We are a year old Brand and Design consultancy based in Delhi. At NH1, we believe design is not just a form or an idea, but an approach to creative problem solving. The journey is as important as the destination. The quality of an idea and its execution is something we refuse to compromise on. We work very closely with our clients, and they get to interact with the team directly involved in the actual design process – nothing gets lost in translation.
What made you start NH1?
My better half – my husband needed to re-locate from Bangalore to Gurgaon. With 10 years of experience under my belt working with R+K and VGC (which has been great), I didn’t want to start looking for another job… so figured why not give this a shot.
How did you get started working on brand building and corporate identities? Why not any other form of design?
So far it has been an organic process. Our first few projects were for branding – these were exciting and a lot of fun to work on. But we do focus on other verticals of design as well – currently the team is also working on Chocolate Packaging, Editorial & Web Design.
Tell us about your designers. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
There’s Bhanavi, Minakshi, Priyanka, Anushka & Rahul They are a talented bunch and all of them are from design schools. As for how I found them or they found me… It’s good karma working in my favour that got them on board NH1.
How would you define the design style at NH1
We don’t like to restrict ourselves to a particular style. We let the project and the idea define the style.
What does NH1 do which sets it apart?
We like ideas. We like things to change. We like to connect to a brand emotionally. We’re honestly just like any other studio. We’ll have to wait and see what what sets us apart 🙂
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Brand Building?
Michael Johnson – Johnson Banks – Love the way he thinks. I interned with him a couple of times. Gilmar Wendt – He believed in me and gave me my first job. Sujata Keshavan, Meeta Malhotra and Preeti Vyas – I’ve had the opportunity to work with them and learn how design works in India.
How important is the focus on good design in NH1? How far would you go to back ‘good design’? (Risk losing a client?)
What Tonic is to Gin, Good Design is to NH1.
Good and Bad Design is Subjective. Design needs to communicate. The client is not always wrong. Most of the time they are correct, some are just more risk averse and prefer to play it safe. A client is as courageous as you are, never think they want something boring.
Are you working with any advertising agencies? Any brands?
We are working with various brands in the healthcare, real-estate and lifestyle space.
What do you feel about the state of design in India? Do you feel that our collective aesthetics need to improve?
India is on a roll. Design in India has come a long way and things are looking up. As a country we need to learn how to market ourselves better. We have a great history and culture, we just don’t sell and present ourselves well.
There is so much energy in this country, so much to be inspired by – I love the textures, the sights, sounds and smells. I love the order and the chaos!
We as a nation need to recognise that design is not just about making things look pretty but rather it is about functionality. Design saves time, it can save lives and can uplift the country.
I was visiting Agra recently and was shocked to see that the city that is home to one of the wonders of the world is presented so poorly. We need to market our strength in culture and be proud of the rich heritage in India.
Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
Lots! Alok Nanda, Co.Design, Bombay Duck, Locopopo – just to name a few.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Live in a bubble. Don’t be Real. Question everything. But grow up soon enough to realize that a t-shirt or a poster design can’t change the world. Choose Design only if you are passionate. Very passionate. Only if you have no other career option to choose from. Talent is a bit over-rated.
Who would your design team like to take out for dinner?
Richard Gere, Virat Kohli, Farhan Akhtar, Pankaj Kapur, (That list would probably be a bit different when we get some more men on the team)
What’s on the company iPod?
Depends on the mood.
Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, Don Williams, Pink Floyd, Lily Allen, Lucky Ali etc etc etc
Mac or PC?