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 ).
Copyright © Kawal Oberoi, unless otherwise noted/credited. To request any of the images shown above, please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.