, in addition to having a hint of Kannada in it.
The second opportunity I got was in the form of Abhijnana. In this case, the client wanted the Sanskrit letter “अ” as a part of the logo.
All this while our graphics were not exclusively made in any Indian language as it always had English characters accommodate Indian scripts in it. When the proprietor of SiriMugil Enterprises asked for his company logo to be designed, he also expressed a desire to make a creative shape out of the Si and Mu Kannada letters. This is when we were destined to make our first ever 100% English free graphic! (Please see that the neck of the swan through the head forms Si (ಸಿ) and Mu (ಮು) is formed with the feathers)
I am personally thrilled about the fact that I am a contemporary of this trend. I would love to see what other experiments are happening in different parts of India to bring 100% exclusive graphics in Indian languages. Please share those wonderful logos that you have seen in Indian languages.
Updated on July 3, 2017:
We are glad to update this blog with a latest success story of creating yet another 100% Kannada logo.