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‘Designers must research what is actually working in the market’

Salil Shail, Founder and Creative Director at Oxymora Studio delivers a well-attended talk on ‘Strategy in Design’, hosted by the Apeejay Institute of Design



The Apeejay Institute of Design (AID) recently hosted a webinar on ‘Understanding the Importance of Strategy in Design.  In her introductory address, Garima J Saini, Senior Lecturer at AID, mentioned how design is a solution to problems and an outcome of the effective strategies that are applied.

She welcomed the keynote speaker Salil Shail, Founder and Creative Director at Oxymora Studio based in New Delhi. He comes with over 20 years of experience in the business of illustration, design, cartooning, photography and award-winning international animated episodic and feature film projects.

Mr Shail started the knowledge-building session by sharing insights from his professional journey as an employee, designer, animator and entrepreneur.   

A few tips to remember 

Mr Shail explained, “It’s important to understand the difference between art and design. There is a timeless debate on art versus design. You must remember art propels one to create something or design. In art, you are free to explore everything. However, design is sometimes specific based on requirements from clients. Never let your dreams and art die. So, learn the process to gauge the difference while you are working on various projects.”

The webinar was attended by around 65 participants including students and faculty members. 

The guest speaker further added, “Do not go for a design career just for the sake of it. Look for solidity and make sure you are happy when you are choosing a career in design. Also, in the last two years, the importance of taking care of your mental and physical health has become imperative.”

Research: an important strategy in design 

Mr Shail adds, “One needs to research what is actually working in the market. Design is ever-evolving and dynamic and so, once you are in this domain, you have to compete not just domestically but internationally. Well, you always do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of yourself as well as the market. The more you research, study and explore in time, the faster you learn. A good designer faces challenges and failures but learns fast from their own as well as other’s mistakes.” 

The expert said there are five key points design aspirants must remember: These are access to information, understanding, learning, executing and checking. Subsequently, he also explained the strategic errors one should take care of in the design industry. “Make sure your designs are original. Sometimes, while taking pictures from Google, one unknowingly infringes upon IP rights or skips on giving credits to the source. Avoid such mistakes.”

Finally, Mr Shail emphasised, “Be open to new and different ideas.”

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay Newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.