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There are few things in one’s career as exciting and full of promise as the first day on the first design job. Yet, if you don’t prepare for this wonderful opportunity, you may miss the chance to make the best possible first impression and set yourself up for success. One of my favourite bosses loved quoting Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”!

So how can you be so well prepared for your first design job?

1. Research Thoroughly on The Company You are Joining

How well do you know the agency or company that you will be joining? Have you devoured every piece of information in the public domain that you can find on the company? What is the company’s history and track record? What are they really proud of? What’s the vision for their industry?

 

Have you tried reaching out to people who have worked there or are still working there to understand the culture? Check on glassdoor.com. Do you know what it will take to succeed at this company? All of this information will help you connect emotionally with your new colleagues and also fit in to the culture.


2. Clarity of Your Role

Were you so excited to accept the offer that you didn’t really pay much attention to the role? Will you be just another cog in the wheel or are they going to be assigning you lots of responsibilities? Who will you be reporting to? Is this person just a few years senior to you or is there a big gap in experience? What does the company expect you to do? How will your effectiveness and performance be measured?

 

How will you be rewarded? Having clarity on your role and what it will take to succeed at the company will ensure that your efforts and hard work are channeled in the right places. Even if you don’t have these questions answered before you join, try to get these answers on the first day or first week.


3. Refresh Your Skills

If you’ve done the homework on the company and role clarity, you will know exactly what hard and soft skills you may need to brush up on. Spend time before your first design job mastering the basic software tools you will be using. Practice both your written and oral communication skills.

 

Flex your creative muscle and warm it up by solving some online creative thinking exercises. Take a class on skillsshare.com or LinkedIn Learning. Watch some motivational speeches by Steve Jobs, Robin Sharma or Tony Robbins. Read up as much as you can on being a team player. It’s no long just about you. Your success will largely depend on how well you get along with others.


4. Reset your Mindset

The biggest gift you can give yourself before your first day on the job is to cultivate a growth mindset and a passionate can-do attitude. Attitude trumps everything else in the workplace – the right one can take you farther than you ever imagined possible.

 

Make sure you get eight hours of sleep every night, eat healthy, exercise regularly, meditate every day to clean your mind and wake up in the morning with a burning desire to get on with your day’s work. Some days will be fabulous, and others will make you way to cry and perhaps even quit.

 

It’s important to solider on despite the difficulties. I love these words by Carol Dweck: “Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning”

Issue 47 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 47

Portfolios ready and design graduate all set to grab their first dream job in the studio and agency they admire. And on the other side, the industry is always on the look for the fresh talent to acquire. The issue is full of advice on, what to expect from your first job, how to be prepared to get the best opportunities and much more. So if you are a recent graduate or looking to hire fresh talent, this is a must-have for you. So go ahead and order your copy now!

 

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There are so many ways to tackle a design problem. And there are so many lessons to learn from well done designs. Shift is a bi-annual journal by Landor Mumbai, a full service consulting and design agency. In this journal we see some of Landor’s best packaging designs, accompanied with thought provoking questions and pithy words of wisdom. What is interesting though is the illustration series by Locopoco, where the brand packaging on each page is seamlessly woven into an illustrative story.

 

Locopopo is a Mumbai-based independent illustration design studio. Their work has been featured, appreciated and awarded by renowned publications, magazines and awards like Cannes Lions and Kyoorius design award.

 

Connect Here

 

Headed by Lulu Raghavan, one of India’s most influential 50 women, Landor Mumbai is a leader in strategic brand and design consultancy. The team talks to Creative Gaga on how their approach is unique in handling branding and rebranding for some of the well-known clients.

Conversation Starter! An obvious logo for Café Coffee Day inspiring coffee-fueled fun and conversation in India.

CG. How do you start the process of design? What role does colour, typography, scale and other visual tools play to create successful brands the final output?
LM. The process of design exploration always begins with defining the brand and what it stands for. We use Landor’s proprietary tool, the Brand Driver Platform, to briefly capture the desired meaning of the brand. This brand meaning is then reflected in design through different manifestations. To start the design process, we undertake exhaustive colour, typography and photography studies to arrive at all possible considerations for the brand’s visual expression.

Transforming Airport. Giving travelers a glimpse of India’s warmth and welcoming nature, Landor humanised Delhi’s T3 International Airport.

CG. What are the key points you consider along with the client’s brief before you start working on branding or rebranding?
LM. Before we start, it is important to evaluate the necessity of the change. The degree of change needed should also be paid attention to. Some questions which need to be answered before taking a call are:

 

• Does your brand need tweaking or a complete overhaul?
• What does the future of the company look like?
• To what extent is the organization changing?

 

These questions determine whether the new path for the brand is evolutionary or revolutionary. We also undertake extensive research to better understand the client, their competitors, and their industry and market reports. Thinking long-term is the key to a successful branding/rebranding exercise.

Brand New Classic. A redesigning exercise of the cover of a classic novel to make the book and its theme appeal to the younger audience.

CG. What are the major considerations while working on re-branding a well-known brand?
LM. It is important to evaluate its existing visual equities and the degree of customer connect to the existing brand identity and the colours.


• What is the degree of change appropriate to signal freshness without losing relevance?
• What are all the touch points that brand will appear on?
• What is the extent to which we want to co-create with either a small or large subset of customers?

 

These are some important questions that one must consider before carrying out rebranding for the well-known brands. The brand’s vision, as well as its plan for the long-term future, is the key to driving the rebranding process.

Transforming Airport. Giving travelers a glimpse of India’s warmth and welcoming nature, Landor humanised Delhi’s T3 International Airport.

CG. In your opinion, how important is it to find the right harmony between forgetting the current branding and focusing the audience on a new image? How do you achieve the same in the case of rebranding?
LM. In the case of rebranding, it is important to determine how far off or how close the current branding is, to its new meaning. To ensure that there is harmony between the current and the new branding we are designing, we take visual equities that work and give it layers depending on the degree of change the brand is seeking.

For instance, in the case of Café Coffee Day, we retained the colours and tagline and changed everything else. Similarly, for Barista, we built the new brand on the existing colour palette of orange and brown yet the new brand now looks inspired, modern and youthful.

Extraordinary Experiences. The Park is a hotel where unusual experiences are possible. For this, we evolved the brand identity and conducted internal engagement programs with the park team.

CG. What makes your USP and how you make sure it always reflected in your work?
LM. We imagine brands to be flexible and adaptive, not one-dimensional and static and this reflects clearly in our work. Using our proprietary tool, Brand Driver Platform, we ensure that we spend the right amount of time defining the brand based on a strong insight. The brand platform becomes the foundation for all subsequent thinking on the brand including employee activation and a 360˚ brand experience for customers

Re-branding Luxury. Landor undertook for the Cinnamon group to achieve a brand-led business growth by a complete rebrand, positioning and experience exercise for hotels.

CG. How do you know when an existing company or product needs re-branding? Or when exactly the brand needs a complete makeover?
LM. An existing company/product should consider re-branding if the current brand meaning has lost relevance in the market. Rebranding should also be considered if new meaning needs to be added to the core brand; to bring in a freshness of perspective that appeals to a new segment of target audiences.

If the promise being delivered by the company has changed or the vision or the business strategy has altered, then a rebranding exercise is useful in setting the path for future success of the company in question.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead

 

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