I recently completed a project for Srijith Nair, for the Trishul research project at the Department of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A Trishul is a trident held by by one of the Indian Gods – Shiva.

After the Creative brief was received, the client also gave two of his ideas on the design, which are as follows [ the client had a pretty good idea about what they wanted ]:

I reverted with the following drawings to kick-start the project:

Client feedback was that they wanted something more “illustrative” – a more gothic style with more lines and curves. I followed this up with two drawings to determine the kind of look they wanted. Since the project is related to technology, I suggested that they keep the logo simple and clean – unlike the drawings below!

Fortunately, the client wanted some more iterations to a couple of designs that they had liked from the previous set of images. The semi-finished drawings that were then sent to the client are as follows [ including some color variations ]:

Srijith then asked for something more “hand-drawn” in the logo that he liked and following are the variations I sent him:

The final logo that was selected is shown below:


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  1. Hi Naina,

    The means to the end (your use of hand illustrations to home in on the concept) is interesting and good – probably why that method of using illustrations in developing a design gets mentioned in the course case study. But I’m unable to figure what the final design has to do with the entity it must represent – a research project for a Dutch university?

    The initial drafts began with a 0,1 (binary – computers) play on the trident. Finally there’s no trident nor the digital symbolism… it in fact now appears like a swathe of three flames off a fireplace…

    More than the visual interpretation, the logo I feel, isn’t obviously relevant to the nature of business/ enterprise, the target group (Dutch or European students?) or the cultural context (who knows Shiva and trident in Holland except Mr. Nair?!)

    People and clients can mistake graphic photoshop artistry for communications design. 🙂 Mr. Nair hopefully knew why he wanted what he wanted! Its not obvious though…

    Liked your blog and thoughts otherwise.

  2. Hey Amar,
    Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂
    I appreciate your comments – not many look at the work as analytically as you did and it was great reading your comment.

    What does the Nike logo do for Nike? It’s just a tiny little check mark that’s been bloated with too much importance and now sits pretty thinking that it in itself encompasses the whole company. A logo can’t be the whole company and my personal views as a logo designerare that through design, not only do I have to try and capture the essence of the company and the client and the work that they do, I also have to keep in mind the requirements and desires of the client. At the end of the day, the company belongs to the client – they will choose the logo THEY like – my job as a designer is to present them with options that I think might fit their profile.

    So yeah, Mr. Nair wanted the Trishul – his initial brief mentioned that he wanted something that looked like a Celtic tattoo. If he had his way, the Research project would have had a modified Celtic tattoo as its logo!

    And before I go all defensive about the logo that I came up with – the logo design process, the way I work, involves the client’s brain as much as it involves mine. I’d like to think of myself as someone who produces on paper / screen what the client had in mind all along. Solution provider more than a designer / artist. The Nike check mark / swoosh now means a lot of things – that’s brand building and the company’s done a great job of creating a veritable cult from that check mark. That’s the communication – story-building and story-telling.

    That check mark probably wouldn’t mean anything to an Adivasi on the Andaman and Nicobar islands were he / she to see it in isolation – without the Nike name and without the much photoshopped sports stars in the Nike ads. [ I love the Andamans, I end up using them whenever I’m trying to give an example for pretty much anything 😉 ]

    Hey! Nice! I enjoyed that – would have been better if it had been a face-to-face though 🙂

  3. hi,

    What ever you designed logo is good. Your step by step development in creativity is very good. can you tell me that why client is choosed that final logo instead of that logo which you given middle curve is colour in trishul.

  4. Murali, thank you for spending time on the blog. As for why the client chose what he chose – that’s entirely upto the client’s perception and also how well I was able to convince them to take the direction I thought was best!

  5. Hey! Can I use one of your designs are the source of inspiration for this school project I’m working on? 🙂 I’ll be careful to site your website! 🙂

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