August 20, 2014

Branch Creative’s Creative Identity

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Oh goodie, just look at this brilliant Brand Identity crafted by Warsaw-based design studio Noeeko! Branch Creative now boasts a sophisticated identity system that seamlessly combines clean and succinct design with a little bit of fun. Each design element is strong enough to pack a punch on its own, and when put together, these perfectly fitting puzzle pieces build a clear brand picture. Seriously fun. (via ID)













If you enjoyed this wee little post, have a look at Nicework’s perspective on creating effective and communicative brands :

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August 18, 2014

Just Designing: Cross-Pollination in Design Practice

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Not so long ago, the Nicework team decided to start making a regular thing of presenting our ideas and experiences to each other – both to spread a little knowledge and brush up on our presentation skills. There are very few limits to what we can present on, as long as it seems interesting and useful, and everyone gets a turn.

When our delegation returned from the Design Indaba Conference in March, I was full of inspiration and excitement, and eager to throw my proverbial hat into the ring. You can read the full text of the presentation after the jump – make sure you have a cup of tea ready. A big one. Maybe make yourself a pot. If you read all the way to the end, I will give you a present.



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August 18, 2014

Xoliswa Sithole sets us free at CreativeMornings Johannesburg

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Happy Monday, everyone! To kickstart your brain on this chilly day in Jo’burg, check out documentary filmmaker Xoliswa Sithole’s enlightening talk on the theme of Freedom. You are welcome to check it out on the CreativeMornings Johannesburg site, or watch the video embedded at the end of this post. Enjoy!

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If you’d like to stay in the loop about CreativeMornings Johannesburg, you can make use of these handy-dandy newfangled social mediaz:

CreativeMornings Johannesburg on Facebook
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CreativeMornings Johannesburg site
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August 15, 2014

High Res Images and why they are so important for presentations

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It’s no secret that images have much more descriptive potential than a few lines of text. Images create visual stimulation that keeps your audience engaged and delighted, which is crucial when it comes to presentations in both Powerpoint and Keynote.

Here are a few best practice pointers for using images in your presentations.

  • Always use high resolution images.
  • Think about what the goal of your presentation is, and how your images are going to help create a story for the audience.
  • Using stock photographs is the easiest option, but not always the best. They’re often clichéd and can get quite pricey. By using images that are less generic, you are already starting to differentiate yourself from lesser presentations. Finding good imagery can be tricky, It takes a little time and effort, but is completely worth it. The goal here is to craft a presentation that speaks to your particular audience.
  • The images you choose create subconscious connections to you and your company, so make sure that they evoke the right desired emotion.
  • Avoid clichés. The greater your use of clichéd images, the more likely you are to loose your audience’s attention. To avoid this, ignore the first image that comes to mind and delve a little deeper. A good way to get start is to try and visualise an image that would most accurately communicate your content leaving no ambiguity in its interpretation.

Here is a list of sites that will help you find amazing images that complement your presentations:

Superfamous Studios
Superfamous release photos under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, you can use them however you like – just provide credit to the artists. (Even if its a handy slide at the end of your presentation!)


DotSpin works a bit differently by give you free to use Instagram photos. you can even earn rewards for contributing your snaps.


Death to the Stock Photo
Death to the Stock Photo requires you to sign up (free) – Then you’ll have high quality photos sent directly to your email every month.


Browse through Pixabay’s Editors Choice to really find the images that stand out from the rest.GratisPhotography


is a project run by Ryan McGuir which features new photos added each week.


One of my personal favourites, PicJumbo provides one quality free photo every day. Totally free photos for your commercial & personal work. Subscribe to get the new ones sent to you daily!



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August 13, 2014

Pack a Smile

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This really puts a smile on my dial, and it’s all thanks to designer Hani Douaji.  The new packaging of  Trident Xtra Care chewing gum shows just how much fun package design can really be. Nothing is more exciting than a concept that translates so effortlessly into a design that everybody can relate to, you just can’t help but smile! Wait, is there something stuck in my teeth? (via Fubiz).












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August 13, 2014

Nicework Against Humanity

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It’s no secret that the Nicework team works and plays together, and our newest obsession for beer o’clock on Fridays has been the addictive party game Cards Against Humanity. Beginning its life as an enormously successful Kickstarter project, the game has become the darling of “horrible people” everywhere, ourselves included. We’ve even begun expanding our deck with our own bonus cards featuring silly inside jokes and jabs at our team members.



Imagine our delight, then, when we saw Cards Against Humanity creator Max Temkin’s insightful talk at CreativeMornings Chicago, appropriately themed on the topic of “Play“. Now not only will we continue playing offensive party games on company time, we shall do it guilt-free under the guise of introspection and self-discovery.

Interested in the talk? You can watch it below. And if you’d like to attend CreativeMornings, you can come join us in Jo’burg or find a talk in your city!

P.S. If you’re interested in playing a game or five of Cards Against Humanity… come on over.

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August 12, 2014

Presentations : Be clear, then creative.

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“What what what ?  What are you saying, dear Kyle ? What do you mean ? We are creatives, we are the swooshes on a page, the starbursts of the billboard, the negative-space of the editorial. We elevate objects from ‘things’ to ‘desirables’ ! Shun ! Shun the nonbeliever.”

Here me out on this but there is a real point and relevance to what I am saying here.

You receive your brief or come up with a project that you begin researching and gathering elements. You find a wordsmith and place amazing words onto a page, and collect all your ideas and concepts into a great big Word Document. You place your images and words and end up with a 156 page Powerpoint filled to the brim with all kinds of graphs, icons, images and text. But what are you trying to do with your presentation ? Are you trying to state every single fact about every single nuance ? Are you trying to give people an overall view on a project ?

This is the question you must ask yourself before you stand in front of your audience with a million slides and here are a few tips to ensure that your presentation is engaging and more importantly, leaves your audience awake and informed.

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What do you want people to take out of the presentation ? Start with that little answer and make sure that your content leads you towards that goal.

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Trying to remember what exists on 79 slides is almost impossible. What results is that you end up reading your presentation which ultimately reduces the pace and interest to nothing.  Keep it short, keep it clear and make sure you don’t create such a big presentation that it’s impossible to present.

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You know where you stand now, and you know where you want to go. As you make a point, or have gone through a detail heavy section, take a break in your presentation. Have a few slides which change the pace and wake people up. A funny story, or interesting anecdote can really help in these cases.

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People create emotional connections more-so to imagery than words, as-well as being able to visualize complex scenarios via some simple graphics.  Collect some high resolution stock photos, illustrations and graphs to help keep your presentation flowing and understandable.

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A presentation should leave its audience with a question answered, a moral of a story or a clear understanding of a topic.

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Let people ask questions if they are interested and give them a way to contact you after the presentations. A great presentation leaves people wanting to know more.

Follow those handy tips and you’ll no doubt have a captive audience who will actually remember and give a damn about what you have to say.
You can also download these handy tips to help guide your design process when crafting your presentations. Click it nowwwww !

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July 29, 2014

CreativeMornings Johannesburg: Failure | Terry Behan

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Hello there! Today has been a magical day of exciting CreativeMornings news – here’s one more nugget for all of you. We are amped to announce that our speaker for this month’s talk at 100% Design South Africa will be Terry Behan: creative thinker, social entrepreneur, author and brand builder across the African Continent.


Terry spends most of his time commuting across the continent where he has worked extensively with many of Africa’s best-loved brands. He is the CEO of VWV across Africa & The Middle East. He is also a fellow of The Africa Leadership Initiative, and is a director of the Southern Guild Design Foundation.

He is a published author, speaker and often appears in various online and print media. His book “connect with the continent helps brands to understand key consumer trends and social movements across the African continent. You can connect with him on Facebook.

If you’d like to stay in the loop about CreativeMornings Johannesburg, you can make use of these handy-dandy newfangled social mediaz:

CreativeMornings Johannesburg on Facebook
CreativeMornings Johannesburg on Twitter
CreativeMornings Johannesburg site
or just subscribe to our newsletter!

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July 29, 2014

CreativeMornings Johannesburg: Failure

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Good afternoon, and happy Tuesday!

By now you should be sharing our excitement at the fact that August’s CreativeMornings talk will be taking place at 100% Design South Africa next month. If you’re not, pull yourself together. Come on now.

The talk is on the theme of Failure - being totally amazing ourselves, we’re not very familiar with the concept, but apparently it’s quite common. The theme was selected by the Singapore chapter, and is accompanied this fantastic image by photographer Bill Wadman.


100% Design South Africa runs 6th to 10th of August, in Hall 1, Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg. Tickets for our talk with Terry Behan will go live the Monday before the talk (the 4th), and a ticket to CreativeMornings also gets you into the show that day. Get ready to grow your brain and save some sweet bucks!

Further details on the exhibition and the team behind the show can be found on the website: - you can also catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’d like to stay in the loop about CreativeMornings Johannesburg, you can make use of these handy-dandy newfangled social mediaz:

CreativeMornings Johannesburg on Facebook
CreativeMornings Johannesburg on Twitter
CreativeMornings Johannesburg site
or just subscribe to our newsletter!

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