Monsoon seems to be the right time for Umbrella. The Mumbai-based creative hot shop has recently acquired the image design and corporate identity business of the Kalyani Group.
The $1.2 billion Kalyani Group has a number of companies under its rooster. The flagship company, Bharat Forge, is a leading automobile component exporter in Asia and the world’s second largest forging company.
The account will be handled out of the newly formed design cell of Umbrella. Bhupal Ramnathkar, Director, Umbrella, said, “Yes. We have been entrusted with the corporate identity business of the Kalyani Group. We are quite excited about it as the account comes in the wake of our newly formed design cell.”
The design cell will be headed by Supriya Kulkarni, who brings with her over nine years of experience in advertising and design. She has worked with high profile agencies and creative hot shops like Trikaya Grey, Lowe and Vyas Gianneti Creative.
Elaborating on the business, Ramnathkar, said, “Corporate identity is a very serious business. It is something that stays with the company for over 50-100 years at the least. Any company’s logo is the face of the company. That small piece of design, sitting quietly on a visiting card, is something that each and every individual associated with the company is exposed to. So, if you run a billion dollar company with a logo that looks shabby and apologetic, your company ends up looking shabby and apologetic.”
“Until recently, clients had no one to turn to but their agencies for their corporate design requirements. And the way the agency structure functions, an art director (or junior visualiser in most cases) used to spend a week designing logos on the comp and the client had to pick and choose from some 30-odd designs, the face of his most cherished possession,” he added.
“Can’t really blame the clients. They had no other option. Thankfully, in the recent past things have changed. Today, clients realise that while the agencies prove to be great partners in brand building, when it comes to enhancing their corporate image, specialised design outfits are the way to go. They realise that although they end up spending a lot more money this way, it is well spent,” Ramnathkar said.
The amount of research that specialised design outfits put behind every project is enormous. In case of Kalyani, a whole panel of designers from Umbrella went and studied the corporate headquarters, the factories and the flagship company – Bharat Forge.
Elaborating on the research aspect, Ramnathkar said, “Whenever anyone is designing a logo, one has to ensure that the philosophy of the company, what it stands for clearly comes out in the design. A company can’t go on proclaiming that we have a very open and transparent corporate culture and have a logo that is very closed and fragmented. The synergy between the corporate philosophy, the attitude of the company towards growth, its employees and clients is what the logo needs to successfully communicate.”
From being a nice design form, next to the company name, the logo has certainly come a long way. And probably, right now it is getting the attention that it always deserved.