Abhinai Srivastava is an independent Graphic Designer with an experience of 14 years of commercial work in India and United Kingdom. He has been involved in providing visual communication solutions to clients like Pepsi, Wizcarft, Vango, Yamaha, Sahara Star etc. while during his stint at multiple corporate agencies in the past. Currently, he is working on his upcoming start-up in home décor e-commerce category. In his leisure time, he enjoys automotive content and mobile gaming*
Why are you a Graphic/UI Designer? Since I can remember in my childhood, I always observe things in minutest of details whether it was the typographic logo on Limca & GoldSpot bottles or the colour composition in a mural ad. on the city street wall. The way things were built and designed in my surroundings intrigued me. I always loved to scribble at the back pages of my ‘rough copy’ in school and never ran out of ideas on what to draw.
I see myself as a ‘visual storyteller’ who loves to create things for an audience to see and respond. Producing original and unique prospective to any project is highly influential to why I design commercially.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or online classes? I have done Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) from Lucknow University and then went to University for the Creative Arts, Surrey, UK for Masters in Graphic Design and Communications course, followed by 2 years of agency job there.
Kaashvi is a visual designer based out of nowhere specific. She works full-time at Studio Ping Pong and is a part-time freelancer. She works in both print and digital mediums and enjoys branding, typography, data viz, illustration and editorial design. In her free time, she likes to window shop fonts, play with recipes, thrift clothes, read books and browse supermarket aisles for hours. You’ll most likely find her making long lists, cleaning obsessively and thinking about her next meal. She takes a lot of photos, without any permission from fellow humans. She gets bored too quickly and needs constant change.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? I was quite sure I wanted to pursue graphic design since high school. I have multiple interests and design does give me a lot of freedom to explore and learn new things everyday. I love the nature of our work too. No day is ever boring, it has a lot to offer.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? I completed my graduation from MIT Institute of Design, Pune in Communication Design.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? I love to experiment with different styles and mediums, and just simply create. It’s important for me to take out time for practice every now and then- let it be lettering or drawing florals or studying color and composition. I think over the years, working on a variety of projects has really helped me apply these skills and develop my style
How did you focus so much on graphic illustrations? When did you realise you loved doing it and wanted more of it? I find it very fascinating how something, for eg. a fish- might have been drawn differently a million times in the past, but we still come across an illustration of it which leaves us in awe. There are new ways of seeing and newer ways of communicating visually what you see. Everyone has different influences and perspectives. And I think illustration gives you so much room for experimenting and creating, I really enjoy that. It gives me a lot of joy.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up? Can’t recollect anyone specific but I’ve always looked upto female designers running their own show.
When did you start freelancing? First year in college. I did small gigs I got through friends and the college in the start. I had reached out to a couple of places for internships in my first year and I eventually started freelancing for them.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design? Nope never. There are some days when the motivation is low and sometimes when I feel burnt out, but I’ve never wanted to quit graphic design. There are a lot of other interests I’d like to explore though. I’d love to study/ learn more about behavioural economics, child psychology, food science, nutrition, natural medicine, photography, textile to name a few. I do hope to possibly work at the intersection of these + design in the future.
Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers or direct clients? I have worked with agencies/ studios previously but lately I’ve been working more directly with clients, brand managers or collaborating with other designers.
Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often? I do have a couple of clients who give steady work or direct me to newer clients through word-of-mouth. I also get new ones through Instagram and Behance sometimes.
How do you market yourself? For Illustrations, Lettering, Wedding Invite Design- Instagram works well for me. For Branding, Packaging, Editorial- its through word of mouth and past clients.
Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire? Kriti Monga, Shiva Nallaperumal
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option? I’d say if you enjoy it, don’t give up easily or switch to other professions. Stick around for a bit, it’s quite fulfilling.
Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work? Do you think clients are understanding that they need to invest in Design as a communication tool and also to cut the clutter, and that good design comes at a price? I think there’s definitely change and more awareness now than ever. There are lot of clients who understand the value of good design.
Mac or PC? Mac.
Who would you like to take out for dinner? Hmm so many people. But I would call them home for a themed pop-up dinner.
What’s on your iPod? Spotify? Lotsa podcasts. Freakonomics, Unexplainable, Sporkful that I can remember on top of my head
Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram? Behance? @type.nerd www.behance.net/kaashvikothari
Swati is a self-taught artist, who believes that learning never stops. She learns from the nitty-gritties of her everyday life, her friends and even from her 7 year old son. In her words “every designer should be like an innocent child, naive but imaginative”. Growing up, her inspirations were Walt Disney, Pixar and sci-fi movies that have stayed relevant through the time.
Why are you a Visual Artist? Like they say “you should always turn your passion into your profession”, I think art is a form of communication that can reveal your innate desires. I always loved to paint and draw. As an artist, I try to create a canvas of all my hidden emotions and watch them interact with each other thereby telling my story without speaking a single word. As a child I loved to paint and draw. My work gives me an opportunity to create new things everytime I pick a pencil or hold a brush to paint an exquisite picture of a brand. It’s a form of expression for me – ‘Speaking without uttering a single word’. I have made the walls of my home my canvas, my thoughts my paint brush and my emotions my colors. And I don’t see any difference while creating exquisite art forms for any brand. Today, when people appreciate my work, I can’t help but think of the times when my parents supported and encouraged me to become an artist.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? No, I had no formal education in design. Although I did complete a course of 2D animation from Escotoonz, a venture of Escorts Group. It was the first to be introduced in North India about 2 decades ago.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? I feel learning never stops, I am still learning but my focus, dedication and patience towards my work and the zeal to always try something new has brought me here. Geometric, hand-drawn, organic, I like to create art in every way possible. The geometry of life pushed me to become an artist. Perhaps, that is why I like creating all types of design, be it hand-drawn or graphic illustrations.
Madhurika is a freelance visual designer based out of Calcutta. A travel enthusiast, environmentalist and creative powerhouse, who likes to work with brands that support sustainability or lifestyle changes. A self-taught entrepreneur, she is the founder of Go Bandanas India an e-commerce store that specialises in personalized pet accessories. When not cuddling her fur baby, Pixel you can find her hugging trees. She also has an interest in landscape photography where she wants to teleport the viewers into her pictures. She believes, it’s the little things in life that matter.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? I believe design is intelligence having fun. As a designer, exploring different perspectives is an intrinsic part of my creative identity. Looking at mundane things differently is fulfilling, enlightening and challenging. I have been inclined to art and design since childhood. Deep inside, I knew design was my calling. Although it took me a while to hone my skills and refine my craft. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting and exploring the field.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? I pursued a PGDM course in Graphic Communication from MAEER’s MIT Institute of Design, Pune. And then went for my MA to UAL: London College of Communication on Graphic Branding & Identity.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? As a designer, I prioritize my client’s authentic personality over my trademark style.
Good design is not just a good sign for the designer but the brand as well. Good design speaks to the customers, brings like-minded people together, celebrates shared values and reflects the brand’s ethos. The positive spill over effects of good brand design inspired me to launch The Designer Amma, my design and branding brainchild. The Designer Amma is founded to create brands that people love and relationships that people love through meaningful design.
Design is beyond being “pretty”. I prefer minimalist, impactful and problem-solving designs.
Anjali Joshi is a Creative artist & Copywriter. She is currently working as Designer at Tata Consultancy Service, Mumbai, India. Her work is an amalgamation of designing, typography and copywriting. Her style is conceptual, colorful and glamorous. Her work not only reflects the passion and commitment of a serious and sincere artist, but also infused with imagination and creativity, with the right blend of traditional and contemporary styles. She is a woman with not-so small dreams, lover of words, collector of thoughts, execution through art, writer by night, dreams a lot. Can be found gushing about the tiniest of things. Floating through life. Mostly talkative, sometimes quite. Happy and a little bit of everything different.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? I chose to become a Graphic designer as it resonated with my creative zeal and allowed me to showcase my talent. I have loved drawing ever since I was a kid. Graphic Designing is a just a medium through which I can express myself in the form of art. It’s something that I knew would always keep me happy and lively!
Did you attend school for fine art or design? Yes! Rachana Sansad College of Applied Art & Craft in Mumbai, India.
Tell us of your interest in Typography. Fortunately, I was born and brought up in a city like Mumbai. So I have been going for outings- especially to Juhu beach since my childhood, and I always had fascination for the colourful headers on the stalls and carts; and that is when I started observing and developed an interest in typography.
Ankita is a lettering artist, illustrator and graphic designer from Bangalore. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Design at the FHNW Academy of Art & Design in Basel, Switzerland. She has worked with a number of clients both large and small, in different sectors. She hopes to acquire new skills through her international studies that would help her become a more effective communicator and tackle larger, more relevant issues through her work. Apart from commercial work she does a number of small passion projects that help her stay connected with her varied interests outside the field of design. Collaboration is a key factor of her explorations in design and is always open to learning and working from others in the field.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? I have always been interested in the little stories that live in everything we experience. Right from my first internship, I knew that it was the right choice for me. I have never regretted it.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? I completed my undergraduation from MIT Pune in Communication Design and I am currently pursuing my Masters from the FHNW in Basel, Switzerland.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? Currently I am still in a very exploratory stage of finding a particular style. I have never consciously tried to restrict myself .The real task is always to be consistent and keep growing.
Jaspreet is a visual designer, a paper craft-artist and a metaphysical enthusiast from New Delhi. He focuses on innovation by merging different thoughts and principles to come up with his own conception. His works present the elements of connection and simplicity, which is present within everyone.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? I love visual storytelling and graphic design works as a great tool for this form of communication.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? It takes time for anyone to develop their style, till then it’s a fun journey of exploration and experiments.
Pratyush Gupta is a brand strategist and graphic designer, who combines his experience in branding, illustration, information and print design to transform complex ideas into powerful narratives.
Music is his second language, influencing the way he thinks and designs. Merging his love for design and music, he created Swarpeti, a series of interactive pop-up books, that help children understand and experience the magical realm of Indian classical music. Outside of work, you might find him trekking in the Himalayas, singing to his plants or admiring insects in his garden.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? Switching schools in 5th grade was a tough experience for me. I was unable to befriend or talk to anyone. Art and music became my channels of expression and helped carve an identity for myself. Since then I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in either field. I chose graphic design, which helped me strengthen my voice and ultimately reconnect with music in a different form.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? Yes, I studied visual communication design at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology (now Srishti Manipal).
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? My work is rooted in Indian culture. It is influenced by the art and everyday life that I’ve observed and appreciated since I was young. My design education helped me refine this language and make it more functional.
Samia Singh is an artist, designer and musician based in Chandigarh, India. Her artistic interest lies in effective communication of new knowledge and research that may help create positive understanding and response to the emotional, social and political landscapes we live in, in order to live fuller happier lives. Creating effective moments of interaction through art and design is powerful as the experience you have is unique and stays with you – lingering and resurfacing at different points in time. Samia works across illustration, graphic design, sculpture and music to create these lucid moments.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? I have always been fascinated by colour, light and nature. I like to capture fleeting moments in time. I like graphic design because it is a way for me to capture a feeling and play with it.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? Yes I studied Visual Communiciation at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology for 4.5 years in Bangalore. I also got a scholarship to study printmaking at Il Bisonte Instituto del Arte Grafica in Firenze, Italy.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? Happy to answer that. When I see my work from the last ten years, I can recognise that an innate sense of humour (sometimes dark humour) and lyricism shapes my work. I look for the quirky, imperfect & innocent elements which strike a chord.
Harshvardhan is an independent Visual Communication Designer based in Mumbai. With over 8 years of work experience, his expertise lies in creative problem-solving through graphic design & illustration.He has been working with impact-driven organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Dalberg to help create clear & effective communication systems. Additionally, his portfolio of recent work includes projects done in the food, fashion, health, and wellness industry.
Why are you a Graphic Designer? Since I was a child, I’ve loved making things. For me, graphic design is a medium which helps me practice creativity while putting food on my plate.
Did you attend school for fine art or design? Yes, I graduated from the Srishti School of Arts, Design & Technology in 2013.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style? I wasn’t too conscious about developing a style. I always knew that I’ve been inclined towards things that are simple and easy to understand and I think my designs reflect the same.
How did you focus so much on graphic illustrations? When did you realise you loved doing it and wanted more of it? As a child, I loved art & craft. I always participated in drawing competitions in school, and my parents were always very supportive of it. I didn’t really know about graphic design was till I got into design school. I knew that being an animator was a career option because of the Disney & Pixar movies we used to see.