Cut the traffic woes!

Innovative approach

Cut the traffic woes!

While most of us crib at the mere mention of traffic in Bengaluru, there are few who choose to transform the entire scenario into a positive one. Cherian Kunnath is one of them. Creatively inspired by the endless traffic jams in the City, the automotive design engineer started ‘The Indian Family Sticker’ (TIFS) in July 2015 together with his partner Neetu Varma.

“I was fascinated by the stickers at the back of cars and trucks. The sheer diversity of the messaging and amount of personalisation was something which was unique to India. While the aesthetics were sometimes suspect, the enthusiasm of automobile owners in India was amazing. I would spend hours in the City, staring at the backs of cars, stuck in traffic. I was thinking on the lines of something to brighten up the mood in the endless traffic and that gave birth to the idea of ‘The Indian Family Sticker’,” says Cherian who was on a sabbatical from work at that time.

The idea of TIFS is to compile a set of quirky stick figure avatars for each member of the family from their wide range of designs, and then stick each family member on one’s family car. The designs include everyone — parents, grandparents, kids, teens and pets. Their catalogue is split into designs based on ‘where you’re from’ which has designs for Kannadigas, Punjabis, Bengalis, Gujaratis, Tamilians, Malayalis and many more. The other category is ‘what you do’ which is based on interests and occupations encompassing engineers, writers, musicians, lawyers and more. The catalogue is large enough to ensure that there is a character for every member of the family. The interface is designed in such a way that one can mix maybe a Kannadiga dad with a Marathi mom or a musician character and preview the sticker. Their website has a playful user interface that makes it interesting to create one’s personal family sticker.

“Each stick figure character is typical of the Indian cultural environment like the Malayali footballer ‘Pandhukalli Pappu’, the Marathi cricketer ‘Deadball Damle’, the petrol head ‘Fullspeed Francis’, the fitness couple ‘Deadlift Dhananjaya’ and ‘Pilates Priya’, the IT duo of ‘JQuery Jagdish’ and ‘Python Priya’ among many other such quirky characters. The idea is to have a laugh about these folks through stickers at the back of cars and bikes,” explains Neetu.

Cherian quickly adds at this point, “Our customers love the fact that there are so many quirks in our characters which only they would recognise. Therefore, we stay away from the cultural stereotypes of communities — we would take the insider view; for example, we would look at how a Malayali sees himself rather than how a North Indian would see a Malayali. This is the crucial difference which is not easy to replicate.” Since they have stickers that cater to all age groups, the response they say has been overwhelming and people seem to really like the idea.

TIFS is an online venture and the reasonably-priced stickers are shipped with easy-to-stick instructions throughout India.

They are also present on a few popular online marketplaces where the orders can be placed.

So go ahead and give your car a fun makeover!

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