Category Archives: Creative

Creative Jobs #1

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I’ve realized, after much conversation with non-design orientated people, that so many of them have absolutely no idea what the differences between graphic and an industrial designers are, amongst other things. Goodness gracious!

Being a creative, I often get asked what exactly I do for a living, and when I start rattling of the numerous things I do, people are often surprised. I know that everyone understands that there’s fashion design and fine art and graphic design. But what the heck is a surface designer? ANd can a graphic designer also do illustration? Or is that only an illustrator? And if I want to be a front end web developer, what should I study?

If this is how you feel, or you’re considering career options, you’ll love this brand new weekly column, all about different creative careers and interviews with people who actually do them.

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Nicola Hohls is one of my best friends. We studied together for 3 years at varsity and once she graduated with her diploma, was quickly snatched up by Art South Africa magazine, a well known publication amongst SA’s creative circles. She has worked here for just over 2 years, honing her layout skills. Not only can Nicola turn a copy heavy page into a reader’s dream, but she also speaks German, has amazing stationery design skills and a huge heart for helping others.

• What job do you have and who do you work for?
Layout and Graphic Designer at Art South Africa magazine.

• What does your job entail?
Full layout and design of the print and digital magazine, website updating and designing of web banners, designing weekly newsletter online, keeping archives up to date, designing Art South Africa adverts for other publications. Also designing other publications with my creative director, namely: Change Agent; Theatre On The Bay: The First 20 Years and 100 GOOD IDEAS: Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy.

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• Where and when did you study, and how long did it take?
CPUT, 2009 – 2011, National Diploma in Graphic Design. Took 3 years to complete.

• What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Coming up with the new look and feel of the magazine every quarter and doing the layout.

• Describe your ‘average day’ in the office…
Checking emails and sorting out any admin is the first thing I do in the morning. Then, when preparing for the upcoming issue, I sort out text and all images and begin placing them into the document (in InDesign). From there I discuss with our editor what the theme of the issue is and read all the articles. I then do some design research to get an idea of what we want for the look and feel relating to the theme of the issue. The normal day involves meetings with the editor and my creative director to discuss the magazine and the progress that’s being made. Also answering any queries that advertisers might have with regards to the specs of the magazine and deadlines. Updating the website also happens on a daily basis, staying up to date with current news in the art and design world.

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• What do you wish you had known before you picked your career?
The amount of hard work and time that goes into producing a high quality publication.

• What kind of person would make the ideal layout & graphic designer?
Someone that is responsible and organized, all images and text need to be filed appropriately. Accuracy is also very important when designing because you need to make sure that the entire magazine is consistent, that everything sits in the right place and that the layout flows throughout. A good eye for creativity and current trends is also very important, to know exactly how entice your target audience.

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• Did you always know what you wanted to do, or how old we’re you when you knew what you wanted to be?
I always wanted to be an architect when I was younger, because my grandpa was an architect and I always had an interest in buildings. However, that dream changed when I discovered graphic design when I was 16. I always enjoyed advertising and working with photographs and typography and never knew how to turn something like that into a career. Who knew that Graphic Design would be just the right thing for me?? So it was from that moment that I realized this was the industry I wanted to be in. While I was studying I realized that one of my greatest strengths was layout design and it was only natural for me to go into the publishing industry.

• If you could go back and change anything on your journey to the job you have and love now, what would it be?
Just to have more confidence in myself and my abilities when I started the job.

Zana Zana Zana

61I am currently obsessing over everything that this mom and daughter startup is creating! What’s even more exciting, is that Robyn is actually one of my oldest friends, and I’m seriously looking forward to going to see their new studio in Woodstock soon.

Robyn’s mom, Sue, has this amazingly vast background in printing, so I remember growing up Robyn’s house would always be filled with creative supplies and of cuts of paper. Robyn also once fractured my finger when we were five, but that’s another story. (Actually you totally owe me Robyn, and that Africa pillow’s looking pretty damn good! :)
They started out with cushion covers, and have branched out into tote bags, gift tags and fabric, and I’m hoping that they’re gonna be making some pretty paper prints in the near future… (are you?)

Feast you eyes on their fantastic product range below….

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They have also recently moved into that studio in Woodstock that I mentioned, so I’ve been following their updates on Instagram as they’ve decorated and crafted their interior… and just this past weekend they did a photoshoot of all of their creative gorgeous interior awesomeness. What.a.mouthful! I can’t wait to see the pictures, which I’m sure will pop up on their blog super soon. But in the meantime, here’s a few from their studio…

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These chicks are way too cool. Be proudly SA and buy their stuff!!!

All of these images are from Zana’s Pintrest page or Etsy site.
You can find their website and awesome blog here!

For the love of the brand – Dear Me

As a graphic designer, nothing makes me happier than seeing a brand that has successfully applied their corporate identity to everything. I’m a firm believe in bringing the colours, fonts and viiiiibe of your business right through to the doorknob on your door. I often come across some awesome examples of branding created by some uber talented designers. So I thought I’d start sharing a few examples on my blog – if I like it, then I’m sure you will too!

So, without further adieu, let me introduced the amazing branding of a company called Dear Me, created by the incredibly talented Daniel Ting Chong. Kudos to you Chong, you’ve got some serious talent.





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All of these images can be found on Daniel’s website.

Precious Gems

I am literally swooning over these gorgeous gem illustrations by the talented Katie Gastley of Rocket Ink. I’m a sucker for any kind of water colour illustrations, and these gems are available for just about any occasion – calendars, birthday cards, decorative prints… Check out her shop, Katie is seriously talented!





Seventeen Magazine 2014 Homework Diary

I’m so thrilled to be designing the Seventeen Magazine homework diary for the second year in a row. Last year I contacted the editor out of the blue, and asked if I could design the diary – a big step for a freelancer just starting out, as 40 000 copies are printed! Thankfully, the divine Janine Jellars put her faith in me, and since then I also designed their matrix dance insert, in their latest issue (I’ll share that soon).

If you know me, then you know I love diaries. I love notebooks and stationery and anything I can write down lists on. I like making a note of what I’ve done each day, how I spent my weekends and most of all – decorating my diary. You could say I’m the diary queen. I’m so, so , so excited to be having another chance at working on the 2014 version – it’s gonna be hotter than EVER (which is saying something because last year’s was awesome!).

Below I’ve included the proposal that I sent to them. We’re not sticking to it exactly, but it’ll be something along these lines – it’s what I’m using as inspiration.

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There’s just something about all these bright colors and quirky designs that make me want to lie outside drinking margaritas on a hot summer’s day in a field of daisies. Daydreaming much? Anyway… Here’s the design I did for this year’s homework diary…

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The Btech Project. Post #3

The Btech project is slowly taking form. It’s becoming slightly annoying, because I’ve given up my entire life in complete devotion to achieving a fantastic mark. It’ll all be worth it in the end, I’m sure, and I have an amazing lecturer, Chantelle Arpesella, who’s guiding me through the chaos.

Anyway, I sound like I hate what I’m doing. Let me just be clear, I don’t. I live for design and creativity. And the most important part of the design process? Great references! Take a look at mine… Continue reading

The Btech Project. Post #2

Remember when I shared my proposal to Seventeen Magazine SA to design their homework diary? Well… I got the gig! (Always wanted to say that…) Click ‘read more’ below if you’re keen to find out how my Btech project is going.

Time is flying by, and I’m really feeling the pressure right now. Aside from my internship, I’m having to complete all of my Btech work and design the Seventeen homework diary. But just like the little quote stuck on my desk note board says – “The pressure is good for you.” At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I’ve developed my campaign much further than just the Seventeen Homework Diary. My target audience is remaining teenage girls, but I’ve selection the age group 11- 15 years to create stricter target market boundaries, making design much easier.

The photograph on the top image is of my cousin (middle) and two of her friends. I gathered these girls and let them watch 3 documentary trailers, asked them questions, sparked discussion and filmed the whole thing! To say that I was overwhelmed by their responses and their knowledge and wisdom at such a young age, about topics such as gender roles and the media’s portrayal of women and girls, was astounding. They honestly blew me away. I was very proud of my cousin and thankful to each of them. Although I did sneakily bribe them with cupcakes from Charly’s Bakery.  Continue reading