June 20, 2013

Kyoorius Knocks: Smita Rajgopal

An electronic engineering graduate with an MBA degree, Smita Rajgopal‘s education choices hardly fit the bill of a graphic designer and brand consultant. Once, over a friendly conversation, we even asked her how did she make another ‘mistake’ (MBA) after already bearing through her engineering. But Rajgopal confesses that her marketing degree gave her some valuable insights which come in handy in her current profession.

Through her engineering course, she quenched her left-being with technical writing which was replaced by internships in graphic design studios through her MBA. Now, the founder and creative director of a brand consultancy, Smitten, Rajgopal has already worked with clients like Disney, Panasonic, Johnnie Walker, ITC Hotels and SunEdison. In a feature on ‘The Designer as Entrepreneur’ for Kyoorius’ 12th issue, Rajgopal had said, “The idea behind launching Smitten was to create a work environment where creative energy could thrive and grow. From the start, we were clear that there would be no creative and servicing divide. Every single member in Smitten has a creative input and we ensure that whoever is speaking to the client has a specific creative input.”

Smitten is based out of Chennai, with branches in Mumbai and the US. The studio has just completed its five years of existence.

At what point were you absolutely sure that this was what you want to do?

When I realized I switched channels to watch ads and not to watch TV content and when I realized that I stopped and stared at packaging more than the product inside!

Who were your childhood role models and who are your current role models?

Childhood role model was my brother and now I think there is so much good talent, spirit and personality we bump into every day. We just have to stop to see and I also try to travel and learn as much as I can really!

Describe your work desk in one line. If you had to keep just one single item at your desk, what would that be?

In one line, my work desk is usually covered in Cat!! (I have a Persian cat who thinks it’s her life goal to stay attached to my desktop!)

One single item at my desk – my MacBook Pro (oh, the cat does have a wild card entry though on this one!)

If you had a time machine, where would you be headed?

Definitely to the future, about 30 years forward, because I know I’d get there eventually in any case (god-willing), so might as well have a sneak peak! Oh well, that and Google Glasses.

What is the most ridiculous question someone has asked you during a job interview and/or during a client meeting?

This one’s easy. It was a client who asked us if we could put a ‘hole’ in their logo because it would be good vaastu. I said I’d rather put a hole in my head.

A picture of your favourite work created by you

Favourites are so tough to pick but here are a few of mine that I love.

Chef Nikku opened a restaurant Nikku’s and I just thought it would be nice to have his face in the logo, so you can see his profile, nose, eye and chin.


A picture of your favourite work created by someone else?

I love simplistic, elegant and clever work. For example, Koy Carraway‘s identity for the Eighty Eight hotel in London.


Find Smita Rajgopal on Twitter @smitar

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