studio two IDENTITY DESIGN Latika Nehra GDUG09
STUDIO II Mulberry |Brand Identity & Design This document contains the process and learnings of the Identity & Web design of Mulberry, a craft-centric NGO based in Assam.
I consider myself very lucky to have got an opportunity to work on a live project and I would like to thank a few people~ Rakhee Choudhury from Mulberry for providing me with the opportunity to undertake this project. Saloni Aggarwal a student of NID, studying Photography. Without her Project documentation on Mulberry, my research and background study would have been incomplete. Rupesh Vyas, co-ordinator of graphic design at nid, served as my project co-ordinator and guide for the project. Tarun Deep Girdher, Anil Sinha and Tridha Gajjar who gave me feedback on the project at my semester jury in October 2012. My family, undergraduate graphic design batch 2009 and friends for their love, encouragement and support.
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RESEARCH about mulberry its competitors design process
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DEVELOPMENT keywords positioning introductory concepts raw sketches
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initial identities the hexagonal wheel the craft factor the organic flame
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REFINEMENT identity election form efinement colour palette typography
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DELIVERABLES logotype and basic usage tips visiting cards letterhead brochure fliers
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WEBSITE sitemap wireframing visual language
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proposal First and foremost, drafting the design proposal and submitting to my guide,Rupesh Vyas.
Identity Design for a craft-centric, non profit organisation based in Assam.
Mulberry (Development & Marketing Society for weavers) had been set up with a mandate to work towards the development and economic empowerment of our rural women in Sonapur village in the Kamrup district of Assam. Recognizing weaving to be second largest activity after agriculture in the North East of India, Mulberry is working to create weaver entrepreneurs out of disorganized artisans in rural areas of Assam. Through an intensive ongoing hands-on training programme, they are working to motivate and help young weavers to become organized small entrepreneurs and give them relevant support to take up weaving as a significant economic activity. They give them trainings to upgrade their skills, teach new designs whilst using their traditional colors and patterns, and help market their products in exhibitions and retail stores.
First and foremost was to understand the Brand/NGO, which I managed through a detailed documentation done on Mulberry by an NID photography student, Saloni. Stage I In the process of developing the Identity, I hoped to be able to generate a lot of keywords and defining attributes about the brand after my research. These reference words would then help me in developing visuals for the identity for which I will use as many tools and mediums that are best suited for it. Also, I plan to be referring to a lot of weaving patterns and processes to get some cues on the technique of weaving. I hope to be able to come with a variety of identities based on different concepts for the brand. Colour palette selection will come along side the identity development.
Stage II The Website and other collaterals are a part of the second stage of this project. After the Sitemaping & wireframing I plan to use the visual language I developed for the Identity and incorporate it in the web-pages.
Stage III Final print sampling, paper selection, elimination process, re-check, detailing and refining the final outcomes, sampling will make it into the last stage of this project.
Logotype for Mulberry Website Layouts Stationery Other collaterals November 2012 - January 2013
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mulberry Background information on Mulberry, the NGO and the upcoming Brand.
Based in a rural area, near Guwahati City, these tribal communities: Karbis, Bodos, Misings and Dimasas work as weavers with an NGO Mulberry. Tribal communities are the ones who are mostly neglected and live in remote areas. Moreover, their traditional patterns and weaves are very striking and can be used for their own economic upliftment. They can, thus, keep their identity as well as carve themselves a niche in the local and the commercial markets in India.
Many of these beneficiaries are unmarried rural women above the age of 30. They are the eldest daughters who have sacrificed their education and life to take care of the younger brothers/sisters, their parents and the households. They have no means of earning except as a daily wage earner and this hardly brings them any money. When the brothers (in whose name the land is) grow up and parents get old, being above the marriage age, these daughters become almost like an unwanted entity in their own home. They did not have any formal education or trainings and with the age factor which comes in play, they find it very difficult to get married and earn a living. These women fortunately are very skilled in weaving but have never had an exposure to weaving for an income and do not realize the talent they have as a result.
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Weaving in Assam
The loom is a prized possession in every Assamese home. Weaving has been a way of life in the state since times immemorial. The oldest and largest industry, known equally for its pristine simplicity and unequalled charm. For the people of Assam, weaving is not just a commercial venture but a symbol of love and affection. According to the tradition, to be eligible for marriage, skillful weaving was a primary qualification of any young girl. No wonder it was widespread throughout the region, with techniques handed over down generations, allusions to which are available in Assamese literature and scriptures. Located in the lush green hills of north east, these tribal have their homes amongst the deep rooted green forests where one could even not think of human existence. The designs and motifs of Assamese fabrics are inspired from nature, and form familiar objects that surround them. Tt over time some lyrical and flowing designs have also developed. Diamonds in different characters form and interesting part of Assamese design. Among ancient motifs, a strong tribal influence is evident. Today, designers and artists pick up motifs from traditional designs and incorporate them in their weaves based on the current trends and demands in the market.
Registered as a non profit organization in August 1999, Mulberry (Development & Marketing Society for weavers) has been set up with a mandate to work towards the development and economic empowerment of our rural women in the north east. It is based in a place called Sonapur in the Kamrup district of Assam. The organization works with village women of Karbis, Bodos, Lalung tribes. These are some of the indigenous tribes of Assam. Despite the ethnic unrest and continuing violence as well as hurdles of economic backwardness Mulberry has established itself at the grassroots level, achieved purely on self reliance and dedicated hard work.
Intentions and Goals
Recognizing weaving to be second largest activity after agriculture in the North East of India, Mulberry is working to create weaver entrepreneurs out of unorganized artisans in rural areas of Assam. Through training programme, mulberry is working to motivate and help young weavers to become organized small entrepreneurs and give them relevant support to take up weaving as a significant economic activity. They give them trainings to upgrade their skills, teach new designs whilst using their traditional colors and patterns, and help market their products in exhibitions and retail stores. Mulberry believes that weavers (women) of this region have the capabilities of producing for the market provided they are trained to produce for its demands.
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Mulberry aims to build in the bridges which will help our weavers to set up a reliable production team along with creating a group of master weavers, who will not only be competent but highly motivated to work at developing more accomplished weavers in their villages. While building up weaving as a marketable profession, Mulberry feels that it is weavers with their success stroies and not just their products that need to be promoted. They try to inculcate in the weavers a sense of dignity and pride for their own creations and their work, but also try to turn the purchasers into patrons of the products that they buy and sell in the markets. They educate and sensitize consumers about the lives of the people and the kind of effort that has been put into the fabricâ€™s making. They believe that women artisans, who have inherent pride in their work, skills and themselves, will be able to flourish in the long run only if they are supported by a sensitive and well informed market.
Mulberry believes that weavers (women) of this region have the capabilities of producing for the current market needs, provided they are supported by it.
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competition Understanding the competition Mulberry will face across India and beyond.
Positioning comes only after understanding the ideologies of Mulberry as a brand and as a non profit organisation. The important next step was to look into the market and identify other such similar brands. In India, there are many craft based non profit organisations. As a part of the identity development, it was essential to see the logotypes and brand positioning of these brands. Most of the logotypes are not very well resolved, but since they have been out in the market for some time now, they have acquired some name for themselves. Essentially, I looked and studied these brands particularly because it gave me an idea of various aspects of marketing.
Organisation to uplift traditional Indian crafts
It was essential as a graphic designer to understand how competition in the market would or could affect my design process. What works. What has been done. What to avoid. How to be different. Check the colour palette of another brand. For example Mulberry is already a well established fashion brand in the U.K. Hence, It was important to know what the logotype and branding looked like, to know what to avoid and avert future confusions. All in all, it is important to do a field study of your competitors as you can learn a lot from their pros and cons.
Brands celebrating traditional textile skills
Fashion brands in U.K with certain similarities
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process A simple layout of design process that I used for developing the identity for Mulberry.
The process of I used for developing the identity design for Mulberry was the most basic step by step from research to final execution from discover to deliver. The way I kicked-off this logo design projects was first with some good, quality Conversations with the client. The aim was to learn as much as possible about the company culture, values and the way they do business, so as to be able to inject that message into the logo design. Next was to Know the Audience, which would give me some clues as to where you need to take the logo, style wise.
#1 Phase Understanding Mulberry Checking on Competitors Positioning Mulberry
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Also the more important part of this process is researching my clientâ€™s market Competition. To see who else is out there and how their logos look, so as to avoid doing something similar, or worse doing something identical. Make sure the identity has to set the brand apart from everybody else that is out there in the market. After this, and during the research on these stages, I started jotting down a lot of key words that defined the brand. These attributes of the brand were segregated further under groups. Three prominent stages would be Research > Conceptualize > Develop and finally Deliver.
#2 Phase Conceptualizing & Sketching Draft designs & Client feedback
#3 Phase Final selection & Refinement. Identity Development.
The few words or attributes that were repeated during the research stage, then became my bank that helped me generate visuals for the identity. Pages from my notebook showing research
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keywords Deriving certain keywords and attributes for Mulberry that help in generation visuals.
After positioning the brand, I narrowed down a few keywords that truly defined the brand, its ideologies and what it wanted to project. This helps in directing the various explorations for the identity. This stage of the project is the most crucial part of the process, it forms the basis of research and process. These Keywords were: Greenery, Happiness, Bonds, Weaving, Women, Income, Traditions, Goodwill, Assam. To put it in even simple words Mulberry provides an opportunity to women in need and helps them generate income through their own household crafts.
The focus areas of Mulberry are ~ Uplift the women in need. ~ Keep the craft alive. ~ Train & educate their weavers. ~ Help them generate income. ~ Give these weavers an identity. Its is these keywords that will help me generate visuals for identity in the next stage. The interaction and layering these keywords in order of importance helps in coming up with visuals that truly define Mulberry. After generating keywords, I positioned Mulberry under certain market personalities to be able to generate a variant range of identities for the client to choose.
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positioning Placing the brand in the market, giving the brand as a whole its defining feature.
After a thorough research and background study on the brand, and keywording, I decided to now position Mulberry in the market with its competitors. In marketing, positioning is the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. For mulberry, I felt the following factors were important : Brand Attributes What the brand delivers through features and benefits to consumers.
Consumer Expectations What consumers expect to receive from the brand.
Competitor attributes What the other brands in the market offer through features and benefits to consumers.
Price An easily quantifiable factor â€“ Your prices vs. your competitorsâ€™ prices.
Mullberry~ Positioned as premium brand of cotton weaved garments. Mulberry has its roots as a Non Profit Organization and works for the uplifter of tribal women in Assam. The women at mulberry weave products that reflect an aspirational, traditional, aesthetical style, and detailing. While individual garments will have their own traditionally weaved patterns, Mulberry collectively meets the current market needs & trends. The celebration of the craft of weaving and stories of its weavers will remain the heart of the brand, tying them together to a joint purpose. Mulberry is a Brand that values its weavers as much as the beautifully woven garments. Providing them a platform where their skills and handwork is recognized all over the country and beyond. Positioning helped me segregate the brand into different concepts, and generate a range of keywords suitable for the brand. After positioning Mulberry under few concepts, I explored various visual languages suitable for the brand.
Consumer perceptions The perceived quality and value of your brand in consumerâ€™s minds (i.e., does your brand offer the cheap solution, the good value for the money solution, the high-end, high-price tag solution, etc).
After this, I went on to ideate and sketch down all the various possible visuals that could help in the identity design for Mulberry.
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concepts Initial concepts for developing the identity based on a range of Market positioning.
I choose to segregate my visuals under few themes. These visuals would represent certain feeling that would be different for each visual. The idea to do this was to let the client decide what she wanted her brand to represent or convey.
An Elite fashionable store~
A Modern brand for Premium women Garments. The other words that define this brand are Beauty, Stylish, Elite, Feminine, Classy, Expensive & Fashionable.
A Craft centric Brand~
A brand that markets and sell traditional craft made products. Other features about such a brand are affordabilty, Cheap, Ethnic, Homely, Earthy, Crafty, Indian, Traditional, Authenticity and Indigenous weaving.
Non-profit Brand ~
A strongly motivated non profit organisation that relays on the authentic value of its products and strengths of its weavers. Some keywords that define this sort of brand are Organic, Earthy, Goodwill, Motivated, Non-profit, Indian and Indgenious weaving.
on the right: Pages from my notebook showing different positioning strategies for Mulberry.
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Various identity explorations. Sketching down all the ideas before final selections & refinement Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 19
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initial designs Metaphor: Women from different tribes, like threads from different bobbins come and unify under the shelter and care of Mulberry (the warping Chakrah).
As a Premium, Modern brand for Hand woven cotton garments. A premium brand for traditionally woven cotton garments. The Brand appears to be fresh in the market, stylish, fashionable and slightly expensive. It is comes in line with other established brands like Good Earth. The Concept The simplified hexagonal form stands for the shelter that Mulberry provides to women from different tribes, who like threads from different bobbins come and unify on this chakrah-like structure in the warping stage of weaving. Pros The look of the identity is very modern and clean. The brand appears to be very premium and almost expensive. The idea it give to its consumer is that of a very meticulous and a confident brand. Cons This could also work against the ideologies of the brand, as it is first and foremost a non-profit organization.
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Inspiration: The traditional motifs weaved on the garments are geometric in shape, and the most commonly used among them is the diamond shape.
As a Premium, Craft-centric brand making affordable handmade cotton woven clothes. A premium Craft centric brand for traditionally woven cotton garments. The brand because of the make of the visual has already positioned its self among its competitors like Fabindia and Anokhi. It is a traditional Indian brand that sell authentic organic Indian made garments. The Concept The visual represent the iconic traditional diamond patterns that the women in Assam weave on their garments. Pros The identity is very traditional and Indian. It appears to be craft based which will work in its favor in generating good income. Cons It is a very common visual, one can almost say they have seen it before. The identity as a visual does not stand out as much amongst its competitors in the market.
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MULBERRY Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 23
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Inspiration: Mulberry aims to promote not only this rich craft and heritage of Assam but all the women who weave these beautiful garments.
As an influential brand/non-profit organisation As a brand that is first an foremost a non profit organisation with a mission. The visual makes a powerful statement amongst its other competitors. The logo stands firmly, looking zealous for a brand that has its roots weaving but aims at much deeper goals for the upliftment of its weavers. The Concept I choose to incorporate fire, leaf and weaving in one visual. The visual in itself is very powerful yet the leaf like form makes it organic. The fire stands for a firm vision and zeal. The form looks tribal, yet the fluidity makes it a modern visual. Pros The look of the identity is very bold and powerful, the brand must almost live up to this visual. It is organic, crafty, modern, all in all a perfect combination. Cons The colours could make it look like a logo for a jewelry brand. The form is very tribal, almost tattoo like in its form.
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selection Out of the three concepts given to the client it was the third Identity that was selected.
The client felt that as the brand is first an NGO, the third identity suited their ideologies and brand motives the most. The flame like form stood firmly for a NGO, which has a purpose. The form in all is very organic, which reflected the work Mulberry dealt in; women, crafts and clothes. In the next step of the identity development I decided to visually explain what the identity stood for, and explain the concept behind the visual. The reason for doing this was to provide simple visual explanation of the ideation behind the visual to the client, instead of a verbal or a written explanation.
Mulberry is motivated and inspired by the lushes greenery of Assam that surrounds it.
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Weaving & the weavers together form the most integral part of the Mulberry.
Mulberry as an NGO is full of zeal and determination to help uplift its weavers.
refinement After the selection, it was time to refine the form to its best possible outcome.
The most crucial part of the identity stage is the form refinement. The first identity given to the client was not the final one. It was presented as a concept but the visual still required a lot of work and refining. There are many aspects that need to be looked into while refining the identity, the most essential question one needs to ask is Where all will the identity be applied? What will be the final tangible form of the identity? What will be the standard size of the identity? The applications of the identity help in deciding the minimum and maximum size of the identity and also what material will the identity be in. Such questions are important to be answered in the stage of identity refinement so as to simplify the process that follows later.
The flames need to be refined as the symmetry of the form is not maintained. The form also need to be softened as a whole, as it appears to be more like a tribal tattoo than an identity of a brand.
The curves need to be redefined, decision to be taken weather to make the form look two dimensional or three. The thickness and thinness of every twirl is not at all consistent.
The space need to be reduced to make the form look more stronger, as it appears to be weak. The basic shape of the visual has to be finalised and the lines of the twirls need to fit in the final form.
The gap between each intersecting twirl need to be increases, because when the form is reduced to a smaller size the gaps almost disappear. All the white spaces need to be checked and refined.
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Sketching variations of the identity 28 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
In the process of refinement There were too many faults in the first draft of the identity, therefore I did not take it as reference and sketched the form again. This time I drew it consciously on a grid sheet to get the form as perfect as possible. I had to further refine the form digitally and vectorise it, but the point was to make the form as resolved as possible on paper. The most crucial part of the form, that also defines it, is the top most portion, so I had to try different variations (leaf or fire dorms) and then select a final defining form for the top portion of the visual.
Sketching the basic form on grids. Maintaining the gap between the twirls. Reflect and Overlapping the twirls on the right side. Finally, separating the twirls into segments, giving the illusion of a inter-twined weave of leaf blades.
Variations for the form, the most defining part of the form was the upper portion. Decisions weather to make it look more leaf or fire-like had to be taken. Finally the most neutral form that stood midway in its appearance was chosen for the final form of the identity.
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The most basic shapes of the visual â€˜the twirlsâ€™ refined. Using an ellipse helps in getting the curves perfect.
Next step of refinement, the Symmetry in the form is also maintained by just reflecting the form on the right side.
Using the pen tool, to divide the and segment the identity further. The form now starts to look like a leaf weaved.
The gaps are increased, thickened and made uniform. The form is made more firm and more heavier than before.
The two flamelike elements are added, but need to be tweaked more to look like a flame, then like a leaf.
Final touches and tweaks are made to make the identity as one strong & stable visual ready for colour selection.
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colour palette After the final refinement, it was time to decide the colour palette for Mulberry.
Essentially, I wanted to use only a earthy and organic colour palettes to bring out the attributes of the brand and NGO. I also explored certain colors that would change the of experience you would have with the visual of the brand. Certain vibrant colours would make the brand more trendy and fashionable. Darker hues would bring out more masculinity in the brand. Lighter hues took away the firmness of the form. In my experiments with colour, I realised that certain colours, especially pure hues would make the identity appear to be expensive, too feminine, or very loud. Hence, explorations were necessary to know what colours to avoid and what to include in the final form of the identity. My final selection, was inspired from the main attribute of the brand. The organicness of the colours make the form softer, which is what I had hoped for.
Variant trials from different colour palettes. 32 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
Nature, Mulberry the NGO and the surrounding Habitat form my colour palette inspirations.
The dark olive green represents Assam, the greenery the habitat which surrounds Mulberry and the homes of its weavers.
The chrome yellow was chosen to signify the flame and the zeal of the NGO to better the conditions of the craft its women weavers.
I decided to use a cream as a base colour to convey a certain mellowness and serenity which upholds this craft of weaving in Assam.
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typography Selecting a typeface that will be used as a standard for Mulberry in all places where required.
The typeface used in the primary wordmark is ITC Caslon which is an elegant high contrast typeface display text. ITC Caslon 224, is a new modern-day interpretation of the Caslon types, has a large x-height, very high contrast between thick and thin strokes with smooth beautiful transitions between the weights. The typeface was chosen for it curves and charp chisel like serifs which compliment the symbol. It is almost seems derived from the visual language of the idenitity.
The secondary Typeface that is being used is Kepler Std, a modern typeface. This modern type style has a humanistic touch. It is elegant and refined with a hint of oldstyle proportion and calligraphic detailing that lends it warmth and energy. I find it to be very suitable for the use of body type and other essential type uses in various stationeries at Mulberry
KEPLER FAMILY (Primary Body and secondary word mark)
WEIGHTS: Regular, Medium, Semibold, Bold , Black STYLES: Regular, Italics
ITC CASLON 224 Std (Primary wordmark)
WEIGHTS: Medium STYLES: Regular Curves and charp chisel like serifs ITC caslon
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ABCDEFGHIJKL MNOPQRSTUVW XYZ ITC Caslon all caps for the primary Wordmark
ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC abcdefjhijklmnopqrstuvwxyz *&%$#@! ABCDEFGHIJKL MONPQRSTUVWXYZ 1234567890 ?<>”:[-+> Kepler Std for secondary wordmark & body
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deliverables Delivered Identity and basic usages tips.
Clearly reads MULBERRY at a glance, therefore recognisable and memorable. ASSAM is also visible and as a part of the entire logotype and its bounding space. The visual symbol intrigues the one viewing it, but it clearly looks organic and connotes the craft of weaving. The interpretation of Mulberryâ€™s brand ideologies and believes can be seen in the symbol as well. The olive green color denotes earthiness and harmony, the yellow color denotes confidence, and a futuristic outlook. With its stable,confident stance, organic curves and contextual colours, the logo represents the vision and aspirations of Mulberry.
Symbol and Wordmark Configuration
Symbol & Wordmark
The primary version of the logo is where it is combined with information of where it is based Assam. This is used at most places where the identity needs a full presence and information. Example: Brochures The secondary version of the logo is where there is no need of using ASSAM in the logo. Example: Tags on garments.
MULBERRY Symbol without ASSAM Wordmark Configuration
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Although the Logo, the symbol and wordmark should never be seen separately, if need be they can be used. Example: The symbol can be used as on a stamp, or the wordmark used on certain tags in stores. Note: when using the wordmark without the symbol it should always be used with secondary wordmark Assam.
Using only the Wordmark
MULBERRY ASSAM The final logotype
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The minimum sizes specified here are specific to print related configurations. When the symbol is used solely, the width of the symbol, edge to edge, essentially should never go lesser than 10 mm. In case of usage of symbol along with the full name configuration, the width of the logo, edge to edge, should never go below 30 mm. The sizes specified here are only minimum sizes and not preferred ones. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
Minimum size for the logotype
In order for the logo to have the maximum impact, it needs to stay clear of other clashing visual elements. Hence it is required to provide a certain amount of clear space or the safe zone to safeguard the identity. As shown in the visual shown below, the amount of space left on all sides is half of the width of the entire logo.
Mandatory space to be provided for the logo
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The greyscale versions of the logo need to be used only when colour reproduction is not possible. The colour version of the logo always gets priority over the greyscale logo. Care needs to be taken that the logo background is clean and tonally even in order to make sure that the logo gets sufficient contrast. This contrast is required for the logo to stand out and be legible in all situations possible. There are only two values of black used in the Grey scale version, which are 80% K for the wordmark and the majority in the symbol the rest is 60% K for the singular flame and secondary wordmark. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
MULBERRY ASSAM Greyscale version of the logo
The logo, can also be used in a single colour if it is being used as a cut out or a stamp. The basic shape of the logo remains in one colour but the background color can keep on changing per use. Example: A particular collection of garments can have a certain colored background which can change for different collections.
Multiple ways to extend the identity
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Colour BG / Photograph
Essentially the logo should always be used on plain white back ground. In case when it is used against a coloured background or a photograph the logo is to be used in a single colour only. This is to make sure the colours do not end up clashing with the colour of the background, hence the single colour treatment is necessary for it. MULBERRY
In any similar situation, it is to be made sure that the background is chaos free.
Using the logo on a clear background
Using the logo on a photograph 40 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
stationery Final Digital and Tangible collaterals designed and delivered to the client along with basic usage tips.
As a part of the deliverable the following have also been designed and submitted to the client.
Dimensions:75mm x 50mm Typeface: Kepler Std in weights as mentioned below: Name: 9 pt. Semibold. Designation: 7 pt. Regular. Address: 8pt. Semibold. Phone no. & email address: 7pt Medium. Body text colour: C-0 M-0 Y-0 K-70 Paper: Sun light157, 240gsm
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letterhead Dimensions: A4 ( 297mm x 210mm) Typeface: Kepler Std in weights as mentioned below Name & Designation: 9pt. Medium. Address: 8pt. Semibold Body text: 9.5pt. Regular Body text colour: C-0 M-0 Y-0 K-100 Secondary colour: C-0 M-0 Y-0 K-70 Paper: DO White 80 gsm
A simple olive green envelope
Front and back views of a blank Letterhead 42 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
brochure The brochure template has to printed on both sides of an A3. The brochure needs to be cut horizontal from the center and folded in three equal parts of 140mm. Dimensions: A3 ( 297mm x 210mm) Paper: DO White130gsm
The way they bond No one does it better, It’s a relation Not easy to master, Working each stitch Carefully into another Walking till the end together, One leaves behind at the end, The other holds the strength forever
~ We Weave ~
~ Handweaved cotton garments ~
Barkhat, Barowari Sonapur, District kamrup Assam, 782402 India
Mulberry (Development & Marketing Society for weavers) has been set up with a mandate to work towards the development and economic empowerment of our rural women in the north east. It is based in Sonapur in the Kamrup district of Assam. The organization works with women from indigenous tribes like Karbis, Bodos, Lalung of Assam. For the people of Assam, weaving is not just a commercial venture but a symbol of love and affection. The loom is a prized possession in every Assamese home. It is the oldest and largest industry, known equally for its pristine simplicity and unequaled charm.
Mulberry empowers rural women of Assam with a craft they have mastered since generations. At Mulberry they are educated and trained to provide for the current market needs.
weave beautiful cotton fabrics,enlayedwith traditional motifs. designed & stitched into garments for men and women, sold across the country.
organisation, and a brand, Mulberry aims at empowering tribal women of Assam and developing more economically accomplished weavers in their villages.
+91 9954021332 +91 9859928996
WEAVING Mulberry gets its cotton yarn from Karnataka. After the distribution of yarn, its spun into bobins by hand using the spinning wheel. The next stage after warping is healding, in which they pull each thread through the heald. Then
PRODUCTS These beautiful garments range from women & menswear to unisex accessories. Kurtas, Jackets and Scarfs are few of the popularly sold products. Mulberry also provides for custom made fabrics and clothes.
A special system called the Nangal system is used for tieing of design.This way the loom is made ready for weaving and then the cloth is woven.
The greatest pride of Mulberry are its weavers. These are skilled women who have been uplifted from all sorts of adversities, trained and given hope of a better life and future. Mulberry has employed almost 500 weavers in Assam.
The designs and motifs on these fabrics are inspired from nature that boundlessly surround them. After the weaving is done the fabric is washed and dried and then is collected by mulberry where it undergoes the process of quality checking and then is sent for stitching.
“The soul of Mulberry lies not only in the beautifully hand woven garments but also in the stories of success & achievement of its women weavers.”
Full view of the Brochure Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 43
Fliers designed exclusively for Mulberry. These are meant to be used on their moving exhibitions and displays. They can also be used in the store. These fliers focus on the women that have been uplifted by Mulberry.
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website Basic webpage layouts and visual language design for the website
As a part of the deliverable and digital collaterals, I also designed the templates for Mulberry. There are two types of websites, Display and Dynamic or static and interactive. A Static website usually displays the same information to all visitors. Similar to handing out a printed brochure to customers or clients. A dynamic website is one that changes or customizes itself frequently and automatically, based on certain criteria, subjected to changes.
I thought it would be interesting to start by giving the website a personality. As a brand what it wanted to showcase on the Internet. The basic decision was to decide on the amount of information it wanted to share and how it wanted to share it on the wesite. I wanted the user to go step by step in knowing about Mulberry. Hence hierarchy of information was important.
A few website must-haves that I happened to come across on a blog kischandco.com. Navigation
The type of website Mulberry required was a display, informative website. The content for the website was again based on the documentation done on mulberry by a photography student Saloni. There was also some material provided by the client, which had to be revised and used for the wesite.
I wanted the website for Mulberry to be visually informative, clean, clear, easy to go through. Users and clients are very impatient. Most of them barely read content and surf through visuals. Effort needs to be made on the part where I have to make the website look less commercial and more of a Non profit organisation based in Assam. The Users of this website would be people who are interested to know about NGO’s in India, or doing business with Mulberry or other competitors in the markets.
Keep it clean, make sure the “contact us” page is easy to find. Talk, don’t brag. Don’t confuse the users. Also, We truly recommend copywriters.
Design There is really have no excuse not to have a well designed website. You’ll be losing business if you don’t.
Details Keep an eye out for little things. Clear separation of navigation from content and aligning things.
Functioning It is super important to have functionality as priority. You don’t want your users or clients to be frustrated and annoyed and lost while surfing the website.
Expertise Share resources and show your expertise. Doing this on a regular basis will convince viewers of your know how, and will keep them visiting your website regularly.
Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 45
As a part of the research, I went through a range of variant websites dealing with similar content.
Fabindia I liked fabindiaâ€™s website, but it had too many primary and sublinks visible at one time. The colour coding also seems random on the links. The essence of fabindiaâ€™s products, stores and website was very different.
Gucci One really high-end brand, but the website falls short to deliver that ideology. Although what I take from this website is the way the sublinks and primary links interact. The information is also well segregated. Really powerful images are very essential to a website, they are actually doing most part of the job.
GuyVernes The website is simple and very powerful. Home page delivers the message of the brand, it is to the point of use. Shopping is priority of the website. Rest the website is devoid of clutter and very well resolved to maximum functionality & easy navigation. 46 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
PAP (Products And Philosophy) is a leather goods company that features handmade products that are produced, manufactured and sold exclusively in Sweden, Europe. I chose their website as my primary reference in terms of design and functionality. Although their website is very dynamic, they also sell their products online. It is their informative and content pages that I navigated and took my inspirations. #1 Simplicity The layout of the website is very simple. Grid based very freshly layed out. The website conveys information step by step. There is no clutter with links. Very few primary links and hidden sublinks. #2 Colour Palette It is after navigating this website, I realised the importance of a colour palette, and a colour scheme that is inspired from the brand identity and its products. #3 Strong Visuals The website is very dependent upon its visual, and this one has kept them large on its pages. They also need to be intriguing, so the photographs you use on the website needs to be given a good thought to. #4 Minimalistic The use of minimal links makes this website very clean and easy to navigate. The user know exactly what he can get out of this website. Its therefore essential to segregate and classify information.
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sitemap The sitemap describes the organisation of content on the website, itâ€™s containers and categories.
First and foremost task in design a website is to make its site map. It is a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, which are typically organized in hierarchical fashion. The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics, if applicable. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential
to developing a consistent, and also a very easy to understand navigational system. Putting all the information out there and then further arranging it. Deciding what will come first, what will come next. Basically it is essential to make a site map that you can refer to while making wireframes or the main website, to make sure you donâ€™t miss out on any details.
Sketch of the sitemap from my notebook 48 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
wireframing Creating the skeleton of a webpage.
Making wireframes for the website is one of the most valuable parts of any web design project. It can save a designer tons of time by hashing out the details of a siteâ€™s architecture, functionality, and content prior to actually starting a visual design. Creating wireframes are crucial becasue they kickstart the thinking process. They allow a visual designer to shed all concerns regarding the appearance and allow one to focus purely on function and affordance.
Variations of wireframes for the website Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 49
The columns have been clearly decided for each page based on the content. Although the primary basis of the content remains as navigation through visuals.
Top header and by the provision of prominent thumbnails under primary links. Also by drop down menus. Scrolling is done vertically up-down the web pages.
Browse the page one after the other, one leads to another. Basic browsing is also very step by step through dominant visual. Home > Products > Next
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These wireframes are very raw and not so detailed. They are the potential structures of what the site could be. The brand requires a very simplistic approach to the website, since its an informative display website. These wireframes become my point of reference when I shall get to final stage of the website. Keypoints The navigation of the sub links is also based purely on the content. The content has been also segregate and classified to suit the purpose of navigation in the website. The content page would require the user to scroll down rather then more linking pages. The most crucial aspect of the website will remain as navigation through the visual. The visuals are dominant and of a nature that supports information. The visual supports the header links and browsing is based via visuals, as mentioned before. There will be a use of a graphic element that simplifies navigation. When you hover upon a link the colour changes and upon an image the element shall appear. Navigation will be through a vertical scroll bar. Them main information will be viewed at first, scrolling or linking pages will be required for secondary information. The website will be very simple in terms of content and linking information. The navigation will also very systematic in a flow.
Sketch of the sitemap from my notebook Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 51
visual language The attempt was to use minimalistic language so to avoid elaborate layering of meaning. The idea of introducing graphic element in sync with the identity is a bonus but also was an addition to the overall experience to make it more memorable. Specifications The website layout is based on a 960 pixel grid, with a 12 column grid. It will always have a minimum of at least a 5% margin on left & right side of the page. The primary background colour of the website is white while the secondary background colour is R-172 G-128 B-49. The body text is to be a web safe font, preferably Palatino linotype by Hermann Zapf, Using a Regular at 14 pixel typesize.
MULBERRY The way we bond, no one does it better Itâ€™s a relation, not easy to master Working each stitch carefully into another Walking till the end together One leaves behind at the end The other holds the strength forever Sketch of the sitemap from my notebook
A weave like pattern appears when you hover upon the images highlighting the link. Visuals divided based on content 52 Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra
The logo and logotype, they remain constant throughout the web pages.
This portion contains two liners from the poem that defines Mulberryâ€™s beliefs.
Upon hover, the respected link is highlighted with change in colour and a band of weave appears. Upon click, viewer is directed to sublinks.
Top links, these are four permanent links that will guide navigation process.
Division of information of the webpage Studio Two : Mulberry | Latika Nehra 53
work-on-hold Website Paused The next stage was to collaborate with a web developer and work side by side on developing the webpages. Since, the client has not yet found a programmer/web developer, the website is on hold for the moment. Only the look and feel of the website has been worked upon. Other detailed essentials are on a hold till the client decides to proceed.
Other primary webpages : Weavers & Products
Three divisions of visuals divided based on content
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conclusion As I have mentioned before, I consider my self extremely luck to have got the chance to work on this project. The reason being it is my first live project, and give me a lot of confidence knowing that my work has in its own little way succeeded and will be out there in the market for people to see. As a branding project, I fee confident of the design process I followed and will follow in the future. Keywording and sketching remains as my favorite tools in the process of the identity design and development. I have also come face to face with the problems people in my field face, right in the beginning of this project: Dealing with clients. It is so disheartening when the client doesnâ€™t not understand design and its importance and devalues your work. I believe it is all a learning process, we need to remember that things will go wrong, there will be so many ups and downs while doing a live project. What is important is to remain calm and deal with all sorts of problems strength and positivity.
Latika Nehra | 2012 National Institute of Design
Published on Apr 1, 2013
This document contains the process and learnings of the Identity & Web design of Mulberry, a craft-centric NGO based in Assam.