Molding a face for Nagpur Metro
Back in 2019, we had been working with Maha Metro for the Nagpur Metro project for quite some time. When the first leg of the project was nearing its launch, the need was felt for an entity that could connect with the users. Hence, the idea for a mascot.
Those were exciting days for our work partnership with the project. We were involved in many aspects of the launch. The team was working 24X7 to get things done in time. Despite being overworked and overstretched, we couldn't pass the opportunity to develop a mascot for Nagpur Metro, when it was offered to us.
Tushar took responsibility of creating the mascot. He also worked closely with Nupur in creating the entire visual language for the project.
Designing a mascot requires understanding about the context of the project, its users and more importantly, the desired feeling that the project is designed to instill in the user.
Metro is a part of the everyday life of people living in the city, so we needed whatever represented it to be something which was closely relatable and easily acceptable.
In this case, the context being Nagpur - the tiger capital of the nation, the choice was pretty straightforward. In the first meeting with the corporation itself, it was decided that the mascot should be a tiger, which was a symbol of pride not just for the nation but especially for the people of Nagpur.
Initial sketches were of a mother tiger in traditional Marathi attire. Further iterations proved that cultural embellishments on an already perfectly representative symbol was not necessary.
A mascot makes an abstract concept (viz. the intangible element of the project) more relatable to the user.
On later stages of design iterations, a tiger cub was added to the mascot unit. This was to convey a sense of safety, care and comfort. A user could feel as secure in the system as a child with a parent. This addition also gave the design a bit more energy which an innocent cub naturally spreads.
The tiger was also made gender neutral. The facial features were enhanced to fit criteria of it being simple, yet nuanced enough to convey a sense of ease which would be felt by the users.
Some of these iterations, when they evolved, proved to be either too complex or in a way too feral to be felt relatable.
Eventually, we hit a sweet spot where these features emanated a jovial feel which we stuck to for further iterations.
The end result created the much adored tiger and her cub who are accepted by the people of Nagpur and who represent the spirit of the metro project - safety, security and vivacity of everyday travel.