Photos: A designer touch to Delhi’s local businesses and streets

Updated: Sep 03, 2018 12:18 IST

A group of graphic designers have decided to change the face of Delhi’s local vendors --the paan-seller, sabjiwalla, chaiwalla, kirana store, electrician, dhaba. They believe rebranding small businesses, which dot the streets of the national capital without a face and name, will not just lend them an identity but also boost sales, and most importantly, help add a dash of colour and creativity to the city’s streets. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Eventually 71 businesses remained and were paired with 71 designers across the country. They rebranded their signage, posters, murals, visiting cards, bill books, menus and other material. Designs are inspired by pop culture and art, street iconography, religious imagery and vintage graphics. Abhishek Choudhury, a Delhi-based designer developed a design system for a ‘vaishno dhaba’, with a challenge to make this eatery stand out in Lado Sarai’s clutter. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

The logo for ‘vaishno dhaba’ features Chalittar Mukhiya, the owner, who started the dhaba in the 1990s. The inside walls have stencil art with photos of his father and him as a young man selling food on a cart; a chalkboard as a menu. Choudhury said he wanted a nostalgia-driven design, inspired by vintage coffee house aesthetics, which remained functional for Mukhiya and his clients. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Similarly, a vegetable hawker, a ration store, an egg-seller in Karol Bagh’s Sat Nagar had new signage created for them. Kamal Store, a 50-year-old ration store, now has beautifully designed signage, a logo placed alongside distinct artistic representations of objects it sells. Kamal Kant, the store owner, said the new signage is attracting attention but wasn’t sure if it would help boost business. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Narain Sabjiwala’s shop has a got signage for the first time --a simple design that has Narain written on a brinjal as a logo alongside other vegetables. Aanchal Baranwal, a Delhi-based multidisciplinary designer who did the branding said she realised during her conversations with the vendor that coriander and chilli is every customer’s demand, so she highlighted them in the background to show how they go with everything. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Designers kept in mind the local context, the nature of a business, its specialties, legacy and the personalities of the owners to come up with identity systems for establishments. The owners allowed designers full creative freedom with the designs, barring few small requests. Some of the designers found working with these street-side establishments quite a challenge. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Some of the signage has been hand-painted by street painters. One of them is Hoshiar Singh, 66, who sees an opportunity for the revival of his art form through this project. Goa-based Praveen Yaramilli believes the demise of street painters has ruined the aesthetics of the streets. And according to Baranwal if all shopkeepers in a particular neighbourhood adopted good design together, it could really tackle ‘visual pollution.’ (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

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