Swatch Bharat is a collection of Indian vernacular visuals; created to inspire designers, illustrators and visual artists.

swatchbharat1
Swatch Bharat was born out of fear and frustration.

Fear of losing expressions of ‘desi aesthetics’ we see around India to the western aesthetics brought in by globalisation. The fear is quite real as a lot of what you will see in Swatch Bharat has been replaced, repainted or discarded by people. The beautiful hand-printed desi Pepsi ad in Swatch Bharat Series 1 doesn’t exist anymore, it has been repainted. I wonder how many of these beautiful things are we losing each day in India.

Frustration from seeing the typical Indian elements and style being re-interpreted by fellow designers and ad agencies. Chai, moustaches, turbans etc. Let’s face it, a lot of designers work under crazy deadlines and do not have time to go out and do visual research. The next step for a lot of those designers is to search online for references and most of the times they end up taking inspiration for popular work created by other designers or pictures clicked by foreigners wanderlusting travelling in India. I saw an Indian food truck in Jalandhar (Punjab) that had graphics plagiarised from a branding project by an American designer. Now, that’s really sad. I feel that it could be due to lack online reference point for desi aesthetics created by Indians themselves.

You might ask, why are there colour swatches under the pictures?
Firstly, India is a great inspiration when it comes to colours and I love puns, this completes the Swatch Bharat pun (if you know what i mean ;D ).

- Kawal Oberoi

  

Till now, I have compiled Swatches in 5 Series

With help from other amazing contributors

Ragini-Siruguri

Ragini Siruguri

Visual Communication Designer

@yellowchameleon

Gaurav-Sharma

Gaurav Sharma

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

@gauravvikalp

Hansraj_Dochaniya

Hansraj Dochaniya

Fashion Photographer

@hansrajdochaniya

Siddharth_Laheri

Siddharth Laheri

Graphic Designer & Photographer

@laidback_laheri

Sukriti_Sahni

Sukriti Sahni

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

@doodlydoodledoo

Sachit_Shyam

Sachit Shyam

Graphic Designer & Photographer

@sachitshyam

Sumedh_Sonare

Sumedh Sonare

Multi-Disciplinary Designer

@sumedhsonare

Harjyot_Khalsa

Harjyot Khalsa

Illustrator

@whirlwnd

Priyanka_Poddar

Priyanka Poddar

Graphic Designer

@priyanka_poddar

Guru_Dhamal

Guru Dhamal

Designer & Videographer

@Gurudhamal

Copyright © Kawal Oberoi, unless otherwise noted/credited. To request any of the images shown above, please mail me at thekawaloberoi@gmail.com with intended purpose/usage. For pictures in swatches sent by other creatives, please get in touch with them directly by clicking on their name on this page.