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Fresh Meat: Emijl de Kock



Emijl de Kock completed his BA in Creative Brand Communication at the AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town last year, and is now cutting his teeth as a professional illustrator at Radio. Emijl’s work is clean, considered and meticulous, which two Loerie Awards (Gold and Silver) already under his belt attest to. We chatted to this rising star to find out more about his inspiration and thoughts on design and illustration.


How and why did you become interested in design and brand communication?


Ever since I was little, art was always my escape. I knew I wanted to do something creative, so after school I explored and job shadowed various fields. I guess the thing that made design stand out was how as a ‘creative’, I could pursue something which I love and help people solve problems in the process.


What do you enjoy, or alternatively dislike, about it?


Simply put – it’s the platform to turn passion into the profound. I appreciate all forms of design, but there’re always those selective pieces that just make you want to do the happy dance. I love how people can evoke that in others through their design. For me, it lies in illustration and editorial.


What is your design philosophy?


Enjoy what you’re doing and deliver quality. As Marco Pierre White puts it, ‘perfection is lots of little things done well.’


How would you describe your style of illustration, and what influences it?


Flexible. Although I have a very graphic and realism technique, I like mixing things up. I’m obsessed with new illustration styles and experiment until I get the knack for it – adapt or die, right?


What daily inspirations feed your creativity?


Nature, everything medieval, Japanese culture and Fredrik Posse’s Tumblr.


Please tell us about your creative process.


I’m a mix between medieval and modernity, which influences every project with an unique outcome. Regardless, my design practice is ruled by structure. I prefer a clean look and striking visuals, which leads to detail. I’m very meticulous and won’t rest until I regard my work as ‘perfect.’


Food Jams

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Was studying creative brand communication at AAA what you expected it to be? Has your perception of the field changed since your first year? – And if so how?


I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be the time of my life. The guidance and preparation I received really prepared me for industry, but it’s your peers that keep you going though. I really formed a new family during college. In terms of perception, absolutely! I appreciate work so much more, knowing now what the design process involves and the effort that goes into it. Preparation and time management is key.


What’s the best piece of advice you received while studying?


Don’t be afraid to experiment – very interesting things may develop out of a beautiful mistake.


Which of your creative projects are you most proud of? 


I would say my projects that obtained Loerie Awards and my graduate specialist project.


I won a gold Loerie in Collateral Design for Almanac of Extremely Average AnimalsUsed as a brand-building communication tool for National Geographic, we created an almanac emphasising some of the extremely average animals out there. Often overlooked, due to their boring appearance, we accentuated aspects that will interest and inspire – emphasising their relevance and importance to our society.


I won a silver Loerie in Packaging Design for Folklore. Used as packaging for a company that sells their products online only, I created a fairytale emporium that sells premium specialist artefacts from folklore stories. The packaging resembles lavishly embossed books, with the luxurious product nestled inside the pages.


For my specialist project I chose to explore illustration, where I experimented with different styles and techniques. I decided to showcase how the relevance of a human element is invaluable in our era of technology. Portraying my own take on an existing project – the drift bottle citizen science experiment, I invented The Guild of Oceanography and showcased it with a museum aesthetic. I designed a corporate identity; nautical logbook; log notes; nautical chart; memorabilia map; and posters and postcards to capture and commemorate this undertaking.


SPECIALISTSPECIALIST_3SPECIALIST_1.1Screen shot 2015-02-05 at 4.35.35 PMScreen shot 2015-02-05 at 4.34.52 PMEmijl de KockSPECIALIST_4


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Atlantic Puffins, St. Kilda, Scotland
57° 49’ 0’’ N, 8° 35’ 0’’ W


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Sarektjåkkå Aerial, Mount Sarektjåkkå , Sarek National Park
67° 25’ 55’’ N, 17° 43’ 30’’ E




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Zoniënwoud, Sonian Forest, Groenendaal
50° 46’ 0’’ N, 4° 25’ 0’’ E




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Korkeasaari, Helsinki Zoo , Helsinki
60° 10 ’30’’ N 0 24° 59’ 03’’ E


Screen shot 2015-02-05 at 4.38.12 PMSPECIALIST_1


What are your plans for 2015 and beyond?


I’m currently working at RADIO as a junior illustrator. It’s wonderful to be part of an environment that provides such a high level of skill and expertise, plus the people are awesome! I really appreciate the ingenuity of Scandinavian design and would love the opportunity to learn and experience that side of the world one day.


Where can we stay updated with your work?


Presently, on Behance:


Almanac of Extremely Average Animals 






Aduro Game Design



El Paso Daily



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