Meet the Agency – Pink Elephink, Mumbai
“Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual” – Edward Tufte
We are all about design, people and life at Pixelonomics. 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. Introducing a new feature at Pixelonomics – MTA, Meet the Agency. Consider this a regular feature where we shall interview a design agency, one post at a time.
Today, we talk with Pink Elephink, a Mumbai based Design agency, sharing their moments of joy and success. Pink Elephink has an attractive ideology of working in a happy environment. The team believes that no work should be done without a pinch of creative fun.
Pink Elephink, founded in 2011 deals in designs of various kinds, from infographics to animations to wall decal. A one stop design destination, Pink Elephink is an up and coming design startup to look out for when one is searching for a variety of designs. Start with a brief and Pink Elephink gives you a universe of creativity and imagination. The startup is not just a home to its founder but also to its employees and clients.
Keeping the essence of designing intact, Pixelonomics went for an exclusive interview with the founder of Pink Elephink, Riya Kulweker and questioned her about the struggles and misconceptions related to the functioning of a design startup. Alongside, we quizzed her on the journey so far and how things are rapidly changing in the effervescent and still naive designing world.
The QnA Session
Q1. Why did you start Pink Elephink? We’re already counting ‘making money’ as a strong reason. What are the others?
I started Pink Elephink as an outlet for my eccentric energy. It wasn’t long before I realized that my quirkiness actually appealed to many like minded people and the work started rolling in. I had found my little niche in the industry.
Q2. How is your startup different from another half a million design startups out there?
It’s not. I’m different and I animate really cool shorts, films, 2d, marketing, explainer and promo videos as well.
Q3. What is that one factor that makes your design startup stand out?
I never say no to anything. If you want something designed I will do it. If I can’t do it I will figure out how to do it. I love challenges and there is no problem too complicated for me to solve. So we design everything. From Wall decals to bed linen, from posters to websites to corporate branding, we do it all. Oh and we animate too.
Q4. We’ve been told that design is a struggling field. Which are the factors that influenced your decision to start a design company such a scenario?
I didn’t start my company to compete in an overcrowded market or to make money or even to try something ‘new’. I literally fell into it because I enjoy what I do. Slowly as my work got appreciated I couldn’t keep up with the volume of demands all on my own, so built a team to help me out and here we are. It’s now a pleasant family.
Q5. Do you feel the ‘design’ reimbursement in India is sufficient/fair?
Not even the slightest. Everyone is looking for a wonderful deal and to save a quick buck. I think its one of the most undervalued and under appreciated jobs. People are viewed as tools on a machine and not as artists, quantity is given value over quality, design is given the last thought, and the least importance. I cringe when I see ugly artwork.
Q6. Which is your favorite Design/Advertisement Campaign? Please provide a link, if possible.
My favourite animation is the anti bullying campaign to this day by Shayne Koyczan.
As for designs it was the storybook illustrations I grew up with. Quentin Blake from Roald Dahl was one of my favourites, as was Enid Blyton and all the Disney cartoons.
Q7. Apart from designing, what are the other aspects that define your startup?
We cater to the growing need for companies to promote themselves in the digital space through marketing, explainer and promo videos. These are 1-2 min experimental animation shorts in a wide range of styles like kinetic typography, motion graphics, infographics etc. They are constructed to specifically suit the customers need and to vividly grab the consumers attention (also applies to a wider more varied audience). They are fun, easy to customize and add the extra oomph factor to any promotional campaign. It’s a niche boutique service that very few independent companies offer, and it’s much cheaper than going to a studio. Best of all it’s not mainstream at all.
Q8. How do you define your company’s key design process?
So my motto is to keep regulated working hours for my team, there is an abysmal lack of this in the industry. I factor this in when taking up jobs so I give realistic deadlines to clients. After working myself as a tool on a machine for the longest time and being forced to work late hours I realized that one’s productivity gets majorly compromised. I feel it is very important to get enough rest and weekend time to be able to produce fresh high quality work and that’s held me in good stead so far. A happy work space produces happy work.
Q9. 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?
I think in terms of acceptance of varied professional fields, India has definitely come far in the last ten years, when being in the media industry meant solely being a journalist. When I was studying it was difficult to find a good design course that moulded your way of thinking along with teaching you the software. Today I see many.
A non design startup would be the same, as all startups eventually have to struggle a bit initially, but I think a design startup will have more fun struggling, and if we’re bored we have 4 walls to spout our creativity on. It will definitely be more colourful.
Q10. Please share one key aspect, which every design startup must include when pitching a client.
Be true and honest about what you can do and what’s out of your limits. Not everyone will like your design style or your price range and everyone is eventually looking for a bargain, so be patient, don’t mould yourself to the customer, let the ones you gel with find you.
Q11. What is the future scope of your startup? Do you wish to expand further?
Oh for sure! It’s like getting a tattoo. You can’t stop at one. I want a bigger space, a bigger team; possibly hope to rent a warehouse one day, just so I can create a lot of fun quirky designs simultaneously.
Q12. What is the one thing that keeps the environment of the office alive?
My three-in-one Radio: D
Q13. Given a chance, what would be the ending line of the book authored by you?
That’s not all folks!
Do you have any specific questions for Riya Kulweker? 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. Adios!