August 4, 2013

Design is the new maktion - Unveiling the New M!

Hello once again! It's been a very long break here at maktion, and my apologies for not being able to blog as I had too many commitments to fulfill during this while. But, every night I did remember maktion once in a while and tried to push myself only to get distracted by twitter (you'll know what I mean if you blog and are active on twitter!). Nothing wrong with that but off-late I've been reading a lot of good stuff around my interest areas, some through blog posts, curated articles, or even from the tweets of the knowledgeable folks I follow and admire. It's like a lot of really good ideas popped up in my head in the last two months and I haven't blogged a single post. Shame, but then blame it on the iPhone I bought in May! *chuckles*

I've always been a believer of "restarting" if we get stuck during any point of time. Be it at work, or during studies earlier if something is not working out, don't waste your time figuring out the nuances. Just do something else and come back with a completely refreshed mind. To blog, I needed a refreshed maktion, totally, completely, right from scratch! Those who are regulars here would know that every blog refresh that I've done in the past has been better than the previous edition. I can't even remember how many have come back and praised. My formula is simple, I put myself on what I call "The WOW test?" Is my new idea, concept, imagination capable enough to create a wow experience among at least 50% of my audience? If Yes, then dive into the opportunity. If no, then grab a coffee and think of something better. Trust me, when I impose such self-tests on myself, I answer them with complete honesty based on my #designthinking that I have acquired over the years. Although I do a blog refresh once a year, the idea came up in my mind a little early this year and things started taking shape every evening as I would return from work to home. The last 10 days have been continuously devoted to countless design ideas, subjecting them to the wow test, a lot of them failed and finally one concept stood out. I knew this is it. The earlier logo was inspired by Batman and hence the curved M (if you remember). I gave this new idea a code name - the New M.

Now, you may laugh at me that why so much organized for this petty task? Well, before Marketing I have spend considerable time in Product Development working with some of the best minds from Singapore, Australia, Europe and USA at my previous organization. From that experience I have learnt the importance of planning well even if it's for a simple thing like creating a logo here. Call it whatever, I pay heavy attention to detail and like to get things moving in an order. It allows me to focus and progress towards the goal eliminating the chaos on way. I'll share more about these techniques sometime later. As I worked, I regularly tweeted about the #maktion2013 side project.

All this got some my known connections a little excited as they've been witnesses to past revamps.

The screenshot below will show you "50 items" in my folder "M-13", yep! That's the amount of effort that has gone into the #maktion2013 side project. But, I enjoyed every bit of it and challenged myself continuously. If you want an excellent output, you have to stretch beyond yourself. There's simply no term as "mediocre" in my dictionary, I knew either I was giving my best to make it happen or just sit back and waste my time on one more movie. These self imposed side projects have always helped me to evolve my thinking, my planning and most importantly - my passion for great work. Sounds crazy, right? *Hehe* Would you do it if you were in my place?

The New M.

I've already taken your 2 minutes so now let's cut it short and see what the new M is actually all about. I have created 3 slide images which are self-explanatory along with a #maktion2013 twitter feed widget which I would like you to see to understand how I went about sharing and promoting this entire exercise. Plus, if you have some feedback or want to share your view then you can directly tweet from the widget, just make sure you use the hashtag #maktion2013 in your tweets so that I can pick it up! In case you require, click the images to enlarge below.

Twitter feed:

Design is the new maktion.

 I have turned 30 today and this side project means a lot to me. The new look on maktion has been created with a lot of heart and soul.

Maktion started in 2008 as a hobby from a hostel room and today a lot of people are able to recollect the name pretty well. I want to extend that association through a powerful visual identity and the new M logo along with the complete revamp is a step in that direction. Personally, right from the wooden background header to the constant visibility of the new M logo (even if you scroll, it's visible on the right side), I enjoyed creating the new look and feel and it inspires me to come back and write more. While designing the new look, I always kept you, my reader in my mind and have tried to make this blog as simple as possible with a touch of my creativity. Someone asked me why don't you put up ads? Well, the purpose of this blog is to make you experience something which you might have missed but would definitely like know, and learn.

I hope you like the new M and give it a thumbs-up! Do share your thoughts on the new M and the newly designed maktion in the comments sections below, that'll be my reward for this entire exercise on my birthday. Plus, I  have a few good posts in my drafts and will consistently write now to add continuous value to you and your learning process. If you liked this post, then don't forget to tweet it to your friends! Lastly, thank you for all your support and encouragement.

PS - Maktion has been nominated for the Indian Blogger Awards 2013 under two categories. If you're on the IndiBlogger network, then you can vote for maktion under Marketing & Advertising and Social Media categories by recommending through facebook. Click here if you wish to. Thanks in advance!

Till next time,

Updated: August 10, 2013
Overwhelming response to the New M!

I am overwhelmed by the thrilling response to the New M not just from India but across the globe. I'm very happy that you accepted the New M with warmth. Here are the tweet responses as they kept coming after unveiling the New M:

The New M received encouraging response on Facebook too as you can see from first-hand comments below:

Closing notes - Once again, I will repeat that "Design is to win hearts". For now, the New M has managed to win hearts uniformly cutting across all age-groups, interests and geographies. I'm very happy with the response and a big thank you to each one of you! Leaving you with this tweet:

Be creative,


  1. Arif I love the new M. Learned quite a few things from the new look and the way you were unveiling the details on twitter. Great stuff. I hope it reaches out to as many people and they get to learn as much as I did and even more from "M"aktion.

    1. Thank you Amar! We always need to blend hard work with creativity, honesty and a little bit of surprise. This New M campaign was an example of that. :)

  2. Arif, I'm very impressed by the new look Maktion. What struck me was that you resisted pure cosmetic changes and instead re-engineered the entire concept. Now something tells me we have another Simon Sinek in the Maktion... Oh sorry, in the making!

    1. Thank you very much Adil khalu, I'm touched. When I asked Papa to see it and tell me how it was? He called me to tell he has never seen anything like this before and he found it fantastic. Spent countless hours crafting the New M, the heart work, worked!

  3. Hello Arif san from Japan!! I really like your new logo of "M"aktion, it looks like Chinese character(Kanji)we use "川"(Kawa), it means The River,also 川 is part of my family name...felt familiar with this logo,so i love it! good design!!

    1. Thank you Yumi! And, I feel excited to know that the New M resembles the Kawa 川. I will bring more good things so that the creative river continuously keeps flowing on maktion! :)

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  5. Great and useful article. Creating content regularly is very tough. Your points are motivated me to move on.

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