Aposematism is when animals take on visual characteristics to signal that they are venomous in an attempt to ward off predators. Bright acidic colours are a common manifestation of aposematism and became the starting point of our narrative for Other.
““The idea should cost less than 10 rupees,” Sanjay joked. Through Other, we learnt the importance of frugality; relentless editing and abstractness became our approach for the campaign.”
Founder, Sanjay Garg, challenged us to find meaning in aposematism that could live beside Raw Mango’s brand language. True to the brand, the idea needed to be simple while creating maximum impact; “the idea should cost less than 10 rupees,” Sanjay joked. Through Other, we learnt the importance of frugality; relentless editing and abstractness became our approach for the campaign.
While Indian nostalgia is a prominent visual device for Raw Mango, surrealism lives as a silent pillar. The label’s first published photo was of Sanjay’s sister with her face painted in the Raw Mango’s primary colour: forest green. Another campaign, Cloud People, imagined a community of cloud-worshipers with painted faces. Iconography and symbolism are abundantly clear to the informed. Antique deity figures litter Raw Mango stores, and symbolic inspirational imagery is plentiful on its social media pages. Even the inspiration for the campaign’s ceramic eyes came from a bronze statue lying on Sanjay’s office desk.
“While Indian nostalgia is a prominent visual device for Raw Mango, surrealism lives as a silent pillar.”
Sanjay Garg and Now Form founder Vikramaditya Sharma directed the campaign photographed by Shubham Lodha in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. We also worked with musician Sid Vashi to create custom music for the short films shot by Vikas Maurya and edited by Akash Sharma.
Now Form created all the graphics and collateral for the campaign, including a custom animated typeface. We also designed and coded a responsive and interactive web experience that ran for the campaign’s duration. You can view the website here.
Other had a polarising effect on viewers and quickly went viral. Many viewers found the images grotesque and scary and accused Raw Mango of going too far. However, a large audience found the images pathbreaking. Istituto Marangoni, Director, Diana Marian Murek shared an Instagram story with the caption “maybe the best campaign ever”. Every major publication in India wrote about the campaign, including non-fashion publications such as The Times of India, Indian Express and the Hindustan Times.
“Istituto Marangoni, Director, Diana Marian Murek shared an Instagram story calling the campaign the best campaign ever.”
While we didn’t intend to shock our audience, we did intend to challenge a fashion campaign’s limits (in an Indian context). We achieved our goal of creating a conversation that questioned the vernacular of contemporary Indian design and fashion.
SUKETDHIR is a leading Indian luxury apparel label. Their innovation in indigenous textiles, attention to detail, and quality craftsmanship has brought the brand international recognition. The brand won the prestigious Woolmark prize in 2016 and featured on the cover of the New York Times & The Economist.
Over the last few years Now Form has worked with SUKETDHIR to create their brand identity; This includes all their collateral, communications, brand book, and website. Additionally, we oversee and direct their photoshoots and have also designed video collateral for the label.
Rebranding India’s best menswear brand
We worked closely with the founder, Suket Dhir, to understand the ethos of the brand. Through numerous discussions with Suket, customers, friends, and stockists, we were able to establish guiding principles for the brand. SUKETDHIR was synonymous with playful luxury. Our brand pillars enabled us to create a consistent brand language; one which was easy to communicate with other collaborators.
Quirk, effortlessness, and nostalgia are central to the SUKETDHIR brand. The brand collateral designed for SUKETDHIR echoes these sentiments.
SUKETDHIR’s clothes are rich in design details. The subtle and often hidden embellishments are for the enjoyment and discovery of the wearer. Playful prints are used to line the garments.
“Stumbling on a yellow business card in a stack of ivory cards should bring the customer the same sense of discovery and amusement as finding a hidden detail in the garments.”
We used undulating line drawn versions of iconic SUKETDHIR prints/motifs on our collateral for the brand. The variation in line weight gives the icons a handmade and feminine (nazakat) vernacular. Much like SUKETDHIR’s garments, the collateral pieces have a simple design. While all of the collateral is ivory, there are a few random pieces designed in the label’s signature yellow. Stumbling on a yellow business card in a stack of ivory cards should bring the customer the same sense of discovery and amusement as finding a hidden detail in the garments.
SUKETDHIR Pop-up Store
Interior Designer, Vibha Hooda designed the SUKETDHIR pop-up store at The Chanakya. We worked with Vibha to ensure that the interiors followed the same brand language. Like in our collateral designs, SUKETDHIR motif’s were hidden into the trellis-work of the store. We designed the store signage using micro concrete sheets and engraved typography.
Our team of User Experience designers created a responsive website for SUKETDHIR. As a website for a luxury apparel company, the intention was to design a website that was e-commerce friendly while being narrative and memorable. The interactive homepage (on desktop) discards traditional e-commerce patterns and brings the brand imagery and language to the forefront. The e-commerce website allows the buyer to customize garments as well.
“The interactive homepage discards traditional e-commerce patterns and brings the brand imagery and language to the forefront.”
Custom iconography, in line with the brand’s spirit, can be found across the website. Drawing inspiration from the brand’s garment tags, different bicycle sizes are used as icons for the sizing chart. We replaced the traditional shopping cart with a wardrobe, and a click on the bowler’s hat launches a hidden game.
The website and brand language extended into the numerous digital touchpoints of the brand, including, emailers, newsletters, social media, digital invitations, and a video wall at The Chanakya, New Delhi.
Creating a consistent photography style
As an extension of our branding, we established a photographic language for SUKETDHIR. We created moodboards for different image scenarios such as product images, campaigns, lookbooks etc. Using the moodboard as a guide, we cast and directed photographers, stylists, and models on SUKETDHIR’s photoshoots.
Jantar Mantar Campaign
As our first campaign for SUKETDHIR, this shoot established a narrative and whimsical visual language for subsequent photoshoots. Inspired by geometry and architecture, Pranoy Sarkar took the photographs at the picturesque Jantar Mantar in Jaipur.
He for She Campaign & Lookbook
Pranoy Sarkar photographed SUKETDHIR’s, ‘He for She’ (SUKETDHIR’s womenswear collection) Campaign. The Navrasas (nine emotions enshrined in classical Indian art and literature) and René Magritte’s surrealism inspired the campaign. Our team designed the computer-generated backdrops for the photo series.
We also directed and edited the look book for the collection. The lookbook was designed for social media and had a gradient cloud background that unfolds as a user scrolls through the feed. The lookbook preceded the campaign and acted as a pared-back precursor to the campaign’s airy and whimsical aesthetic.
Lakme India Fashion Week, 2019
For SUKETDHIR’s collection, showcase at Lotus Fashion Week, titled ‘play,’ we explored virtual travel. We utilised the surreal 3D landscapes from our ‘He for She’ campaign and overlayed them with whimsical illustrations. Much like the collection, the absurd and playful juxtaposition of image, drawing, and type created a sense of ease and fantasy.
We extended the visual language to the various touchpoints of the show, which included an LED screen backdrop for the ramp, digital invites, music, and presskits. Our 15-minute backdrop featured an animated sunrise on a 3D rendered moon desert landscape. We also created micro-line drawing animations inspired by instructional drawings for folding origami shapes.
Have you ever been on vacation and found yourself with a backpack full of printed matter? Museum passes, maps, train tickets, brochures, come crawling out of your pockets. Boarding passes get repurposed as bookmarks. Information booklets become reading matter. A gathering of printed matter is what inspired the format of our designs for SUKETDHIR’s India Fashion Week debut, which consisted of a variety of print collateral in different sizes and materials, bound together by an elastic.
The 3D topographies were a precursor to SUKETDHIR’s ‘He for She’ campaign.
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