Posts in Design
Just Design - Presenting at the Academy

We recently had Just Design present to our second and third year Graphic Design students. They are a multi-disciplinary design agency with a focus on branding, packaging and innovation. They shared some of their work with us, showing the incredibly high benchmark they have set for good packaging practice and the icing on the cake for us was having two Academy alumni, Jolize Jacobs and Maderi Hoffman, presenting the work! You can visit Just Design's website here.

And you can visit their Behance profile here.


Real Handful - Packaging

Real Handful snacks are a 'nutritious snacking brand' that aim to offer a fun way to snack on healthier options, instead of falling back on potato chips, chocolates or any other options which, while they taste great, are not very good for you in the long run. Their previous brand identity was focused around the idea of 'energy' and they decided that they needed a full re-brand in order to position themselves better in the market. This they did with the help of Midday Design Studio and illustrator George(s) and the results are plain to see. With a bold, illustration-forward design, they immediately create impact and break through the proverbial clutter.

Take a look at more of the range below!

NYC Botanics - Print Campaign

With the legalisation of recreational marijuana in a number of states across the USA, brands are starting to pop up, offering a number of marijuana products. What's interesting, from a branding and communications perspective, is that this is somewhat new territory. Yes, strains of marijuana always had imaginative names, which act as brands in their own way (local strains like 'Durban Poison' for example) but never before have they been able to be communicated so openly. Here, we see a print campaign by GSW, an agency in New York that specialises in healthcare. It's for NYC Botanics, a company which sells CBD oil products. These products, which are non-psychoactive, have a number of benefits, which we can see brought to life here. If you imagine a consumer who might never have interacted with marijuana before, there is clearly the chance for a little trepidation and fear - something these executions deal with really well.

Over and above the communication goals of this campaign, we'd just like to point out how beautiful the art direction and illustration are here. This is truly top-notch work. We do suggest you open these images and look at them in detail as they are very, very special.

Doyles Seafood - Corporate Identity

We all know that the best fish and chips come wrapped in newspaper. However, that's not something a brand or restaurant can really own (and as we know, even litter can be an important touchpoint for your brand). What Doyles Seafood, an Australian brand did, was to redesign their entire corporate identity with the help of The Creative Method and designer Emma Lucia Newnes, taking inspiration from newspapers of old. We see how this applies to the menu, which is presented as a 'vintage' newspaper, but also the packaging itself, with traditional fast food cartons and containers printed in newspaper-inspired motifs.

We love how the concept of this project was applied so strongly all the way through - it's not just a new menu with the same old cartons, it has been designed from the ground up and this kind of strong branding is something consumers are coming to expect more and more.

Kudos all around! Now who is in for lunch? We know a great fish and chips place...

Riso D'uomo - Packaging

What incredible work by Here Design for Riso D'uomo, an Italian rice brand! This package design is inspired by old cathedral tiles from the Duomo in Milan, because the fields where this rice is grown can be seen from the Duomo itself. With packaging this beautiful, there's no need to have a cupboard! This is the kind of thing you want on show in your kitchen. It shows again just how important good design can be and how it can elevate something as (admittedly) boring as rice to an incredibly desirable object.


Grönstedts Le National - Packaging

Every now and then a project comes around that makes you really sit up and take notice. This work by Nine Stockholm for Grönstedts cognac is one of those! What's especially interesting about this cognac, Le National, though, is that it is only produced once a year in very limited quantities - never more than 1500 bottles. This creates an interesting design challenge, as every year they need to create an entire experience that is differentiated from the last, while still being premium, desirable and ultimately collectable. It is clear that Nine, the agency behind this work, met the brief and more - this is some of the most exquisite packaging design we've seen in a long time. From the way that illustration is treated through to the box, the typography and the entire experience of the packaging - this is nothing short of world class.

Have a look at more of this work below.

Pepsi - Year of the Dog Cans

To celebrate the year of the dog in China, Pepsi created these limited edition cans which were available in very short supply. The online-only method of getting them created a lot of hype around the campaign, with loads of people logging on for a chance to get their paws on these collectables. We especially love the dog kennel packaging concept! Such a great example of how tactical use of limited edition design (with really great illustration) can make a brand more current and desirable.

Check out all the designs below!

Nike Vapormax Packaging

When you release a really important shoe, like Nike's new Vapormax, you need to do it with a bang. And this package design from Hovercraft Studio is nothing short of exactly what is needed! From the iridescent finish on the card, the crazy shape of the box to the way it opens - this is exactly the kind of packaging experience you want someone to have that really sticks with them. It is these small moments that when added up can really change the way someone feels about a brand. Everything matters! This is such a spot on piece of design work! Check it out below.

McDonald's - Wayfinding Billboards

Imagine a brand so powerful and well-known that you don't even need to show the logo in its entirety for someone to recognise it... There can't be many brands in the world with this much recognition, but this work by Cossette shows that with smart thinking - it can be done. Here, they used the McDonald's logo as a wayfinding device for billboards - indicating to drivers where to turn off to get to the closest McDonald's - using just those iconic golden arches. This is just so smart! We love it!

Dr Jart+ Packaging

When you look at the work that Pentagram does, it's always top notch. Here, they've redesigned a Korean skincare company and created something anyone would be proud to display on their bedside table or bathroom cabinet. Taking inspiration from old oil cans and other containers, they have created an entirely unique soft-touch range for Dr Jart+ with smart details such as; a wide pump signalling a more viscous product like lotion while a round pump is used for oils and liquids.

It wasn't just a repackaging exercise though, but an entire rebrand - Dr Jart+ always used the '+' symbol in their branding but Pentagram took it to the next level, using it as a logomark which can change based on the skincare range and what it does.

When it comes to incredible packaging and product design, it doesn't get much better than this! Have a look below!

Oil-Packed Ayu Packaging

It's not every day that you think of canned fish packaging as an opportunity for great design. And yet, in Japan, this work by Masahiro Minami does exactly that. This design work for canned fish is nothing short of extraordinary. On top of that it really brings to life what we feel about good design: That it can make almost any product more engaging to someone. The littlest details on this packaging make such a difference, such as the printed decal in the cardboard window, which allows the consumer to 'see' the fish inside, or the fish-shaped cut out on the bottom of the packaging, which reveals the expiration date.

So smart, so well thought out and honestly - so desirable!

Stellenbosch Student wins at the Cape Town International Animation Festival

Over the weekend, Lene van Heerden was awarded the best production as an individual in the tradigital category for the student awards at the Cape Town International Animation Festival! To both Lene and her lecturer Daniela de Lange - well done! We are so proud.

You can see some more pictures of the event below, as well as the winning film itself.


Blues Design - Website

This website by Studio Details Inc is a great example of the incredible breadth of opportunities for design in the multimedia space. This site is for Blues Design, a product design company in Japan and we just love the entire thing. From the incredible menu navigation mechanic through to the actual site itself and the music and sounds they chose for it, this is really top notch. Take a look at the site here.

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 16.00.12


Stellenbosch Academy Student Named as a Finalist in the Sony World Photography Awards
We are proud to announce that Morgan Mulholland has been shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Organisation Awards Student focus. From all the global entries for this category, Morgan is one of only 10 Finalists and the only African finalist - we couldn't be happier!

This is now the fifth year in a row that our Photography students have been shortlisted for the awards - testament to the hard work of our students and our lecturers alike!

To learn more about the Sony World Photography Awards click here.

And to see more of Morgan's incredible work check out his website here.
Fierce Whiskers Distillery - Design

Fierce Whiskers is a new entrant to the whiskey market from Austin, Texas. To get their brand off the ground, they turned to The Butler Bros, an agency that specialises in naming, narrative and visual design. The good news: The Butler Bros did an incredible job. Through smart, insightful design they were able to create a brand that is at once premium, authentic and trustworthy. It has all of the design cues one might want from a whiskey, giving it a sense of heritage, but it also stays entirely on trend with current liquor design. See more below!


3rd Year Publication Brief

There's nothing we love more than sharing the incredible work our students produce and this is one of those times when we get to do so. The following images and designs were produced by our 3rd year Graphic Design students for their first brief of 2018. You can read more about the project directly from the lecturers below:

The first brief for the 3rd year Graphic Design students looked at Impact design, which is based on the impact that values and behaviours of human kind would have and has had on environments, society itself and economies. The students had to write their own stories deduced from a current issue but interpreted into fiction. This project therefore required that the students create a set of books, which was written, illustrated, hand bound and packaged by them reflecting life on planet Earth in the year 2018. The full exhibition can be viewed during OPEN DAY on the 3rd of March 2018.

If you're interested in seeing this work at our open day, check out this post here for details.


Stellenbosch Academy at the Cape Town International Animation Festival

The year is only beginning and already our students are doing amazing things! Lene van Heerden, Nicolas Hulley & Justin Kingwill were just announced as nominees in the student awards for the Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF). Well done everyone! The awards ceremony takes place on the first weekend of March and we can't wait to see how they do!

To learn more about the CTIAF and follow our students' journey, you can check out their website here.

Wild West Beef Jerky Packaging

In South Africa, we take biltong very seriously. Entire stores and brands are built around our love for dried meat. This makes it so interesting to see how these types of products are branded in other countries. We love what Pearlfisher, the creative agency behind this work, has done here. Wild West Beef Jerky is a UK-based brand that sells (we're sure you guessed it from the name), beef jerky. We love how they took high quality illustration to make their brand feel more premium and feel like it has more 'quality'. Such a great example of how branding can make a product so much more interesting and exciting from a consumer perspective.

Check it out below.

Make Your Mark Stationery

There's something so special about high quality stationery. It's a little bit of an obsession for us, but please do indulge us. Here, we're sharing some awesome products from kikki.K, a Swedish design company. They're all just so... perfect! Check out more awesome stationery to drool over at the kikki.K website here.


Capital Magazine

Hedeker is a wealth management firm that produces a quarterly publication, which covers important info for investors and potential future customers of the company. The publication, Capital, is a real sight to behold - with great attention paid to type and design which is just spot on. Another great example of how good design can lift content or information which might be a little dreary for some and elevate it into something engaging and appealing. We love it!