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Armed With a Purpose

by Steve Zelle, Graphic Designer, Ottawa Canada

Kyoorius Magazine Cover

Kyoorius Magazine is the sole magazine in India focussing on graphic design, branding, and visual communications. Not only does the magazine have world class contributors like Michael Wolff and Michael Johnson, but the print and production values are very high, making for an outstanding publication.

I was asked to contribute an article for the quarterly magazine on the subject of logo design—specifically how design should be approached as a business exercise and not simply a task of crafting a pretty visual. Armed With a Purpose outlines the importance for a graphic designer to understand context through research and not simply be a taxi driver. Below is an excerpt as well as some images from the Destination Branding issue of Kyoorius.

Responsible graphic designers get their hands dirty. They dig for information and inspiration. They get past the thin surface crust of their client and reach for the authentic core. They search for the company’s purpose, and for a compelling reason for an audience to care that the company exists. They collect information to communicate the client’s purpose to a select group of people and to encourage a meaningful connection. The information is essential in understanding context, how it relates to the company, their offering, clients, and competition. A responsible designer addresses the development of a logo within the context of the overall identity and brand.”

Kyoorius Magazine Spread 1

Above: All work by Impprintz Graphic Design Studio

Kyoorius Magazine Spread 2

Above: All work by Taproot

Kyoorius Magazine Spread 3

Above: All work by Locopopo

Kyoorius Magazine Spread 4

Above: My article printed across from Michael Wolf. 🙂

Have a look at a few past issues of Kyoorius Magazine and also check out Designyatra, Kyoorius’s annual international design conference in Goa, India.

Many thanks to Kay Khoo for asking me to contribute—it was a great experience.


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  1. Congratulations Steve for being one of contributors of the ‘Kyoorius’ Magazine. Couple of months ago (here in Melbourne), I got my hands on one of the old issues of the magazine and I must say it’s worth a read. Personally, being away from India for quite sometime it (the magazine) helped me get that old ‘close to earth’ feeling of Indian colours, illustrations and conventional art forms back.
    I have been keeping a close eye on Indian design community, its local brands and the consumer market for sometime now. It’s been drastically changing due to globalisation and use of social media by its middle class consumers. I see a door of opportunities opening for international design and branding houses. In fact, top brand consultants such as Wolff Olins and Saffron are already taking their first small steps into the market. A lots more is coming.
    A very interesting and exciting phase of Indian Brands, local design studios and consumerism is shaping itself in front of us.