Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The first client will always be special to us. This was an architects' firm based outside Mumbai, in Hyderabad which meant all communication had to be over phone and online. I had met the proprietor of the firm Mr. Suresh Manikonda at a friend's wedding reception where we had been first introduced. A young dynamic entrepreneur, at that time I so totally related with him and what he planned for his new venture. I thought it would be very exciting to work for him.
A few days past he called in to say that I had been hired to do an identity for his company that he called Archism. I really liked the name as it almost sounded some sort of an art/architechture movement.
I was hooked...

Initial sketches

This led to four different directions that were presented.

Directions taken

1. The basic emphasis here was on the alphabet 'A' from ground zero view. This would symbolize higher goals, aspirations and more literally, high rises.

2. This one was smarter than it seemed! To give you the complete picture this one is ARCHIS.M., 'S' and 'M' being the initials of the man who coined the word Mr. Suresh Manikonda himself.

3. Archism brings a change to the skyline.

4. Alphabet 'A' in dark and light, play of negative and positive spaces, some draft lines added to give it an under construction feel.

First feedback

We were most certain that option 2 is what would catch our client's eye. It was to be, however he wanted to have a symbol and not just a logotype even after sighting some real logotype examples from existing brands. He insisted that it would look too plain and would go amiss.

Usually when a concept is designed it is presented there is a core idea which at that point I strongly felt would get diluted with another symbol being added. After a few more days of trying to leave behind what was attempted and looking at things afresh we concentrated on why the client wanted a symbol at all. Probably his clients were ordinary people who would miss the dots of the initials, probably at a construction site he would need to have a symbols for uneducated laborers to identify...the reasons were many...

Further Engineering

Of the basic five elements, Earth is represented with a square. Square also represents stability and thus a solid foundation. This is where the basic structure of a yantra comes from and temples are constructed on this basic principle.

In the drawing above one can see how the symbol is arrived at. It constitutes a square (symbolic of earth), Four arrows (cardinal directions) and Five dots (elements: earth, fire, air, water, ether). The light and the dark shade of the blue represented day and night.
The logotype was Futura (a typeface well known for its geometric proportions) which was modified slightly letting the alphabets go from light to bold (L-R).
Suresh loved it!

The symbol and the logotype were integrated and further fine tuned for production of basic office stationery for our client.

The Final Run

Here is how the final artworks looked like. We were also given the freedom to select paper of which the sample was couriered across for approval.
Since the symbol was appreciated so much we even thought a tesellation might add some bling and colour around the white.

Here is how it finally turned out.

I was thrilled when Suresh received the shipment and called in to say he loved it all...

Project closure: Oct '07

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