Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Repackaging a Classic :The Cover Job

Some variations of the ACK covers over the years and the research I did before starting the redesign:

One of our first jobs after the acquisition was to repackage all the classic Amar Chitra Katha covers without losing the old look and feel.This was by no means a trivial task, seeing how Amar Chitra Katha has been around for almost 30 years and has a very clear brand recognition in people's minds.
The back catalog is pretty overwhelming as well with about 600 titles in the inventory and moving about 1.3 million SKUs annually.The covers have been changing designs as well over the years and there was a bewildering array of different layouts (see above).

So, I spent 3 weekends in both Landmark and Crosswords observing how the product was stacked, people's reaction to them and design features that we could improve.One overwhelming factor I came away with was clutter predominates all Indian retail.Clutter in colors, clutter in form, clutter in stacking and clutter in images.

It also became pretty clear after a couple of design iterations with the ACK CEO that we moving too far away from the original brand .In fact while some of the variations we came up had the twin appeal of being modernistic and standout, they were too radical a departure from the ACK brand.

The other major factor was that each of the older covers was a gorgeous painting and almost an art piece by itself.So the images Im posting below were our final attempt in which we attempted to :

1>Color categorize all the existing ACK comics into 5 distinct color coded bands so that retailers would be easily able to stack them and customers would carry away a consistent impression of all the categories that ACK has to offer.

2>Redesign the ACK logo and position it in a way that the logo and the band containing the title is always visible especially when they are stacked in Croswords and Landmark.

3>Retain the old cover paintings and overlay some of the company's online initiatives without losing the classical feel.

4>Use the back of the cover to inform people about other titles in that category.

Heres the end result(will post variations at a later date)..

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