Leo Burnett Sri Lanka’s Executive Creative Director Lalindra Nanayakkara (fondly known as Nana), recently participated in a three-day typography workshop that was conducted by a world-class panel under the auspices of the University of Moratuwa and was attended by a cross section of participants ranging from industry professionals, designers to under graduates and art students. The event brought together top advertising and literary professionals from across Sri Lanka and the region, to highlight the important role that typography plays in modern-day communication. A series of case studies, seminars, lectures and reflections were shared to educate the participants on how they can make better use of typography, understand its roots, apply it in their academic studies and professional careers, and truly understand the technical aspects involved in the art of typography.
At the typography workshop, Lalindra highlighted examples of exceptional typography led campaigns that have been created for Sri Lankan brands. Lalindra is a renowned communications professional, with a career that spans across 18 years. He has worked with some of Sri Lanka’s leading advertising agencies and corporates and his work has won numerous accolades at some of the world’s most recognized award shows. Having conceptualized several award-winning campaigns for leading local and global brands such as UNICEF, KFC and Jetwing, he has also applied his astute copywriting skills, creativity and leadership to add immense value to brands such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Minute Maid, Dialog, Sri Lanka Telecom, Mobitel, CJS, Sri Lanka Insurance, Elephant House, People’s Bank, Cargills Magic and many more brands. Prior to rejoining Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, Lalindra worked as the Head of Branding and Communication for Sri Lanka’s largest company,MAS Holdings,which has a global operationacross 16 countries, a staff force of over 86,000 people and an annual revenue of USD 2 billion.
Commenting on the key cases he covered at the workshop Lalindra said: “I shared some interesting pieces of work with the students and highlighted that typography can actually become the core element in a creative idea. My presentation reiterated that instead of just using text for a headline or as accompanying copy, typography can be used to drive an entire campaign or concept.”
Further elaborating on this he said: “One example of this is how Leo Burnett Sri Lankacreated “Shree” a new brand with a distinct Sri Lankan flavour for Cotton Collection. For this brand of products, we used the entire Sinhala alphabet to convey the essence of the product in a way that made it more relevant for people. Another interesting typography campaign we did was for the Mawbima Newspaper, which was based on using text to drive dengue prevention. It’s a very powerful example because in this particular instance, the text was used to literally save people’s lives. Another example I shared was how the Puswedilla series invented a hybrid language called “Arstalk” to convey comical anecdotes and ideas with added humour. All of these cases were well-received by the audience, who were able to see that companies like Leo Burnett use typography as a design element in its own right and are therefore able to maximise its potential to communicate an idea with simplicity, effectiveness and power.”
Highlighting the importance of the workshop Lalindra said: “This typography workshop was the first of its kind to be held in Sri Lanka by the University of Moratuwa and more than 350 people participated in it. Many guest lecturers and participants from other regional countries also attended the programme. It was a proud moment for me to see Sri Lanka at the forefront of such an important communications event. This workshop was of an international standard and I hope that it will play an influencing role in encouraging more youth and young professionals to embrace the value of typography and consider careers in advertising. Programmes of this nature also give us an opportunity to showcase the world-class creative ideas and campaigns that we have executed as an agency over the years, we are also able to impart our knowledge to the next generation of creative leaders and hopefully draw them to our industry.”