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Meet Designer: Fatema Barot Mota

I design concepts for brand communication, brand or product campaigns and then direct the creative production of final assets to be published for consumers across various channels.

My job title?

Sr. Art Director @LEGO

What is your typical "day in the life of a designer"?

My typical day involves working alongside Marketing and Strategists on briefs, exploring creative ideas that help solve problems, and then creating stories that help sell the concept.

Design principles you live by?

1. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumers and create something that will cause them delight. Work towards stimulating an emotion. Otherwise, it's pointless.

2. Start with the Why, once the purpose is clear, the What and How will follow and also result in something meaningful.

3. When designing, think of the order and hierarchy of the elements based on the purpose. Then create your layout.

4. Don't clutter your design with unnecessary ingredients. Stick to ones that add value and treat them wisely.

5. Don't make the design so minimalistic that it's stripped of any emotion or magic. Breathe soul into it.

What problem can't you stop thinking about?

In this world of overwhelming amounts of information, helping people filter relevant information, and enabling them to use their limited time, energy, and attention to create the most meaningful experiences will be very valuable now and onwards.

The other aspect I keep thinking about is how design can bring empathy towards and create a refuge for those going through some tough experiences in life like grief. A way to support deep experiences that are beyond our everyday life.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you cannot explain the idea simply, it's not strong enough.

When is "Design done wrong"?

When it's not transparent with its intentions. Like the dark patterns on social media or many e-commerce platforms today. Eg: Making ways of unsubscribing to emails/newsletters deliberately really difficult.

What skill do you wish you picked up really early on?

I wish I learned about the value and ways of working with users to seek insights and test ideas in my early days of design.

Design tools you can’t live without? (Physical and/or digital)

A blank notebook and an ink pen. I love to think using mind-maps and diagrams and create prototypes on paper.

Recently a focus music playlist like Lo-Fi beats on Spotify really helps set the tempo and sends me in a zone.

I think a lot in words. So I'd love to have a typewriter.

Books you highly recommend for anyone pursuing a career in design?

  1. Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton

  2. Grid systems by Joseph Muller Brockman

  3. Animator's Survival kit by Richard Williams and

Two Designer friends you admire and we should talk to!

Sameer Kulavoor - an extremely talented illustrator now turned into a full-time artist with fascinating commentary on culture.

Aditi Babel - Has a craft design studio working with craft resources, talent and skills in Udaipur, India to create incredibly rich artefacts and handmade books.

Where and What did you study?

Applied Arts, Bachelor

Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai

Master of Design in Visual Communication

Industrial Design Centre, IIT Mumbai

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