Pune studio designs the country’s biggest signboard

The sign, 112.7 meters long and eight meters high, became a landmark in the North Karnataka region and was even featured in the Limca Book of Records this year

Armed with a bucket full of ideas, Hrishikesh Raut from Pune set out to bring about a change in industrial design through his venture Bucket Designs. After working in London for a while, he decided to come back to his hometown and offer his services here to make the city achieve international heights. Set up in 2012, he did quite well for himself and this he realised when the Karnataka government approached him to install what would be India’s biggest 3D metal sign at the Almatti dam on Krishna River in North Karnataka. The sign is a tribute to our former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Almatti dam is the biggest dam under Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigham Limited (KBJNL) and was named after Shastri as he laid the foundation stone of the irrigation project for the benefit of farmers in north Karnataka region, Hrishikesh tells us. “I was quite surprised when I got the call because I had no idea that our work had reached so far and was being appreciated. Obviously, after the first call I had to make a presentation to actually start working on it, but it was a big deal anyway,” he recollects. The sign is bigger than the Hollywood sigh which is just 106.6 meters long. A total of 45 steel frames have been used and 5,500 square feet of aluminium.

Hrishikesh Raut

Hrishikesh Raut

Hrushikesh did a lot of research and spent about three and a half months simply coming up with how to go about such a large scale project. “The sign is designed in a way that no support structure is visible from the front and all the letters are installed at a height of 70 feet from the ground. There was a lot of trial and error and back and forth even before we actually began the project, he tells us. Another big challenge was that the Karnataka government wanted the sign to be in Kannada, which is pretty cursive and not suitable for manufacturing. Trying to figure out a way to stay within budget and yet create something that was artistic, in the native language and could be manufactured easily was quite the task. Even though he would have loved to break the world record and make the largest sign by making it bigger than the Hollywood sign in California, the budget did not allow for this.

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When he was younger he had wanted to join Sir JJ School of Art but landed up going to an engineering college instead. It had always been his wish to do something creative and when he stumbled upon industrial design he found a way to combine his interest and degree to almost immediately grab the opportunity.

 With Bucket Designs, his vision is to commission landmark projects for governments as well as the private sector in India and abroad. This is just the beginning to him achieving his dreams and making a name for himself internationally, he feels.

Originally published on The Golden Sparrow

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