India has always had a fantastically joyous history of graphic design, from fluorescent painted signs advertising goods on the walls of the smallest villages, to the 1950s practice of auto-rickshaw owners adorning their vehicles in everything from flowers, birds — even popular actresses. And, of course, I can’t forget the kitsch, hand-painted Bollywood movie posters made iconic.
As I travel home to India each year, I love watching the graphic landscape change and evolve. Clever contemporary airplane literature carries the promise of delights on the other side, dynamic new posters dominate the highways, and super cute food packaging references India’s quirks, history and humor. It is a joy to drink it all in.
Here, we take a look at
10 Indian graphic designers — a new generation of global talent drawing from different cultures and varied influences, but still reveling in their Indian roots. — Rohini
vintage travel-inspired posters celebrate heritage sites around India and "represent the glory and spirit of India." I love how the epic proportions of the monuments are enhanced and how he has captured the personality/narrative of each site with its own unique font. An ongoing project Ranganath is continually updating with new Indian destinations.
work has something of a Wes Anderson style about it -- this city in the series is magical and luminous, shown celebrating the Festival of Lights.
is a Canadian visual artist whose humorous works flip the script on street style with her work inspired by traditional Indian fashion. Recent work includes "Upping the Aunty," celebrating the style of the South Asian “aunty” with her vibrant artwork, a Tumblr featuring inspiring Aunties around the world, and the new "Upping the Aunty" coloring book!
-era Beatles artworks,
eccentric, imaginative and colorful work revolves around fantasy worlds filled with beautiful scenery and unique characters. He draws his weird and wonderful inspiration from Korean, Japanese and Indian shows.
You could get completely lost in the portfolio of Mumbai-based designer
and her intricate pattern making -- elaborate, undulating pattern carved on linoleum, screen printed wallpaper and fabrics, and just lovely little visual experiments like her intricate
One of India’s leading visual artists,
makes a statement with thought, wit and simplicity. His images of ubiquitous Indian objects adorned on posters and trendy t-shirts are striking in their minimalism. This design for notebooks and t-shirts shows a Mango seller tat a sunny Sunday market.
This simple and mesmerising artwork 'Colour Combs' also by
celebrates indian markets, bursting at the rims with many plastic solutions to simple needs. I just love how all the hues layer and blur together making new colours as they do. You can see his work available to buy
I've always loved the beautifully crude illustrations found within the pages of Hindu mythologies. An artist living and working in Austin, TX,
Manik Raj Nakra
revisits these ancient Indian tales and puts a wonderfully contemporary and subversive spin on them by mixing a modern and traditional color palette and graphic forms.
Lovely little irreverent watercolors by
Manik Raj Nakra
-- this one is called "Kill Me Kiss Me First."
Traditional Indian notions of hospitality and welcome symbols, combining popular flowers and the Namaste gesture, morph into vibrant pop art posters from Mumbai-based
Mira Malhotra also has a wedding stationery brand
that puts a modern spin on Indian aesthetics.
I found it so hard to just pick a few of
intricate and folksy narratives to share with you. Delicately illustrated scenes featuring half-human and half-animal creatures are layered with pattern and soft colors. Perfection!
watercolor patterned worlds span landscapes, whimsical moments depicting women and children nestled amongst lush foliage, and divers peeking out from behind layers of pattern. But there is something about these pure, watery prints of hers that mesmerize.
I love all of Delhi-based
bold graphics -- like a repeat pattern of giant, sprouting green mung beans and a poster of nostalgic Indian items -- but what I really love, despite not being a fashion girl, is her minimal series featuring iconic Indian starlets in vintage outfits. This piece is of one of the most famous starlets, known only as "Rekha." So cool.