Akila’s latest entrepreneurial venture is Toile Indienne (TI), a textile design firm, started in 2017, with a belief that Indian textiles do not have any one style. It is through TI that Akila and her partner, Pankaj Kehr, seek to tell wonderful stories about who we are. Toile Indienne has already won accolades as the winner in the textile design category at the prestigious Lexus Design Award India 2018.
TI is born out of Akila’s love of textiles. It is also a realisation that the Indian textile story has become so centred on Jaipuri prints alone that it was up to Pankaj and her to explore and showcase the vast wealth of stories, histories, myths, legends and culture that is India.
Akila also founded in 1998 and is a partner in a graphic design studio called Designosis. Over the years Designosis has built a stellar reputation for handling a broad spectrum of projects (ranging from branding and corporate communications to magazine design) as well as providing excellent client servicing. It is one of the few handful of studios that has the skill and experience to work on projects as diverse as website design and newspaper design. Some of its corporate clients are amongst India’s top 100 companies, and include banks, real estate companies and auto component makers.
Before starting her entrepreneurial journey with Designosis, Akila’s experience spanned as an Associate Producer in a TV channel, as an Art Director for the Indian Express Sunday Magazine and also for a magazine called “Down to Earth”. She started her career as a designer at Times of India.
Akila is passionate about typography and her work features in India: Contemporary Design: Fashion, Graphics, Interiors published by the V&A. She has also taught typography at the National Institute of Design.
She believes that good edi¬torial design doesn’t mean merely pushing bits of text and pictures around to create a layout, but it truly needs to engage with content to create pages for people to read.
Akila has a degree in Visual Communication (Graphic Design) from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where she was strongly influenced by Bauhaus and designers like Saul Bass, Adrian Frutiger, Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, and so on. These designers, and the privilege of working with an incredibly talented bunch of people in editorial, art and photography have influenced the work that she does today.