Category: Graphic Design

Climbing Canine Logo

Climbing Canine – Logo

Climbing Canine Logo

A logo design for a dog leash company that offer comfortable leash for the pet and the pet owner. The numbers display the geo location. The dog is the actual dog of the pet owner / client.

The challenge I had was the head of the dog initially looked like a mouse, with lot of thought and experimenting and without changing the looks of the dog, I had to twist the ears forward to give it a dog look.

Thank You Mug with Sandhya Rao Logo on Computer

Promotional Mug – Thank You

Thank You Mug with Graphic Design Icons

Thank You Mug with Sandhya Rao Logo on Computer


A well thought out design, as a thank you gift for the people who are in the field of graphic design. The tools used by graphic designers are displayed on the mug. The designers breathe, eat, DRINK and sleep with these tools. Can you guess what application these tools are from?

A diamond shaped logo with yellow and dashed turquoise color with Space Walk written in Gray and Black.



With ten initial iterations and seven more iterations for the text picked, this logo took its final shape. This logo design has been molded to the needs of an architectural firm whose business is to optimize space with charm and functionality.

Two stacks of Optimations business cards



Sandy Rao focuses on branding starting with logo design, research, wire-framing, design and website development. This show reel gives a glimpse of some of her work.

Infographics - The Future of Graphic Design. Caption says "Everyone is a graphic designer."


Infographics is what I enjoy doing most. I got this opportunity in my Design Honors class. Several weeks of research, brainstorming for ideas on how it should work out, incorporate several ideas in one icon is what I strived to achieve with this.

The FUTURE OF GRAPHIC DESIGN is what most of us in the Graphic Design field are worried about. This was my best opportunity to find out what mine and my fellow graphic designers’ future look like. Problems and solutions are both given. It is left to the Graphic Designer to make the best use of this infographics and themselves competitive. There is also an article that goes with this infographics that talks in detail about what is depicted here.

The Future of Graphic Design - Infographics


The Future of Graphic Design: Should you be worried?

Introduction and a brief history

The history of Graphic Design dates back ever since cavemen painted pictures on the wall of the caves.The invention of printing press in the 1400s contributed towards its “renaissance”. The concept of graphic design has been morphing into an industry in the 1600s, as Graphic Design not only focused artistic look but also into layout and typography. The industrial revolution of the 1890s, abhorred mass publishing of books giving rise to arts and crafts movement. During this movement, individual expression and craftsmanship were revered. Consequently, elevating the graphic design profession. Trade relations with Eastern nations such as Japanese art influenced Art Nouveau towards the end of 19th century (1880-1901). Designers looked for a new way of expression. New typefaces, minimalistic design (influenced
by Bauhaus) were state of the art. The World Wars augmented Graphic Design usage with bulk production of propaganda posters, advertisements and pamphlets providing a strong foothold leading to its use in corporate America. In 1957, a new Swiss font, Helvetica, known for its clarity, influenced Graphic Design industry for almost two decades. Helvetica became a statement and a new standard in typography.
“Good Design is Good Business” was the motto at that time as quoted by Thomas J. Watson Jr. the second president (1952-71) of IBM. Corporate identity encouraged simplistic design.
Post Modernism (1975-1985) influenced graphic design to use different material and media to express design ideas. The advent of computers in the 1980s and internet in the 1990s revolutionized graphic design towards the digital media.
Stepping into the 21st century, how does Graphic Design look like now?

Current Trend:

“Everything is Design” – Paul Rand

While mixed media like juxtaposing photography with digital design or hand drawn illustration is the trend, mixing forms like animals with humans could also be seen. Simple minimalistic design with no constraint on size (unlike print) is the new trend. The printed form has its limitations on the length of the text copy. People are directed to the website to seek more information.

Like the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, imagery has taken the place of typography. With print media disappearing, so is large blocks of text. Photography and videography with audio is all the rage. Animation and interactive design is catching up.
Branding got simpler. Powerful, repetitive imagery, clean design, limited use of typography strives to deliver a powerful message of a business. When a brand is refreshed, the part that is an outdated design is discarded, keeping or modifying what is still relevant.

Social media is the new advertising platform. Every company now has to design for print, web and social media. The best way to publicize their brand while reaching most age groups and demography, is through social media.
What’s next?

What constitutes a graphic design in future?

Considering how internet is defining everything around us (Internet of Things), internet profoundly revolutionized graphic designers and the Graphic Design industry. Internet demarcates how design manifests to influence its viewers.

How will computer generated graphic design look?

Internet has shaped graphic design aesthetics. Gathering the historical facts and current data, Smart Data Analytics will permeate into the design field. There will be apps for designing logos, posters, brochures, books, stationery inclusive of all print forms. The computers are fed the algorithms of principles, organization, standard layouts, typographic rules and trending designs. The computer then generates random design for poster, brochure, web, social media and other media. Images will reduce blocks of text to a bare minimum. Minimalistic approach will go retro or even as far back to stick figures in hieroglyphs. Here’s an example of how computer generated graphics looks like:
courtesy: http://thiswebsiteisunderconstruction.com/FUTURE-OF-GRAPHIC-DESIGN

Computer Generated Poster Design

Other attributes that factor into Graphic design are:

Animated GIFs will be generated by computers.

Iconography will replace standard words, just like texting replaced “laugh out loud” to LOL, to an emoticon with tears of joy in the eyes.

Identity at the Rudimentary level: Not just big ones, every organization at local level even though insignificant will have its own logo and branding. Every person will have their own website, logo and branding.

Additional colors like metallic, infrared will be part of the color palette. Typography will be
rendered in perspective and three dimensionally.

Design of Things, Design for Things:

A cup of cappuccino will be served with your picture printed on it. Movies and Televisions already have three dimensional vision. Soon Graphic Designers will have to render designs in 3D for all screen sizes including mobile devices, billboards, as every surface will act as a screen. Smart watches will be able to project designs on to any surface. A design will be created from all perspectives (360 deg) as 3D printers will be the norm. These challenges beg the question, what constitutes a graphic designer of the future?

How do you stand out as a graphic designer?
People talk about “time is money”. To beat the clock graphic designers churn out average designs for the clients. In the future, a designer not only has to beat the clock but transcend computers.

With the advent of iPad, free design templates and photo editing capabilities are available with a swipe on the touchscreen. Virtually, every one is a designer. Consequently, graphic designers will lose their importance. What a computer cannot steal is their intellectual property.
If a designer needs to survive in the future, they must go with the motto… Every design is unique. Design should not be a standard template. It helps a designer to listen to the client, discuss several revolutionary trend setting ideas, add different perspective, use handwritten text versus computer generated, and implement the design backed by research. Critical thinking results in creative thinking. Create an experience by adding fourth dimensional functions such as auditory and tactile. Be a trend setter not a follower.

Graphic Designer Education Level:

Though a Bachelor’s degree in a related field is a current minimum requirement, future designers will require a Master’s degree to get her/his foot in. The skills necessary will not be limited to static designs like posters, brochure, billboard advertisement but flow into interactive design like motion graphics, 3D rendering to add perspective.

Essential Skill set:

To be part of a team, a graphic designer should be creative, manage projects, network, communicate, copy write bodies of text, proof read, fluently use social media and most importantly find solutions to problems. To work as a designer she/he should know everything about graphic design, interactive design and a little bit about gaming. The tools required to design a project in the future is use of touch pad like Wacom® Tablets, other than computers and stylus pen. Knowledge of 2D & 3D design (using CAD) and animation, 3D modeling for games, photography, multi media art and animation, audio and video editing, website design and development will be an essential part of designing. Additionally, operating a drone to shoot videos will be preferable.

In conclusion, to be competitive a Graphic Designer, in future, called as Interactive Designer, will not just be an artist but a digital Guru requiring varied technical skills and high creativity. It is the survival of the best & most creative!

Work Cited:

History of Graphic Design: http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/302294/History-of-Graphic-

Design-Timeline/#vars!date=12993 BC-08-02_04:31:25!






Living In The Shadows - Magazine SpreadThis design of a Magazine Spread and the story was created for this beautiful photography of the Majestic Alps. Passing by the Alps I shot this house that looked insignificant before the Alps. The story justifies the feeling of these mountains. The picture of the Alps and the story was also written by me. The story is about a War veteran who fought during the World War II from the German side.


As a photo-journalist, I wanted to write a story from the other side of the war, the German side.


Photography and article by Sandhya Rao

* Story regarding the corpse part of the battle is courtesy of BBC.

Amidst the rugged mountain terrain and the evergreen wilderness of the Alps, a family has lived for close to seven decades. The majestic mountains have protected them and helped provide their livelihood during the harsh winter and the unpredictable summer heat.

After serving in the World War II, this war veteran moved away from the chaos of the city to live in the quiet seclusion of the Inn valley. At the age of 90, Kpl Wilhelm Kaspar Pfleger shares his story of romance, survival, and his interests as a farmer.

I scanned the list of living war veterans and found the name of Kpl Wilhelm Kaspar Pfleger. I tracked my way to Innsbruck.

Korporal Pfleger was waiting at a corner of a cafe. He was accompanied by his youngest son, Christofer. He rested his walker beside him and greeted me with a faint smile. I ordered egg omelets and cappuccino for breakfast. After breakfast, I asked a few questions on our journey towards Osterstein, a quiet town on the banks of River Inn which is one hour drive from Innsbruck. This is where Kpl Pfleger lives with his wife and Christofer’s family. We passed through the Inn valley surrounded by the majestic Alps in a picturesque landscape as the Inn River flowed in and out of sight.

Kpl Pfleger broke his silence looking at the river.

He said “This River helped my father make a living and now it is helping me.” He continued, “my father had an apple orchard, a vineyard and a small dairy. I used to assist him in the dairy and the vineyard and my brother in the apple orchard. I had the most challenging job, and I would do it with pride. In fact, I would like to augment: I love challenges. Most probably, this helped me get this far in life.”

“How old were you when you were assisting your father?” I asked.

“I was not very old. At the age of twelve I was asked to help milk the cows and eventually to help my father in the vineyard.” He continued, “I was seventeen years old when I was drafted in the military service. I had to bid good bye to my family and that was the last I ever saw them.”


“I joined my comrades to fight against the French. We were in the French territory bordering Austria. The battle was fierce and we overcame the French. At the end of the battle, the corpses were lying all around the place. Of my thirty comrades only seven of us survived the battle. The bunds that we created to protect us, was now filled with corpses. The stench from the corpses was overwhelming. My job was to collect the tags of my twenty-three comrades. The mud was very sticky. I could not lift my leg if I walked on it. So we walked on the corpses. I remember even in death my comrades protected me. I walked on my comrades to pull their tags out. By this time, the rats were eating away the faces of the dead corpses. The stomach was soft. If you stepped on them our legs would sink into their bodies. So we had to walk on their backs to go about.” (This paragraph is courtesy of BBC.)

“We went further along the river, deep into the French territory. By this time we were all exhausted. My six comrades and I collapsed on the ground and fell asleep. We had no shelter. By dawn, we were surrounded by the French soldiers. We were caught off-guard and captured by them. We even heard the news that the US forces allied with the British and the French to defeat the German forces. The French were rejoicing over Hitler’s death. Unfortunately for us, though we won the battle, we lost the war. While at the French camp, the French soldiers sympathized with the seven of us and let us go.”

“I came back from the war, a defeated soldier, only to find my village devastated. I looked everywhere to find directions to my house. The landmarks, the houses of Mr. Peiper, Mr. Feist, and Mr. Gschwendtner were all destroyed. I hurried to my house. I came across my father’s land. The vineyards were flattened, cattle were scattered, the house was in ruins. I called for my mother, father and my brother. I heard no responses. I looked for them in the apple orchard. I found them lying on the ground. It made me dizzy. I sat there for a long time and mourned. I heard a calf crying at a distance. It was a familiar voice. I went looking for it. To my astonishment it was one of our calves. My joy knew no bounds. As I approached the calf it ran away. I followed the calf. It went straight towards my neighbor’s house. The house was destroyed and what was their meadow was now littered with bodies. Blood spilled all over the yard. As I walked towards their house, I saw my neighbor’s twelve year old daughter. She was the sole survivor in the family. This was the first time I talked to her. I thanked her for taking care of my calf.”

“I took my calf back to my house and lived for a few days. But there was nothing much to live on. The blood on my father’s land had made the land unfertile. I could not grow anything on it. I decided to move on. I asked my neighbor’s daughter, Isabella, if she wanted to come with me. We salvaged whatever we could find and moved here with my calf never to look back. I married Isabella when she was eighteen. We have four grandchildren. Isabella is not keeping in good health now. I’m worried for her. The Alps have protected us. We like the serene life here. It has been seventy years since we have been together. We have been living in the shadows of the Alps.” ——


Phone - Word Play IllustrationEVOLUTION OF PHONES

A challenging yet fun word play illustration in which the illustration has to mean the word Phone. Hand drawn and finished with Acrylic paint, this project depicts how phones have evolved over more than a century. The project was designed in the Fall of 2014 even before Apple watch was launched. A Children’s Book was designed with these illustrated letters to educate them while providing fun facts about telephones.

Tour bus with the Green Lizard in red and green illustrated on the side of the bus.


Look at the Design Process ⋙

Tangible Colors Album Promotion Campaign
The Green Lizard illustration is done with acrylic paint using only complementary colors and the combination of the two with white. Here I used red and green being the complement of each other. This whole process of drawing, underpaint and painting took more than 64 hours to complete.

To incorporate this illustration in Graphic Design, I designed TANGIBLE COLORS album cover, created a background story by blending fact with fiction, and built a whole campaign to promote album record tour.

Story created and written by Sandhya Rao

In his 14th Album, Sir Elton John, sends a powerful social message about apartheid. The country of South Africa, evolved from apartheid to it’s present social tolerance. People were segregated into four major groups as White, Black, Colored and Indian. People of mixed race with black and another race (comprising of Indian, Chinese, Malay, or White) fell into colored category. Due to segregation, members of the same family would fall under different categories and were treated differently. These people had to live away from their families in a separate township. Forced to lead a life in a different part of the town, being not allowed to meet with their family, they received inferior education and lower grade jobs.

Sir Elton John, met those “colored” people that were separated from their families. He was touched by the stories and decided to create awareness about this injustice done to a lot of families. The songs in this album he wrote is to tell the stories of families, their lives and social stigma attached. He continued to work on this cause for the people of South Africa and meet with the leaders of western countries to abolish the segregation until he saw an end to apartheid.

This album is dedicated to all the people in the world that fought against segregation, injustice, and giving their lives for such a cause.


Optimations Branding Digital & PrintA website for class project becomes a real one when a client approached to create a website for his business, OPTIMATIONS. For this website I had to create a logo. After ten different compositions, four iterations of one of the logos picked, five revisions, twelve typographic combination, this logo shaped into its final stage and approved by the client. Later additions to the project was a video of infographics, a brochure, powerpoint presentation, business cards and website.


Udupi Kitchen - Sauce Spice Mix. Jars with mild, medium and hot flavors



An idea to start a business as part of the Business Entrepreneur class ended up with a package design which later manifests as a campaign to sell this product.

UDUPI KITCHEN is a spice mix that could be used in everyday regular cooking. The name is a place in a remote part of Southern Coastal India. It is well known for it’s flavorful cooking. This spice mix that adds the unique Udupi flavor. I’m selling the jars of spice mix to start a business.

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