Brief & Background

To design visual language for an after-school ACK (Amar Chitra Katha) Experiential Learning Center for 2 to 12 yrs old children. The center is to cover topics across dance, music, literature, drama, art & craft, maths, and science.

Knowledge Partner:

Amar Chitra Katha books have shaped the imagination and thoughts of India through stories of mythology, history, folklore and heroes with time-tested values and profound wisdom.

Imagine a space which can capture all that Amar Chitra Katha stands for ­

  • Where learning is engaging

  • Where imagination is unrestrained

  • Where activities enable unlocking potential

  • Where good friends are made

  • A place where children love to go and parents feel happy to send

 

We created: ACK Stories Alive - Timeless stories, simply told. Shaping Indian identity into the future generation.

A unique learning space that goes beyond conventional learning methodologies to trigger a child’s imagination, connecting past and present. This learning space would foster a journey of self-discovery for kids and young adults through arts, stories, performances and cultural immersions.

Design Research

Culture and visual language influence perception.

There is evidence that people tend to perceive things in a way that is influenced by the manner in which they have learned to think in order to function efficiently in their ecological setting.

The motive of this project is to create a visual language for space that invokes creative visual thinking and generate curiosity in the minds of children while educating them about rich Indian heritage.

Drawings using the STP System (left) and NPM System (right).

Note that in the picture on the left it does not only represent the scenery of a house and its environment but also what is inside the house as well.

Source: Tabrani (1993); Ahmad (2006)

The STP system is different from the other system which is called Naturalistic perspective Moment (NPM).

 

The NPM system works like a camera, introduced by Western domination and the accelerated process of globalization. It captures nature as it is, drawn from one particular angle, one particular distance, and one particular time, producing a descriptive picture in one single scene.

Environmental Graphics is an art form that combines visual narratives in a given space. In the project's context, it has two functions. One is to give the space an identity, and the second is to engage and stimulate children's imagination and to make the space more interactive.

Since children have their own unique way of telling and interpreting stories, when designing an environment for them, it is safe to use the vocabulary of Children's Drawings.

Children have their own unique way of telling stories visually. By their intuition, somehow they manage to invent various methods that are unique.

For example, the way they draw does not fit the aesthetic values and logic that is seen through an adult's eyes, especially the perspective theory.

Children's drawing along with pre-historic primitive painting, traditional drawing and avant-garde artists stands within the Space-Time-Plane (STP)

*Space-Time-Plane.  The STP system is a visual system that could represent multiple angles, multiple distances and multiple moments within one picture. It captures not only what is being drawn as one still picture but as a sequence that consists of several scenes that moves in the time and space.

Design Inspiration

Inspired by Gond & Madhubani art 

We’ve developed an illustration style that can capture the attention of a 2-year-old with vivid colors and bold shapes and simultaneously communicate intricate stories and narratives to a 10-12-year-olds effectively.

These illustrations will act as an Idea starter and focus on how children see things and interpret them, this would become an interest generator, a story drawn inside the silhouette of a key character.

Design Concept

Route:  World through a child’s eye.

Imaginative: Open for interpretation, Illustrative, Intricate

 

Branding: Building on the Sun identity of Amar Chitra Katha with a blooming sunflower, merged with the idea of Chaupal (a tree that is the central part of a community space, An aerial view of storytelling around a big-old tree) to form the ACK Stories Alive logo.

 

Visual Language: Utilizing the bank of knowledge & information from ACK books, and re-interpreting them to appeal to a younger generation. Using illustrations that are catered to communicate and create excitement in learning Indian arts, crafts, storytelling, etc.

Visual Style Inspiration

Design Ideation 1

Idea Starter

Visual Decode
 

  • Narration using multiple levels of storytelling. (Including stories from Indian mythology and folk tales)

  • Soft Pastel Colours

  • Visuals incorporating natural texture

    These illustrations will act as an Idea starter and focus on how children see things and interpret them, this would become an interest generator, a story drawn inside the silhouette of a key character.

The visual treatment marries old-folk art look & feel with modern, new-age thoughts, combining the stories from the past with the ideas of present & future.

The inspiration comes from Indian Traditional Folk Arts which are ornate, expressive, and follows a language similar to how children perceive things in a Space-Time-Plane*.

 

*Space-Time-Plane.  The STP system is a visual system that could represent multiple angles, multiple distances, and multiple moments within one picture. It captures not only what is being drawn as one still picture but as a sequence that consists of several scenes that move in time and space.

 

Design Process

Conceptual Renders

Design Ideation 2

Theme and Illustration

Swinging Tree

A Tree having fun on the swing. Inspired by a child’s connection with his/her surroundings and elements. Here, a girl who would usually swing from a tree’s branch is in return swinging the tree.

A girl imagines playing with a tree and is swinging the tree instead of the other way around.

Details of elements from children’s stories added into the silhouette of the girl and her surroundings. 

Sun & Moon

Guardians of the day & night. Inspired by children’s games, of controlling day & night. Here we have captured a child bring in the brightness of the day and another the magic of a starry night.

Process

Playing in the puddle

A child surfing in a puddle. Children playing around puddles and all the possible fun they can imagine around it. The boy is surfing on the wave made by the girl cycling through the puddle.

Super Hero

Children playing and pretending to be their own superheroes. The playfulness of children’s minds where they have superpowers, where they can fly, own worlds, and transform the universe at will.

Turtle & Geese

A modern take on the turtle and geese story to resonate with the child’s imagination.

Signage

Carrying forward the layered storytelling style to signage in the space.

Visual stories from folk tales

Miscellaneous tales from folklore.

Typography: 


Inspired by fusion-font designed by Shirin Johari. 

Using this font we can tell the phonetic sound of a Hindi character by looking at the corresponding Roman letter superimposed on it.

Conceptual Renders

Design Ideation 3

Visual Language

Krishna

Taking inspiration from the story of Krishna’s encompassing the entire universe within. The uncolored parts of the graphic can be on whiteboard material and can be colored by the children.

Tenali Raman

The mural about Tenali Raman has been placed in the room for puzzles and logical activities.

The uncolored parts of the graphic can be on a whiteboard material and can be colored by the children.

Samudra Manthan

Depicting the great churning of the ocean, the graphic is apt for the entrance courtyard indicating a churning of ideas and thoughts

A 3D structure would be put around the tree to give an illusion of a continuing serpents body, as the visitors arrive at the courtyard

Conceptual Renders

Through this project, we aim to re-introduce the Indian way of life – Being aligned in ones’ mind-body-soul and with nature.

 

Living a sustainable & conscious lifestyle, learning yoga, meditation, farming, theater, art, medicine, culinary & other skills and knowledge that are influenced by ones surrounding. Creating socially aware and impact conscious campaigner for the future generation.

Thank you

ACK Learning Center

Conceptual Illustrations & Visual Language Design

© 2023 by vasav.one

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