The Journey of a Designer to Founding a Studio!
Pulak B's journey from being a designer to starting his own PulakB Design Studio shows how important it is to have experience in the industry. He has worked in design leadership roles for startups and at well-known agencies like Brew House, Codesign, and Lopez Design. His journey shows how industry experience can really change things.
In this interesting Q&A session, Pulak talks about how his past experiences, working with different people, and a fresh way of thinking have influenced how he does design and business. He also gives some great advice for new designers who want to succeed in the creative world.
Hi Pulak, can you share a bit about your journey from being a designer to establishing PulakB Design Studio?
I haven't stopped being a designer, the way I structure my design practice has evolved. As a solo designer earlier, I used to pretty much tackle all the work by myself. Now, we have specialists who work with us on projects where they can add value alongside me and my team.
What inspired you to transition from working with startups and agencies to founding your own design studio?
I wanted to start a culinary business, with cooking, mixology, and coffee being passionate hobbies of mine. But my plan coincided with COVID-19 in the year 2020. So I resorted to continue practicing design, but independently. The culinary work continues to be hobbies!
Could you tell us about the kind of projects and clients you've worked with throughout your career?
Over the last decade, I have worked with startups as the design lead and have led teams of designers in studios and agencies. The client list includes art festivals, tax and fin-tech startups, hotels, healthcare and wellness brands, paper companies, magazines, contemporary artists, street culture brands, FMCG brands, beer brands, and more. We enjoy working on branding and UI design projects.
How has your experience as a design lead for startups and as a team leader in agencies/studios has influenced your approach to design and business?
I have learned that change is the only constant; it's important to value everyone's perspective but listen to your instinct at the same time.
What valuable lessons did you learn from working with diverse clients, from art festivals to fin-tech startups to FMCG brands?
The client is not your enemy; they're your partner and collaborator.
In your opinion, how has your ability to tackle business problems with a fresh perspective enhanced the quality of your design solutions?
I would've given up practicing design a long time ago if I didn't get to renew my perspective regularly. This regular 'refresh' is the backbone of the work we do.
Your client list is incredibly diverse. How do you adapt your design style to cater to such a wide range of industries and brands?
I do not like the word 'Style'. In today's time, it's more of a crutch than it is a means to connect to a larger movement. We do not approach design work with style in mind, but rather with business and communication strategy, problems to be solved, and limitations at hand. Aesthetics are subjective and curated carefully for our projects.
How do you strike a balance between staying on-trend and maintaining a timeless appeal in your design work?
We don't worry about 'Staying on-trend' or 'Timeless appeal'. We create design work that solves critical challenges for our clients, and the process to do so brings us joy.
Could you elaborate on the team you've assembled for Pulak B Design Studio? How do you ensure your team shares your design philosophy and approach?
We keep evolving our studio structure and practicing new ways of collaborating with other talented, creative people. We like working with designers who bring something new to the table and are good people to work with.
Collaboration is often crucial in design projects. How do you foster effective communication and teamwork within your studio?
We use various tools like Toggl, Notion, and Whatsapp Business.
Based on your journey, what role does prior industry experience play in the success and growth of a design studio?
Knowing the rules helps you break them. Working for enough time helps you realise, there are no rules to begin with.
The integration of AI and automation is reshaping various industries, including design. How do you see AI affecting the design space, and have you explored any AI-powered design tools or processes in your studio's work?
We continue to explore and use image, motion, and text generation tools to help in our projects. Midjourney and RunwayML are a few of them.
With technological advancements and evolving consumer preferences, the design landscape is poised for change. What trends do you foresee shaping the future of design, and how do you envision Pulak B Design Studio embracing these changes to continue delivering cutting-edge solutions?
As long as we're solving design problems for our clients with a fresh perspective, trends don't matter.
Before we conclude, what advice would you give to emerging designers who aspire to establish their own design studios?
The scale of a design practice is for you to decide. You don't have to make a 30-person studio if it comes at the cost of your mental and physical well-being. A small studio practice can be as rewarding as a much larger one. There's more to life than work!