Gola – Concept  nomenclature, identity design

We were approached to conceptualise a brand for a cultural space that would host events, talks, and have design-led exhibitions.

We proposed the name Gola.

Our reasoning for this name was: Gola references the act of shaping crushed ice into a ball and dipping it into a variety of brightly coloured sugar syrups – its product is an expression of edible art. No two golas look the same since they are shaped by hand and can be combined with innumerous sugary concoctions, allowing for a myriad of ways to express and experiment.

It affects all five of our senses - sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. It is global because there are versions of a gola in many cultures across the world. But the word gola holds a specific meaning for Indians and is often associated with the nostalgia of childhood.
It is not elitist and is enjoyed by all across all demographics. It is easily produced without any complex means or resources. A gola can be enjoyed independently but also with a group of people.

Gola connects to the larger purpose of this space in its creative expression — open for all, resourceful, and most importantly rooted in India.

Gola is also a four letter word that has a good recall and rolls off one’s tongue with ease — “See you at gola”. It has a nice rounded sound that reduces the chances of mispronunciation. It is easily recognised, understood and is embedded in our memory, subliminally connecting you to a sense of freshness and happiness.

The space is called Gola and represented visually as Gola House.
The identity symbolises a house suggesting a space that is warm and comfortable — it’s where friends meet, making it inclusive, and welcoming.

The identity extends into a graphic language by applying a circle placed within the primary form. The placement and multiplicity of the circle in relation to the main form expresses the different aspects of the brand.

The name, Gola was proposed by collaborator Matteo Guarnaccia.
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© Ajay Shah Design Studio 2024