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From national water mission to actor Madhavan, Barkha Dattani makes logos that help them shine

Arathi Menon
9th Jan 2018
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Barkha’s Brand Clinic, founded by Barkha Dattani is a niche logo design firm that is making a name in the business world.

Think of a brand and the first thing that probably comes to mind is the logo. Such is the power of a logo that designing one is considered not only an art, but a form of communication in itself as it explains the ethos of a company or a concept with a visual.

Needless to say, logo designers are in high demand even as many struggle to make a mark.

For Mumbai-based Barkha’s Brand Clinic, the London-based brand Vigneswara spelt its first brush with success. So impressed was the company with the logo design that it contracted Barkha’s Brand Clinic to create another seven logos for its different brands.

Started by Barkha Dattani, this was more note-worthy for Barkha’s Brand Clinic as the agency got the contract in the same year as its launch. Now, a decade into its existence, logo designers at the brand clinic have carved out a niche for the company and willing various distinctions, including the national award for the Brand Creator of the Year two years in a row in 2012 and 2013.

What Barkha, however, considers her special moment is when a logo her firm created was selected for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prestigious water management project - IWMP.

Explaining how she landed the contract, Barkha says, “The government had called for applications to design a logo for IWMP. We created one and sent to them, which got selected instantly,” she says.

The Prime Minister’s Office called her and she was asked to come go to Delhi. Explaining the logo, Barkha says that since the project was on water management, her company designed a logo that reminded one of nature. With a dash of the Tricolour on it, the message was clear.

How Barkha veered into the highly competitive market of logo design is another story. Hailing from a family that has been a prominent realtor in Mumbai for over 40 years, business has been in her blood. She, however, decided at the age of 16 that she wanted to build her own business.

Inspiration struck when during college vacation, she held exhibitions at consumer fairs, and auto fairs under the banner Barkha’s Exhibits.

To hire the hall for the exhibition, she would sell stalls first to business ventures, and use the funds garnered to hire the hall.

“My job should’ve ideally ended with selling the stalls and pocketing the money, but I was so keen on helping the brands set up their stalls, I used to advise them on how to place the logo and how to sell themselves. Upon seeing my passion for this and the positive response I was getting from both business ventures and their clients, my cousin advised me to turn it into a business, which I did,” she says.

By holding these exhibitions alone, Barkha had 14,000 companies in her database which, she says, came in handy when she decided to float her own company.

“I sent them feelers on my new venture and I got a good response from them because they knew my work,” she adds.

Barkha’s Brand Clinic is not without its share of stardust. Speaking about her celebrity clients, she says she designed a logo for actor R. Madhavan, who really liked it. “He showed it to Aamir Khan, who was equally impressed by it. Though we haven’t done any work for him, he happened to mention our work in one of his interviews,” she says.

From companies part of the Tata Group to Britannia, the lineup of her clients is endless.

She mentions one particular client’s work as most challenging. “One very renowned public limited brand had their brothers splitting their parent company name. All the brothers had the right to use the brand name, but my client wanted his brand to stand out without changing the logo much.”

“So, what we did was, we simply recreated the same logo with a rubber stamp effect, which made the logo look more original then his brother’s logos. This helped boost my client’s sales and increased the subconscious faith that his clients had in his brand,” says Barkha.

Though Barkha calls herself a girl who likes to cook and sing, she provides employment to eight people and works with many others on a freelance basis.

“I love to study and understand brands, and have a natural inclination towards it. How I can make each brand enjoy its journey of purposeful branding is what drives me. We also love to do our bit of societal contribution; now, we are on a mission to cure as many blind children, men and women as we can through our (charity) foundation,” she signs off.

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