Shivani Chügh

We caught up with New Delhi based designer Shivani Chügh. Shivani talked to us about her unplanned journey through three different schools, her love for typography, and why it's a great idea to get an internship!

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

Well, I’ve been a bit of a presentation freak since the very beginning, wanting to make every pixel look pretty and inviting. It started with flaunting my penmanship to an extent where I would write down the questions (even while prepping for the exam) to lending a hand in decorating the school for special occasions. I even loved the smell of new stationery and enjoyed conjuring up a greeting card at the very last minute. I vividly remember getting a kick out of each of these activities. Little did I know that these creative shenanigans would help me realise my passion and turn it into a profession.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

My entire college life is proof of the old adage – ‘designers do things differently’. I was all set to pursue an honours degree in Graphic Design at DSK Pune (don’t look it up, doesn’t exist any more) and accidentally got off track. I ended up going to ISDI Parsons in Mumbai for a year and then ended up at Coventry University! It’s truly been a crazy one. When I look back I’m kinda proud of being able to embrace change and make the most of the uncertain circumstances. My first job was actually a freelance project while completeing my second year of college. I’d been tasked to design a visual identity and a set of collaterals for a company in the socio-political sector based in Mumbai, India. That’s when I realised how imperative it is to work on real life briefs as it requires you to focus on design functionalities and not just form. I remember committing a grave mistake while designing the website page and feeling downright useless. But, it made me aware of the fact that there’s so much beyond that pretty layer of design.

I have a strong desire to study further, travel, and get acquainted with designers from different studios. I’d love to collaborate with them & create magic!

Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

I have a strong desire to study further, travel, and get acquainted with designers from different studios. I’d love to collaborate with them & create magic! I believe experiencing work life firsthand will help me recognise the subject I’d want to specialise in. I have a thing for beautifully designed letterforms and a strong inclination towards typography. I want t o educate myself more about typography and experiment. Recently my work submitted for TDK Awards got recognised and appreciated (a big thanks for that!). I’m excited to embrace the creative challenges that are yet to come.

Also, my website still tops the to-do list and my instagram work account needs to be updated… aaahhh!

Whats the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be a neophyte. 🙂

What are some of the best and worse parts of your job, day-to-day.

Without a doubt, the ‘aha’ moments are definitely the best part of my day! The more the ‘aha’ moments, the merrier it is. All the work behind the ‘aha’ moment seems taxing, but visualising the output and going back to the reason why you started keeps you on track. The worst part is when I start beating myself up when I was faced with a creative problem. That’s when you need to withdraw and chill! Also, if you got some groovy tunes, feel free to suggest, i wanna update my playlist so bad. Good music does make you work better!

What’s your take on internships?

The fact that my very first internship happened a few months after my last lap of school surprises me. This actually stemmed from the thought of me not being prepared enough (trust me that feeling never goes away). Nevertheless, I believe it is a super way to connect and collaborate with creative individuals outside of your classroom. Doing an internship gives you key insights into how things are done in the industry front and requires you to work under tight deadlines. This helps you recognise what you’re interested in and develop a thick skin. You never know how the connections you make could provide you with new opportunities!

Where to find Shivani:

Instagram: @shivanii2.0

Website: Shivani’s Behance

Twitter: @ShivaniChugh13

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