Indisha Fine Arts Trust
Designing a visual identity for an arts trust
Indisha is an organization based in Chennai with a mission to teach Bharathanatyam (a classical Indian dance style) and empower students to use this art form to make meaningful contributions to their environment and community. What began as a dance class in a small room of Indu and Nidheesh’s apartment has grown into an art trust over the last ten years. In this decade of growth, small initiatives have matured into services, and Indisha has come to represent a dance school, an environmental advocacy, and a performance moniker for the founders.
Without a brand system unifying all of Indisha’s services, there was confusion in the community about what Indisha was. I collaborated with the instructors and students from the organization to develop a brand strategy that encapsulates their principles and unifies their services.
inspiration and concept
The walls of the old Indisha studio were covered with different kinds of Indian folk paintings that were cherished by the students and teachers. Since Indisha seemed to identify with these visual forms, I explored the idea of alluding to these art forms in the brand.
In my research about Indian folk painting styles, I learned about Gond art (see below). Gond is a traditional painting style that is practiced by the largest of the Dravidian communities in India. This community believes that there is a deep connection between humans and their natural surroundings and they use their art to present this connection. Due to this shared belief system between the Gond and Indisha artists, I use silhouettes in the logo that resemble the Gond style.
components of the logo
Tamil Letter இ (“i”)- the first phonetic sound of Indisha (Tamil is the language spoken by most of the students and faculty of Indisha).
Peacock - a symbol for dance, elegance, and Indian roots in the terrestrial
Fish - traveling in schools, fish are a symbol for coordinated movement and collaborative change.
the story behind the color palette
The name of the organization, “Indisha” was suggested by the veteran Bharathanatyam artist Leela Samson, and Kathakali exponent Asan Sadanam Balakrishnan. The term ‘Indisha’ is a mangala raga (auspicious pattern of notes) sung in Kathakali performances.
To reference this connection, the colors of Indisha are inspired by Kathakali face make-up. The hues of the Kathakali palette were adjusted in Indisha’s brand to exude warmth, vibrance, and earthiness.
I present the underlying unity in an environment of diverse forms using visual motifs. The individual elements of these line compositions remain the same and are rearranged to present three things: dancers’ oneness with nature, the school of fish, and the environmental ecosystem