Parag. Ashil Parag

Some of you may know me from Refill Revolution. Refill was a sustainability start-up I ran with a few great friends from business school. We never did figure out that business model, but we had a kick-butt logo

[seriously: Refill Revolution is about taking the small actions in your everyday life that will positively impact the environment, like refilling a canteen instead of buying bottled water: The logo has green (the environment!). It has blue (water!). And there’s a hidden water drop in the negative space.

So, when Gary and I started The Swap Watch, we naturally turned to the expert behind the Refill Revolution logo [Spoiler Alert: Expert = Ashil Parag!!!!!]. We figured that if we didn’t have good watches, we might as well look good. After a lil’ back-and-forth, we finally settled on

Why did we like it?

  1. It was dope
  2. It had elements of our watch in it (the vertical line, the circle in the middle, the sass)
  3. We could interchange the colors

We were growing the business and needed to create our own designs. We kicked around outsourcing the work to contract designers, but we wanted design to be a core competency, one of the places where we clearly trounced the competition. Ashil seemed like the perfect fit.

I know 3 relevant things about Ashil

  1. One, he’s one of my best friend’s cousin (and that friend is one of the main guys at Napkin Labs, a great place to go if you’re a company looking for *insights* – not just ideas – from your team or your customers). If Roshan says you’re cool, you’re cool. If Roshan says anything mildly negative about you, “you’re the pits” as my mom would say (no, I have no idea what that means).
  2. He’s the cheeriest, most positive person I’ve ever met (no offense, everyone else)
  3. He’s a reeeeeeeeeeediculous designer. You can see his work from a decade as the chief of Design Apart Studio. One of my favorites is below. This is also the favorite of someone you’ll be introduced to soon: David Davies is the brains and brawn of the Modify v 2.0 site and eminent blogger of the “Nonimmigrant” blog

Now is where I get teary-eyed. (I love the RHCP)

Ashil joined the team. He put in a gross amount of hours designing everything from our logo and brand presence, to different aspects of the site, to our watch designs(!!!), to our business cards, to… and along the way I think we’ve built some beautiful music. Our first ever discussion about him joining the team was about who decides what; you’re all lucky that we agreed that I would never, ever do anything creative

Aaron Draws Good

Of course, The Swap Watch became Modify Watches, Ashil refined our logo and created our core watch design (below), and my dreams of being a graphic artist were dashed. Something about “being terrible” while having a partner who is “qualified”.

Ashil's lovely wife Sejal (modeling the new design)





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Great choice. Really, really great choice!

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