Design Hits you Square Between the Eyes: Sudhir Ramachandra

SudhirR - Director-Creative DesignToday’s marketer is faced with increasing pressure to deliver revenue and understand client expectations. But at the heart of all this talk of data, numbers, leads and conversions is the spark of Communication – creativity and design.

The world of design is constantly evolving, and we decided to ask Sudhir Ramachandra, Director-Creative at Yorke Communications, the secret of how he copes. A design heavyweight with 23 years of experience under his belt, Sudhir constantly finds himself on the cusp of change and is keen to ‘break’ conventional rules of design to keep up.

Design, Then and Now

“I was born in the era of Print,” says Sudhir, “and spent my childhood watching the world change with the birth of Television.”

Circa 1995, premium design for advertising and marketing was created primarily in exclusive studios sparsely dotted in Bombay, Chennai and Calcutta. With television entering the ring, the industry saw a change in technology along with an amalgamation of content, design, visuals and sound. “Before, we needed to project a visual component on one channel and an audio component (like a voiceover) on another channel,” explains Sudhir, “With television, it was all magically coming together.”

As Television began to evolve, another contender entered the ring, swinging with a sharp jab and hook – Computers. That’s when in 1996, a young Sudhir stumbled into the world of multimedia while on the look-out for something that would pique his interest. Once again finding himself on the cusp of change, Sudhir explored the world of Beta PhotoShop, the rudimentary universe of 3D animation and the user interface of a Windows 95 computer.

Computers were still a luxury that most agencies couldn’t afford. I spent a lot of time learning ‘manual’, ‘old-school’ design,” explains Sudhir. “We actually used ‘paint’, ‘pen tools’ and ‘airbrush tools’ that today have become digitized and available easily on PhotoShop and InDesign,” he laughs.

Design: Ever present and Omni-channel

“But has design changed?” I ask Sudhir. “Has art changed?” he jabs back, beating me to the punch. “Design hasn’t changed,” he iterates, “But the way we access design has.”

When we look at Mobile Marketing trends of 2018, we see that users spend an average of 69% of their media time on smartphones. Mobile as a platform tends to lead to action with 92% of mobile searchers making a related purchase.

As audiences move towards hand-held devices like phones and tablets, there is a need for design to become interactive and complex. Gone are the days when users would punch in ancient DOS prompts to explore a website menu. Today, design must roll with the punches, presenting itself to allow audiences to click, expand or open multiple pages to receive more information and make consumer decisions.

In an era of consistently decreasing attention spans, visual presentation becomes more important than ever. Everyone wants bite-sized bits of micro data and Design must deliver with a killer instinct that breaks convention through innovation. Design today hits you square between the eyes and forces you to change. “Whether it’s the colours we use, the models we feature or the fonts we utilize to communicate a mood or flavour, nothing is written in stone, because there is no stone and there are no rules,” says Sudhir.

Design apps for mobiles are on the rise and people have more access to design tools and even online design courses. While Sudhir agrees that a foundation of design is necessary and learned in formal institutions or experience, “It is creativity that must be caught and cannot be taught,” he nods sagely.

For Sudhir, it is the golden triangle at Yorke Communications that works — crisp content, diverse design and spot-on creativity that helps deliver the best experience for our clients’ audiences.

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