In December 2010, Flipkart got in touch with me for a logo re-design assignment and I was thrilled that one of my favorite Indian e-commerce companies would like to work with me!
They clearly mentioned they were also working with another designer / studio / agency for the very same project scope.
The process of developing the logo for the brand started with the creative brief being filled-in by the Flipkart team and some initial back and forth so that we were all on the same page.
There was mindmapping and keywording. (Click image below for larger)
To explain the concepts and my thoughts behind the design, I also wrote details like the following :
Some of the ideas / thoughts related to the concepts that can be used for the logo are as follows :
1. the letters f and k : not like a monogram because that would make the look elitist – but rounded letters, in bright colors – maybe in an abstract shape / symbol that, over time, will become like a stamp for Flipkart – a unique symbol that customers identify easily. The letters f and k might not be immediately recognizable but will form a unit of design that can also be applied on other media as a pattern – the repeated symbol would make a pattern for wrapping paper for example – and could be used in multiple colors to represent various product sub-groups that flipkart offers. For example, if it is a book being delivered, it could be a combination of red and orange repeated symbol on the wrapper; if it is a mobile being delivered it is a combination of red and orange symbols mixed with blue and black symbols, etc.
2. just the letter f : this is based on the above idea but also based on the f currently being used on various platforms as a favicon / avatar to represent flipkart. The f could be designed in such a way that is it not immediately evident that it is the letter f. In this concept and the one above, the trust angle can be incorporated using colors becasue as such, the shapes will represent it only if they are solid – like a solid f and k in a bold type, for example.
3. the letters f and k made of dots or other smaller shapes – to represent the various product categories that flipkart has to offer. The disadvantage of this approach will be that at small sizes, the dots will not be visible. Hence on favicons and avatars, this approach will make the f ans the k look like solid letters with no concept of the dots.
4. an abstract representation of the word “everything”. This approach would be preferred if you want to stay away from the ideas using the letters f and k. As an example, everything means the opposite of nothing – even something as simple as a circle can represent everything – so, there could be a circle made of smaller circles – or a circle with halves of letters f and k cut out of it, etc. Since flipkart aims to provide a wide range of products to its customers, an abstract symbol that represents everything would fit the brand identity. The ideas I’ve mentioned here on how to use the circle are just initial suggestions – if this concept is chosen, I will obviously work to create a unique symbol. Usually a combination of this abstract concept with the f or the k will help us yield unique results. We don’t want to end up looking like just another circle. We could also incorporate the idea of “flip”ping a circle – to include the flip with the everything concept – to represent the idea that Flipkart has all these products on offer – and buying any of those is as simple as flipping a coin. The circle is also a good symbol as far as trust is concerned – any solid shapes usually evoke stronger feelings of trust.
5. Taking the theme of “everything” further, we could also work on a theme of using the letters f and k in an abstract form and combine them with the infinity symbol – this, by far, in my branding expertise, is the strongest concept in all the above – all overlap to some degree but this one would be able to capture the essence of the brief as well as make sure the symbol developed is unique to Flipkart. Having a distinct symbol that is unlike any other also caters to the implication of trust. Apart from the shape of the logo itself, the colors used will further solidify what the brief captured.
The next stage was sketching and idea iterations.
I received some more feedback, which helped further refine this process of sketching and there was another iteration of sketching.
By now I could sense that this was not going as planned. Feedback was slow and felt all over the place. I was no longer sure what direction I was pursuing. Even so, the nest round of feedback was positive and more concrete and produced the result I like the most so far.
The team then asked me to go back to the previous phase, #four, and send them an idea of the semi-finished versions to let them see what that would look like.
I’m not entirely sure what happened after this – there was no communication for a while and then the new Flipkart logo was released in all their communication and branding online and offline. In the end, the project closed and Flipkart did not use any of my sketches or designs.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed working on it and am sure if I was locally present at the Flipkart office, I would’ve nailed this one.
I continue to bust my budget buying books on the Flipkart platform. You can follow them on Twitter @flipkart and they are on Facebook as well.