August 26, 2015

Designers to watch out for, Pt.1

by Anusha Narayanan

Every day we swim through portfolios in our inbox or on online platforms, looking for fresh stories for our magazine and website. In the process, we came across a few that really showed promise.

There is immense talent in our country when it comes to design; and even within design, we’ve only barely managed to scratch the surface of graphic design and illustration. These names have been sitting on our ‘list of designers to watch out for’, so we thought of just pushing this out for a start and letting you – our readers – help us reach farther, faster.

We hope that this 2-part series serves as a starting point to find more talent and start conversations.

1/4  Shaivalini Kumar

Shaivalini Kumar is a young Visual Communication Designer whose work pivots around typography and illustration. She’s been featured on many other platforms such as Adobe Inspire Magazine, Colorado Poster biennale and The New Yorker Magazine. We first came across her while talking to animator Asavari Kumar, who also runs her own blog – Art Lovelies.

The project that stood out for us was Chemistry and Maths : a set of guidebooks Shaivalini created for G.C.E. (General Cambridge Examination) O-Level Students for Visionary Schoolmen, Singapore. The brief was to make guidebooks which were friendly, engaging and something that the student would cherish.

Her solution was to take a semi-serious tone and keep the students (14-15 year old teenagers) hooked, careful to not make it too childish. The ‘constructed-Hieroglyphic’ concept balances the informal and informative tone of the books. The books are monotone, and have stylized magazine-like covers, bold mastheads and editorial layouts. Shaivalini made use of iconography and photography to enhance the look of the spreads.

While there are many special points to this project, here‘s where you can read more about it, and get to know Shaivalini better. For her latest udpates, follow her on Instagram.


Shaivalini-Maths_Spread02  Shaivalini-Spread04



2/4  Shiva Nallaperumal

He’s a graphic designer/type designer/illustrator from Chennai who has worked with Pentagram (J. Abbott Miller’s team) as a student and has interned with Grandmother India. As an independent designer he’s published typefaces with Google (With ITF) and Lost Type Co-Op, and has designed a typeface for Typotheque. Currently, he is working with the Indian Type Foundry.

The project that we’d like to focus on here, is called Rewind. Shiva worked with musician and visual artist Paul Rucker on this project; they’d earlier worked together on The Empathy Project. “With Rewind, Paul sought to explore America’s uncomfortable history of race relations and social justice from the era of slavery to the current discourse on racially motivated police brutality.” Shiva’s job was to create an extensive show catalogue that also serves as a standalone piece, informing viewers of “the back stories, history and context of project using the objects on view as milestones.”

The catalogue has the feel of an old 19th Century newspaper, but the usage of modern revivals of older typefaces keeps it contemporary (a Condensed Grotesque and text grotesque for headlines & captions and a scotch roman for text). The dividers were the timelines, sober yet stark, maintaining the seriousness  and neutrality of the piece at the same time.


2  3


You can read more on Rewind here. Keep track of what Shiva’s been up to on his lovely Tumblr[thumbnail image courtesy Shiva Nallaperumal]

Do write to us with more recommendations for work we should know about. Comment with your suggestions and links, and we’ll have a look.

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