Known for Facebook, The Washington Post, Apple, Google Meroo Seth is an Art director and illustrator from India. Co-founder of Mechi Co. Design, Meroo is fascinated with how creative outlook plays an important role in everyday aspects of life.
Could you take us through your artistic journey – How it started; how did you nurture it and where do you find yourself to be now?
Meroo Seth: Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by withdrawing. I’ve always enjoyed painting, crafting, and putting together collages from various magazine cutouts. When I was in standard 8, and fine arts was one of my subjects, my interest in art developed. Art was my favorite subject in school and I used to very fondly think about ideas for posters or type-based assignments we had monthly.
With fine arts, I learned about light and shade and found it very meditative while drawing and painting. I completed my bachelor’s degree in graphic design at the MIT Institute of Design, where I learned what design entails and learned more about problem-solving in the world of graphic design. I was able to put my other artistic skills to use while working on design problems and this is where design and art collided for me.
From my second year of college, I began taking freelance assignments with my partner Nachiket, and Mechi Co. Design started from there. We are a duo collective focusing on branding, packaging and illustration design. It’s been a long road packed with exciting projects, people and collaborations, as well as us growing as a team and doing what we love every day. I see myself learning new skills and I always believe in growing, learning and becoming better with each project that I take up. I look forward to collaborating on projects that make a meaningful impact.
Your range of work depicts characters, scenes, objects, typography and branding. What are the differences you find in portraying such diverse subjects and how do you adapt your approach to each?
Meroo Seth: I approach each project as a creative challenge, then apply my art and design skills to see where it leads. Though illustration is my strong suit, I enjoy working on a variety of projects, particularly branding and packaging design. I don’t want to limit myself to a specific line of work or industry. I am always up for exploring new styles; new design approaches and growing with every project. I am inspired by nature, forms, shapes, and everything around me, and maybe that reflects in the diverse subjects that can be seen in my work.
From your experience, what helps create good synergy between artists and clients to function smoothly?
Meroo Seth: Before beginning a project, I believe it is critical to thoroughly understand the design requirements. Clearing our all doubts and clarifying your strategy and procedure is an excellent technique to generate a seamless flow with the clients. All that’s left is to commit to the timetables and offer your finest work once you’ve figured out your client’s needs and set objectives. Taking feedback also helps in the development of a positive relationship with the client. Working on those suggestions while balancing your design ideas makes a lot of difference. It is a win-win situation for both parties.
Minimalism, contrast, geometry and symmetry stand out uniformly as some of the striking features across your works. What makes you adopt them as your style?
Meroo Seth: I like to simplify elements in my work and then create a high contrast to give it depth and create that engaging visual flow. My approach at times is checking how I can simplify yet uniquely show an idea that captures the eye. Colour is a very important factor for me; I always like to set my color palettes first, especially when I am doing illustration work. I like working with symmetrical, forms and shapes and then creating balance by different compositions in my work. I try using design principles of emphasis, contrast, symmetry, and repetition in my work
What’s been your experience working with names like Apple, Google, Facebook and the likes and could you elaborate on one or two of those projects?
Meroo Seth: It has been a wonderful opportunity to have worked on projects with bigger names. The project briefs are much more defined, which is one of the most important factors in achieving project success. We worked with Buck Design in Los Angeles to create 80+ Facebook design feed stickers for the Indian market.
For designing the stickers, we needed to come up with culturally relevant text that would encourage meaningful dialogues while also looking inspirational. For this project, our approach was to first brainstorm 10 ideas weekly of what we could design for each sticker. The following step was to create sketch choices for the first set of stickers, after which we colored and detailed the artwork.
What key skills do you feel artists today must essentially have to deliver the results expected of them?
Meroo: Great back strength and patience, on a lighter note. In seriousness, understanding the brief and the ability to take clients’ feedback is one of the key skills for an artist to have these days. Practising your skills and honing your craft will get you far. Artists should not only look at how aesthetically an artwork looks but also see if it is answering the brief. Artists should try to keep up with trends and keep doing self-initiated projects from time to time. That definitely helps in showcasing the kind of work you want to do.
What do you consider to be your superpowers as an artist?
Meroo Seth: Being creative and wanting to create something new every day is, in my opinion, a superpower by itself. I am grateful to have this. Being able to express, story-tell, and make meaningful impacts through visuals is my superpower.
What kinds of projects are you looking to venture into and why?
Meroo Seth: I am looking into working on projects that create an impact; improve experiences and make a positive change through design. I’m currently working on a fantastic initiative involving girls’ education, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. In addition, we at Mechi Co. Design are working on two other projects that are aimed at improving design experiences.
One is to do branding and packaging design for Covid self-test kits, while the other is a line of products for baby and adult balm packaging design. The balm is entirely made of natural ingredients and has recyclable packaging. It has also won Best Skincare for Kids Award in the New York’s Parents Magazine. I hope to do more collaborations like this in the future so that we can be a part of progressive change through design.