In a world that runs primarily on the strength of communicating with others, what is the best way to stand out as a brand? Prateek Sethi—Producer, Designer, Entrepreneur and TEDx Speaker—feels it is by being unconventional in your approach. He lives by this adage in all his professional dealings. Having made a name for himself as the host of the popular TV show FAQ on the Pogo channel, he now describes himself as the ‘Chief Gargoyle’ at Trip Creative Services, his multi-award-winning communication design house based out of Mumbai and Pune. Sethi has been in the creative field for over 16 years and revels in finding new and exciting ways to engage audiences. To this end, he produced the ‘Happy Building’ and ‘Folktales of India’ series on YouTube. A core member of the Animators Guild of India, Sethi graduated in Visual Communication Design with a speciality in Animation from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He also completed an Executive Education Program in Strategic Digital Marketing from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University. He says with a smile, “Ever since I could get my opposable thumb to follow the lead of my brain, I loved drawing. When I started watching cartoons on broadcast and VHS recordings, my imagination completely took over. I wanted to improve the quality of content on offer, hence my grandfather and parents encouraged me to pursue animation. I now don multiple roles, hats and skill sets, which I believe have been provided by my career in creative communication.” Sethi launched Trip Creative Services in 2009 and since then his team has worked on big projects across industries. He believes their strength lies in their ability to fuse the client’s vision with their creative thinking to make constructive communication design. Recently, his team designed the world’s first 3D wheel of life called The Bhavachakra, which has now become an NFT. The Bhavachakra is usually found on the outside walls of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries to help people understand Buddhist teachings. Apart from this, his team designed the virtual event content including all shoots, presentations, films, images, AR, VR, and supporting 3D content for the launch of the new ŠKODA SLAVIA World Static Premier.
“Over the past couple of years, we have worked closely with the ŠKODA India’s PR and Communications team to work on the content launch of over eleven cars. We were also the partners for ŠKODA AUTO India’s first-ever virtual conference back in early 2020 when the pandemic hit,” explains Sethi. Apart from his cutting-edge work in the field of design and communication, Sethi is also making a name for himself as a TEDx speaker. The theme for his recent TEDx IIITB event was ‘Unconventionality’. He chose to speak on the subject of excelling in a creative industry, shown through fifteen Monty Python memes. This was because his chosen profession is known for pushing the boundaries of human imagination, and creative industries have largely been responsible for the sensory wonder of making the world what it is today.
He explains his creative choice of delivering the content by saying, “The meme is a fixture of today’s internet culture and a powerful yet accessible medium of expression. It is a manifestation of popular creativity and a shining example of unconventionality.” Having survived lymphoma cancer as a teenager, Prateek is a tough cookie. He credits that difficult time in life for teaching him to enjoy and be thankful for every moment. In keeping with this philosophy, he believes the pandemic gave a boost to the communications industry in general, and to his business in particular. They had to overcome the challenges of being virtual, but they managed this by following strict covid protocols as per the latest government directives while doing physical shoots.
For those looking to enter this domain, Sethi ends with this sage advice, “Augmented Reality is ready to take the world of communication design by storm. With further improvements in software, hardware, cost sensitivity and accessibility, it is only a matter of time before AI, AR, VR and intense hyper-reality interactions become a part of our daily lives. Exciting times are ahead!”
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on [email protected]