‘Set your mind free to think beyond boundaries and then channelize that free thought into solving business challenges’ — that, in essence, is Design Orb’s philosophy at work. The agency was started in 2009 as a one-woman show, with Poornima Burte at its helm. After graduating from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, Burte worked for a few years with RJB-Design (now Eureka Moment) working predominantly on the nation-wide implementation of the Tata Group identity. She followed this up with a stint at Ray+Keshavan / The Brand Union as a design director until 2008 where she had the opportunity of working on large-scale brand identity programmes like Reliance ADAG, Airtel, Bank of Baroda and Nasscom among others. Burte says, at the time that she launched, the economy was in the process of limping back from the 2008 economic slump. She says Design Orb was conceived as a nodal entity that would build a robust network of subject experts. Zenobia Driver, the founder director of strategic consultancy firm Escape Velocity, is now one of Design Orb’s key network partners. She is a graduate of IIT Bombay, and IIM, Bangalore and has worked at the Monitor Group and Johnson and Johnson in the past.
Burte says what served as a great head-start for the agency was a retainership at Pidilite Industries which worked as a valuable and essential life-line for the agency in the early days.
“Pidilite offered an enthusiastic work environment as they had an in-house design studio that co-ordinated between various marketing managers and us — helping immensely in creating a sense of trust and comfort. We had the opportunity to work on a range of products and brands like Hobby Ideas, Fevicol, Roff, Dr. Fixit. etc. We worked on diverse projects in the areas of identity, packaging, print communication and websites. The relationship with Pidilite still continues and we cherish it greatly,” says Burte.
The agency says they are also working on some interesting projects with Coca-Cola India that allowed them to showcase their design skills. She believes Design Orb’s strength lies in the areas of branding and packaging. “Our work can be categorized as having a solid foundation of systems-related thinking and an intuitive flair. What we design needs to delight audiences and at the same time, work hard to solve business challenges for our clients,” she explains.
Burte says their core promise has been to deliver value by design. She elaborates, “What differentiates us is that we are a small core group of people surrounded by a network of experts from allied fields that partner with us on projects. This gives our clients the advantage of working with the best minds in the industry as well as the benefit of personalized attention characteristic of small- sized firms. With this organizational structure, we can expand into newer fields and yet keep a tight control over our services.”
Burte says that while their core offering will remain intelligent branding solutions, they have plans of adding a new media function for which they are in talks with network partners.Design ORB
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