Smrithi’s work focuses on branding and it’s applications. She concentrates on the fact that a brand stems from a simple message to the world and that simplicity must come through in all aspects of it’s identity while maintaining the character and essence of the brand. A smart logo and identity guidelines pave the way for a versatile, dynamic and thoroughly engaging brand experience and she goes to great lengths in terms of research and fine tuning to get the marque and logotype right and working perfectly together.
Why are you a Graphic/Digital Designer?
Although I had dabbled with art as an extra curricular activity, I had never thought about a profession in the field until I was introduced to the field of Graphic Design. Graphic design isn’t just art, it is witty and captivating design, the cleverness of solutions and the smartness of certain packaging and posters and the possibility of creating ripples and an impact on surroundings through visually appealing, and clear wit had me steer into this course with a blind faith. And today three years into this course, I have grown to love it and as I absorb more of this field in, I have a new found appreciation for patterns, textures, colours, typography, aesthetics and smart solutions.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I am in my final year on the B.A Hons. Graphic Design Course (with specialisation in branding) at Northumbria University, Newcastle.
You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
Studying branding in detail has taught me that every good brand has a distinct style, tone of voice and colour palette that it maintains and that’s what makes it unique. My style arises from the process of developing myself as a brand with a certain approach, tone of voice and direction to every design brief which results in a unique solution compatible with the client’s brand.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
While I was growing up, I had not thought about any one particular profession and my role models ranged from Sunita Williams to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to my English teacher in school. I just looked up to people who were successful and had a lot of integrity.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
Being the extensive field it is, I wouldn’t be able to pick one……but for starters there is Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh, Peter Tarka, Paula Scher, the book ‘A Smile in The Mind’ and everyday inspirations on Pinterest, Instagram, Behance and the D&AD Annuals.
When did you start freelancing?
At the age of 19.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
Never. Since the day I have enrolled onto this course, I have gone to great lengths to explore it’s scope and every new day makes me fall in love with it more and every new piece of excellent work I see only motivates me to do better.
Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers or direct clients?
Graphic Design in terms of application can range across multiple disciplines, from advertising to branding, to packaging, activation campaigns etc. As a student of design our main takeaway from design school is the Design Process, an approach that helps you reach a unique, rational and achievable solution and the perseverance to see it through. So it is really up to each individual to pick and choose from the wide gamut of options available to them.
Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
At the moment in my final year at university I don’t have much time for freelance projects but I usually work repeatedly with the same clients or on recommendations.
How do you market yourself?
I have developed a unique identity for myself which relies on the colour yellow and I apply it across all channels of communication—whether it’s my website or my Instagram @smrithi_k_k or my C.V. This is just to catch their attention, then I feel my work speaks for itself.
Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
I greatly admire Shaivalini Kumar’s work, she has a good Graphic Design sensitivity in terms of colour, layout and typography and her work is absolutely gorgeous.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Your first idea has no place in your design, it should go straight into the bin.
Only when you push harder is your brain going to come with an out-of-the-box and simple answer to any brief.
Yes, if you are passionate about it , design is your best option. Getting paid to do what you love, that’s the goal in life right?
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?
Unfortunately the answer is most often, no in India. But I feel people are slowly understanding the importance of design and it’s ability to create awareness, social impact and more and I am hoping we are headed towards a future that is conducive to creative output.
Mac or PC?
Mac, any day!
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
If it could be anyone, I would like to take the authors Dan Brown and J.K Rowling out. I am an avid reader and would love to chat with my two favourite authors on their creative process as their stories are so marvellously captivating, I would be honoured to understand the process and research that goes behind these ideas.
What’s on your iPod?
Anything from Bastille, Coldplay, Oasis to Billboard Top 100, to Lauv to Taylor Swift to covers by upcoming artists and occasionally songs from YJHD, ZNMD. I just work better with music in the background and change playlists according to my mood.
Whats your Twitter Handle?