Naresh Ramchandani becomes the first advertising and communications partner in Pentagram’s 38-year history…
In a move that looks set to further extend the multi-disciplinary nature of the London office, Ramchandani’s appointment comes soon after Eddie Opara’s to the New York studio. Where Opara brings a knowledge of digital and interactive work, Ramchandani will be able to apply his experience as a writer and creative director who has worked both in print and moving image to the London office.
“Pentagram has always kept moving and I think this is very much a way of extending graphic design outwards,” says Ramchandani of his new role. “They’ve always tried to configure projects that come from within their craft skills but are measured against what clients need. They increasingly need graphic design to live and breathe through other outputs – to offer relevance – but from the basis of good craft.”
Ramchandani started out as a copywriter at HHCL in 1990 and won industry recognition with only his second TV spot, the Israelites commercial for Maxell, which won a Grand Prix at Cannes. He then went on to work for Chiat/Day, which later became St Luke’s, where he created the Chuck Out Your Chintz campaign for IKEA. A co-founder of Karmarama in 2000, he also worked on the Van Den Puup “elite designer” character for the furniture brand and helped create the now infamous anti-war poster, Make Tea Not War.
“What I like about Pentagram is when they do communications work, it’s done with the sense of putting something good in the world,” he says. “It’s not just something for the client, or a self-serving graphic identity, because communications can’t just serve the business – the work must be of value or of interest out there in the world. The projects I get to work on could be beautiful, thought-provoking, funny, but they’ll chime with how the partners do things.”
So what does Ramchandani hope to bring to the studio? “They like the fact that I can do things that aren’t in their core skills set, but that I still value craft and how things sound, all the details,” he says. “I can write and use language, which is often the kind of communication that reaches out to people, rather that having them go to it. I can make things move, as I’ve had years of working with directors and animators, using audio-visual language that can take graphic design from pure identity and into communication.”
Ramchandani will also continue his work with Green Thing, the non-profit public service he co-founded in 2007, which has helped nearly 6 million people to embrace a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.