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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Editorial Illustration: Diamond Chips

The brief was to use our design and software skills to produce an double page spread editorial. Having read the body copy, we had to find keywords that supplied and inspired visual image and thus illustrate this to compliment the copy. 

From the ‘Rainbow Nation’ article by Dion Chang, is about 12 tribes across contemporary South Africa, in terms of cultural influence and spending power. The article has a lot of colloquialisms and stereotypical connotations that South Africans find humourous. I found the ‘Diamond Chips’ section interesting. It is about young people of today, who did not experience Apartheid and are generally unaffected, firsthand, by the scars held by their parents. I envisioned a dark and gloomy illustration, to represent the turbulent past, with the urban twentysomethings and all they represent being brightly coloured, so as to encapsulate the notion that they are the future, unaffected by apartheid and illuminated with hope and possibilities. 

My illustration is inpired by the paraphrase: “Famous for splurging on clothes and cars, they are sometimes known to have more flash than cash...(yet) they live in fear of falling back into the old African poverty trap their parents escaped from in the 1990s.”

The final editorial double page spread, rendered on to a open magazine. 

Big Bloo Tshirt Design

T-shirt design competition entries

"You're lucky I'm so terrified of prison"

"You're probably naked under those clothes, you slut"

Wildlands Conservation Trust Rhino Parade

The Rhino Parade is an innovative Rhino conservation fundraising campaign run by The Wildlands Conservation Trust . It is aimed at profiling the plight of South Africa’s rhino and creating public awareness around the crisis that we as a nation are facing, whilst raising funding to support the rhino conservation efforts. 

We, as the Graphic Designers at Durban University of Technology, were asked to work with a celebrity to design and then ultimately decorate a ¾ life size rhino sculpture to represent the celebrity's personal message around rhino poaching... to help save the rhino's. The celebrity I designed for is Ray Phiri, the musician.

    Mr Ray Phiri is a world-renowned musician who uses his music as a way of story telling. He believes deeply in the essence of Ubuntu, and the notion that one should never eat before his brother eats. He encourages people to invest in the riches that lie in their hearts, in their culture, and in their wisdom. He is a selfless human being; his dream is to make the world hurt less. He respects humans as much as he respects animals, seeking to co-exist with every living thing. He has never lost his roots.

    His attitude towards life inspired my illustrations and designs for the rhino. Since Ray is so humble and grounded, yet feisty and passionate, I decided to use an earthy and fairly neutral colour palette. The African tree with deep growing roots was a major aspect of my design solution, after having understood more about himself and his personality. He, as with a tree, is full of wisdom. He once said, “this is your story, my story, our story... the unfinished story,” which is a relevant quote to add on the rhino because Ray is a story-teller, and because the rhino’s story concerns all Africans, and we are the only ones who can be the rhino’s voice. I also designed a pair of hands which hold a little tree sprout, to demonstrate Ray’s nurturing and philanthropic nature. The heart on the rhino’s rear is huge in size, to encapsulate Ray’s passion for both the endangered rhino and other forms of life.

Neil Roake's "Golddiggers" Cookbook design

Neil Roake, from the Modern Museum, and author of numerous internationally award winning cookbooks, briefed us to design a cookbook layout, under the concept and title “Gold Diggers” which would inspire and suggest a style and editorial layout.

The overall concept of the “Gold Diggers” cookbook is when people move to Johannesburg in search of a better life. Neil is wanting to produce a cookbook which will incorporate and cater to all communities influenced by JHB and South African food. This cookbook is meant to cater to a large variety of persons and cultures which are prone to their own style and methods of cooking while ultimately being who have come together to redefine and form a new community of JHB and share with each other their life stories and favourite recipes.

From this understanding, I gathered that JHB is a ‘melting pot’ of people, cultures and personalities who all generally gathered there in the pursuit of ‘a better life’. Being that ‘melting pot’ is a metaphor for a diverse society becoming one of similar and common ‘adapted’ culture. This idea led me to think of kaleidoscopes, which are simply facets of colour formed by light reflecting off mirrors, to form a beautiful symmetrical pattern. The following is my design solution

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ijusi #27: LP Covers

The brief was to design an LP album cover for a fantasy band or a new interpretation of a classic LP cover from the 60s for the 27th issue of iJusi (the LP Vinyl Record issue). The iJusi publication encourages and promotes a visual language, rooted in an African tradition. We were thus encouraged to look at LP covers from the likes of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Elvis Presley.

I then went on the net and searched for LP covers which were controversial and tongue-in-cheek. I looked, specifically at covers which were banned at some point for being offensive or inappropriate. Alice Cooper’s ‘Love It to Death’ was banned because of the thumb which looks like or suggests a penis, sticking out of his zipper. I proposed to crop the image down so as to show just the thumb sticking out, but use the same elements as the original in terms of the black and white image with a strong spotlight.

This led me to explore Xhosa ritual circumcision. Looking at Die Antwoord’s ‘Evil Boy’ video, which challenges Xhosa cultural circumcision, and says “I don’t wanna be a man”, I found my concept. I was going to create a fantasy band, a group modern Xhosa guys who choose to rebel against their culture. I decided to name the band “The Mutinious Boys” and have the album cover be “I Don’t Wanna Be A Man”, with the cover imagery suggesting influence from The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” album aswell as the in-your-face solution of Alice Cooper’s album covers. I looked at other bands with covers which had sexual innuendo or sexual stereotypes, including Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground. This is my final design solution:

My LP cover design made the shortlist for the designs picked for the "Long Playing Album" issue (#27).

(screenshot from the above mentioned and addressed blog)

We then had to package our LP cover design into cd format. I designed a disc, and a double sided disc packaging, which included design elements which elaborated on my initial concept. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Poetry Africa Campaign

Poetry Africa is a festival which tours around Africa and hosts poetry sessions, seminars, music, open mic sessions, book launches and the Durban SlamJam event. The festival features predominantly poets from South Africa and other African countries and it runs for seven days. The Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), which organises this festival, have been running it since 1997 and are now looking for a new graphic style, for the way they advertise their festival to the public, for 2012. Inspired by traditional Cubism portraits, and looking at the mask I had designed and presented, I drew this interpretation of a cubist mask from logic and imagination.

I then rendered my design onto large scale A1 street posters; a web banner (475 x 200 px); catalogue covers (155 x 297mm); A5 flyers; and T-shirts. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sequential Drawing of The Workshop Shopping Centre, Durban

The brief was to produce a graphic sequence or series in response to an aspect of Durban which conveys a sense of place, community and society.The Workshop is a double storey shopping centre which has a ‘backyard’ park area. In that park area is a whole community of vendors and small business operations. It intrigues me, walking through The Workshop and experiencing all this business diversity and studying the types of people that visit these stalls and make use of the facilities. It is a very loud, very busy part of town, that seems to function perfectly for the people who utilise the spaces to earn a living.