Meet the Agency – Illustration Much, Bengaluru
Did you know that Pixelonomics has a new regular? It’s MTA, Meet the Agency. For long we wondered if the people behind a certain design should be known or not. Irrespective of that, we would like them to be known.
‘Creativity and Innovation has no boundaries.’ This phrase fits completely with our Feature of this week’s MTA – Illustration Much. Started by a bunch of friends in September 2012, Illustration Much has established their name with their spectacular idealization of designs and illustrations.
The Bengaluru based Agency, has till date pooled together their talents and knowledge to give some amazing campaigns around. Hence they stand out in the race of Design Start ups. This week spend some virtual time with Illustration Much via MTA and learn more about their lives as a design agency and as individuals.
The QnA Session
Q1. Why did you start Illustration Much? We’re already counting ‘making money’ as a strong reason. What are the others?
Believe it or not, we didn’t start IM with the agenda of making money. We were all basically feeling a lack of creative freedom at our respective jobs at graphic design firms. On a whim, we showcased our personal work at this art flea market called Kitsch Mandi and the response we got from our first event was tremendous. People were not just appreciative but also quite supportive. So we said, why not, and took this leap into the unknown. We each had ideas, particular design aesthetics, and wanted to solve problems that stimulate us, and not live 9-5. At Kitsch Mandi, we just thought: “what if we are better together, and freer?” Turns out, we were right. Each day brings with it new challenges, new stimuli and responding creatively to those is the raison d’etre of IM.
Q2. Which are the factors that constitute a good design in your perspective?
Good design is something that doesn’t just solve a business case but also sets new bars for the brand to live up to. Good design is something that leverages the work of a company/brand to the next level.
It communicates a strong brand message and drives the change but doesn’t get in the way. More than anything else, good design is memorable and tells a resonant story.
Q3. How is your startup different from another half a million design startups out there?
We were, and remain, four friends, four fellow travelers with unique skill sets. We welcome our clients in to our collective when we take on any jobs. We listen, we learn (really quickly), we strive to understand and communicate generously with them. We try to approach problems from the perspective of the client, see as they see, and integrate their thinking into our solutions. We then use all this to come up with lasting solutions they can build from. Basically, we try to build them bigger, better mousetraps.
Q4. We’ve been told that design is a struggling field. Which factors influenced your decision to start a design company such a scenario?
We are doing exactly what we love doing. Again it didn’t start with the idea of what it has become. We didn’t start this thinking of the design scenario. We were just looking for a platform to showcase our work. We evolved along the way. Although we recognize that the field is challenges, every day we meet people who love design and are looking for newer and better designs. Those people inspire us and we want to grow together with them. We think that the struggles of design in India are overstated. India is a young market for design and is full of innovative people and ideas.
Q5. Do you feel the ‘design’ reimbursement in India is sufficient/fair?
It’s subjective but generally speaking it is not always fair. People often undervalue the benefits of good design for their brands. Designers recognize this and end up doing sloppy work for low money. Neither party wants to challenge themselves or dream bigger. It then becomes a race to the bottom. But the situation is improving as more and more companies begin to realize the potential of good design.
Q6. Which is your favorite Design/Advertising Campaign? Please provide a link, if possible.
Desmondji is our favorite, simply because it was one of our first campaigns and we had great fun doing it. Having the brand being identified through our illustrations has definitely satisfied us.
You can check it out under the promotion section of our website amongst other projects.
Q7. Apart from designing, what are the other aspects that define your startup?
‘Friendship’. How often do we see 4 people who studied together in the same college, became friends and moved to the same city to pursue the design dream and got together to start something of their own?
Q8. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest, where do you think your startup ranks in the following category:
1) Creativity – 8
2) Designing – 8
3) Conceptualization – 9
4) Execution of the final idea – 8
5) Deadlines – 8
6) Uniqueness – 8
7) Understandability of the designs – 8
8) Clientage – 7
Q9. Qualification or Talent – what according to you makes for a good design startup fit?
Talent. Qualification only beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. If you have a unique voice and perspective and it lines up with our own, we can up skill you in time until you’re either qualified or every bit as good as someone qualified. If you just have the qualification, we can’t manufacture talent in you.
Q10. How would a non-design startup differ from a design oriented startup in India? How far do you think the country has progressed in the field of design?
Most non-design startups are fighting in a mature market with higher barriers to entry. They find they have way more constraints than we do as designers, especially in a field like design, which skews young. The public is only beginning to recognize design so we have the freedom to innovate and find creative solutions. At the same time, there have been excellent instances of design here so we have heroes to emulate and overcome. The country is becoming more and more open to concepts like brand management and design.
Q11. Can you tell one key aspect, which every design startup must include when pitching a client.
Be genuinely inquisitive about the client/brand/company. What are their USPs and brand strengths? How can what we do leverage those existing strengths to deliver a truly excellent project?
Q12. What is the future scope of your startup? Do you wish to expand further?
We want to be the Pentagram of India. We dream big here at IM, so yes, of course. We want to collaborate with a lot of designers and reinvent space and help put Bangalore on the world design map.
Q13. How does the startup keep the employees engaged with other non-work activities?
We engage the employees in personal work. We encourage them to organize/participate in events like Kitsch Mandi, Neighborhood Art Festival, etc. We don’t want them to sit in the office all day because that is exactly what we wanted to leave behind at our old jobs. We want them to go out there, meet people and get inspired. If there’s a new band playing somewhere or a new craft brewery opening somewhere, we want to be there, and we want them to be there.
Q14. Given a chance, what would be the ending line of the book authored by you?
And she walks into a floorless room without walls or ceiling.
Do you have any specific questions for Illustration Much? Would you like another agency, founder interviewed in our future editions?
Please share your thoughts, questions and requests in the comment section below. Alternatively, you may email us as well. Güle güle!