“Hi Navin, mate I need a quick help. Can you please figure out the logo for my site and send me something.. Well, something that truly captures the essence of my firm. Also, mate if you can please send me a couple of options to pick from. Oh, by the way did I say that I just have 24 hours for this one. Sorry for the tight timelines bro, I’m sure you can handle.”
The voice on the other end: “Yeah sure, it’ll be right away.”
Another one. “Hi Navin. So basically I was thinking, if we can make the website look more edgy and sharp like in a way that it’s in sync with our vision and communicate that we stand for unity, progress and time bound delivery.. how about that? Can you dig that? I know you’ve got much on your plate already. But can you send me multiple options.”
The voice: “Okay, sure, no problem.”
That’s the founder and driver of force at Navin Designs for you. Someone always on the job. One who doesn’t crib. Doesn’t complain. Gets the job done. Doesn’t cut no corners.
So who’s this guy and what’s his journey about? What’s cricket got to do with him anyway?
Well, to make Mona Lisa, David by Michelangelo, the Burj Khalifa or the leaning Tower of Pisa takes time. Enormous amounts of it. But does the canvass of grand creativity only restrict itself to these works of art?
What about art in cricket? Ever wondered?
Who does the equivalent of such beautiful artistry in the cricketing world, a sport that today does touch as far reaching and enigmatic a destination as an Italy, Gibraltar, Germany or Israel (read up, cricket’s already reached here)?
The answer is a simple two-letter word. It belongs to a man, a mild mannered, quick-witted bloke from Berbice, in the Caribbean, but a man whose love for art, creativity, music has taken him where he currently resides: The United States.
A user experience designer, as he calls himself, Navin Talawant is a seasoned campaigner. Someone who’s been around for quite some time but much like a famous compatriot from his beloved Guyana, he’s often gone unsung.
And it’s not fair. Not one bit.
Much like a certain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who liked to bat whilst holding onto an end, soaking up all the pressure whilst focusing his on progressing his team, Navin Talawant of Navin Designs is no different.
While Shiv used the bat, Navin Talawant’s instrument of liberation is the brain. Mind power just like for the batters in the great game it’s all about the bat power.
That’s where he gets those kickass ideas to conceive, draw, imagine, create and convert all that’s in his brain into solid, effective, enduring websites that have inspired and struck awe.
And Navin Talawant is what he has always been: kind, courageous, and on the go.
The sort of guy who can’t sit at one place. Is always on the go. Much like the DNA and soul of the websites. Can there be any static websites. Can there be sites that only persist and publish stale, dated information.
There’s something new and informing each day- is there not?
Ditto for Navin Talawant’s life. Truth be known, the man can literally fire six consecutive sixes much like Pollard, quite like Yuvraj.
And by the way, in his world hitting sixes is akin to producing razor sharp web content, designed in a way that it moves and inspires in equal measure.
Sincere, quiet, silently observant, disciplined to the point of being obstinate in meeting timelines, Navin Talawant lives his life on the edge. Much like his work. Which is edgy, sophisticated. Neat and sincere.
Much like Navin Talawant and his greatest creation in life- Navin Designs: the company with which he’s catered to famous cricketing names and idols. Think Carlos Brathwaite. Tino Best. Former Windies cricketer, now musician- Omari Banks.
If you were to think of it, you’d find that cricket isn’t the only common bond these big Calypso men have in common. There’s something else.
Each of them has worked with Navin Talawant. The Guyanese has made design work and plenty of it for each of these cricketers, including Carlos Brathwaite
Remember the name! Navin Talawant. In fact, for Cottrell, Navin went a step further and incorporated the left arm seamer’s iconic salute into a logo.
Cottrell even testified to Navin’s creativity and understanding of the industry:
“Navin Talawant helped me create a platform that raised my level of professionalism and allowed me to interact with my fans. The logo he designed is great. It expresses my military career and proud Jamaican identity. Salute!”
But here’s the truth. Some bitter truth.
In a sport that’s so often about number crunching, big wins, sad losses and the mega bucks, we remember the batsmen, hail the bowlers. But we conveniently forget the craftsmen and creators who bring us the logos, the designs, the creative paraphernalia.
Theirs is an identity that is ultimately lent to the identity they help create.
Today, we think of the West Indies and we instantly think of the logo- beach, the green tree and stumps and bat.
Right? But did we ever care to wonder who might have come up with it?
We all remember ICC stands for International Cricket Council. But how many of us have wondered who might have come up with the ICC logo?
To Navin Talawant’s credit, he did actually design a website (one among the many) from head to toe that got appreciation from the ICC itself.
It’s the Zimbabwe Cricket Board website, after all.
More than that, he’s done some other major projects that have hit the bull’s eye and if one were to exclaim in American sport speak, then hit the home run.
Think the logos for the GT20 league, the Leeward Islands social media plus website, and being part of growing CSEM (Caribbean Sport Entertainment and Management) Group.
But it’s not that design is the beginning and end to Navin Talawant, the man has a message for young lives.
Navin wants to see young Caribbean athletes succeed on the world stage and he hopes he can play a part in ensuring they have professional promotion and endorsement.
But implicit in the backbreaking work hours, the multiple calls, the ceaseless work pressure and the eccentrically gifted creativity is the story of how it all started.
The tale of Cricket in Navin’s household, how it all started.
Cricket didn’t happen to him by chance; Navin was born in a household that was obsessed about the sport, one where common heroes were Rohan Kanhai, Roy Fredericks, Alvin Kallicharan. His father’s love for the game- dad would wake up at 2 am to watch Ashes- rubbed off on a young Navin who may never had known that upon growing up, he’d be giving back something to the sport around which his innocent childhood was woven.
The youngest of three boys, cricket was the common currency, whether in backyard of the house or at school.
During his interaction with Caught At Point, Navin Talawant recounted a beautiful memory from the 1995 cricket season in the Caribbean. He got candid and shared, “I went with my dad and brother to watch my first International Cricket at Bourda in 1995 – West Indies vs Australia to watch some of my heroes such as Brian Lara, Carl Hooper, Ricky Pointing, Glenn McGrath, etc. Getting to the cricket took us like 4 hours so we started our journey to the game at 4 A.M., but it was surely worth it especially watching Hopper smashing sixes with such ease.”
But what’s fascinating is to know how cricket became a central power in Navin’s life. Long before the days of the Shamarh Brooks, Da Silva, Bonner and Cornwall, an era long before even Gayle and Sarwan, stories were told in the household of the mighty West Indies team of the 70s and 80s. Navin’s dad was the great recapture, the kids the loving listeners.
His grandfather lovingly addressed as “Nana,” who was also a very good left arm spinner and loved the game immensely, was the person who furthered the fondness for cricket among the household.
But perhaps nothing could be as brilliant as seeing his own brother, Irvin play the sport Navin was most fond of. His brother excelled at the junior level and made it all the way to be stand by to the first ever Under-15 Guyana team in 1996, wherein he was playing alongside players such as Narsingh Deonarine and Sewnarine Chattergoon. They later went on to represent the West Indies senior team.
Then came the big change of geographia, call it the change in the end much like what regularly transpires on the 22 yards.
Navin continued, “ In 1997, my family and I migrated to the USA, which did not stop my passion for cricket even though I started following other sports such as American football and basketball. I would still find ways to watch either on TV or in person to watch cricket in New York City.”
This is precisely where the big breakthrough arrived. So what was it?
Navin Talawant launched the company that is now his partner for life, Navin Designs, in early 2000s, his own beacon of creativity, the magical hat from which this Caribbean cricket obsessed gent pulls out rabbits every now and again.
He’d soon expand his work to myriad dimensions- SEO, app development, web design, logo design.
At his heart, Navin in all these years, hasn’t changed one bit. Put cricket live on TV and this freewheeling creative genie will stop all he’s doing to transcend himself into the world of sport. The sport he longs to work tirelessly toward just the way he has, all these years.
For the world, it’s a game. For Navin Talawant, though Cricket is another name of life, lest it is forgotten.
Below is a quick Q&A with Navin to understand more about his profession and work:
Are there any people you’d like to mention that supported you?
I was very fortunate to meet some amazing people along my journey. Richard Berridge (West Indies team performance data analyst 2008-2015) who has been instrumental in getting me some of these amazing projects I have worked on.
Sophie Claire – very talented cricket agent with whom I collaborated on various projects. The entire CSEM team who has the drive and passion to create a remarkable media platform to see young athletes succeed on the world stage and I can play a part in ensuring they have professional promotion and endorsement. My wonderful wife Samantha who has supported me throughout this journey and allowed me to achieve my goals. Last but definitely not least, my two daily motivations in my kids (Camden and Zuri).
They bring so much passion and fun into my life, which only makes me want to succeed even more and try to leave a path for them to do the same later.
How did Designing and Cricket happen for you?
I always enjoy working on anything that I am passionate about. Ex – Being able to see all the GT20 logos that I designed and worn by superstars such as Gayle, Yuvraj, Warner, etc is a great feeling and a sense of accomplishment.
What do you enjoy the most about Cricket?
How sports can bring different culture together. I have made so many friends all over the world be just going and watching cricket. I met my good friend Warren during the CPL in 2017 in St Kitts and we have been going together ever since along with others every year in St. Kitts to watch the CPL.
What could be the challenges about designing cricket content?
The biggest challenge is to find a way to always stand from the rest of the design world. There are thousands of cricket logos and websites out there but the goal is to understand your audience/clients persona whether it is the Caribbean or Asia and add some kind of touch to make it stand out and brand them accordingly. I also follow other North American sports, which I can get ideas and inspiration from as well.
Following is what Navin Talawant has done over the years: snippets of some of his everlasting, gripping design work that really beckons your attention:
Website for Carlos Brathwaite – https://tridentsportsltd.com/
Original 5 team logo designs for GT20 – https://gt20.ca/
Sheldon Cotrell Website, Logo and other marketing materials – http://www.sheldoncotterell.com/
St. Kitts and Patriots (CPL Team) Media Manager (2017-2019)
Official ICC Zimbabwe Cricket Website – https://zimcricket.org/
CSEM Website and Marketing Materials – https://csemgroups.com/
Forget not that Cricket isn’t just about the 22 men and the field umpires who participate in live action; it’s also about the enormity of effort shown by some precious few at the behest of whose creativity and vision the sport comes to life.