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Beyond the PX: In conversation with Saloni Sinha, Senior Visual Designer at frog design

Welcome to the #IndianDesigner conversation series in the 8px magazine.
This is the second interview with Bangalore based designer, Saloni Sinha. Her journey started with making album art covers for her musician friends, with her zealous attitude of exploration and experimentation, she continued her path and landed herself as a senior designer at frog design.

Enjoy, and see you next time! :)

For those not in the know, can you explain briefly who frog design are and what they do?

frog design is a global design and strategy firm. Frog was founded by Harmut Esslinger in the 1960’s and led ‘Form follows emotion’ design trends. Frog made valuable contributions throughout the history of design by collaborating with Apple, Disney, GE, Microsoft, MOMA etc. We have global presence across the globe, our diverse perspectives allow us to solve problems, uncover new opportunities and transform businesses.
It’s been a year since I joined frog as Senior Visual designer, it’s been a wonderful journey so far and I’ve been learning new things every day 🙂

What has been your design journey up until now?

My design journey started when I started my graduation in Communication design from Symbiosis Institute of design. With a huge interest in music, I started making album art covers for my musician friends. With a pursuit to explore design further I completed my masters in Design for Retail experience, the course was multi-disciplinary which helped me see the impact of design in larger scale. After which I’ve able to adapt myself in multiple domains of design — advertising, interaction, new media and branding.

What does your typical morning look like?

I usually wake up around 6:30/7. I start my day with feeding my cat. Followed by a small morning walk which is one of my most cherished part of the day as I love the morning calm, hearing birds chirp and it helps me feel energized for the day. Followed up by sipping some herbal tea, preparing for the day — making breakfast and lunch. Then heading off to work where I start with a small huddle with the team and get the work started for the day 🙂

What does your design tool stack look like?

When I’m designing UI work — Sketch/Figma, When I’m making art/illustration — pen and paper (most often used), Procreate, Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and Adobe Animate (for animation); When I’m composing music — Garage band and recently experimenting with Teenage Engineering’s Pocket operator

Do you have any design hacks or particularly smart processes?

My hack to design is explore and experiment.I also enjoy the process of visual styling and iterating solutions.

Do you find it hard to define what you do to your friends? Could they explain your job?

Well not really with people being more aware of design it’s not so hard to explain now. However, the nature of the job within the design is kind of varied, which becomes a little hard to explain as I’m usually juggling with design disciplines. Also, when I tell some people I’m a designer, they often think of a fashion/textile designer.

Do your career aspirations encroach your life?

I think my career options have definitely given me more direction in life, it goes hand in hand so I can’t really divide them. Yes, definitely design informs my approach to fashion music and other interests and the same goes vice versa as my design gets influenced by my interest growing in different areas.

What brought you as a visual designer in the service-based design industry?

I’d like my skills to come handy where design can add value, hence here I am. Lately I’ve also been pondering how can I use my design skills to make a better environment/earth in terms of conservation and not mixing it up with consumerism aspect.

Can you explain your team dynamic?

Depending on the scale of the project, I often work with a mix of people in different specializations consisting of Ixds, visual designers, program managers, technologists, and creative leads.

What advice would you give for those interested in kick-starting a career in designing for the market?

Staying open to learning, exploring your interest, experimenting with different ways and do more of what you love to do. Yes, there is plenty of space for new talents 🙂

Do you work on side projects?

Being a big music buff, I often collaborate with indie bands/artists for making album covers and logos. Lately I’ve also been making GIF video and experimental audio for it. Its more delightful when you see art/design with motion and sound!

Do you think the fact that designers are almost forced to work outside of the 9–5 is something that should stop, or do you find that it’s a worthy method of exploring new techniques and styles?

Well, that’s become an industry norm hence the expectation. Yes, I definitely think we could experiment with different techniques/styles of work in terms of space/environment and timings. Maybe a have a day of work where you don’t use a laptop? Or how about having more of spending time making/pro-typing something physical than always looking for digital solutions. Having a workspace that is not inside a glass building?
These just some thoughts I have I feel we could experiment with.

It was great talking with Saloni. In a world where we are obsessed with a “one-size fits all” design process, I find it refreshing to see that she doesn’t approach with a linear process for design, but rather keeps iterating and exploring on her work. Also, her passion for illustration and music is exhilarating, do check out more of her work here.
I thank Saloni on behalf of the readers of 8px for being a part of this series and sharing her inspiring insights.

Until next time 👋

P.s. we’ve teamed up with DesignLab to offer out their courses to 8px readers. Want to learn UX from some of the industry masters? They offer both short and long courses, where you’re teamed up with mentors from Github, Dropbox and the BBC.

About the author:

Shivam Dewan is a product designer based in New Delhi, India.
Remote worker by day, Flaneur by night. Feel free to reach out to him over Twitter @theshivamdewan

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Shivam Dewan

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Product Designer and Maker

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