Snapchat Geofilters by Debangshu Moulik and Jasjyot Singh Hans
Snapchat is probably one of the most interactive and playful apps in the world. And in India, it has found its niche community of users - a fairly young audience - who express themselves with the numerous filters, voices and emojis.
Last year, A Good Feeling was approached to create fun, visually appealing India-specific content. They worked with a variety of illustrators and letterers spanning multiple styles and aesthetics and came up with a vibrant range of stickers, geofilters and lens concepts that are available on your smartphones.
What goes into a collaboration of this scale is a whole lot of extensive research on design and trends, numerous conversations and discussions, constant back and forth and several rounds of trial and error to see what works best. And whether it’s the colourful stickers of colloquial phrases or filter coffee; retro lens concepts that allow you to feel like a Bollywood star, or city-specific geofilters that beautifully merge lettering and illustration, the final results are reflective of the amount of thought and work that has got into the project.
For everyone on board, the inspiration was part research, part intuition. Having grown up as 80s/90s kids and falling within the average Snapchat demographic, their artworks emerged from a mix of the nostalgia of the past and living in the new-age India of today.
“In terms of the art direction, we just approached it as good design, not the conventional equation of Indian equals kitsch. We tried to give the artists the freedom to explore within their own style without any one style being adhered to,” said Sanuree Gomes, Art Director of the stickers.
Sandhya Prabhat, an illustrator, worked on two set of stickers that capture India effortlessly by creating two loveable characters - the Badass Nani, and the Roadside Romeo horse. “I pitched the Badass (but loveable) Grandma concept right away. But we weren’t sure how she would play out until I sketched her out. I drew a pose of her ninja-kicking with the rolling pin in her hand, which set the tone for her personality! She evolved into someone who would remind us of our own fierce, funny and warm grandmothers, aunties and neighbours. We also developed the character of a charming, glamorous, Roadside Romeo-ish horse who is goofy and up to no good. I can see him starring in a cheesy Bollywood action-romance,” said the illustrator.
The Badass Dadi and the Roadside Romeo horse stickers by illustrator Sandhya Prabhat
Tasneem Amiruddin, who worked on a series of gorgeous decoration-based stickers and geofilters, shares, “I have always wanted to do something with Indian motifs and finer elements of our culture but never got around to doing it. So I was thrilled to put it all together for this project! During my research, I came across various Indian ways and styles of different elements and its culture/ideas, and was amazed to discover that India has so much diversity in culture. Hence the representation of this diversity was done with bright and attractive colours.”
The bulk of the collaboration lay in location-specific geofilters, with 215 unique geolfilters created by a small team of eight designers and artists led by Art Director Mayur Mengle, which is no easy feat.
Decorative Stickers designed by Tasneem Amiruddin
Jasjyot Singh Hans, who worked on 21 geofilters for the collaboration, said that his process involved many rounds of trial and error as his initial research online didn’t lead to interesting enough visuals. “I soon realised that the geolfiters weren't as fun as they ought to look. So I got in touch with my friends who live in different cities in India, which gave me an insider look into the personal experiences of locals with their cities. The suggestions I got from them were drastically different from what I found in my research. I used their perspective about the cities, which made my geofilters work much more effectively,” said Jasjyot.
Geofilters by Jasjyot Singh Hans
Lettering artist Jyotirmayee Patra also worked on a set of geofilters and also preferred offline research and locals’ inputs. “Most of my inspiration came from popular landmarks, architecture, history; etc. Taking feedback from people also helped in shaping the final outcome, which is usually not done in illustration projects. After Iteration and Execution, placing the final artwork against an actual location backdrop and checking legibility was the final step,” she said
Geofilters by Jyotirmayee Patra
For typographer Shiva Nallaperumal, the end-goal of geofilters was to evoke a sense of a specific place, voice, time, feeling and identity through letterforms. “Places like Bandra, Indiranagar and Esplanade were easier to approach because the places themselves had a strong identity. The challenge was some of the low-key non-commercial areas like Sector 56, Rajiv Chowk etc. Here, my research involved finding an identity for these places...What do people remember about them? My questions led to some observations that allowed me to create apt lettering with no illustrations/symbols,” he said.
Geofilters by Shiva Nallaperumal
Apart from these, keep your eyes peeled for the new Snapchat lens filters coming out, where you can have a schoolgirl choti or a receding hairline like Indian Dads!
Here’s hoping you enjoy exploring the diversity of India in a unique way. The full collection is now available on Snapchat’s new update.