Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Business Tips & How To's, Space Design

The journey of finding YOUR designer for your dream home or office space, starts with their portfolio. If their style speaks to you, that’s what is primarily going to draw you to work with them.

However, a beautiful design will remain not much more than that if the visualisation and the intent cannot be executed well; and let’s be honest – construction projects being completed on time and within budget is not something India is known for!

Today we’ll go over some points that you should keep in mind while choosing an architect, to ensure that your project execution is an enjoyable and memorable experience, not a nightmare you just can’t wait to wake up from!

Some of these points may seem insignificant, but in the long run, they really do matter! Here are 8 questions to ask yourself:

1. Does The Architect Use The Metric or Imperial System Of Measurement?

Keep in mind the age old adage “The devil is in the details”, and make sure your architect works in millimetres, not feet and inches. It might not seem like much, but having a room measured a couple of centimetres off can make a big difference to things like alignment, achieving straight lines and interior design measurements – many of these which you will discover only after the project is completed.

2. Will I Be Provided With High Quality Photorealistic Renders Before Actual Construction Begins?

Some people believe that HD renders are a waste of money, but the reality is that they help you see exactly what the final project will look like. Investing at this conceptual stage can save you a lot of money, allowing you to make changes virtually, before laying a single stone. Making changes once something is built is far more costly, not to mention a waste of resources, time, and additional retainer fees.

3. Does The Architect Have A Good Working Relationship With A Reputed Contractor?

If your architect can recommend a contractor he has worked with on several projects, this is a major plus point. There can be many a slip between the cup and the lip when it comes to visualisation and actual execution. If an architect and a contractor have a demonstrably good working relationship, it can save you a lot of the headache that often accompanies being the middleman between the two!

4. Will I Have Access To Global, Tried And Tested Vendors?

A good architect and contractor duo should be able to give you as many options as possible when it comes to material and finishing, so that you are able to customise your space exactly the way you want it, within a budget that is comfortable for you.

5. How Progressive Are The Architect’s Methodologies And In-house Technology?

It is important to understand the design flow of the architect. What are the key deliverables and milestones, how will they be presented to you, how well do they integrate your vision etc.? The last one is extremely vital to ensure that there is a balance between your architect’s vision and your own. Of course you are paying for it, but you are also hiring someone to create your vision, and you must believe in their professional expertise and the direction. However, it is essential that certain key aspects of your vision are translated to make it your home. Here, it is also important to understand the architect’s process of capturing your brief. If they understand you and nail this aspect, you are assured that you will get a refined translation of your vision.

Secondly, check what technology the architect uses to deliver the design. There are a lot of tools such as SketchUp, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, and 3ds Max that are used at various stages to deliver various intents of the design communication. Advanced tools, such as Revit, that use BIM based platforms can provide a faster turnaround time in the design process, and overall, a more efficient and robust package.

6. What Are The Architect’s Ways Of Working?

The ways of working of an architect or architectural firm will tell you a lot about how methodical and diligent they are – an indication of the quality you can expect to see in your completed project. Do they have a client workshop to thoroughly understand the experience you desire from the space being developed? Are they transparent about costs and timelines? Do they pay attention to the entire programme mix that makes up a space’s experience? Will they provide a comprehensive BOQ, with not more than a 5% cost deviation?

7. How Busy Is The Architect?

Generally, large firms or popular architects are very busy or too costly. Do some digging around and find a boutique firm that offers a more personalised touch. While they might be expensive as well, as they tend to take on only a handful of projects a year, what you will get in return is that personal touch where the principal is involved at the site level, ensuring that there is an absolute vested interest in your project, and that passion and pride are truly driving the manifestation of your dream.

It is well worth it to spend some time delving a little deeper into the material laid out in these guidelines. You office or home space is a place you will be spending a considerable amount of time, so it is imperative that you find a design partner that is capable of delivering an experience just the way you envisioned it.

Zeitgeist offers a variety of design services, including space design, interior design, 3D visualisation and brand development – reach out to us today!


Business Tips & How To's

Regardless of the kind of work we do, creativity is the spice of life and we must strive to extract its essence everyday. But not all of us are built to harvest this spice, either due to the fear of the unknown or because life never conditioned us to explore it.

In this blog, we’ll describe 5 ways you can juice your creativity, challenge it and push it to the limits, with some curated efforts.

1. Get Uncomfortable

Consume media content that’s way outside your comfort zone or area of interest. This could include watching unfamiliar documentaries or foreign-language films without subtitles, listening to offbeat music or even just reading YouTube or Twitter comments (in monitored dosage, it’s a different high altogether!) The aim is to activate the brain’s lateral thinking which often sparks creativity.

2. Create ‘Mood’

Listening to classical music is always great. The genre is designed to stimulate the mind and induce imagination. You can experiment with speakers or earphones – each has a different effect on the mind.

Lighting has been found to be another major influencer. Contrary to what might seem, dim light often helps the mind dip and wander off shamelessly.

3. Take A Walk

Going out on walks invites different mood accelerators. The ambience helps the mind lose a little focus, only to lift the intense pressure of thinking in silence.

Research suggests that the colours blue and green light up the creative corners of the brain; and where else would one find these in abundance more than the on streets and in nature?

You might be getting the idea that creativity has a lot to do with solitude… but not quite!

4. Expand Your Horizons

Engaging with people outside your ‘project’ results in brilliant ideas too. It can be surprising what comes out of a discussion with kids. Children think uninhibitedly; norms are rarely an obstacle to their wishes! Because it’s not ‘boxed’ thinking, often it spurns innovation.

Speak with a total outsider to your field of work and toss around some ideas for input. If nothing, you’ll at least get an insight into how convincing or flawed your ideas are.

5. Keep Moving

Steer away from stagnancy. Agreed that it sounds big and is much much harder to do. But there are so many ways this can become part of your system and who knows, you might actually develop a liking for it.

Keep restructuring your everyday routine: eating, sleeping, exercising, socialising.

Redecorate the space you live in or even better, move out!

Pick a character like Johnny Depp, Shashi Tharoor, Oprah or Spongebob Squarepants and take on their persona for the day. Become a method actor – walk like them, talk like them, try to think like them; give yourself the importance you ascribe to them.

Start talking to new people – the kind you would perceive as weird, uninteresting or with opposing views.

When you begin to feel extra comfortable in a setting, it can sometimes be good to move away from it.

Remember, creativity lies is in seeking new experiences, making connections and allowing realisations to strike. That’s how ideas are born.

Pahi Gangwar
Graphic Designer


Brand Strategy, Business Tips & How To's, Design Strategy, Space Design

At Zeitgeist, we design experiences for people.

The best way to do this we feel, is to design a space keeping its “soul” in mind.

For a private project, this “soul” may be reflective of an individual’s (or group’s) aspirations, personality or achievements. For a commercial project, it should be reflective of the venture’s brand. In both cases the experience is designed keeping the end user in mind.

The best opportunity to do this arises when a concept is born, but its personality (brand) has not yet been developed.

One of the instances where Zeitgeist had the opportunity to develop a brand and then give it life via a space and brand extensions was when a client presented us with their idea of developing an authentic Italian pizzeria in Whitefield, Bangalore.

Understanding The Personality

The project proposed by the client was for their flagship restaurant, which they had plans to expand into a chain in the future. Upon immersing ourselves into a Brand Development Workshop with the client, it was clear that their USP was to be an authentic Italian pizzeria.

As part of the Brand Audit process, we conducted in depth research into our target market – expatriates – using Focus Groups as our methodology for this particular project. We chose this method, since we were given a very clearly defined market segment. (You can read more about the relevance of Focus Groups in the brand development process in an earlier article of ours.)

From this we understood that the target market would respond well to a homely “mamas and papas” pizzeria – the kind you’d find in a quaint alley in Naples.

Further expanding on what our research revealed, we used the framework of design thinking to design the entire experience for the end user.

Once we were clear on the brand’s personality and had ensured that it represented a match between the client’s vision and the market’s desires and expectations, we set about the Brand Development process, beginning with ideating for names, logo direction, fonts and colour palettes we thought would work.

Now that the Brand Language we needed to develop was clear, we also began to work on integrating it into the design of the space.

The proposed site for the pizzeria was an abandoned 8000 sq. ft. industrial warehouse that had previously been used to manufacture aeronautical parts.

Speaking the Language

The finalised Brand Name, Affettato – Italian for “sliced”, represents authenticity, while alluding directly to the product.

Staying true to being authentic, we proposed retaining the feel of the old warehouse and developed a Space Design that would tie in nicely with the Industrial look trending across the globe. The idea was to give the customer the feeling that he could be at a trendy, hip restaurant in any part of the world.

Nothing says ‘authentic’ like inviting a customer into the process, and so we developed a plan wherein the kitchen wall would be conceptualised as the window to good Italian street food. In the same vein, we also designed a large, open pizza bar, allowing for a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces, while simultaneously working this idea into the design of the logo as well.

The Logo is framed by a large cutout, just like the bar – open and authentic; the triangles represent slices of pizza, while the sans serif font is in harmony with the trendy, industrial vibe of the brand and space.

Finally, we set about extending the brand language to the Brand Collateral – including the menu and branded merchandise like pasta sauce and wine bottles.

Tying It All Together

The benefit of interweaving the brand development process with the design of a space, is that it puts us in the advantageous position of first understanding the market we are designing for.

Once we understand the end user it becomes easier to design a brand and a space that speak to each other and to the end user, and does not end up being a disjointed, unsatisfactory experience – something that benefits neither the end user nor our client.

Do you have an innovative idea or a new venture just about to take off? Using the framework of design thinking, Zeitgeist can help you develop your brand’s personality, give it a unique voice and translate it into an experience of value to your customer.

Get in touch today.


Brand Strategy, Business Tips & How To's

If your company were a human being, its brand is the element that would be most reflective of its soul.

It is this ‘soul’ that presents your company with the opportunity to stand apart from the rest. It is this ‘soul’ that forms the basis of all that your company stands for and wishes to portray to its customers. It must shine through.

Executing this is not a simple task and often the best way to go about it is to hire an expert in the field – a brand consultant – to help you develop the identity of your company and then communicate it.

But how do you choose a brand consultant? How do you find one that is a good fit for your particular company? This article gives you some points to consider.

Background and Ways of Working

Do some research to determine the background of the consultants you are considering. What are the kinds of brands they have worked with in the past? Do you feel that those brands represent similar values and design aesthetic as your own? What can you learn about their ways of working? Do they seem flexible or does it appear that they are driving a core design intent across all the brands they service? Do each of the brands they service stand apart in their own right? Reviewing a few of the brands they have already worked with will help you to quickly determine this.

What are the processes they employ to help you with your brand’s development? A visit to their website is likely to provide you with those details. Check to see if important practices like brand development workshops, where the client is invited to participate in a transparent process, a brand audit and industry R & D form a part of their ways of working.

Your Brand’s Requirements

Are you a startup? Or are you at the stage where you’re looking at expanding your brand globally? Perhaps you’re considering rebranding after your company has been in existence for a few years. Your brand’s requirements should also play in role in choosing a consultant. For example, a boutique firm might be able to offer you niche services either in terms of expertise or geography, while a global MNC would be better to help with the development of your brand at a global level. Does the agency offer a brand audit so that you can jointly make an accurate assessment of where the brand is positioned today, before determining the direction it needs to go in?


Most brand consultancies were started by people who have come to be known for some aspect. What’s the agency you’re considering best known for? Is it their networking ability? Their expertise in one particular industry? Do they mostly work with the branding of consumer goods or B2B clients? Such questions can help narrow down your options. What are their existing clients saying about their services? A good place to start your research would be social media sites, especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and Google Business listing, where clients’ ratings and comments would be available. Of course, there is nothing like having a chat with a client who has already worked with them.

Stage of Brand Development

If you’re looking at developing a new brand strategy or revamping an old one, perhaps looking at going with one of the big guns of the industry may make sense as a one time investment for strategy.

On the other hand, if your strategy is in place and it’s execution you’re looking for, which you can drive yourself, choosing an upcoming firm with a good reputation may make more economic sense. In either case, do make sure you meet the people you will actually be working with, not just a representative of the firm.

In a nutshell, choosing a brand consultant really boils down to matching what your brand’s particular requirements at this stage in its life cycle are with what the various firms can best offer you.

Branding services form a part of Zeitgeist’s holistic approach to designing and managing innovative ideas from inception to execution. You can see some of our work, including brands we have worked with, here.

Gitanjali Singh Cherian
Marketing Manager


Business Tips & How To's

Once upon a time, you came up with an idea; an idea you just couldn’t let go of; an idea you believed had the potential to change lives through innovation.

After days, months and years of giving it all you have, it’s now finally time to make your case for why this labour of love of yours is worth it. We get it – it can be nerve wracking.

First, Relax. Take a deep breath and remember what led you to this point in the first place.

Next, here are a few tips that don’t tell you how to make a presentation or whether it should be a ppt, a video with Amitabh Bachchan reading the script or a simple verbal explanation of your idea – you are the best judge of that.

These tips instead offer a process to keep in mind – a process that could help you bring out the heart and soul behind your idea, highlight your commitment to the idea and showcase your ability to pull it all together.

Before you read on, there’s only one more thing left to say……Good Luck!

1. Imagine

Walk the journey in your mind over and over again. Know your story. With an investor you have 3 to 5 minutes. A compelling pitch must have an amazing opener – you have to believe you can change the world.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Confidence only comes when you repeat your key points over and over to yourself.

3. Use Tools That Are Readily Available

Dont stress if you don’t know how to use crazy designer tools. Just a simple ppt will do. You’d be amazed at how much creativity you can draw out of it if your brand message is well defined. Remember, if you know what you are trying to communicate, you will be able to put the message across. Just give yourself enough time to visualize the journey.

4. Know Your Potential Investors

Do some research and ask around. Typically you’d look at presenting to 7-10 potential investors, before you decide to reevaluate your presentation. Look for things about your investors that might be interesting vis-à-vis industry – their personality, interests, risk appetite, corporate goals and reputation. Look for things that strike a chord with your business and can anchor down the relationship to things of common interest to drive the vision into the future together.

5. Be Honest

This is one of the most crucial elements of a good pitch and partnership. A seasoned investor will catch the ‘B.S.’ in a second. Relax. If you don’t know, you don’t know. There will always be more to discover

6. Know Your Numbers

An effective pitch is one where you leave your investors with little doubt. Of course he or she will be able to fill in the gaps, but that doesn’t show you in a very good light. Make sure you know your model, its assumptions and future projections inside out.

7. Stay Authentic

It’s easy to get carried away with your ego in the crossfire. Don’t let fear sway you. Be prepared to learn with humility, and always – stay true to your story.

Madhuri Rao
Founder & Chief – Design Strategy


Business Tips & How To's

In large organisations one is likely to find a plethora of people dedicated to various marketing roles, such as a Market Research Director, Social Media Manager, Content Strategist, Marketing Analyst and so on.

In a small business however, as Marketing Manager, you might find yourself having to don several of these hats simultaneously, while also working in tandem with your Sales team.

The great part about this is that your job is NEVER ‘boring’; there’s always something new to learn and experiment with and you begin to see the marketing function from a more holistic angle, as well as understand the intricacies of each function – something that’s good for you, as well as for the business.

As interesting as the role is, it requires you to:

1. Be very good at planning ahead.

2. Focus not only on the marketing strategy, but the actual management, execution and measurement of it as well.

3. Continuously coordinate with a variety of people both internally, as well as outside the company.

4. Be on top of a lot of schedules, metrics and timelines ALL the time.


So what do you do when you have all these wheels spinning at the same time, each with their own momentum, while you are required to steer your marketing plan through the uncharted waters that are a startup’s market?

You employ the assistance of smart productivity tools and for me this tool is the G Suite by Google – one of the most user friendly productivity and collaboration products out there – perfect for any job that requires teamwork.

Now, many (or most) of you probably already use, or at least know about, G Suite; it is vastly popular. This article is intended for those of you who don’t use it yet.
I’d like to specifically share my experience with how it has helped me in my role as the marketing manager of a small sized startup.

I’m not here to tell you about the features and benefits of the G Suite – that’s been done many times over, which a simple Google search will reveal to you. I’m here to tell you about how it can help you, specifically, if you are the Marketing Manager, CMO or Marketing Director of a small startup. Maybe as the owner of the startup you are the CMO, Sales Executive and Social Media Manager all rolled into one! If so, you are just the kind of audience this article seeks.


G Suite consists of several tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Google+ and Hangouts for communication and Drive for cloud storage.

Docs is a word processor, Sheets is a spreadsheet, Slides is a presentation programme, Forms is for surveys and questionnaires and Sites is a wiki and web page creation tool.

Granted, you may not use all that the G Suite has to offer (and there are a few more tools that I haven’t even mentioned) but there are some tools that can really help simplify your everyday work life.


G Suite allows you to:

Collaborate Easily

Internally, I do a lot of work with our Graphic Designer and 3D Visualiser to create content, and to showcase our work. With our Sales team I need to create or edit marketing material like ppt sales presentations, vet emails etc. Externally, I work closely with our Web Developers to regularly update our dynamic website to showcase our latest work. This means a LOT of files need to go back and forth! I simply create a folder for a particular task on G Suite’s Drive and share it with all the people who are party to the project – they can upload their bit when it’s ready.

With the Comments function one can add a comment / suggestion and assign a person to resolve it. The person automatically receives an update that lets them know they have something pending.

Share And Locate Files Effortlessly

Like me, I’m sure you’ve often been stuck sifting through a bizillion emails to find a file someone sent you a month ago. With G Suite, files can easily be shared on the Drive, and the person creating the file or folder can also set editing rights – so you can allow others to either edit or just view the files.

It saves a LOT of time as everyone knows exactly where to find something when they need it. Your Sales Manager urgently needs to show a client he’s with a brochure or a cost benefit analysis? All he needs is the online link to the Drive where it’s stored!

The cloud storage allows you to also easily upload large sized files, without clogging up someone’s inbox – great for sending those high resolution print files!

Create, Monitor and Share Schedules

If you’re managing the marketing of more than one brand within your company it means you need to be on top of a lot of schedules – content calendars, advertising campaigns, sales targets etc. I find Sheets very useful for this. While some people prefer preset schedule management software, I like the flexibility Sheets offers to customise a schedule exactly the way you want it – so you can develop and modify a system to create one that works best for you and for the task at hand.

Again, with functions like different levels of authorisation, role assignment and all the other features a spreadsheet offers, down to the simple things like colour coding options, it helps you stay on track and know where you’re at, at a glance.

Work On-The-Go

I travel a lot and thus a fair bit of my work needs to get done when I’m on the move. I use the G Suite app, which means I can work on a lot of things from my phone. This saves me time and I don’t necessarily need to have my laptop in front of me all the time.

Make Reporting A Breeze

It’s easy for top management, such as my Board of Directors to always knows where we’re at on a particular project, without necessarily having to get in touch with me, as long as they have access to the reports via the Drive, which I can update at any time to let them know where we’re at.


In case you’re thinking – but I’m so used to working on Word, Excel and PowerPoint, how will I make the switch? – that was my thought exactly when I was first introduced to G Suite.

But guess what, you CAN upload compatible files like Word and Excel onto the Drive and then edit and share them from there! The operational features are also very similar to what you’re familiar with in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. So the transition really is a breeze – so let that not be factor that stops you from trying it out.


I haven’t managed to list out all the plus points I’ve come across while using G Suite and I know the functions that I use of G Suite are not even the tip of the iceberg! I’ve only scratched the surface – there’s so much more it has to offer; I learn something new everyday about how it can enhance my productivity at work.

But I’ve truly come to look at it as my online buddy that helps me get things done quickly and easily. Most importantly, it helps me keep those clubs (or knives, balls or fire torches – depending on how you view your work!) in the air all the time, and prevents them from coming crashing down around me.

If you’re finding managing more than one role at work overwhelming, try the Google Suite – it could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Gitanjali Singh Cherian
Marketing Manager


Business Tips & How To's

When it comes to Space Design, be it architecture, interior design or landscape…..dealing with a fussy client who has fixed ideas and isn’t willing to budge, can be the most time consuming and stressful part of the entire project!
But, the customer is ALWAYS king, so it’s best to develop a few techniques for rolling with the punches!

Choose Your Client Wisely

This is difficult, especially when you need the bucks to sustain your business. When you can’t be choosy, know that you have got into something that will be difficult, but remind yourself of the greater purpose. Look at it as a challenge; an eventuality that you will need to confront and overcome to mature. If you have the luxury of choice, it’s simple, choose someone you would enjoy spending the next 4-12 months working with!

Build A Personal Relationship With The Client

Get to know them, spend time with them, let them get to know you, open up to them, share your journey and your tribulations on a personal and a professional front.
Be transparent and prepare the client for the murky road that lies ahead to achieve greatness. Prior to signing the contract, prepare the client for the hurdles that lie ahead, but assure them that you are their lead and will make sure to tie all loose ends and build something beautiful – achieving greatness is never a cakewalk!

Be Confident In Your Recommendations

It’s not easy to sway a fussy client and convince them to choose your way. Remember, you are the Designer. Keep the dialogue open and always assure the client that you will be incorporating their requirements. Listen to what the client wants, but be confident in suggesting what you believe will actually work.

Never Get Defensive With Your Client

This opens up a can of worms – you will go back and forth trying to prove your point, while the client will ALWAYS have their point of view. Clients generally like to have the last word, so best not to indulge in such dialogue; accept the client’s point of view and move on with the project.

Bounce Back Quickly From Unpleasant (but sometimes necessary!) Interactions

If your last communication with your client ended on a sour note, make sure you have a big smile at your next interaction. Be warm and welcoming; greet the client, ask them about their day or the weekend that just went by or talk about something interesting that happened to you before you start talking shop. Dilute the situation as if nothing ever happened and get on with what the client needs you to get done.

Treat Your Clients Like Gold

Finally, never let your client know that you are also dealing with other clients and their grievances. Your clients should feel like they are your number one priority, that their opinions are always right (even if that’s not always the case).

At the end of the day, professionalism, respect, honesty, and truly being able to listen to a client’s needs are what will make or break your business.

Raoul Parekh
Founder & Chief
Design Management


Business Tips & How To's, Design Strategy

Step – 1: Identify The Problem

To have an anchor to the process you need to begin with identifying the problem and defining it well. Often problems exist and are entangled in a larger web of co-dependent issues that need resolving also, for the problem to be resolved. When a problem statement is well defined, the rest falls into place.

Imagine a tangled ball of yarn. Step one is about loosening all the knots and tangles and straightening out the fibre to see it clearly from beginning to end.

Step – 2: Use Both Sides of Your Brain

Design thinking is about using both sides of the brain – logical and creative, simultaneously.

It is also about being able to critically observe one’s own process and consciously switch from a rational and structured way of thinking to an emotive and intuitive approach as and when required.

Step – 3: Keep The Big Picture In Mind

While distinguishing all parts of the problem and attacking them individually is the key, it is also important to zoom out every now and then to look at the general overarching problem and to make sure that the bigger picture is not being lost.

Step – 4: Be Ready To Adapt

In a tight time-resource equation, things don’t often work out as expected. This is when being level headed and adaptable – in order to find the most feasible solution – becomes a design thinker’s most valuable quality.  Stay hungry for a solution and you will find it.

In a nutshell, this is what the overall process of solving a problem using design thinking looks like: