Hi! I am Anuja Kanani, a 32 year old female graphic designer/illustrator of Indian nationality, currently based in San Francisco Bay Area. I have an obsession for great design and passionately study and practice design everyday, with a keen focus in brand identity design and illustration.
I did my Bachelor’s degree in Architecture back in India, from CEPT University School of Architecture. I spent almost year in Switzerland in 2008 as part of a student exchange program and learnt technical design and larger social design strategy as well urban design solutions. In 2011, I got a scholarship to study a Master’s degree in an interdisciplinary course called Art, Space and Nature from the Edinburgh College of Art, a part of the prestigious Edinburgh University. It was in Edinburgh, through my interaction with different design disciplines, the opportunity to study with graphic artists, photographers, landscape architects, and illustrators, that my interest in graphic design grew deeper. I got the chance to display my artworks in private and public galleries as part of my design studio which really enriched my sense of design.
Logo design, Brand Identity system, graphic design and illustration
What is your journey up until this point?
I am actually a self taught graphic designer, with a background in architecture, and through the study & practice of architecture got interested in design applications of layout, visual balance, scale, color, form, and subtle details that make each design interesting and beautiful to look at. I always wanted to be a designer from a young age, and have been awarded many painting awards at both state and national level in India. So the transition from creative painting in school, to a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, and to a self taught career in graphic design seemed really easy and true to myself. I began my design education in India, got the opportunity to broaden my horizons in UK, at the masters level and for the past 6 years have strived to become a better designer through practice and passion.
What is your inspiration? Where do you go for inspiration?
I spend about a couple of hours daily reading design blogs such as the Creative Blog & following great designer profiles in Dribbble and Behance. I use a web application called Muzli, which brings great designs to my daily feed, which is a well of creative inspiration and resources. If there is a specific project I am working on, I often look for inspiration through Pinterest boards as well. Learning from other designers who do amazing work, is something I have made a part of my daily routine.
Who inspires you?
That is a tough question, there are so many amazing designers in the world, both past and current who inspire me. I am particularly moved by graphic artists or illustrators who use their creativity to design socially impactful posters, or meaningful messages to get us thinking about the world in a different way. I believe good design has the power to shift mindsets, or bring to light important issues the society faces, and can be a driver for effective change or action.
Have you won any awards or appreciation for you work? What was the award for and when did you get it?
I have been featured in the Behance galleries for Graphic Design and Illustration for my project on Animal Logos. I was featured in March 2017 and my work has been featured in blogs like the Digital Synopsis.
What do you like about your work?
That it challenges me to think out of the box, be creative, and through my design I can really create an impact – bring an emotional response, a visually stimulating experience, or help a brand elevate their digital presence through design thinking.
What do you find the most challenging?
Sometimes there are time or budget constraints that dont always let us have the design solution we desire, and there are trade offs. Sometimes it involves learning a new technique or skill, which is challenging but that is a type of challenge which helps me get better as a designer.