15 Artists Under 30: Khyati Trehan


This is the third year we’ve run our New Visual Artists: 15 under 30 issue. What was once a highly edited list of 20 of the best and brightest young designers is now a deeper exploration of 15 of the most original talents working in visual communications today.

This issue of Print comes at an interesting time. This new group of designers, while undeniably adroit, is part of a generation fully proficient in the art of self-promotion in a digital age. Getting the word out about one’s work is now de rigueur. But at a time when new work is relentlessly blasted out on platforms where seemingly everyone in the room is shouting, is it really possible to break through the volume of voices all vying to captivate and capture attention? Moreover, in the Insta-cultureof the early 21st century, how does one navigate through the metadata to find the meteoric? As in years past, that’s exactly what we’ve sought to do here. We’ve gone in quest of craft and cunning ideas and ideals. We’ve looked for substance and style and star-power. The list of Print’s New Visual Artists has become a who’s who of the industry’s leaders, and includes Scott Dadich, Eddie Opara, Alan Dye, Jessica Walsh, Jessica Hische, Frank Chimero and, more recently, Zipeng Zhu, Joe Hollier and Joey Cofone. This year’s 15 New Visual Artists are bold in name and in voice, and are bravely making new work in a new world.

Khyati Trehan

“My cover is a window that invites people to peek into the work and playground of this year’s New Visual Artists.”

Meet New Visual Artist Khyati Trehan

Khyati Trehan

Age: 25.

From: New Delhi.

Current city: Berlin.

Education: National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; BA, visual design.

Earliest creative memory: I was really lucky to have gone to a school called Mirambika till the 8th grade. Those 10 early years of mine involved making bridges over ponds to learn about architecture, going to France to learn French, doing pottery and carpentry between math and science, and taking music, theater and art just as seriously as any other subject.

Path that led you to design: My hands-on schooling definitely had a huge influence on the years that came after it. I had no idea what design was till I found out about NID from a very friendly senior at Mirambika—Apurba Pawar, who was studying product design at the time. In retrospect, I’m glad I was one of the less skilled ones in the batch at design school because it pushed me to be competitive and hungry.

Career thus far, in a nutshell: I’ve been catapulting from one corner of the gamut of design to another, spanning from type design at the Indian Type Foundry, user experience and research as part of my thesis project amidst engineers, scientists, product designers and animators at the Think Tank Team (Samsung Research USA), branding and publication design at Codesign (Gurgaon), to UI design and 3D animation at Struckby (New Delhi). My career thus far has also been a series of unfortunate events that have helped me deal with failure: an internship at Sagmeister & Walsh (visa rejected), Saffron London (visa issues), Fabrica (rejection after trial), Google Creative Lab (visa issues).

Khyati Trehan

Current place of work: the Studio, Zalando.

The key to good design: Logic and empathy.

Motto/design philosophy: Design, don’t decorate.

Work of which you’re most proud: My college project “The Beauty of Scientific Diagrams” will always be my favorite just because of the rush I felt throughout those two months. I was so thrilled with the idea that I couldn’t wait to give it some form. It took form integration to complex territories using typography, illustration and several days in the company of research books and patent drawings. The project aimed at fusing the initials of a scientist with the diagram of their invention or discovery. The most challenging part of the project was figuring out how to distort the diagrams to fit [each] letter such that it wasn’t rendered useless, so that if a physical model was made in front of you, it would work as efficiently as the original diagram.

Biggest influence: Everything and everyone within a 20-meter radius.

How you would classify your style: Brief-dependent.

Design heroes: Stefan Sagmeister and Sanchit Sawaria.

Favorite artist: Moonassi (Daehyun Kim).

Favorite typographer: Satya Rajpurohit.

Favorite writer: Palash Singh.

What defines you: My environment.

Khyati Trehan

Cause that means the most to you: Saving resources.

Biggest fear: My mother or sister getting hurt.

What you want to accomplish before all is said and done: I only make short-term plans for myself. It’s easier to get to them.

Your idea of happiness: No stress.

The future of design is: Newer platforms.

Website: www.khyatitrehan.com

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Khyati Trehan


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