September 4, 2014

An identity for the art of our times

by Amishi Parekh

This is part of our series on the 2014 Kyoorius Design Awards in-book winners. To see the complete list click here.

We’ve been following the folks at Kulture Shop ever since they opened their new store last year, if not before that. With a rotating mix of incredible Indian illustrators and graphic artists such as Lokesh Karekar, Sameer Kulavoor, Rishidev RK and Aviral Saxena, each collection is fresh and has something new to say. As a platform for graphic designers and artists to monetize their work and develop products reflecting a new emerging global and Indian identity, Kulture Shop the brand tends to take a backseat, always seen through the lens of the limited edition prints, t-shirts and objects that form each collection. However, if you look beyond the art frames or visit their store in Bandra, you find a crisp, impeccably constructed identity with a strong personality of its own.


Kulture with a ‘K’ stands for alternative culture, a blend of talent from around the globe, bred in sub-cultures from India and across the world, inspired by design, changing lifestyles, art and music. We spoke to Creative Director Kunal Anand, who developed the identity from scratch, about the inspiration for the identity and the process he went through developing it with client/partner, Arjun Charanjiva.

The ancient Chinese puzzle Tangram was a key inspiration in creating the brand logo. The puzzle itself accommodates the several possibilities and collaborations that Kulture as a brand strives to explore. For the brand to be iconic and versatile, a ‘K’ for Kulture Shop was be mandatory. After delving yet deeper through numerous experiments in form we found ourselves playing with tangrams puzzles and the negative space around the forms. A unit made out of individual parts, that when aligned form a bold, strong and original mark represents the Kulture brand.

The diagonal of the K is a graphic element that gives a sense of dynamism to the packaging, be it wrapped around their kraft paper tubes or taped around print cases. The monotone, primarily bullet grey and white colour palette allows the art to shine through, both on screen and in print. The custom “Made in India” stamp adds texture and demonstrates that the brand is rooted in craft, with a proud sense of Indian-ness.


“Whether printing our woven labels for tees or ensuring the K on the packaging was perfect, it was necessary to work closely with new vendors to center and replicate the brand as it deserves. For example in the silkscreen tube packaging, the entire design aligns around the point the K logo meets the grey diagonal. This is a built- in proof check for alignment of positives and provides a central point for proofing the designs. Each tube wrapping is checked by eye in our studio.”


If Kyoorius Design Awards jury member, Michael Johnson, is to be believed, it’s not long before we see Kulture Shops in London, New York and Tokyo. As it stands, the Kulture Shop identity offers Kunal and team plenty of room to expand and grow in to their vision of being a space where art/design, lifestyle and media/entertainment meet, someday evolving into an urban culture venue.

The Kulture Shop identity and packaging are in-book winners and Blue Elephant nominees at the 2014 Kyoorius Design Awards. Winners will be announced on 13th September at Kyoorius Designyatra 2014 in Goa. To learn more about the awards party, click here

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