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Nikita Mehta Shah : The Designery

Posted on : 09/08/2018 11:15pm
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The Designery is a ‘Graphic Label’ turned into a fresh new multi-disciplinary design studio based in Mumbai. We specialize in innovative design and visual communication. Out-of-the-box design thinking, Fresh perspective & a killer graphic style that has come to being loved over the years are what make The Designery. We love taking on the role of a ‘story-teller’ while we weave creative brand stories from which stems our highly design-led work belonging to various design verticals, such as branding, editorial, illustration, surface design & our line of exclusive products belonging to the home, lifestyle & fashion space.



What made you start The Designery?

The Designery –the label came into conception in 2012. The Studio with its various verticals was what the label evolved and matured into very recently. Back in 2012 The Designery was primarily a product driven label.


As a freelance Graphic Designer my core expertise was always branding and design for print that were honed and refined while working at various design studios in London and Mumbai, but starting The Designery was what gave me a whole new dimension as an artist.

Design is a wonderful world to tap into if you’re all about ‘looking at things differently’. It gives you the power to make the world see things the way you see them and make them go ‘wow’!


I wanted to explore, experiment and push conventional design standards without being bound to a creative brief that usually comes with studio driven work. I wanted to establish an irreverent graphic style that I would be known for, something that is exclusive to me and what I do and so I took some time off from my job as a Graphic Designer.


We did a whole collection of home décor pieces, which were themed with light and Time that were inspired by glass and typography & exhibited them at various exhibits around the city. And every time someone picked up the piece I created and went ‘that’s amazing!’ gave me an adrenaline rush that I had never experienced before and this is when The Designery was born.



Can you tell us the process of building a design language for a brand?

Those initial conversations with the client are so critical – the trust and dialogue set up early on are what allow clients to be candid and articulate about the ideas they already have and, in turn, to be open to new ideas and possibilities we have to offer. The identity & visual language of the brand emerge through these conversations, which then lead to us using our mastery of meticulous design technique and carefully thought out design solutions that not only rage in all their glory on the design mediums we develop but also work effectively by accelerating growth for our clients and their brands.


How important is the focus on good design in The Designery?

Good design is a given, but The Designery strives to achieve great design. Great design, as I define it, goes far beyond fulfilling the client’s original vision. It expands upon that vision, and can sometimes lead down a different path entirely. A mastery of the fundamentals of design goes without saying. But great design is a delicate balance of creating something that resonates with the intended audience , solves the problem at hand without generating a slew of secondary problems, showcases the client in its best light, and yet manages to retain the unique sensibilities of the designer. Achieving great design is always at the forefront of The Designery’s objectives.



What does The Designery do which sets it apart?

Over time, The Designery has come to be known for having a distinct approach to process, medium and aesthetic. The brand has definitely evolved over the years starting with a few products to now expanding its wings to different verticals. Every project, be it a design for print project, a statement piece of furniture, a surface print or a logo identity begins with a deeply empathetic, user-focused storytelling approach to derive the core essence of a person or a brand. We embrace a sense of irreverance when it comes to surface design. Our Graphic style that we keep refining and honing over time is one of the biggest factors that sets us apart. At The Designery it is never about sitting at the I mac and designing, we create magic by using different materials, skills and mediums too.


Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?

None in particular but there were always people I admired. They dint have to be famous personalities or public figures, just those who had a determination to excel and the drive to ‘make it happen’. There are times when even my office boy has inspired me and there are times when my mentors and seniors within the design industry pushed and motivated me to cross and break creative milestones. You don’t need role models to be successful, just surround yourself with individuals that fuel your growth and you’re GOLD !



Do you work with any advertising agencies? Or mostly directly with brand teams at clients’ side?

Both. We are primarily an independent design practice and have our own clientele for whom we have had the opportunity to design for and continue to do so. Then there are times when we collaborate with design studios and advertising agencies for very specific areas of design. Those kind of projects are beautiful because its two creative forces bringing their own irreverant styles to the table and creating something magnificent !


What do you feel about the state of design in India? Do you feel that our collective aesthetics need to improve?

It’s a wonderful time for design in India. People are so much more willing to embrace difference and uniqueness, and wanting something new rather than doing things the way they’ve always been done. It’s great for artists like me to see that people are opening up more and seeing it as priority to invest in good design. As Indians are moving away from a strict utilitarian view of design towards a greater appreciation of the joy that a beautiful aesthetic brings, there is much more room to play with infinite possiblities for colour, pattern, material and technique along the spectrum between traditional and modern design.


When it comes to commenting on whether our collective aesthetic needs to change, I feel its not my place to do so. Every artist has a different style and it works beautifully for its own audience. But I will say this – Design is not just ‘all things pretty’, its how it works and when functional design is intellectually merged with gorgeous looking design it’s a match made in heaven ! We in india could work towards understanding design in this way more than anything else.


What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?

Graphic Design is a great way to share your vision with the world and a wonderful way to express your creativity through game changing brands, experiences and products. It gives you the opportunity to get to the heart of people’s stories and understand their vision. Fuelling a brand’s growth with our creative force is a sense of utmost contentment and great achievement for us and if it does the same to you then this is the career you should be choosing for yourself. There is a fine line between good design and great design and its going to take years to get onto to the other side but its totally worth the journey if design is what you breathe in and smile with.

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