Through its projects and initiatives, Dutchmann is a platform that connects master craftsmen with contemporary designers and artists, creating collaborations that fuse craft-based practices with progressive ideas. In 2012 they presented Delft, a collection of Spider Murphy surf boards customised in blue and white by contemporary artists. They’ve recently revealed the results of this year’s efforts: The Dutchmann Racing Poster Portfolio.
About the project:
The modern poster dates back to 1870 when the printing industry perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible. Posters attracted artists at every level, from painters like Toulouse-Lautrec to graphic design pioneers such as Jules Chéret . By the end of the 19th Century poster art had widespread usage advertising everything from bicycles to bullfights and transformed the thoroughfares of major European cities into the “art galleries of the street.” And so, advertisement posters effectively became a special type of graphic art in the modern age.
It is within this context that Porsche has commissioned and produced posters to commemorate its motorsport success over the past 50 years. Their iconic posters exude a tangible spirit of the time and aptly convey the marque’s timeless ambitions of innovation, progress and success. Often limited in production, these posters mostly exist in the libraries of collectors.
This Racing Poster Portfolio comprises a series of posters commissioned by Dutchmann to commemorate the redesign of a 1968 Porsche 912 “Weekend Racer” and its entry into the 2013 Kalahari Speed Week. The car comprises a contemporary interpretation of a classic Porsche 912 by a series of South African master craftsmen led by Porsche-restorer Tim Abbott. Accordingly, ten designers (selected by Durban designer Warwick Kay) were briefed to create a contemporary interpretation of a classic racing poster to commemorate the event.
The resulting portfolio represents Dutchmann’s ambitions of highlighting the calibre of South African master craftsmen and the possibilities of fusing art and innovation with craft-based practises.
With 9 confirmed artists selected, Dutchmann ran an open competition to find the 10th contribution to the collection. Paul Garbett and his poster above were chosen to complete the series.
These are each of the posters in the set and words from the artists about their designs.
Paul Garbett is the co-founder and Creative Director of Naughtyfish, a design and image-making studio based in Sydney. Their activities cover the gamut of contemporary branding and communication design, and occasionally veer into products, textiles and art. Paul’s work has been awarded, exhibited and published internationally.
About the piece: I set out to express the raw emotion and energy of motor racing through abstract shapes and colour. Once completed, I showed this poster to my son Finn (5) and asked him what he saw. He answered a ‘whole lot of people racing each other’. I said yes!
Warwick Kay is an illustrator and designer living in Durban, South Africa. His work is a storytelling of images and text that draw inspiration from his interests, community and surroundings.
About the piece: With over-the-top kudu horns and lightning-possessed eyes the South African speed demon gets right up in your face. He casually says “howzit” just before leaving you in the red dust of the Kalahari.
Matt Kay is a South African designer and illustrator based in New York City. Born and raised in Durban, Matt’s work has been shaped by his environments and experiences, where thought process is paramount. He is currently working at the Original Champions of Design.
About the piece: Kalahari Speedweek – warm red sand, snake-like African patterns and acceleration marks.
JOH DEL (Johan de Lange) Is a South African graphic designer and illustrator currently living in London. With a great love for craft and fine detail, Johan enjoys using many different techniques including water colours, pencils, dipping pens, papercrafts and model building. He often illustrates and designs for big clients, but tries to spend as much time as possible on personal work, most notably his children’s book illustrations.
About the piece: For the poster I felt I needed to show the Team Dutchmann Porsche, to me this is what the project is all about. But as I’m no mechanic, I have to rely on my imagination when it comes to understanding exactly how an engine works. I find it almost a magical thing, a thing of beauty. So I tried to show this in my design. The naive illustration style of the outside of the car is retro ’60s inspired because the Porsche is originally from 1968. But there’s also a bit of African street sign inspiration in there, the kind of thing you can imagine painted on the wall of an old workshop somewhere in the Kalahari. And then the typography brings it all back to 2013.
Sindo Nyoni is a self-developed artist, activist and multidisciplinary designer and illustrator originally from Zimbabwe. His work primarily consists of a pencil, ink, pastels, gauche, acrylic and digital media fusion, to create a subversive African ‘street’ style.
About the piece: The poster fuses Zulu/Ndebele pattern art, and traditional Nguni gear with retro racing gear, to suggest an Afrofuturist approach within a South African context.
Clinton Campbell was born in Cape Town , grew up in Durban and returned to the Cape to study at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2001 he started an African-inspired street wear label called Muti, the name later adopted for the creative studio of which he was a founding member in 2011. He enjoys working in a variety of styles and disciplines, from his trademark African-style hand typography to vector illustration and icons.
About the piece: My aim was to keep an authentic, printed poster feel by working with a limited 2-colour palette and a gritty use of texture. I created a geometric pattern from the type, with a disregard for legibility and then interlaced this with a series of illustrated elements that were inspired by a retro, bad-ass lifestyle aesthetic.
Skullboy is a qualified graphic designer based in Durban, South Africa. He has been active as a successful artist, illustrator and curator in the local low-brow art exhibition scene in Durban since 2007. Since then people outside of Durban still continue not to give a bollock about him or his work (Dutchmann of course, aside)
About the piece: Following the general aesthetic principles from early vintage racing posters, I chose to create something beautiful, well crafted and visually interesting. After many hours, I was almost complete with my initial piece when I remembered ‘Johnny Hotrod’ by Nashville Pussy and decided to burn the whole lot to the ground. Because that’s what Johnny JR would have done.
Kronk (Kris Hewitt) is a graphic artist based somewhere in South Africa. His work can be described as a fun and happy marriage between graphic design, art and illustration, often letting the requirement dictate the style of the output. He has worked on everything from designer toys, footwear, apparel, branding, animation, comics, information graphics, magazines, books, surfboards, skateboards, product design and beyond. He never sleeps.
About the piece: I wanted to show the sexy side of racing by focusing on the eye candy, that is the brolly girl. Often overlooked, they perform a small function, but are an iconic part of a racer’s team make up. I also wanted to show the sheer speed of the vehicles involved using simple motion lines or racing stripes. By bringing these two elements together, the image highlights the beauty and speed that can only be found at the races.
Graphic designer and illustrator Brandt Botes heads up Studio Botes – a boutique design shop that specialises in corporate identities, packaging design and illustration. His work is informed by his sense of humour and his love of South Africa, typography and travel.
About the piece: I have always loved transport posters from the mid 1900s, especially ones depicting trains. They capture such an incredible sense of speed and direction in simple bold, layouts with a minimal colour palette. This, and the Zen nature of Hakskeen Pan, served as inspiration.
Richard Hart is an artist and designer currently based in Durban South Africa. “My work is often about shining light into the dark corners to see what beauty/filth/perversity/tenderness lurks there. But not always.”
About the piece: The cheetah is the fastest animal on the African plains. Or is it?
As a visual artist focused on sculpture and narrative filmmaking my principal concerns are on the socio-economic ramifications of ongoing imperialism on the African continent. As a graphic designer my practice specializes in print, corporate identity, exhibition, signage & way-finding and interface applications.
About the piece: My poster artwork wanted to reference an irreverent 1980s muscle car aesthetic coupled with a vernacular colour palette and a comic sensibility whilst utilizing my individual Dutchmann word mark design. I think.
The printed portfolios will be made available to the public soon and will consist of 12 prints in a box, editioned.