Design meets art

The silicon over clayWe are literally just putting the finishing touches on our latest spot of branding. It’s for a South African financial client and is the fourth major piece of international business for the dogs this year. We were challenged by the client to create a brand visual look and feel that would feel really unique and tell a definitive ‘brand story’. What we came up with was the idea of representing their key brand propositions through a piece of art. Moreover, we decided that the actual process of creating this piece of art was in itself a brand mnemonic in it’s own right.

Fast forward to the commissioning of a brilliant up-and-coming artist in the SA community, Marieke Prinsloo, and a friendly versatile photographer, Sean Wilson, to shoot it all. Marieke is a sculptor that works in an interesting process of casting elements of concrete to create figurative forms.
She assures me “I’ll probably move on to bronze when I can afford it!”

The studioThe entire process of creating the piece from conceptualising it in sketches to moulding, demoulding, finishing and polishing it was captured on film in her studio in western province’s apple growing region, Grabouw. I travelled to Cape Town to set up and art direct the first couple of shoots. The location is way off the beaten track and working in the peaceful environment was very condusive to the project on hand. The photographer made upwards of a dozen visits to the studio over a period of three weeks in order to build the visual story. We’ve literally just received the final compiled imagery and are literally over the moon.

Sparks flyIt’s just come out so well. I’ve just gotten off with the phone joking with the client that we couldn’t have styled it better, using the worlds best prop stylist with an unlimited budget. Even the angle grinder used by the artist to cut the reinforcement rods of the armature seemed like it had been dropped in place from the 1930’s. The studio floor was gunky. The clay was messy. And sparks flew religiously when the metalwork was crafted. It was an extremely refreshing and natural shoot. In retrospect, there is a lot of merit in carefully setting up a creative environment and letting it all just happen.Finishing touches Sure, there’s risk, but the product at the end of the line just feels so real. And in this day and age of royalty free images and generic brand principles – Real is a priceless asset.

Fortunately for us, the client has had vision on this project and has encouraged to be contrarian. To create something that is unexpected, yet in it’s very nature, solid and founded. Vive la difference…

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