A Chicago-based company, RR Donnelley, hosted a first of its kind portfolio review event called Metamorphix, which focuses on Digital Design and Content. The event saw over 300 registrations in five categories — Illustrations, UI/UX, AR/VR, Motion Graphics and Content for Digital. The shortlisted portfolios were reviewed by professional judges and the winners of each category took home ₹50,000 cash prize. A chat with the winners, who share their domain knowledge and their fascination for design.
A fourth year student of Srishti Institute of Art and Design, Bengaluru-based Vibhav Singh’s inspirations for design come from fantasy, literature and films. “Sometimes I paint on paper, but mostly I use the laptop,” he says, explaining the ideas behind his works. The first is an album cover that he designed for Mumbai-based musician Achint Thakkar. The premise of the song was about a mother on a train journey, who sings to her daughter. Explaining the painting, Vibhav says, “Achint is at the centre along with the Rajasthani folk musicians that he collaborated with for the song. I visualised it as the three musicians singing in the midst of a desert and the train passing through their route.” His second painting is a fictional character called The Guardian. “They’re believed to be the protectors of a fictional city called Nikera,” explains the 22-year-old. And the third work is dedicated to his favourite British film character Paddington Bear.
Enhancing visual experience
Armed with a degree in mechanical engineering, 25-year-old Vidhunnan Murugan switched careers to get into designing. Since he was equally passionate about motion design, Vidhunnan pursued a diploma course in design in Singapore, which, he says, altered his perspective about designing concepts. He currently works as a visual designer at a Bengaluru-based company called Tidy. “UI and UX is all about user experience,” he says. Vidhunnan has designed the user-interface of a website owned by Wall Street Bar in Bengaluru. What’s special about the bar is that it charges customers based on the demand. For example, if the demand for whisky is marginally higher, then the price of the liquor drops, which is something similar to the concept of the stock exchange bars across the country.
A peek into the future
“There’s no particular award for AR/VR, so I wanted to participate in order to evaluate myself,” says Prem Sellakumar (27), an employee of Satyam Ventures in Chennai. A compulsive gamer from childhood, Prem developed a fascination for design and has worked on several 2D and 3D game modules, with the help of softwares like Unity, Maya, Photoshop and Substance Painter. Back in 2012 when augmented user interreality was slowly catching up, Prem worked as a designer at TCS, where he got an opportunity to work with many simulators. For Portfolio Review, Prem Sellakumar has designed a space exploration game in virtual reality. How did he manage to visualise the outer space without any references? “I watched a lot of Hollywood movies to get the details right,” he says. The purpose of the game was to provide an immersive experience to the users. Prem hopes to create a mixed reality (MR) game, which is a combination of both AR and VR.
Cause and effect
“I’m an artist more than anything else,” says Selvaraj VG (36), who majored in fine arts. He was part of the motion graphics team that worked on the visual effects for films such as Baahubali: The Beginning and Kochadaiiyaan. In the war sequences in Baahubali, the arrows were virtually created by Selvaraj. He was the senior animator in Kochadaiiyaan. Selvaraj could have easily established a name for himself had he stayed in films. But he joined RR Donnelley primarily to explore more opportunities. “You can stabilise your life in the IT field, but there’s very little money involved in cinema,” he says. Selvaraj is confident of converting any given abstract idea in to a visually-appealing design. Using motion graphic design he has created a 30-second video on water scarcity, titled Drying up.
Cheers to this
Joshua Karunakaran never considered writing as a “serious” profession until he was approached by leading companies to provide relevant articles in specific domain. Joshua takes care of the content for a Bengaluru-based company called Hipbar — an RBI-approved mobile wallet that offers online transactions for heady beverages. felicitates delivery of alcohol. that allows home delivery of alcohol. At the Portfolio Review, Joshua showcased an alcohol-specific campaign that won him the award for Best Content for Digital. “The content I write is different for each alcohol. For instance, I have to come up with a catchphrase for those who consume whisky,” he says. Joshua created a fictional ‘Hipbar Wise Guy’ character that offers hilarious jokes on hangovers. A voracious reader, Joshua also freelances for other companies and writes on a wide range of topics including digital marketing and e-learning modules.