To Sense in Simplicity

For the majority of good design, less is, in fact, more. Rahul Bhogal and his team at Nothing Design Studio aim to declutter and simplify brand identities and strategies to make a memorable experience for their user bases

Rahul Bhogal is a 'meticulous maker of well-crafted brand identities', and it definitely shows. He has clocked over ten years as a graphic designer and art director, specialising in brand identity and digital design. Rahul runs an independent design studio called 'Nothing', which at first glance, may seem an interesting title choice for a visual-heavy enterprise. Initially starting as a joke inspired by a Seinfeld episode (“The Pitch”), he found that the name resonated with his spiritual journey and desire to explore our world. As a bonus, he tells us it’s a great conversation starter at the very least.

When asked about his design philosophy, Rahul quotes Sadhguru, “Forget philosophies, embrace reality.” He finds philosophies to be creatively crippling, closed off and restrictive, choosing instead to follow a practice to do what he loves while being passionately detached from the work he produces. Rahul expands the thought to keep curiosity alive and design for delight, empathy, coherence, and trust.

Rahul’s experience in the industry has revealed that most brands struggle with establishing a solid connection with an audience due to being unclear about their user base. Catering to vague demographics and personas affects their ability to provide a memorable experience or produce creative methods of communication impacting their overall brand identity.

He tackles this by gaining clarity on the problem his clients are trying to solve and determining the metrics used to measure success. Working within these parameters allows him to reduce the solution (design or strategy) to its core for the most impact. Echoing Dieter Rams, Rahul believes that “simplicity is the key to excellence” and believes there is an elegance and sophistication to reductive design.

An excellent example of this mentality is the brand identity redesign for the Spline Group. Exploring the case study, you can see how Rahul directs the vision towards stripping away all the bells and whistles of the old identity, eventually leaving a customised wordmark and a striking colour palette that makes its presence felt.

For a brand in the engineering space, this modern overhaul inspires a modern, professional, and dependable identity that cuts to the chase. The website design had an honourable mention on Awwwards, and AIGA featured the identity in its members’ gallery.

“I’m interested in creating work that is inspired by culture and community” – a trait that we see with his self-initiated creative projects inspired by Sikh culture. On the one hand, the work features a gorgeous painting of Guru Nanak in a meditative state and a playful “Sikher than your average” t-shirt design on the other.

We asked Rahul about his experience navigating the pandemic and if he had any new insights about the future of the design market. He found it challenging due to a lack of human interaction and collaborative environments. Still, as the world headed towards digital experiences, he has taken the opportunity to understand human behaviour and emotions within these constraints.

Creative Gaga