Malra thread - brand design
DESIGNING A BRAND FOR THE HUMBLE MALRA THREAD - A SMALL SHOP IN LADO SARAI, NEW DELHI
Every fabric tells a story. A story of someone's imagination, someone's creativity, and someone's aesthetic. But the beauty lies in the journey. The making of.
The coming together of a million threads to form one. Malra Thread has been providing the arsenal for this creation for over a decade now. The design approach therefore, stems from this very thought.
The logo’s devanagiri and Latin scripts help it be contemporary, but rooted in tradition at the same time. The visual language is derived from how a thread brings different things together - whether it be through stitching, or through tying them together.
Exhibited at Bikaner House, New Delhi as a part of Indianama 2018.
The idea behind using both Devanagiri and Latin for the identity was because of phonetics. A lot of people pronounced it as 'm-ah-lraa' rather than the intended 'm-uh-lra'. It was also to make it recognizable and understandable to the customers of the shop. The customers vary from small neighbourhood tailors to young fashion designers and students.
The identity also works well to give Malra a very Indian yet contemporary flavour. At first, I wasn't a big fan of the Devanagiri 'ra'. But as I worked on the project, I grew to love it. It gives the identity a very unique touch
The shirorekha (the line above the Devanagiri letters) can be extended to give the logo flexibility. It also derives from the act of extending a thread out of the spool.
What does a thread do?
The concept behind the visual language is inspired by how a thread weaves and ties together different fabrics and paraphernalia, to make new stories. In the abstract shapes, you'll notice how the three of them are different but they work together in a harmonious way.
The shop is named after the owner's grandmother. Therefore, I wanted the shapes to also represent grandmother's love. The colours have been carefully chosen keeping that in mind - soft, caring, and loving.
It was a conscious decision to not go with an over the top bright aesthetic that is usually my style. I didn't want to have bold graphics associated with Malra. The main reason for it being the aforementioned reason that the shop is named after the owner's grandmother, and I really wanted that to come through through the visual language.
It was an exercise in colour, coming up with soft combinations that went along with the shapes. I wanted to keep them subtle but bright. I took my time with them because they would be enormously important in defining what Malra is as a brand.
Poppins by Indian Type Foundry works perfectly for Malra as a brand. The type family has a contemporary Indian flavour.With Latin and Devanagiri scripts both present, it was a no brainer to use it for the brand design.
MALRA STANDS FOR QUALITY
Malra also produces its own brand of threads. To get customers to trust an unknown thread brand, a sort of stamp/seal was designed that can be printed on the packaging. The psychological effect of seeing a seal of trust can help in converting customers.
For any business, keeping expenses low is the key to growing more profitable. The packaging is designed keeping that in mind. It only uses one single printed piece of paper that can be stuck on a box of any size/colour depending on availability.
It also is much more eco-friendly not adding as much toxic ink and plastic into the environment as it could have if the entire box was printed.
MALRA FOR GOOD
Packaging is taken off, the thread wrap gets thrown out and with that goes away the recall value of a roll of thread. An idea to make Malra Threads stand out in the customer’s mind and stay with them longer was to create these tiny booklets that are no more than 2 spreads long that teach really basic skills about stitching and sewing. They can be sold for Rs 5 at the store, or given away free with a sizable purchase.
This could also make the customer come to Malra the next time he/she needs supplies instead of going to the neighbourhood shop.