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Leaving the Building 02 - South Africa

shoutOut on 7/5/12 by Duncan Boxshall-Smith in peeps

It’s AYOBA time!!!

South Africa is a country bursting with artistic talent.
I’m reminded of this fact every time our local designers send through their submissions.

I’m not sure why, but in the past there seems to have been a stigma about South African designers, in that they are not ‘on par’ with the international community. As far as I’m concerned this is a complete myth. Our designers are easily up there with the best - not only in digital design but traditional as well!

Young South African designers seem to aspire to “get out” of South Africa and move overseas. They look to big international names for their inspiration instead of taking a good look at the amazing designers that live right under their noses. This is a sad fact, but luckily it is beginning to turn around in a big way….in no small part to many of the designers on our platform.

Here are a few designers I have had the pleasure of dealing with and who carry the torch proudly for the South African design community.

Grant Shepley (aka: CHUCKY) is a designer that has been with us for many a moon. If memory serves his first winning design with us was his ‘local ‘n lekker’ Taxi Wars design which scooped the top spot in our Township Bling contest. This design earned CHUCKY some huge respect and a faithful following. My absolute favourite CHUCKY creation is undoubtedly his Quarantine design with the gasmask. I wear mine soooo often…in fact I should make a mental note to grab another before I leave. It’s been a pleasure to work with this man, rock on sir!

The next designer I would like to mention is David Calum Maclennan, who goes by the name Nicetomeetyou on Springleap. He won big in our Hansa contest with his The Kiss design. Not only was it executed with impressive motion but it also showed the community that he was capable of more than character designs. Every single time this dude submits his work it invariably ends up in the top 10. He is an absolute monster when it comes to character design, which is apparent when you see his A Very Important Date submission. I cant tell you how popular this design was at this years Design Indaba...so many wicked compliments!  

Ron Olivier is a designer I would definitely like to mention. It is honestly hard to deny just how talented this guy is. What I dig about this dude is the fact that he is a machine at putting together designs for our branded contests. Creating design that works for corporate clients is not an easy endeavour. Indeed, you need to train your mind to think differently when you conceptualize. It’s not a matter of simply making a mega intricate design, slapping on big bright colors, or creating jaw-dropping motion. These are all aspects that take a backseat to what makes a corporate design great. There needs to be a sense of order, a connection with the brand…a kind of mystical design balance if you will. Ron has this power in spades!
Take a look at his winning designs Diamond Fire and Powerbird and you will see exactly what I mean :)

Also, just a quick mention about Greg Darrol (TokyoGoGo), who is a very inspirational local designer!
He has enriched my life with his wonderful quirky characters - please take a look at the posting I put together about him a few days ago.
Also, please take a look at my original posting about 'Leaving the Building'.

Watching our local designers grow and receive huge praise from the international voters/designers has been such an uplifting experience. It makes me WOOT every time!

If you think that the majority of South Africans are without adequate internet/computer access it really puts things into perspective. We may be at a disadvantage in regards to some technological aspects, but the tide has already begun to change and things are improving by the day.

The future is bright!!!


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