July 3, 2015

Remix! with the CreativeMornings Community

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Get excited, all you weird and wonderful people of the world, this month we bring you all together in the spirit of this month’s theme ‘Collaborate’, where we’re handing the monthly illustration over to you so we can highlight more of your incredible work. Let this pretty photo by Tory Williams get your creative juices flowing.


It’s no secret that there is an insane amount of talent in the CreativeMornings community. We love experiencing it at events, through your profiles, and with our monthly theme illustrations. But there are only 12 months in a year and only 12 monthly illustrations. That’s not enough.

As designers and makers, we were already big fans of FiftyThree’s Paper iPad app. We recently discovered their Mix platform, which makes it super simple to take an image, remix it, and make it your own. We already wanted the community to work on the illustration together, and we thought Paper would be a great tool to use. We hope you agree.

Can’t wait to get started? Grab or borrow an iPad with Paper and get remixing! Stay tuned for more information on this talk, happening on 31 July.

great brands are communicated, not designed


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July 3, 2015

Marketing Magic

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A new day; a new generation!  Generation Y (in South Africa demarcated as born between 1982 and 1994) is not exactly known for an extensive attention span or great brand loyalty.  This group however makes up a major part of the workforce, contributing to the economy today.  Social media and lots of quick, visual and entertaining communication has therefore become an integral part of many a marketing strategy.

According to McKend (2015), Country Director at Google SA, the digital landscape in South Africa is growing, attracting new users daily. More Google.co.za searches are now being done via mobile devices than via computers!  The South African marketing landscape creates great opportunities for digital marketing.


A great social media campaign to learn from is #muttbombing by Dallas Pets Alive (DPA).  This fun, quirky and Generation Y-driven initiative was started in 2014-2015 to find homes for pets to be fostered or adopted.  Pictures of mixed race rescue dogs were Photoshopped into the selfies of amongst others, Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus and Ryan Gosling to create a bigger online presence, leveraging celebrities’ social media popularity and the greater public’s curiosity.  The new and improved pictures were then uploaded to Twitter alongside the originals, sporting a plea for adoption written as by the pups themselves!

The campaign was hugely successful.  Muttbombing went viral and the DPA saw a 700% increase in traffic to their website, a 55% increase in adoptions and a 300% increase in Instagram followers.  The idea of #muttbombing was adopted by other shelters around the US and was even used by Dreamworks to promote their movie Mr Peabody and Sherman.  The only continent they didn’t get media coverage in is Antarctica. But hey, we don’t blame them! So as it turns out, Muttbombing is not only a life-saver for the rescue dogs, but also a real social media dream come true.

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Do great ideas like these make you wish your business had them first? Find us online and let’s make some marketing magic!
great brands are communicated, not designed

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July 2, 2015

Let’s taco ’bout it

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A Mexican based design studio, Estudio Yeyé, focusses on graphic design, branding, print design and illustration. Showcases how creative branding and design transforms spaces into eclectic and exciting experiences.

“50 combinations of tacos will show the variety of our gastronomy and culture, seeking a branding that will represent the contemporary Mexican folklore in different ways, leaving behind the typical Mexican stereotypes of hats and cactus, and really show what we see in the streets of our country.”

50 taco’s brilliantly displays how design can be used to communicate culture, steering clear of generic stereotypes. Click here to check out more of their work.

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Do you have a brand that celebrates culture, have a look at our branding article to see how we can create something that communicates your values effectively.

great brands are communicated, not designed

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July 1, 2015

In full swing

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Nicework presents to you, Tessa! She loves spending time online, so finding something to write about is second nature to her (or so it seems)


21 Balançoires (21 Swings), a project recently done by a team of Montreal designers will bring some whimsy to your week.

Canadian design collective, Daily Tous Les Jours, has placed an interactive installation of musical swings alongside a Montréal city street — next to a bus stop. A fresh look on the idea of cooperation, the swings play a tune when pedestrians move in unison rather than independently.The result is a giant instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, the sounds of which emerge only from cooperation.

This project shows how design can be used to encourage ownership of the public space, bringing together community and creating a place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city.

via Vimeo.


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Created by: Mouna Andraos & Melissa Mongiat

Video by: Geoffrey Boulangé

Photos by: Olivier Blouin


We appreciate good ideas – and the possibilities are endless. Add value to your brand by communicating something extraordinary!

great brands are communicated, not designed

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June 30, 2015

Big in Japan: Creativity

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Recent research has highlighted the world’s fascination with Japanese design. Many people feel that Japan is at the forefront of creativity, and that this is having a huge impact on the ways in which the rest of the world creates and innovates.

Adobe recently surveyed over 323 Japanese creative professionals to find out how they’re navigating the pace of change and new technology shifts.

Key takeaways from the survey:

Creatives in Japan are modest about the state of creativity in their country, yet the rest of the world views Japan as a creative leader.

  • Over a third of Japanese creatives say that Japan is less creative than other countries
  • In contrast, in an international survey conducted in 2012, Japan was ranked as the most creative country in the world


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June 29, 2015

Every Monday has a Silver Lining

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Pascal Campion’s illustrations are ours.

He works with areas of direct colour, sometimes augmented with textures, but his images are fundamentally graphic. The visual charm of his drawings is carried by springy, energetic compositions. Campion is a master at selecting colours that evoke mood, time and place with a unique and simple finesse. Campion’s use of distinct light and shadow, and in particular splashes and patches of bright light within subdued backgrounds highlights the focus of his images. He has a wonderful ability to use these effects, along with strong compositions to create an atmosphere and energy to even the most unassuming of subjects. His subject matter of intimate domestic scenes and quiet moments of solitude become just as visually compelling as a raucous action scene would be. Campion does a daily sketch which sends to his followers everyday and posts to his Facebook page. You can also view these by clicking here to sign up for the newsletter.







Watch an awesome video of a time lapse highlighting Pascal’s illustration techniques.

We hope this post has warmed your day like it has warmed out hearts. Need a little more heart-warming? We’ll tell you how you can achieve this:

great brands are communicated, not designed

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June 25, 2015

The School of Life tells us Why Design Matters

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Happy Thursday everyone!

We have had the lovely opportunity to have Marié Serfontein intern here at Nicework, and asked her if she has anything interesting to share with us – and she did!  <insert drumroll here>

Life is crammed with questions. Quick questions, hard questions, silly questions, sobering questions, life-changing questions – even ones that fit into none of and all of the above mentioned categories. So before we get all serious, let’s opt for some answers!

A question that seems to pop up ever so often, and may fit just about all of the weird and wonderful criteria of confusing things, is “Why does design matter?”. Well, if you have ever, or are now, wondering just that – check out this video by The School of Life.



Here at Nicework we definitely believe that design changes us and should in fact change your brand for the better! If you would like your design to speak of your core values, adding that promise of goodness, find out how here.

great brands are communicated, not designed

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June 24, 2015


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When it comes to creating characters for your film or video, or making design that sticks, having something recognizable and scalable is critically important.  To be able to scale it down to ‘pixels’ and still work means that at ANY size, the design will handle, regardless of the platform.

Plus, who doesn’t like a good animated GIF.  <3

Dušan Čežek sure is one talented fellow.





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June 23, 2015

POP. What happens when the social media bubble bursts?

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For the past 10 years brands have been building massive audiences on social media networks, collectively spending billions to garner huge social media followings.

You may have heard about the tech bubble and you may be one of those people that are waiting for it to burst. What you may not realise is that there is also a social media bubble, and as with all bubbles, it is likely to burst.


What game are brands playing?

A social media bubble looks and acts just like a technology bubble. A bubble is created when market prices are unsustainable. In the social media sense, this means that brands invest money and time in an attempt to gain followers, fans, likes, and retweets with little to no regard for the quality of the aforementioned.

A major factor contributing to the growth of this bubble is competition between brands on social media. If a brand has fewer fans than their competitors they may feel like they are losing the social media game. What brands may fail to take stock of is the quality of their followers, where their followers are located, how much reach each of their followers has, and the level of engagement from followers and non-followers.


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June 19, 2015

DKNG Pop Culture Icons

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The dudes at DKNG (Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman) generated an extremely in-depth set of illustrated icons that portray scenes/places/items from popular moves and TV shows. This project must have taken quite a big chunk of time to complete, Not to mention that fact that the whole set consists of 50 icons. Take a look at a select few below and if you want to see the rest of the project click 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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