While the graphics design is still an emerging market at Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion), a robust economy and a competitive consumer market is driving up the demand for good graphic professionals. Contract's Design Sutra stands testimony to this fact, as it has taken up a number of successful projects in the past (Cadbury, JW Marriott, Asian Paints, Platinum, Raymond Group, ABN-Amro Bank, Reynold's and Shopper's Stop to name a few) and its recent acquisitions are projects for brands such as Fair and Lovely.
Rajiv Sabnis, Senior Vice-President, Contract, said, "We have bagged a new project from Fair and Lovely. We are taking care of the packaging design of the brand. I think it's an encouraging sign that clients like HLL truly understand the importance of specialist design outfits like ours, and the contribution that we can make for a lasting brand. The fact remains that a good design can churn revenues for any company. The Design Sutra's team is headed by Kalpita Bose. We believe that Design Sutra has been delivering design solutions that are at par with international standards for clients like JW Marriott, Renaissance, Cadbury, Asian Paints and Shoppers' Stop, to name a few."
Five pieces of communication created by Design Sutra have been shortlisted for the 2005 Graphis Design Annual, the annual competition organised by Graphis, a premier international journal on visual communication. Design Sutra's pre-selected entries for the 2005 Graphis Design Annual comprise an Enigma Menu (for the nightclub at the JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu), the Wine Menu for the Velvet Lounge (at Renaissance Hotel, Powai), the Food Menu for the Velvet Lounge (at the Renaissance Hotel, Powai), the Wine Menu for the JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu, and an Invite for Valentine Night at the JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu.
Sabnis said, "Since the Graphis Annual is one of the most popular Graphis books among design and creative professionals and it showcases more than 300 of the years most outstanding designs from around the globe, naturally, we are thrilled at the recognition. We are especially grateful to the marketing team at JW Marriott and Renaissance who have made it possible."
Sabnis believes that specialist designers can appreciate form, structure and shape much better. The packaging and the logo say a lot about the brand. The need of the hour is to help clients understand the importance of design and of lasting first impressions.
Today, design projects can cost anything from Rs 50,000 for a label to a couple of lakhs for packaging and Rs 20-50 lakh for integrated retail identity. The design units of ad agencies have become viable profit centres. Retail and FMCGs will be the primary drivers of specialised design services, as design can take the brand positioning forward and actually swing a consumer's decision
The distinct shape of the Coca-Cola bottle is perhaps just as recognised as the red-and-white logo itself. This is an elementary reason as to why; clients who haggled over a bill of Rs 5,000 for design are now willing to pay several lakhs for specialist services.