The Creative curve
Designindia|Designindia 114
As partners at GCD Studios, graphic designers Shahana Jain and Devshree Sahai contribute enthusiastically to the ‘creation of ideas without boundaries’.

What does it take to create persuasive advertising campaigns?

SJ: The key to making a campaign effective is keeping it real and relatable. Our experience has taught us that great ad campaigns are often founded on deep insights - complete understanding of the brand, the gaps that it seeks to fill, the target audience, competition, etc. Drawing from real stories and experiences lends authenticity to the messaging. It is instantly perceived as logical and therefore becomes memorable.

It is very important for the brand to find values that become uniquely associated with the user. A campaign can be effective and memorable but converting it into an actual reaction requires deeper understanding. If it manages to strike a chord with the target audience and brings positive results for the brand it has served its purpose.

Transparency and honesty also play an important role in making a campaign stick. There has to be truth in the message so it has the power to convince the viewer/consumer to engage with it and buy into the product/ service. A campaign becomes the face of the brand and creates an image in the minds of the consumer. That image must be credible for it to have the desired impact.

Good design is imperative for a campaign to be noticed. A judicious combination of copy and visuals with appropriate emphasis on both, impactful messaging, uncluttered and clean visuals that convey a clear message, and simple layouts all go a long way in presenting the campaign esthetically, therefore adding to its saleability.

Devshree, what role has formal art education played in your career?

DS: I’m a strong believer that creativity comes from within and cannot be taught but if you are even a little inclined towards it, formal education guides you in the right direction. I didn’t even want to pursue Arts. My mother saw the creativity in me at a very early stage and was sure a formal art education would help me further. I pursued a BFA (Applied Arts) at the College of Art, New Delhi at a time when graphic design was still an unknown profession in India. My time in college was an eye opener. It gave me a base to start with. Our college laid a lot of stress on hand work and concepts. We weren’t allowed to show anything on the computer - everything had to be done by hand, from the first cut of the layout to the last finished design. They taught us the basics, which now I realize is very important. Young people these days jump straight to the computer when they get a brief; they don’t understand that Google doesn’t have the answers every time, and definitely not original ones. Very rarely do you see designers thinking with pen and paper. I just believe thinking without Google or Pinterest to aid you enables a better understanding of the problem at hand, leading to stronger and original solutions.

Shahana, tell us about your journey from psychology to graphic design.

SJ: I wasn’t very sure of the path I wanted to take. Multiple factors, including the uncertainty of a stable career in a field of design that many people didn’t even know about, led me to enroll for Psychology in Delhi University. While I became immersed in my honors course in psychology, my heart was never completely in it. I couldn’t see myself pursuing a full time profession based on the subject. Design and creative pursuits kept me busy in my spare time, so I enrolled in a software learning course alongside. I didn’t know what fruit it would bear; it was purely to create a foundation for myself to build on later. All I knew was that I had made a beginning towards something that looked more promising than anything else. Immediately after graduating I took up a design trainee’s job in a reputed design studio in New Delhi. I wanted to further assess my intention of pursuing design and then move on to formal education in the subject. The day I walked into the studio I knew it was my kind of space - unconventional, friendly, and bustling with creative energy, ideas and color.

I eventually did not get down to studying design, learning continuously on the job instead. Not having a design education drove me to make an extra effort to be cognizant of every input and insight the workspace had to offer. I was always in a state of readiness - to assist, to try something new, to do anything that was assigned to me. In creative professions like graphic design, along with the basic skill set it is also extremely necessary to understand the environment, the people, the key requirement, the process of ideation and execution. Being faced with real situations at work helped me grasp these fundamentals more effectively and at a 360 degree level.

How has your journey at GCD Studio been so far?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DESIGNINDIAView All

A Legacy Continues

Leveraging the success of his family's export business, Naman Jain is focusing on creating a retail presence in India

5 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

Creating KAIRA

Long fascinated by Indian fabric, Nikita Gupta has launched an attractive line of contemporary apparel in traditional block prints

4 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

Stories faces tell

Aditya Narula dabbled in various vocations before he realized portraiture was the best way to express the fascinating complexities of the people he encountered along the way

6 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

time tested DESIGN

Surrounded by art and architecture as a child, Sarah Sham went on to take the family antiques business in a new direction through her interior design venture

3 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

DANGEROUSLY DELICATE

Kavya Potluri's attention to minute detail is what sets her intricate and unconventional jewelry apart

5 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

music as muse

A multidisplinary visual artist, Aaron Pinto, also known as Kidsquidy, has had an interesting journey that started with MTV and has him now working on everything from music videos to stage design

8 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

DEVELOPING A DISCOURSE

Documentary photographer Taha Ahmad believes his work has a greater purpose than merely being admired by a select audience for its esthetic value. It's when people are able to see the underside of society and understand the prevailing social injustice that the work tries to reveal that it is truly worthwhile.

10+ mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

Tiny little Stories

Creating miniature worlds allows Ruchika Nambiar to continue to play childlike games of make-believe

8 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 143

The Richness Of Handmade

Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav are committed to bringing together many hands and hearts through their clothing label ‘amrich’

6 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 114

The perfect balance

Aniruddh Mehta is as much graphic designer as visual artist, and he tries to do justice to both through his work at Studio Bigfat

5 mins read
Designindia
Designindia 114