How Two IIT-B Grads Are Re-Defining Creativity & Making Social Impact

Anurag Mazumdar

July 9th, 2016

In today’s world of instant gratification, you are surrounded by a vast sea of meaningless information. Most content creators try to indulge audiences with memes, jokes, useless trivia- basically, anything that can grab eyeballs. However, there are a few people who use their creativity to highlight the things that matter.

It was a fine morning in June 2014 when two third-year IIT Bombay undergrads were travelling to their internship offices in an auto. It was during the ride that Sahil started ranting about how people would hit street dogs for no reason. Being a passionate and creative designer, Chirag quickly pointed out that the duo could create a poster on the  issue and highlight it in a simplistic albeit hard-hitting fashion. Intrigued by the idea, they started discussing hundreds of other existing issues. But the bigger idea here was to stand out from the crowd of content producers and create their own signature style of thought provoking design. That is when the name ‘The Minimalist was coined- with the vision of conveying a thousand thoughts through simple and powerful visuals.
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Energized by this thought, they started working on different concepts and launched The Minimalist as a Facebook page in late 2014. Slowly but surely, their traction increased as people took notice of their breakthrough ideas. The posters felt like a breath of fresh air and the thought of keeping it simple was really catching up. Within a month, the duo even bagged the Kyoorius Red Elephant, India’s foremost student design award. Their following gradually increased, majorly because they were highlighting diverse pressing issues that no one was really talking about. For instance, their campaigns on Superstitions, Menstruation and Child Labour- issues that are an elephant in our room, became raging successes on social media and were widely appreciated for the effective use of sarcasm and new-age designing. When it came to other issues that were being repeated ad nauseam, The Minimalist yet again delivered ideas that’d make every Indian pause for a while and think before appreciating the depth of the underlying messages. Posters on littering, homosexuality and racism should be enough to demonstrate their prowess at tackling social issues with path breaking designs.
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Below is a powerful image series on child labour:

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Sahil and Chirag have always believed in the power of creativity and felt that the best way to bring about the action was to inspire people to think. “There are so many blogs and creatives talking about drinking under control, but all of them are just trite platitudes. Instead, we decided to create stuff that’d indulge the grey cells and have a strong recall value” says Sahil. Their poster, which subtly connects drinking with cricket, is the perfect example of how wit and humor can be put to use while discussing glaring problems.”I strongly believe that design like technology, is indistinguishable from magic and if used effectively, has the power to drive the desirable change” says Chirag. It is clear from their niche following, thousands of people have been moved by their minimal art. Owing to their disruptive ideas, the duo also delivered a TED talk titled ‘Simplicity is Contagious’, talking about how they have built their brand of thought provoking designs.

It is surprising; how two engineering students from IIT dove deep into the world of creativity and are using design to bring about changes in our perception. The Logical Indian team appreciates such efforts for good and wishes TheMinimalist the very best for their future endeavors.

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