Understanding the design industry in India

Design is not just an art-form, it is a global language and about solving problems.

MUMBAI: Often, brands have less than a second to make a first impression. Even the best campaign will only get noticed if it's able to stand out in the first few seconds. A good design helps a brand differentiate itself from all the noise of competing messages.

Design can make or break a brand’s strategy. Clients often expect design teams to be able to interpret their brand’s strategy but don’t really believe that designs are capable of creating a staggering effect. Maybe that’s why they hold back from investing on a great design team.

Design is to business what evolution is to nature: it helps companies to change and survive. With digital revolution, shorter attention span of the audience and shortening life cycles, brands need to break through with increased dimension and vitality.

However, technology, consulting and financial companies are taking note of design and acquiring design agencies at an unprecedented rate. Albeit design being huge in the western world, it has only started to catch up in the world’s fastest growing economy, India. Back here, clients are now opening up to have a conversation about design, its importance for the brand and how it can help them in connecting with Gen Z. One such design and digital agency in India that’s helping shape up the design industry is, The Minimalist. Founded in 2015 and run by two alumni from IIT Bombay, the agency has worked for Coca-Cola, Minute Maid drink, Flyrobe, ICICI, Airtel, Xiaomi among others.

Contrary to how most business for advertising or media agencies comes from retainer clients, design agencies can only work on project basis. Once the agency has created a design for a brand, it tends to work/maintain it in-house thereafter.

But what are the key things to look at while rebranding or creating a design across all mediums - UI/UX, web interfaces, products, etc.? The Minimalist co-founder Chirag Gander lists down his key pointers:

•    Brands need to have design guidelines as per recent trend. They have to keep up with the changing trend.

•    The logo/design should be scalable. The design and logo should be made in such a way that it fits into a mobile screen as well as a desktop screen without pixelating or give different user experience.

•    Identity should appeal to target audience. The revamped brand identity should resonate with the brand’s core target audience.

•    Brands should be very consistent. They need to regularly monitor the design and change it if and when required.

Gander says, “It was difficult earlier but clients have now started to appreciate design. Though design was considered a first world thing, its everywhere you see now.”

Brands should not underestimate the value of a good design for their business and promotion as good design is not optional but critical for success. Whether a viewer is looking at a brochure, website, graphic or the full brand identity, if the design is not professional, a brand may loose the reputation that it has worked so hard to build.

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