July 06, 2015

Success Story : Aditya Patil (NID PD)

Hello Everyone :)
I am aditya.
Just want to share my experience with you all.

Well..it all started april 2013 when I was in my last year of engineering preparing for CEEd n NID entrance exams but soon I decided to take a break coz I got a job at a very reputed company. I decided to start over again after an year after gaining some experience. Believe me stopping the preparation completely is the worst thing an NID / CEED aspirant could take. It was very difficult to concentrate back again, preparing for such a competitive exam especially after an year. Soon I got the news of my friend cracking NID last year. This motivated me and also gave me a hope. This was the time (June) when I really started taking Ceed and Nid entrances seriously. 
Abt entrance exams, well I must say I found Ceed entrance exam slightly tougher over NID. Especially the aptitude test. But I must say my experience was very similar to 'Slumdog Millionaire' for MCQs as I could answer most of the questions jus coz I had observed things around, noticed them. For eg there was one question in which they had asked abt the author of the book Accidental Prime Minister. I never read that book, but yes my friend did and I saw that book lying ob his bed for a week.


Talking about preparation well I went through famous paintings, artists, monuments, designers, books etc. Along with some history, Ramayan, Mahabharat. Believe me doing this will surely help coz while searching abt these things many random things will come to ur mind. Note them somewhere and search them too. Maintain a book to note down things. ( 50 PAGES MAX else it will be BORING AND YOU WILL NEVER GO THROUGH IT AGAIN) . Please don't mug ;)

Observe things around you, Sketch a lot, ask you friends to throw any question at you about any product they want to see.This will be very Random but believe me the more Random questions you will face , More Creative you will be. More prepared you will be.

Whatever work you do, show it to your NID / IDC seniors. Also show your artwork (especially products) to your friends who are from some other field say MBA or any other field. This will give you an idea about how a NON DESIGNER thinks.Will give you a different perspective all together. It will help you to make your designs better.
I feel, this is just to check how you handle the materials around you. Try making something innovative out of  thermocol, thin Wooden sheets, barks, perfume bottle paper box(or any box), clay, MAKE GREETINGS using only colored papers etc.

Exactly one year back I was just like you. I was nowhere in the race, completely lost, tensed. But if its meant to be then it will happen no matter know. I am just an ordinary guy and I dont really know how many hours one should prepare but always remember. WHATEVER YOU DO DO IT WITH YOUR FULL HEART.
At the end I just feel, If an ordinary guy like me can crack both CEED & NID then you all definitely can !! Everyone is gifted, everyone is special. Believe in your efforts and next year even you will be sharing your experience like this :)

You can add me on Facebook.

July 02, 2015

Why You Might Fail To Clear CEED 2016 (Guest post by Launchpad Academy)

CEED (Common Entrance Examination for Design) is that one examination which has been deciding the future of aspiring designers in India from many years. An all-India examination conducted by the Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay, it is one of the hardest design entrance exams to clear. Though clearing CEED doesn’t guarantee admissions into design schools, CEED is definitely the gateway one needs to get through before seeking admissions in IITs, IISc and other reputed design schools.

Though thousands of design students write CEED every year, only a handful are able to clear the exam. Unlike Engineering in India, Design is a very exquisite educational domain, having fewer colleges and fewer seats. Hence, for students who are aiming to get into the best design schools in India, it is going to be tough to fight it out amongst thousands and make it to the top. Though it is easy to clear CEED with dedication, hard work and the right approach towards design, there are plenty of reasons why you might fail to clear CEED 2016. Here’s a list.

1. You are depending on your CEED coaching center
Creativity, imagination, analytical thinking, problem solving and many such innate qualities can’t be forced into you, they have to be cultivated instead. It is simply impossible to develop a designer’s approach within 3 months as the centers promise. You can’t clear CEED if you can’t think like a designer, it’s as simple as that.

2. You are treating CEED like IIT JEE
Design unlike engineering is not technical in nature, doesn’t rely on formulas and mathematical interpretations. If you want to clear CEED 2016, take out that marks-oriented approach from your head and most importantly, stop thinking like an engineer! Instead take time to observe design as a concept, implement your ideas, keep experimenting and keep improving your skills. Think beyond marks!

3. Your drawing and sketching skills are poor
Design is in fact the process of giving a visual representation to your ideas and if your drawing and sketching skills are too poor to represent your ideas, it is very likely that you won’t clear CEED. Though design is not technical, it’s not entirely about imagination and ideas either. Proportions, angles, ideations, aesthetics, packaging, user-function… knowledge of these things matter too.

Sketching skills

4. You are lacking analytical thinking
The whole intention of design is to make things more functional and simpler to use, to make ideas more relatable and understandable. As a designer, you must be able to identify design problems quickly and offer solutions instantly. CEED question papers emphasize heavily on these analytical thinking problems and even if you are good at sketching, if you lack analytical thinking, it is going to be tough to clear CEED.

5. You don’t know how well prepared you are
In case of IIT JEE you will know how well prepared you are as the questions are straight forward, methods definitive and results measurable. But that’s not the case in CEED. If you fail to interact with other students and expert designers in online communities and get their opinions on you skills and works, you will never know your mistakes and instead come to the conclusion that you are simply well prepared.

6. You are not working on your portfolio
CEED is only half the race to seek admissions in design schools. CEED is followed by a much more difficult studio test and personal interview where you are supposed to present your design portfolio and explain yourself as a designer. If your preparation is all about clearing CEED and not 
creating your own design portfolio, you will never gain entry into a design school. A portfolio is a collection of your works.

A typical portfolio

7. You are not taking studio tests seriously
If you are capable enough to clear the studio tests, you are certainly capable enough to clear CEED 2016. Rather than prioritizing CEED before the studio test that follows, do the opposite in fact. It takes great amount of knowledge, skills and confidence to face studio tests, and if you have it all, CEED will be a cakewalk for you!

8. You are not solving enough previous year question papers
Though the pattern of CEED is completely unpredictable, it is wise to solve as many previous year question papers as possible. It gives you a brief insight over what kind of questions would be asked and lets you easily prioritize the things you are supposed to learn. All the previous year CEED question papers can be easily found on the internet, along with the solutions.

9. You are not exploring enough
As said before, design is not about rules, formulas and mathematics. There’s no definitive syllabus like engineering where you can limit your horizons of learning. Learning is an endless process if you are a designer and anything related to design could be asked in CEED 2016. The more you explore, the more you know and the more you learn. Make good use of the resources and technology you are provided with.

Using online resources
10. You don’t have a design mindset
A design mindset is what differentiates people who clear CEED and ones who don’t. Evaluators of studio tests and personal interviews specifically look for the love and passion you have for design. Your works need to speak a consistent design language and reflect a solid design approach. If you don’t possess a design mindset as such and just focus on clearing CEED, sooner or later you will realize design was not for you.

This article is not intended to discourage or demotivate anybody who is planning to write design entrance exams like CEED, UCEED or NID’s entrance exam. The article is just giving you a list of things you shouldn’t be doing over the next six months while you prepare for CEED 2016, which is likely to be conducted in the month of December, 2015.

Kushal Babu writes for Launchpad Academy, a design institute located in Bangalore. Launchpad offers online design courses that help in skill development and portfolio preparation for design schools. For more design related articles from Kushal Babu, visit Launchpad’s Blog.

June 19, 2015

Success Story : Shashank Arya (IITK)

1 JUNE 2015

It’s a dream come true for me to write my success story. Years back I was reading such motivational stories of others, now it is my turn to pass-on what I experienced and gained through this wonderful journey, from being a just another, B.TECH guy from a conventional UPTU college, who saw a dream to achieve something enormous one day, with his few skills and super self-belief to this day where I can proudly say yes I have done it. It’s my pleasure to share some unseen, unsung, untold and hidden things worked behind my success.

Mechanical engineer, from B.B.D.I.T Ghaziabad, third year it was I still remember in workshop I was sketching something in copy when Mr. K. K Gupta my FM faculty saw me and said that magical 4 words, that changed my life, CEED exam it was. That evening to next morning all I was thinking exploring and wondering is CEED, yes this is the thing I was looking for, this is I always wanted to do, this is the thing, where I can see myself and where I can convert my skills into profession. First and last things I came to know about, to fully gear me up for CEED and after CEED things was teacupblog.com and stuffyoulookblog.com, it’s a home for design aspirants like us, containing everything that going to help you in every aspect of this journey.

2014 attempt, I failed to qualify CEED but cleared NID there I got real exposure to the professional level how designers are look like and how do they do it, meeting faculties, NID students, other students came for interview there at that time, shown me the write way to work upon and my areas of improvement. Sad part was, NID also ended up with failure, nevertheless I was taking back with me so many key things that ultimately going to help me for CEED 2015.
Now I am coming to things what I planned, done, learned and implemented them over my preparation, regarding different landmarks that every one of you will go through from the day you start your preparation.


Download previous paper just go through them well focused especially ’13, ’14 and ’15 year as it contain new pattern. Try to extract the examiners point of view, areas from where PART A questions are coming from different aspects likewise culture, technology, automobile, about daily things all of them just compare the questions with things happening on same level this yearand try to pre-assume what can be asked on same domain this year, search everything, about everything coming to your mind, that can be asked this year related to various dimensions that PART Agenerally covers. Be focused in those 3 hours of examination save your answers and check, read questions carefully and complete what you know first.
For ex. This year it was asked a logo which was IIT Hyderabad so now u search all new government bodies and universities and other logo in recent year, which can be asked, related to something in design happened in it.
Consequently, try to cover whole paper like this and prepare every area PART A asked from, search and write as much as you can, Google everything in relation to domain of PART A.
PART B needs daily sketching practice, your daily design aptitude thinking, improve your observational skills, try to pictorially represent whatever ideas comes to your mind. Solve question of previous year as many times as you can, GOOGLE designers portfolios and see how they represent their design concepts, least usage of words in expression, read and watch short stories, and most important try to improve your timing of sketching, writing representing and such things each and every day.


Your portfolio should represent yourself, there’s nothing like good or bad portfolio it’s always about smart, genuine work with your belief and passion in your own ideas. Mark my words, panel in interview is too smart, never copy something from anywhere and never try to befool them.
Have 10-15 of your best work like design concepts, random sketches, photographs, poems, anything you think would help you to show your creative side.
Representation in work is what impress them, it’s hard to believe but handmade colorful work are more liked everywhere, so be yourself have confidence in what you know. Don’t try to learn any new software or something like that in that time before interviews, after exam enhance your known skills and compile best work and practice its representation like why, how and what, about every single entity in your portfolio.


Things related to your background would be mostly talked about inside that haunted room, like your engineering. Just be confident over what things you know, talk to yourself, about yourself a night before interview know your positives. Knowing yourself well is the key to crack any interview. Your justifications about anything is only yours, try to be the best version of yours. Don’t listen to anyone, don’t copy anything, any lines, create your own, describe your passion and your journey enthusiastically. Don’t just say, S H O W them what you think, what you feel, through your words, remember those 15 minutes, each line you say should be related to your designer mind. Again any answer to a question is neither right or wrong, what matters is your approach in it, with real and positive state of mind. For questions you never listened about frankly say ‘I don’t know’ is best answer. Lastly, have a good knowledge about each and every single line you have mentioned in your portfolio and some behind stage things like technology, material, inspiration behind it and future improvements about all of your design concepts.

FOR ex. If u say 100 times “I am a good boy…” people don’t care, but if u say it like that “I helped a poor old lady on road” it ultimately shows you’re a good boy so don’t just say, show everyone what you feel and what you have done to be there before that panel.


IIT KANPUR Panel was 5 member from design, aerospace, mechanical departments and I was mainly asked technical questions from any subject (fluid mechanics) of my choice, from engineering and simultaneously two member from panel were watching me and my portfolio carefully, which they had taken earlier. I was given tasks to done on paper like, sketch a mobile phone and design an experiment, to test the laminar flow of any fluid. Lastly asked me why designing, what skills you have in you, and why product design and over.

Finally, all I want to conclude to you people is to believe in you, your skills, have a great confidence about making it possible, fight for your dream if you really want to be on top one day, extract good things that can help you, from different resources nature, TVads, animals, incidences, be boundless free yourself and start thinking like you are a designer and practice this thinking. It’s a long term thing, but can be achieved. Practice, patience and lots of hard work in right direction, under supervision of various mentors like Prasanna Gadkari sir will definitely make yourself successful. Dream it, work over it and achieve it.
I will feel immense proud to help you all personally catch me in below addresses enclosing my portfolio. All the very best, work hard.

Shashank Arya

June 11, 2015

Success Story : Sagar Kathrani (MIT PD)


Hello friends
Sagar kathrani here,
An amateur artists, very amateur mechanical  engineer  :p .I always had  a mixture of engineering  and  art in my mind which  has made  me a design aspirant.
Designing is the only thing I love to learn and enjoy. Scribbling works , design of isometric views  and  sketching  them  out  freehand ,I like all  this stuff.
Engineering was never  my cup of  tea ,   with  many kt' s and all :p
but this failure taught me a lot and made me stronger.
And I strongly believed what my brothers used to say always  ,"where there is a will, there is a way!"
Simple  thought  but  countless  impact !.          

From  where  you  came to know  about design  entrance  exams?

 I  had   kept a painting  exhibition in  my college during  my second  year of  engineering.
Visitors   appreciated  my work and chief guest  told  me  give ceed  exam!   I searched  about  ceed and  other  entrance  exam s and  luckily found a ceed  group on facebook   guided  by Prassana  sir and Bhanu  chander sir  ,their  blogs are enough  to give a complete idea  about  design  exams and  preparation tips  along  with  portfolio preparation and   interviews.

CEED and NID 2015

I started practice of  sketching daily life products and studied about the materials ,manufacturing
process  along with its purpose and aesthetics.
 I highly focused on sketching which is not required actually.
Concept and  ideas are more  important. Sketching  is  just a tool  to convey  your  ideas.
My part b  was  very  nice , attempted  all questions nicely but I didn't  clear  part  A, so part B was  just  a  waste for  me.
This  time  NID  paper  was  simple but  tricky , Scored 59 but didn't qualified for product design.

MIT 2015

Luckily  cleared  DAT and  got  shortlist for studio test and interview. This year around 140 people were  shortlisted  and  it  made  me  nervous because of  less no. Of  seats and  more applicants.

Studio test
We  were  ask two questions
1. To  sketch  a  vacuum  cleaner  with  two views , along  with  dimension s ,material  and manufacturing  process
2. Make  something  creative  using a  A4 size  paper.
I  made  a lamp  shade (u  can  see  in my folio)

It  was  my  1st  interview  was damn  nervous!  And also a  last  chance to get into design school.
 Interview  Panel was great!  They asked  about  my  engineering   and why  you  want to  get  into  designing.
My  product  design  work  added  in  folio  were  the  ideas  I got  in  real  life observation  and incidents  which  made  them  impressive.[multi-angled  umbrella and foldable stretcher].
Originality   and  amateur  work  was  my  key  which  worked out.

They  want  someone  they can  mould  into good designers. so keep your  cup empty , also prepare  your  portfolio carefully. I also made  a  mock  up model  of  foldable stretcher , was  inappropriate, but that  showed  a passion and  interest   in  learning  more about  product design , they also asked my b.e  project ,  how  did I fabricated. it, materials , manufacturing  process  and  purpose of  it.

Along with product design work I added a huge collection of other design work as paintings ,rendering, logo design , poster design , shirt painting ,photography ,doodle diary  etc.  It showed the  versatility  in  using  various  mediums.
Overall  all  went  great and  finally got  selected  at  MIT. Thanks a ton to my parents and friends who   helped  me  always to  get  through. And a big  thanks  to IIN. :p
All the best to all design  aspirants .Good luck!