As part of research in the coursework, it’s necessary to share the ‘swipe files’ collected by the student & to explain what they understood by the juxtaposition of images, illustration, typeface & text in the layout. A swipe file is a design artwork created by some other digital artist for a magazine / newspaper, etc. & collected by the student or even by a working for the reference. Such files give a resource to re-ignite the creativity during creative block period which is a phase that occurs sometimes in the life of creative designers & artists. It also proves helpful for reference. It’s not for copying, it proves as how a creative solution can be reached at, to a design problem.
As I already work as a freelance graphic designer & artist since last 6 years almost, I have a habit of collecting such swipe files, since learner phase. I always believe that any creative artist & designer is always a learner throughout the life by observation & keen study. The process of learning never stops. It helps to stay creative & to avoid such creative blocks.
So far, as I’m interested in illustration & type-design more than photo-manipulation, photo-editing & photo-montage, my collection of swipe files contains advertises made up of illustration mainly, collected from a nationwide, well-known English newspaper ‘The Times Of India’ & some other regional newspapers in my mother-tongue language Marathi. Hence, for the purpose of research in this coursework, I’m sharing some selected ones scanned from among them as follows:
1. Advertise of a literary festival (Size 16 x 24 cm) :
This advertisement is for a literary festival held at Kolkata (West Bengal, India). It is made up of beautiful illustrations of books and also presents them as symbols of Bengali background of literature since historic period. The cultural background of Bengal has always been influenced by all types of arts, literature and culinary art. The staple food has been fish there. The symbol of the elephant is also seen in the back layer of the illustration. The red colour symbolises vibrance of Bengali culture. The illustration appears like a doodle. The lines are flowing and the flat colouring technique has been applied to create shades. The simple font has made it very easy to read. The tabular form of text has been balanced with the overall illustration in the layout. The caption of the advertisement is written with the font that is stylised to suit any festival or event title.
2. Advertise for a Government initiative (Size 31 x 20 cm) :
This advertisement is to promote the government initiative for inviting businessmen to establish and develop various businesses in the certain state Maharashtra in India. The initiative is named as ‘Make in India’. Its logo is a silhouette of lion created from the gears of the machines, symbolising businesses. It is placed on the left bottom part of the layout. Apart from the photographs of the chief minister and another along with some businesswoman promoting automobile industry. The font choice is attractive yet simple to be legible. The illustration represents the famous Warli art, a traditional folk art. The illustration symbolically presents everything using simple forms, shapes and only one colour white on dark maroon brown colour, as originally this type of art is drawn with rice-powder paste on the thatched walls (covered with mud) of huts of the artists. The illustration is covering everything that has been depicted: ‘The Gateway of India’ (monument in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra), the DNA Chain, microscope and the science appartus for representing science and technology, the handlooms showing textile industry, cars for automobile industry, etc. The flat colour scheme is apt.
3. Advertise of a quiz for financial professionals (Size 11.5 x 17.5 cm) :
The advertisement is an invitation for willing participants for a quiz competition. As it is for the professionals in finance, the illustration serves well to create the corporate feel throughout the advertisement. The symbols of maths and finance (for ex. Symbols of various currencies like dollar, rupees, pounds, pie chart, bar chart, calculator, division, multiplication, piggy banks, coins, graph arrow, etc.) are used in the illustration to create the look of infographic. The silhouette of hands shaking is purposefully created to enhance the intention behind the advertisement: to make the different finance professionals meet and interact with each other and to share their knowledge through the quiz. A simple, limited colour palette of yellow and black with small amounts of white, blue, marroon and orange is applied to keep it minimalistic and corporate. Fonts are limited and perfectly placed, making it easy to read and comprehend. The square appearance of the overall caption ‘Financial Mastermind’ is reflecting the corporate atmosphere. Centre alignment is applied throughout the layout.
4. Advertise for one of the top-notch air-travel companies, Air India (Size 16 x 22 cm) :
The advertisement is to announce the lucky draw scheme for the passengers on the occasion of Children’s Day. In India, 14th November is celebrated as Children’s Day every year. The simple yet attractive style is applied throughout the layout, not only for text but also for illustration. The simple font choice is making it very legible. The scheme or offer is lucratively presented through perfect combination of illustration and text style. The use of slanted script font for the words Children’s Day makes it easier to focus on the main and important content of the text. The illustrations of happy children are created as doodles. The illustration of a man with a moustache, wearing a suit, is actually the modern form of the traditional form of mascot of Air India company. The mascot is named as ‘Maharaja’ (meaning: king) by Air India is presented in different attires as per occasions. Previously, it was shown only wearing traditional dresses of Indian kings of modern era, nearly by the period of British rule in India. The use of only one photograph of aeroplane keeps it simple. Use of pale colours make it different in overall style.
5. Advertise for a housing society with a play-area for children (Size 33 x 22 cm) :
The advertisement is about a housing society with a play-area for children. It focuses on the play-area for children as an important aspect, rather than the other amenities provided by the housing society. These days, as open spaces are very rare in highly populated cities, children get very rarely open areas for outdoor playing, biking, etc. Even their parents are usually busy in work and can’t spend more time with their children, keeping pending many things to do with their children. Meanwhile, children grow up and then, only the regret remains behind in a little corner of mind giving them the guilt. This sentiment is captured through the illustration that makes the most part of the layout covered. Emphasis isn’t given on the text much. Font is used old style Gothic for name and sans serif for other text. The colour scheme is warm one, comprising of hues of red, orange, yellow and brown with small amounts of blue and green for balance. The illustration looks like embossed.
6. Advertise for a regional housing society with various amenities & energetic, yet peaceful ambience (Size 15 x 19 cm) :
The advertisement focuses on the depiction of the amenities of the housing society and energetic, yet peaceful ambience with a Balinese theme used while building it. Everything is elaborated through the illustration rather than using photographs, throughout the layout. The illustration is flat, yet very vivid use of warm colours makes it vibrant in appearance. It catches the attention of the viewer. Simple, serif fonts and placement of logo in corner makes it very balanced throughout the layout.
7. Advertise for a famous car manufacturing company, Skoda (Size 28 x 22 cm) :
The advertisement for famous car manufacturer company Skoda is totally different from their previous ones. It is for the limited edition model of the car. In this layout, the use of flat illustrations is seen majorly to highlight the facilities provided in the car, in the form of ingographics. The limited monotonous colour scheme of brown is used throughout. But, it doesn’t render the layout dull in appearance, instead making it appealing to the potential buyers. The bold type and font highlights the important aspects. Overall, the design is different than usual car advertisements so far, due to the use of illustration in the form of infographics.
8. Advertise for a girl soccer league (Size 25 x 16 cm) :
The advertisement is for promotion of the soccer league of girls. The design focuses on highlighting the important social issues like gender bias, meted out towards girls even now in the small towns and rural areas as well as in cities sometimes. Girls aren’t yet much encouraged to play games like soccer and given differential treatment. The game is supposed to be part of male bastion, underestimating the talent of girls. This makes many upcoming athletes lose their confidence and lack the support, even by their families. Here, the league presents a game played by various teams of girls but unitedly against the conventions. The illustration in the layout perfectly highlights the ferocious spirit among the girls to fight against the differentiation and to be triumphant against it. Even the supporters are going to be given prizes. The use of grey colour shades along with light blue and warm colours like red, orange, yellow, etc. makes it appear perfectly suitable for a sports competition, as intended. The font choice is apt for a sports competition, with its dark blue colour.
9. Advertise for sports news program (Size 16 x 25 cm) :
The advertisement is intended to promote the soon-to-be launched sports news show ‘Sportsnight’. The use of black as main colour for background makes it look stunning and it stands out from the rest of the advertisements on the same page of the newspaper, catching the attention of the viewers, not just sports-lovers but also to those who aren’t much interested in sports. Thus, the intention of the design becomes successful halfway through itself. The distinct yet simple style of illustration through symbolic represention of various sports makes the overall design appear different and attractive. The symbols of sports in square forms are presented similar to the neon signs on the black background, making them look easy to understand as well. The arrangement of symbols is striking. The font is suitable for depicting the sports. The colour white is used for almost all the text. The name of the programme ‘Sportsnight’ is coloured with gradient making it appear glossy and glamorous.
10. Advertise for an unusual, unconventional purpose of creating an art-installation as a part of respect for the world-famous Sportsman Sachin Tendulkar (Size 16 x 25 cm):
Advertisement is for calling up cricket bats with messages from the fans of famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar , to be used for creating an art installation to be displayed on the occasion of his retirement. The rough concept of the art-installation is presented using the black and white illustration through the layout of advertisement. The font choice is simple yet effective: serif combined with sans serif along with the caption of the advertisement in grunge, uppercase font in red colour. It catches attention towards the intention of the advertisement.
11. Advertise for an initiative to promote Indian music by an upcoming music CD company (Size 14 x 19 cm) :
The advertisement is for an upcoming music CD company. The advertisement beautifully manifests illustration for the purpose of presenting the Indian culture and art. Illustration is combined with colour scheme of grey and vibrant warm colours with flat fill. No gradients are applied. The sans serif font in uppercase is paired with script font in lowercase for effectiveness and to attract the viewers, it is applied with only one colour: red. The body text is in lower case and in black colour.
12. Advertise for an international beach festival (Size 7 x 10 cm):
The advertisement is simple yet very different due to the use of illustration. The illustration of comprises of symbols drawn as line art to depict the beach festival & the name of the festival written in a fancy way. It makes it easier to use, print & present it on any medium. The use of this illustration serves as its logo too. Only two colours blue & yellow are applied for text and the text overall. The text is written in uppercase & the font is sans serif.
13. Advertisement for birth-centenary of a compassionate visionary & social worker Dosabai (Size 21 x 29.5 cm):
The advertisement uses illustration to depict the importance of the work by the compassionate visionary social worker Dosabai during the Second World War. The illustration I created with only one colour: Magenta & placed in the centre of the layout, using text warp feature. The font is simple, sans serif & very legible. The multi-coloured logo of the company Godrej is placed in right bottom corner.
14. Advertisement for an electronic appliance (Oven) (Size 10 x 10 cm):
The advertisement for an electronic appliance (Oven) is using a combination of illustrations, photograph & text together. The illustration is simple, appears like a doodle, using flat colours. It makes it obvious that the oven is very user-friendly that anyone of various age-groups in family can use it to bake & prepare many dishes, altogether creatively. The font is simple, legible & sans serif. Logo is simple one, with bold slab serif font in uppercase used & is placed at the right bottom corner.
15. Advertisement for a famous dairy products company, Amul (Size 33 x 52 cm):
The advertisement is a full-page advertisement & it pays a tribute to the visionary, Verghese Kurian who founded the largest dairy co-operative brand ‘Amul’ that not only gave the milkmen & farmers the justice to their milk products but also made India efficient in dairy products & milk, thus creating a social change overall, from grass-root level or radical level. It was named as White Revolution, extending from rural to urban level. 26th November is observed as National Milk day on his birth anniversary. The illustrations are created beautifully with water-colours, vivid & reflect the journey of the movement from beginning to now. The placement of illustrations is subtle to the body text which is written in serif font, with little sentences. The leading is sufficient to make it appear legible than making it appear as huge blocks of text or making it appear boring to read. Use of glass of milk symbolically in the logo is attractive & uses negative space to create the illusion of ‘i’ in the word ‘Milk’.
16. Advertisement for an online commercial app to facilitate the sell & buy of any goods (Size 33 x 52 cm):
The advertisement is a full-page advertisement & uses illustration mainly to convey how easier it is to sell & buy anything through the online commercial app Quikr, whose logo is bit changed now. The illustration is simple, appears like doodle, with the text written directly than using speech bubbles. The illustrations are in sequences. The catch-line ‘Aasan hai badalna’ means it is easier to change in Hindi, the national language of India. New logo looks corporate with the colours blue & green than the previous one which appears casual one, similar to illustration than a logo.
17. Advertisement series for a hi-tech residential complex with modern facilities & amenities for the residents (33 x 52 cm):
These are series of advertisements printed in the newspaper on consecutive days. These advertisements convey a hi-tech residential complex with modern facilities and amenities for the residents. The advertisements have different style of illustrations in green and blue colour on black & olive colored background, making it apear as circuits (made up of lines & dots), with shapes of humans, trees, cars, silhouettes of buildings and skyline. Therefore, there’s a distinct effect on the viewers. The use of photograph is limited tp only one each. Most of the text is in bright white, light green & light blue colour & is arranged in small blocks of text, rather than bulky text, throughout the layout. That makes it stand out attractively. The logo is in white colour only.
18. Advertisement series for an International school (Sizes 16 x 18 cm & 16 x 25 cm):
Advertisements were printed in series on consecutive days in newspaper. They were created for an internal school which promotes the creativity in children & to support them to achieve their dreams as it believes the real growth is much beyond just imparting knowledge through curriculum & syllabus. It believes in fostering the capabilities of the children. The advertisements comprise of photographs, flat yet colourful illustrations along with less text. The text is arranged through bulleted paragraph in each layouts of the advertisements. A sans serif font is used for the text. The logo is simple, colourful & placed in right bottom corner. Pale green, pale yellow ochre & lavender coloured background with fountain fill is used for each layout.
19. Advertisement series for a art-and culture festival (Size 16 x 25 cm):
The advertisement series was printed on consecutive days in newspaper for promoting the art-and-culture festival They are made up of illustrations mainly, along with the text in handwritten, script fonts which appear similar to cursive letters. The body text is written in simple font that appears like handwritten. The Logo is placed at the right bottom corner in first three advertisements while at left bottom corner in fourth (last of the series). The illustration of fourth (last of the series) is different than first three advertisements. All of the illustrations are wonderfully created from interweaving of various colourful doodle sketches that reflect the beauty of Indian art & culture. The illustrations are very attractively interwoven that viewer’s eyesight moves easily from one to another objects rendered through the sketches. Use of bright colours (combinations of warm & cool colours) make the whole illustrations and the overall advertisements appear unique.
20. Advertisement series for a literary festival (16 x 25 cm):
Advertisement series were printed on consecutive days in newspaper for the literary festival. The advertisements were made up of black & white illustrations of keyboard & book that are metaphors of literature of modern & traditional way of writing respectively. The illustrations are symbols of the curtailment of the freedom of speech & writing by the current government. Since long, whenever there was need of revolution against the oppressiveness by rulers and governments & to safeguarding of principles & values like humanity, freedom & equality, the writers have played a major role in bringing about the change in society, internationally. The Renaissance is one such example. The chained keyboard & book represent such curtailment & curbing of the freedom of expression of the citizens of India. So, the advertisements focus on this issue. The intention is clearly stated through the illustrations very well along with the body text that is wrapped around the illustrations, using a font that appears like handwritten. The illustrations have been successful in creating the required awareness among the citizens against the rising sentiments of insecurity, intolerance & injustice as well as hatred spread by anti-social elements of the society, promoted by the government.
Considering all such different and unique styles [for example, flat, doodle, line art or 3D] of illustrations used for the advertisements for various purposes, it can be concluded that illustrations can individually or even when combined with text & photographs, be coloured or black & white, can perfectly convey the sentiments to the viewers. Be it social message or a commercial purpose on a wide range & scale, for which the illustrations in the advertisements are manifested, they make the overall layout attractive. The extensive use of illustrations creatively is seen in Indian advertise design field, including packaging. This marks a revolution that is gradually taking place in Indian design field. Previously, the advertisements comprised mainly photos [manipulated or montaged] more. The creative utilisation and manifestation of illustrations boosts the creativity of the designers. The increasing support of viewers for such illustrations marks the change in taste of viewers.