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AdAsia 2011: Weaving the language of design in a seamless form

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AdAsia 2011: Weaving the language of design in a seamless form

No stone has been left unturned to make AdAsia 2011 the most memorable one. Setting the tone for the same undoubtedly is the logo of the congress, speaking a unique design language that is set to transcend into everything that you will experience from October 31 – November 3. The logo has been designed by Water Consulting, the brand strategy and design consultancy SBU under Mudra India. The agency was handed over the responsibility to lay down the first foundation for the future along with the theme, two years ago, when India made the presentation at AdAsia 2009 in Kuala Lumpur.

“We were very sure that we are not looking for country specific mascot or country specific emblem which more often than not happens in most of the conferences or world congresses. We wanted to build the concept of AdAsians, that if you are coming here, it’s a community that is getting together for learning, knowledge sharing and experiencing camaraderie. We were also certain that we want to have a design language. Our logo has served as a base, through which the entire language of AdAsia has been written. So it’s not the symbol or the mascot, it’s a design language that will be spoken at AdAsia. It will be an experience of a lifetime for everyone to see the design transcend into everything at the conference,” says Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO and Managing Director,Mudra Group, and Chairman, AdAsia 2011 Organizing Committee.

Conforming to OC’s brief of reflecting the evolution of India Industry in a benchmark way, team Water got into ‘Future backward thinking’ mode as they had to design a logo in 2009 that would hold relevance in 2011. And to be as relevant and futuristic as possible, they actually read books and theses on future marketing, future branding. Ashish Mishra, Chief Strategist and Head, Water, reminisces the process, “We read books like ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas Friedman and ‘The next Global Stage’ by Kenichi Ohmae to get a better perspective on the way businesses will be done in future, to get into futuristic thinking. We learnt about how in future people would work together as if it was a choreographed dance with subtexts of seamlessness and interconnectedness, how there would be countries but region states. That became the first ground of our thinking.”

The idea of seamlessness and interconnectedness then transformed into a motif beautifully combining fabrics from different nations participating in AdAsia. The 6 letters in the logo are made of textile patters from different countries including India, Thailand, Korea, China, Japan and Indonesia. “The idea of fabrics was chosen, as while most of the things in these nations had undergone change, textiles still remain untouched,” explains Pradeep Debnath, Senior brand Partner and Chief Designer, Water, adding “ Each of the representing nations have their own rich culture and heritage, which they are proud of. Motifs that we find in India, china, Japan are still the same; people value these as their own cultural identities. It was thus decided represent various countries coming together through amalgamation of their fabrics - a seamless tapestry to give us a collaborative field.”

“We chose fabric as inherently is inter woven, inter twined and represents mixing of people. It was a move away from regular logo’s, representing pervasiveness of a design language. The motif creates an experience, rather than a logo which remains confined. The logo was a framework for the experience that we wanted to create at AdAsia,” says Ashish.

Having their Boss as their client, made things a bit difficult for team water, but things fell into place to everyone’s satisfaction eventually. The logo design has now transitioned into everything related to AdAsia – the stationary, the visiting cards, the letter head, the website and will also set the ambience for the entire conference.

The font used for AdAsia 2011’s logo is Franklin Gothic, intentionally chosen by team Water instead of any other designer font. “We wanted a lot of body into the font as the typography is the framework for the motifs. The alphabets were needed to stick to each other for the flow of the design,” explains Pradeep. Not only did he detailed the font, but also travelled to streets of Mumbai to check out fabrics. But the efforts have paid off as he concludes “It is satisfying as everyone just loved the logo – the uniqueness, the colours and the beautiful tapestry.”

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