January 5, 2014


Bina Nayak on
Why I Am With Design & People

Bina Nayak

"In 2003, I quit advertising and shifted from Bombay to my village in Goa. Although I hated the stress of deadlines in advertising, I missed the brain storming sessions and discussions on design with like-minded individuals. Around the same time I came across a write-up in Outlook on Design & People. I was impressed and inspired by their concept of making Design accessible to the Lowest Common Denominator. I was myself undergoing a transition in my work beliefs and Design philosophy. My constant dilemma was this: That which pays well doesn't necessarily feel good to do, and that which feels good to do almost always pays badly! So what to do? Design & People has provided me the answers through their actions and words. As a Designer with Design & People, I can actually see how my design makes a difference to ordinary lives and sometimes extraordinary ones. I once worked on a Design & People assignment on rights and laws for the handicapped under the Indian Constitution for a small organisation in Assam called Shishu Sarothi. This was to be given to government officials and ministers to educate them. During our group discussions we were all very clear that it should not be yet another drab government booklet. Shishu Sarothi was also keen on this but did not have enough funds. What we eventually designed was a very positive, multi-coloured Year Planner with the laws and rights placed very legibly at the bottom, below the dates. Design & People got ActionAid to foot the printing bill. To me it felt like another job done well, but I was really surprised when I received a letter from the patron saying that "It was loved by all and was released at a special function by the Chief Minister." My small piece of design was a big thing for them. Over the years, I have learnt to achieve a balance with what feels good and what pays good."

Bina Nayak is Head of Design Cell at Walt Disney International, India. A graduate from the Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art, Bombay, Bina is also the winner of a Clio Bronze and was a finalist at the London International Awards (LIA) and Cannes Advertising Festival.

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