Nov 5, 2007


It's almost been a month...

Due to Diploma submissions / deadlines, the blog has been - and will be - on hold for sometime.
I however intend to resume the posting routine soon, and i do keep interesting news articles aside for a POWER POST on come back.
Keep an RSS eye on this blog to be updated on the return of daily India-shots!


Oct 9, 2007

Youth + Style + Identity

Y+S+I =? >> The equation is no different in India.
Shaved head no longer, Time for some more explorations...

Oct 8, 2007

Global / Local Wrinkles



What are the elements that can be (almost) literally replicated [color palette, packaging, etc...] and those which have to be altered to suit the Indian audience better?
clue: Latest technology & expertise v.s Importance of results [the much loved "before -after"].

Oct 7, 2007

Coffee Transparency

Spotted at the BLR airport

More than coffee: "Honest Coffee", served at a Five Star hotel.

'Never though of it that way. Is it about not letting one down on Caffeine? About minimal food miles? A coffee so intensely black that it clearly reflects ones sleepless eyes in the morning ["You HONESTLY need some Coffee buddy"]?

Oct 6, 2007

Pointing Fingers

Fly phones pointing a finger at Nokia?

Oct 5, 2007

Forced Customization

The back-lid of her phone broke and had fallen off. The transparent protective case now holds the phone together while a little piece of paper embellished with a hand-drawn pattern covers the battery and hides the decaying state of her phone.

Oct 4, 2007

Internet Greed


Oct 3, 2007

Street v.s Breed Dogs

Unusual auto-rishaw passenger.
[marginal early-adopter or Leapfrog phenomenon?]

On a kissing passenger seat.
[Customization, Identity, Cultural Influence on the notion of 'Cool']

... Observing from his throne the fashionable and other foreign-breed dogs getting grommed and pampered.
[Western influence on lifesyle/identity/aspirations || Class distinction, exclusivity, desirability].

Oct 2, 2007

100% Happiness, 0% Interests

'Walk into any UniverCell showroom and pick up The NSeries mobile of your dreams".
Buying a high-end mobile phone on credit.
Doesn't make sense to you? Try replacing
mobile phone by status.

NirvanaSeries phones "endless possibilities", pink happiness, black and Gold shine, rich plum.

Oct 1, 2007

First Time?

1. Jeans Ad.

2. Condoms Ad.

Spotted a Condom Ad in the papers yesterday.
I can't say for sure that it is the first time ever that a condom ad is being published in the papers, but it wouldn't surprise me since i haven't even seen condom print-ads in magazines such as Cosmopolitan famous for its pseudo sex-articles, and never publishes an issue which doesn't have the word SEX on its cover page.

Why posting this ad at all?
> Because i think that the appearance of sexual-behaviors-related articles/ads/etc...
- along with taboos it breaks - are good indicators of changes in lifestyles & society in general.
>> I find the resemblance between this ad and the denim ad published in the same papers a day earlier quite interesting
[is it about being young and fashionable? Enduring? Daring? Desirable?].

>>>Also, talking about values that are important to Indian consumers; and here again: value for money, 3 in 1. Get more for what you pay. More pleasure also matters. [Can't help but relate it to the current buzz around experience design & design for well being].

Sep 30, 2007

Getting Cheap[er]

*Celebrate with Moto.

Spend less on gifts and do more... More of ???

Sep 29, 2007

Handy Phone[s]

Phones fit in one's hand and he's got two hands...
Fair enough, that's one way to look at it.
Those who don't see it this way might like the idea of a phone with a double-SIM card slot. - Samsung recently launched such a phone.
[i also spotted at the grey market, a tiny device which, once inserted underneath the battery, enables the phone to operate two SIM cards].

Sep 28, 2007

Smart Wooden Toy & Happiness

Channapatna wooden Toy, brought to the studio by a colleague, made my day through the simplicity of its cleverness.

Sep 27, 2007

Color Palette for the GLOBAL Market

Unusually-neat wooden Salt & Pepper dispensers, hand-crafted in the village of Channapatna - meant to be sold in the U.S.
The difference between these and the ones crafted for the local market? A matt and neat finish. A bright/fruity color palette [similar to the "garden" swatch palette in Illustrator CS2 if i remember correctly]... And the price-tag of course.

Notions such as "Craft Revival", Local empowerment, globalization, profit and explotation float in my head randomly.

Sep 26, 2007

Strategies / Informal Information Sources / Microbreaks

I spent a few hours in the computer-lab today, scanning many, many pages from many many magazines as part of my research... They were mainly Feminine Magazines, but the 2 most accessible at the time i shot the picture above were - good - magazines targeting Fashion-conscious male readers [m].

Above is a picture of the "computer-lab-in-charge" who couldn't resist the temptation to pick the latest cosmopolitan [famous for its many pseudo sex Tips & Tricks].

> To what extend do informations sources, context and visibility alter the notion of socially acceptable behavior?

Sep 25, 2007

Western Treatment / Forcasting "Trick"

Today, delegates from Finish Universities have come on a visit to Srishti ["School of Art, Design & Technlogy"]

Here are TWO CLUES which will inform you that "WESTERN-GUESTS" are coming...

Sep 24, 2007

Add Shine to the Old, Sell more? [3]

Motorazr V3, v3i, 2, super2... Not really the "IN" thing anymore; * And not old enough to be Vintage.

However, i spotted these STARTRECK looking-like covers from the blackmarket yesterday...
A perfect post fot my Add Shine, Sell more? serie!

'Thought there was nothing beyond Bling? Think again.

* [who buys it? Middle-class housewifes who've been dying to own it for so long - cliche? i'm wouldn't be so sure: i just spotted one 5 min back]

Sep 23, 2007

Phone Phenomenon [Something to Keep an Eye On]

Spotted this "i-mobile" at the grey market today.

Such phones have been on display since a couple of weeks in most of the grey-market shops [appart from the shops which "only sell branded phones!!!"] and , according tho the owner of the shop, there is a very high demand for such phones.

The phone which belonged to this box was the last piece available and was bought by the people who were looking at it, before i could shoot it.
Apparently the demand is so high that the next stock will only come in a week or two.

These phones are very popular as they are considered "Hip and different", since not too many people have it in India, YET. They apparently come from Malaysia and Thailad and cost about 5500 rupees.

i-phone user-video here

Sep 22, 2007

Muscle Man

"Advance Protein, Best Tasting, Faster Results"
Will you be the next Muscle Man?!

Sep 21, 2007

A New Glossy Layer on the Face of Indian Fashion

Vogue India: launching today.
> And i wonder: was the white-face-validation really needed?

A Western View on Indian Fashion

(click on the article to enlarge).
Article published in today's Times of India.

Sadly enough, i share the opinion that India is at the moment suffering from the "being-stuck-in-the-middle" syndrome.
Necessary Identity Crisis?

The question is [are]: Can India finally start believing in itself and TRY NOT to please the West?
How can we (as indian designers) prove and communicate an image of Indian Design [in general] that is "to die for" rather than already half-dead struggling to become something that it is not?

While a few from the creative industry are willing to take risks and are actively trying to prove that "India is Cool, turning 60 and becoming sexier"*, many do not seem to associate breakthrough ideas with risk-taking and being true to oneself - which might be where the problem lies in the first place. Or maybe not. Suggestions anyone?

*quoting Tarunn - advertising/fashion photographer
[you can see his work at: ]

Sep 20, 2007

New Plates at my favorite Fruit Chaat-walla Place

Traditional steel-plate and "fruity-fruity" colorful plastic plate.

The percieved notion of what adds value [or: fanciness] to the road-side fruit salad experience.
is it about the graphics? The colors? The English language? What about the smaller size? Will the regular custommers feel cheated because of its smaller size?

Coping with duality: keep the traditional steel plate or not? (By keeping it here, a problem that used happen previously is resolved: the slippery fruits fall-out of the plate no more while being chased by the toothpick!)

Sep 19, 2007

Advertising After-life and Reinterpretation

Spotted at a fruit Chaat mobile kiosk (chariot).

The Banana here is no bad joke, the fruit is just meant to prevent the torn-out newspaper sheets [they are used to make cones from which the fruit "salad" will be eaten] to fly away.

A thought on the after-life of advertising:
- [How] will it spread further?
- The context changing, what are the chances for its message to be altered?
What are the risks for missinterpretation of the intended message? It's possible enhancement? The chances for it to be picked up and become part of the popular culture? Start a trend? Be picked up by someone [like me] and be kept back in the Media Loop?

Sep 18, 2007

Rainbow at the A-T-M

I had a Rainbow-Experience at the ATM* today. Following that, some thoughts surfaced, i catched a few:
1. The ATM screen doesn't have a degauss button.
2. It's in fact strange that this situation never occurred before - considering its Smile Generating Quotient [for the person doing it & for the person viewing it].
3. Why are ATM's experience so boring on the whole anyway? [How] can serious-by-nature automated money transactions be made more "happy" and pleasurable?

*ask anyone here the meaning of ATM: 96% guarantee that the answer won't be Automated Teller Machine but "Any Time Money" - which i think makes much more sense, so i personaly stick to that definition [i anyway thought it meant:"Automated Money Transaction"]

>So comes the question of: Cultural translations/interpretations of Global systems or concepts.
Calling things by what they do: Anyone being aware of other Culturally-defined interpretation of ATM, please add it in the comment section of this post (with precision on the country/region).

Sep 17, 2007

Literal [Graphic] Translation

Seen on the outside wall of a private clinic.
To what extent do Levels of illiteracy and Taboos of a society, influence the visual language and information-graphics?

Sep 16, 2007

Add Shine to the Old, Sell more? [2]

Same old biscuits, Shinier packet.
... and a few other changes:
[1] The plate diseappears.
[2] Emphasis on the biscuits more than the logo.
[3] The "Rolls" of butter become a little more realistic.
[4] The green band (brand trademark accross subbrands) diseappears.
[5] NEW (of course).
[6] Butter becomesRICH Butter (why bother with gold rims and shine otherwise?)
[7] Biscuits become COOKIES.

Sep 15, 2007

Add Shine to the Old, Sell more? [1]

Double spread in Times of India.
Apparently the first 100% metal phone.

A metalic copy of the Motorola Krazer with a Razr keypad + a bit of something else??!
[And i wonder: do deja vu make people dream?]

Sep 14, 2007

Color[S] Preferences

Interesting article on vehicle color choices/preferences by Indian youth.
click on the image to read the article.


TVS Scooty Pep 99 colors

Sep 13, 2007

Context/Package Specific

How many European people would die to own such a Tea dipspenser that will bring a great vintage/exotic touch to their kitchen?
For most "Premium-Indians"*, such an object would probably be associated with "cheap" road-side tea stalls. Yet, one can find "masala chai" counters in 5 stars hotels. They recreate the road-side-tea-nostalgia [related to college days for many] and are highly fancied.

When nostalgia brings-in some sort of exotism... and the effect context & packaging on what will become Desirable and Hip to buy or consume.

*no offence, i just mean here consumers of premium-products and other european design (etc...)

Hindustan Tea... Picture this dipenser in your modern Kitchen now? What if its stainless-steel was to be stenciled-out with a flowery pattern, that would enravel parts of an inner glass Jar?? Picture it? Want it??! [i do].

Sep 12, 2007

Good-Old Interaction Platform

Royal Bombay Yatch Club counter.
The simplicity and clarity/efficiency of the good-old IN - OUT display makes me wonder why it was "abandoned" in the first place.

Manual/Physical movement and Interaction Design: How much does/to what extend or in what conditions can a manual operation enhance the quality of an interaction platform [or the pleasure quotient related to it?].

Privacy issues and "Special Attention": Display of Guest's names for everyone to see, as wee as their status [in-out]. To what extend will the guests feel special [they own the place for that period of time] or threatened [their privacy being challenged by the public display of their name].

*Same phenomenon observed while flying back on Kingfisher airlines: Hostesses calling passengers by their Mister [X] names. - As she had not mentioned MY name [she probaby decided that mispronouncing my foreign-looking name would irritate me more than it would please me], i first thought that my mister X neighbour was some kind of a V.I.P who could not get a buisiness-class ticket [his ridiculousy gym-buffed body was enough to make my hypothesis viable], untill i realised that every single passenger was named out, and again for coffee.
Did i feel left-out or relieved? Well definately relieved, although i could help but think that i might be marked absent.

note: Interesting similarity between this old-style wooden interraction platform, and the on-offline status/virtual plateform of IM applications...

Sep 11, 2007

Carrying Things [2]

"Torn-Jeans-slit" used as pen holder. Hand-held work tool at knee level: which makes ponder on the practicality of such a choice (note that she was carrying a bag).
Mee style statement [doing things differently] or is it about turning a work [labor/serious]-related device into a fashion accessory [fun/frivolous]?

Sep 10, 2007

On Music in Bangalore

I split the article in two so that you can read it while clicking in the second half.

Sep 9, 2007

Sunday Nokia Ads *[Targeted]

This "raiNseries Ad to appear in the main Times of India this Sunday, close the economic times pages.

Same Sunday diferent Ad: this one was published on the Tabloid that comes with the Times, on page3, just below clippings of the Oh-So-Fashionable Bangaloreans...

*I bet the ad would look quite diferent in Europe [!]

Sep 8, 2007

Talk about newspaper CLIPINGS...

The actual ad, on page 3 of the Bangalore times (local tabloid of the Times Of India). A bad [but common sight] ad showcasing happy-girly-youth of Bangalore. From the promotion of "Girl Power" to Girl's Shopping Power.
But here comes the interesting part of this post:
As any local tabloid, Bangalore Times is always on the look for Filler-Glamorous articles and pictures. So anything goes, even if it's a shot-of-the-shoot of an ad that is published on the next page.
Bad enough, but here is the fun twist to it: if you take a closer look at the middle girl, she's got metal paper-clips to tighten the bottom of her rolled-up jeans... 'Guess these were mot meant to show!!