Vydika Rao (b.1987) is a visual artist living and working in Mumbai, India. She's all about exploring the intersection between graphic design, illustration, and art direction. Not one to confine herself to an overarching style, Vydika works as a creative partner in all aspects of branding- bringing visual identities to life through thoughtfully crafted print and digital implementations. Her skills are multi-disciplinary, allowing her to produce an eclectic arsenal of work from branding to packaging, children's books to spaces, through to exclusive home decor, and everything in between. She is interested in creating graphics that add depth and draw the viewer's eye to the image- going beyond the aesthetic barrier and exploring function and purpose through design. In her spare time, you'll likely spot her illustrating chairs and scouring market places for antiques.
In her recent collaboration, Vydika's unhindered design style marries the beauty of nature with fashion designer Archana Rao's ethereal aesthetics to create a niche line of home décor furnishing for Dabaki.
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Another notable tie-up was with ceramic artist, Akila Chungi, to create terracotta water pitchers representing the culture of Telangana via two distinct collections (Pochampally and Bathukamma).
Let's rewind to the year 2015 when she was working as an Art Director at The Republic designing creatives for restaurants and bars. As a working professional, she hired a Bai to prepare her daily meals, and on most weeks, she wouldn't get to communicate with her Bai (Bharti) beyond once every fortnight. It also meant little to no communication time with Bharti, and with no mobile phone provision, she was left to her own devices when it came to meal prep.
After a series of disastrous meals, it was either staying satisfied with one disappointing fare after the other or finding an alternative mode of communication. And it is out of that necessity that Gastropictionary was conceived- a way of using visuals as a bridge where verbal communication failed.

How did it work?
Everyday Vydika would draw recipes for each meal, using illustrations of simple food ingredients easy enough for her Bai to understand. And that's when she realized visuals were able to do what words failed to- finally coming home to a meal of her liking! "At that moment, I knew I had stumbled upon something special!" quipped Vydika in sheer relief and joy. Eventually, what started out of necessity became a fun game of reaching out to each other and making table time interactive not just for Vydika but also for Bharti. This experience also helped forge a deeper connection with Bharti's family and Vydika. One that has stayed strong to date. She then elevated it to the next level when she took a break from work and went to San Francisco and New York with Gastropictionary. She went to some of the most delightful restaurants and placed her orders through hand-drawn illustrations of food ingredients. The intention was to get through cultural barriers and understand different cuisines without using verbal language as the primary tool. It was also a good excuse to try different cuisines and connect with the locals there. She got a few wrong orders. But 90% of her drawings got her the food she meant to order, and beyond it all, it gave her a treasure trove of stories and endearing human interactions. She strongly believes in Visual Communication and wishes she can solve more problems using art & design as her medium of engagement.
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
"Vydika Rao is extremely easy to work with. She quickly grasps the vision of the brand and transforms it into a physical reality. Her illustrative skills are excellent too. In spite of all the changes we have requested through our brand building phase, she has been very patient and helpful, while giving valuable inputs for the brand image. 

We have also seen her work through various other fields and highly recommend her for her versatility." 


- Rachna Errabelli (Founder, Homegrown Produce)
"Vydika's work conceptualised the entire design & brand identity of Dexur and Gridlex. Her logo, brand guidelines and aesthetics are used by our design team across all our assets including websites, mobile apps, brochures, billboard campaigns and online advertising. She also helped coach and mentor a team of designers who infused her thinking into their practices. Her work was critical in positioning us as a trustworthy brand in our domain." 

- Nikhilesh Rao (Founder, Dexur)

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