Sargam Design Methodology

A methodology for creating strong, finely crafted, and scalable designs. Based on the aesthetics of Indian Classical Music.

2 min readJul 7, 2021


Sargam offers a free-form design improvisation framework that aims to scale and provides flexibility and creative freedom when working with uncertain future requirements. It helps materialize higher-level concepts, such as design principles and brand values, into concrete interfaces without compromising the core design ethos.

Sargam brings together various aspects of design, including design principles, brand and product philosophy, tonality, foundations, libraries, conceptual models, patterns, and final deliverables. It enables teams to think deeply, envision the future, and produce high-quality deliverables quickly, all while maintaining an elite level of both quality and speed.

Sargam focuses on addressing unseen problems, such as:

  1. Consistency taking over craftsmanship.
  2. Inauthentic, strategic constraints.
  3. Dying simplicity and clarity.
  4. Busy, monotonous, gatekeeping work.

There are three distinct levels in the Sargam design methodology:

  1. Principles
  2. Compositions
  3. Inventory

Level 1: Principles

At level one of the Sargam design methodology, the foundational design principles will be defined. Below are some of the key areas that Sargam covers at this level, based on Indian Classical Music (ICM) aesthetics:

  1. Color spectrum (based on Swaras in ICM).
  2. Sequential schemes (based on Shruti).
  3. Typography (based on Alankaar).
  4. Spacings (based on Taal).
  5. Layouts (based on Dhrupad).

Level 2: Compositions

Compositions demonstrate how the above principles have been applied to components, screens, or patterns and document extended or derived patterns for specific use cases. Sargam recommends keeping compositions elastic and valuing craftsmanship over consistency. Compositions are further categorized into three subcategories:

  1. Components (based on Raga in ICM).
  2. Patterns (based on Ghazals).
  3. Features, user stories, or Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBDs) (based on Gharana).

Level 3: Inventory

The Inventory aims to record your goals, user research, and final deliverables, such as how you work, how you name and organize files, tooling, external dependencies, hand-off helpers, token translation workflows, and insight frameworks.

It is a collection of standardized formats that help keep all stakeholders aligned and accelerate design workflows across teams. The templates empower the team to work in parallel and ship high-quality work quickly. Below are some of the key areas that the inventory provides and maintains:

  1. Kick-off templates: Insight framework, how we work, get started building, user personas, UAT, checklists.
  2. Design tokens and translation workflows.
  3. Export and dev hand-off workflows.

Explore sargam toolkit: