How renaming Allahabad helped designer come up with logo for Prayagraj smart city
For an IIT Kanpur PhD scholar, whose logo finally went on to be approved by the authorities, the name-change from Allahabad to Prayagraj, in fact, made the task easier for him as the symmetry of letter “A” was offering not much to play with.
When Allahabad was shortlisted by the Centre to be developed as a smart city, the state authorities invited prospective logos from the people that would represent the city’s rich history in literature, its vibrant energy and also what over the centuries has become an integral part of its identity -- the Kumbh Mela.
But as people went to the drawing board, the state government notified the renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj.
“Initially, a logo was created with the letter ‘A’ (for Allahabad) showing a confluence of two rivers -- the Ganga and the Yamuna. The logo was in final phase awaiting approval when the news of the city getting a name-change appeared, and I had to start afresh,” said Abhinav Basak, an IIT Kanpur PhD scholar researching Visual Ergonomics of Graphical User Interface, who had also submitted his entry.
Basak said initial invitation for a logo was sought in February 2018. “My entry was sent in March and I was told to proceed. The name change was conveyed in August.” But the sudden name-change was difficult to deal with for designers like Basak and others who had already invested months of time and energy designing a logo for “Allahabad Smart City”.
For Basak, whose logo finally went on to be approved by the authorities, the name-change, in fact, made the task easier for him as the symmetry of letter “A” was offering not much to play with.
He dropped the letter “A” from the design and went for the Devanagari equivalent for ‘Pra’ -- or the first letter in the new name of the city.
“After giving much thought, Devanagari letter for ‘Pra’ was considered for the primary logo form since others were not helping represent a confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna. And thus, the ideation phase of the logo began once again,” he said.
“The form design was relatively easier this time around since Devanagari letter ‘Pra’ did not have symmetry to be taken into account,” he said, adding the only major concern now was the colour, since it had only one surface to fill. “A series of colour combination was tried repeatedly to come up with the options to choose from single colour to subtle colour transition to two-colour gradient and so on,” he said.
Ritu Suhas, the additional CEO for the Prayagraj Smart City Corporation told PTI Sunday about 200 entries were received.
Basak came to know about release of the logo on November 29.
“The logo designed by Abhinav was selected. Through the logo, we want to show the biggest highlight of the city -- the Sangam (the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati). The confluence had to be a part of the logo,” she said.
“Secondly, Prayagraj has emerged as an educational hub catering to students from far and wide. Apart from this, the city has produced a number of prominent writers, hence the logo also depicts a symbolic pen. The colour scheme shows vibrant energy,” Suhas said.
She added the smart city project envisages better policing, better crowd management (especially in the context of the Kumbh mela in 2019), traffic management. Apart from this night markets, smart roads and water ATMS are also part of the smart city project.
“As of now, we have 24 projects in the pipeline for it” she said. Basak explained the logo. “The two curves in the logo symbolise the ‘Sangam’ the confluence the Ganga and the Yamuna. It also forms the Devanagari letter ‘Pra’ which is the initial letter of ‘Prayagraj’.”
“The letter ‘Pra’ is formed using a negative space which breaks the image into three individual sections. This is the ‘smart’ element in the logo. Interestingly, the letter ‘Pra’ in reality is not present in the logo but needs to be visually discovered. This requires the viewers involvement thus making the logo engaging.”
The logo has a gradient texture and the colour scheme is an amalgamation of blue, pink and yellow which represents ‘fresh energy’. The typeface has a ‘pen’ incorporated, which depicts the city’s rich heritage in the field of literature as it has given the country some of its greatest writers and poets, he added.
He said the typeface used in the logo was inserted to ensure a ‘pen’ icon is well incorporated while maintaining the harmony in the logo, he said.