May 22, 2015

4 Instagrammers Taking a Different Look at Your City

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“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.”  -Banksy

No, this post is not about graffiti. It is about streets and cities awash with a million colours though; hence the Banksy quote.

Life in the big city is usually fast paced and stressful, and we can sometimes miss the beauty that’s right in front of us, making us want to get away and find beautiful spaces which allow us to forget about hardcore big city life for a little while.

It’s nice to find people that are able to see beauty in their daily lives and the cities they live in, giving us a different perspective on the places and spaces we interact with on a daily basis.

Here are four Instagrammers (I’m not yet cool enough to refer to them as ‘Grammers’) that find beauty in the big, bad cities in which they live.

Jeffrey Rikhotso




You can follow Jeff on Instagram and Tumblr.


Roy Potterill




You can also follow Roy on Instagram and Tumblr.


Ky Goulden




Ky might not be as active as Jeff and Roy on Instagram, but you can still follow him. He also has his own website where he showcases his versatility in the field of photography.


Li-Chi Pan





Follow Li-Chi on Instagram or head on over to her blog.

Photography? Images? Use them to create a stellar presentation:

Download your free high resolution photo pack!

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May 21, 2015

The Versatile Typographic Skills of Will Dove

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The skill of competent versatility is a hard one to achieve and the design process plays a huge part in achieving it. Designers need to be willing to put in the time to explore the process, to try new things and step out of comfort zones. Here at Nicework, we appreciate the process just as much as the end product.


Will Dove is a graphic designer and illustrator from Washington D. C. You can tell just by glancing at his portfolio that this is a designer who appreciates the exploration of the process. From logo design to illustrated art work to typographic layouts, Will is on top of his game and its plain to see that finding new and completely different approaches is one of the main reasons of how he gets there. This post will focus solely on his typographic diversity but if you would like to see the rest of his portfolio you can just click on this link here.








Great design is crafted, the more time you spend on the journey the better your final product will be. This is the magical powers of “the process”.

If you would like to learn more about these magical mystic powers, follow the link below.


great brands are communicated, not designed

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May 20, 2015

TEKSTartist and Five Spot Derby

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Jason Markow is a typographer who warps words to create visual representations of powerful quotes. Working out of Carlsbad Village, California under the name TEKSTartist since 2011, his website describes him as “part surfer, part twisted typographer”, combining digital and traditional mediums to create amazing works of art.

TEKSTartist entered the scene by creating and selling a different, original art piece every single day of 2012. His work hangs proudly in the homes of Stephen Colbert, Jason Mraz, and Chuck Palahniuk, to name a few. His art isn’t just for famous people though – it can also be seen in the homes of fans all around the globe.


“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali

TEKST - Buddha

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” – Buddha

How do you get your hands on one of TEKSTartist’s creations?

You can always head on over to his website print shop and take your pick of his previous designs.

If you’re looking for a great deal and a bit more excitement, you can participate in a Five Spot Derby.

What’s a Five Spot Derby?

A Five Spot Derby is a special weekly sale featuring one limited edition design created by TEKSTartist. The design is available for purchase on the derby for 7 days. After that any remaining prints move into the archive.

What’s special about a Five Spot Derby?

  • Each piece is signed, numbered, and pressed by hand using a 55-year-old letterpress.
  • Each Five Spot Derby begins at just $5. Every five prints that sell drive up the price of the piece by $5, hence the term “Five Spot”.

If we’ve piqued your interest, you should engage with TEKSTartist on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out his website, and sign up on


“Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.” – Stephen Colbert

TEKST - Fill-It-Swing

“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”  – Anthony Robbins


Did someone say typography? Learn how to use it – it makes a huge difference:

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May 19, 2015

The Yachtsetter

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The Yatchsetter is a service that provides yacht and cabin rentals, offering 3-night weekend sailing and partying vacation tours on the beach. The Yachtsetter offers a unique experience as well as a clothing line of bathing suits, shirts, and other accessories.

Once again Anagrama blows us away with their exquisite design – the elements found within the brand are inspired by signalling communication representative of ships, as well as the shields, medals, and flags that are used in regattas. The logo draws play from the formations and landscapes that occur from regattas, while the brand’s colour palette results from the contrast found in the colours that are present in these boat competitions and maritime signal flags.











Thinking you’d like to improve your brand? Have a look at our branding article to see how we can create something unique for your brand.

great brands are communicated, not designed

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May 15, 2015

4 Tips for Cultivating Design Leadership

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The influence of design is growing and the corporate world has started to take notice. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the industry of late, you may have picked up on what is now a well-established trend. The trend I am talking about is big companies paying substantial amounts of money for design expertise – recognizing the impact of design on the bottom line and acquiring design studios.

The most recent example of this is the acquisition of Lunar by McKinsey. Lunar is a top design firm, known for its work with clients like Apple and HP. McKinsey has been described by Fortune as “the most well-known, most secretive, most high-priced, most prestigious, most consistently successful, most envied, most trusted, most disliked management consulting firm on earth”.

For a merger of corporate and design operations to be successful, designers need to understand how to provide business leadership in a variety of capacities – internally, with clients, and with the world at large.

What does it mean to be a design leader?

Businesses should be thinking about how leadership in design can be enacted within their own company. Change management may be able to offer a few pointers, but for the most part, companies and internal design teams are navigating relatively uncharted territory.


Here are four steps to help establish a foundation for conversations about expectations for design roles:

1. Define how design directly impacts the business.

Design has helped some financial institutions differentiate their products and services more successfully, leading to large Customer Experience and User Experience teams being created.

While design and research teams may work together to bring the customer voice to a variety of brand touch points, the need for internal systems and structures to promote an “outside-in” product and service approach should not be forgotten.

By understanding exactly how design impacts the business, you are able to establish a baseline for evaluating design leadership.

2. Turn design successes into shareable stories. 
For any organization, investing in design and focusing on its customers are key steps forward, but maintaining internal momentum might present the greatest challenge. To maintain momentum, try to capture recent success stories where design and business have worked together – creating a solution in which the whole has proved to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Uncommon marriages like these will ultimately be required for customer-centric alignment and differentiation of product strategies.


3. Be proactive about learning and development. 
This may require a scheduled time where design management is able to communicate and discuss their expectations within the domain of “design leadership.” How closely is design leadership following the aforementioned baseline? If the group has drifted, why is that so?

Working through change entails continued commitment and focus, specifically when it comes to real-time processing. It’s essential to pivot when a particular direction simply isn’t working.

Design leadership is a term that needs to be revisited over time as it may evolve alongside a business. In addition, it’s important for design leaders to reflect on how they will bring their unique skills to bear in a business climate that is in a constant state of change.

4. Evaluate. Learn from your mistakes. Adjust.
Every business is different and there’s no specific roadmap for integration of design leadership skills into a 21st-century business. This makes it critical to generate a planning framework with clearly stated goals. Spell out what design leadership looks like for your organization:

  • What does it look like when it is fully integrated?
  • What does true cross-functional behaviour look like?
  • Create quarterly checkpoints to measure successes and challenges

Don’t be afraid to shift your approach. Acknowledge honestly what’s working and what’s not. As management, encourage the candid exchange of information from multiple stakeholders. The value of design needs to take into account business, technology, and customer needs.

For organizations that understand the value of, and have invested in design, the time to think deeply about design leadership is now. It doesn’t make good business sense to invest heavily in recruiting design talent without also investing in processes to ensure that the organization is able to retain, grow, and capitalize on that talent.

Can’t afford to buy your own design agency? You can still learn about how your brand communicates with its target market:
great brands are communicated, not designed

via: FastCoDesign, Wired.

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May 12, 2015

Liu Pau Kiang’s 80th Anniversary Exhibition

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When it comes to creating a visual identity for something that needs to exists in Print, Digital and in an Exhibition space, often creatives start creating complex and detailed elements which become rather difficult to translate to the various mediums. However, sometimes, a simpler more refined approach can lead to a beautiful design that can live easily in any form.

The design team at The Folks Studio in Singapore nailed the brief and created  “An invisible identity that showcases the spirit and presence of the artist and his work, rather than that of the designer’s.”









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May 11, 2015

Why not engRoss yourself?

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Have you ever thought of exactly what ingredients are needed to compose the perfect creative director? I am not sure that the perfect recipe has been unveiled, but whatever the it entails, this man certainly cracks the nod. Have a look at Design Fest to take note of the secrets, formulas and measurements of craziness that are needed to brew the perfect creative director. Also, take a moment and be in awe of the brilliance that is Ross Drakes.


Rebranding and naming of “Elgin Brown and Hamer,” a ship repair company that services South Africa


Cerebra, a logo that designs itself


Young Africa Live Sex Survey: design and animation of statistics from their annual survey

” As designers and communicators, we have the ability to reach millions of people with new ideas. Organisations like CreativeMorningsIDEO, and TED, are great examples of this. Creativity is not a side line process, it can add real value to the world and to business.” – Ross Drakes


Trainiac company values presentation


Retroviral rebrand

“There is no one who knows what is going on. Everyone is just running around pretending to be adults.” – Ross Drakes

If you would like to know a little more about what is going on when it comes to your brand, click here:

great brands are communicated, not designed

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May 8, 2015

Cottonhouse Hotel Branding

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Apparently when those monks did those mandalas out of those colorful chalks and sand, one of the main goals was a “moving meditation” of forms and shapes. Creating beautiful artworks of this nature is both meditative and detailed.

Designer, Kevin Cantrell was inspired by ” cotton spools, guilloche patterns and typography from 18th century Spanish currency” when creating the identity for Cottonhouse Hotel.

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May 5, 2015

Luna de Oriente

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Mexican design Firm, Menta, has recently that the most beautiful corporate identity for medical centre, ‘Luna de Oriente’. Founded by husband & wife, Marta & Scott and based in Guadalajara, México, this specific medical center offers oriental medicine through holistic healing.

Thinking you’d like to improve your brand? Have a look at our branding document to see how we can create something unique for your brand.

great brands are communicated, not designed

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April 28, 2015

Behance Portfolio Review Johannesburg

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Twice a year, Behance presents Portfolio Review Week. These events form part of a global network of volunteer-organised reviews taking place in over 120 countries, aimed at bringing creatives together and sharing ideas.

Join us for the the Behance Portfolio Review Johannesburg, brought to you by the UJ Department of Graphic Design, in partnership with Nicework and Between10and5.

The event takes place on 12 May at 18:00 at the UJ FADA Gallery. RSVP on Facebook is essential.

Bring your portfolio or best work in hard copy or on a tablet or computer (there will be wi-fi) and have it reviewed by industry professionals. There will be networking opportunities, prizes from Adobe Creative Cloud and Behance, and beer!

Behance Review Poster

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