There’s no doubt that 2020 was a uniquely challenging year for those pursuing tertiary studies, with many universities shifting their entire curriculums online – not to mention, the broader mental and emotional strains that come with living through a global pandemic. As is our custom we’ve since explored the work of these resilient recent graduates to share a few of the outstanding new entrants into the fields of art, design, photography, fashion and illustration with you. We’ve published in-depth Q&As with this talented lot as part of 10and5’s annual Grad Guide and, in the list below, you’ll find a summary of the five young South African graphic and multimedia designers whose work has caught our eye.
An important principle belies Masego Morgan‘s playful design style, which she describes as “kindercore” – calling to mind both her vibrant colour pallete and frequent use of rounded organic forms, as well as her commitment to sustainability. So much so that having graduated now with her major in graphic design, she has begun her postgraduate in Sustainable Development. During her studies last year she co-founded cnscs_ (pronounced conscious), a platform whereby her interests in fashion, design and the environment converge. “I always want to create with purpose and I’m very aware that what I create can either negatively or positively impact the world. So I try not to create more waste, but I also want things to be fun and joyful, even when talking about serious topics,” she says.
Angelina Wicker‘s design style is whimsical, inviting, at times a little surreal, and grounded through the use of bold typography. In 2020 she completed her bachelor’s degree in visual communication at the Stellenbosch Academy of Photography and Design, majoring in multimedia design. The website for her studio Awica is a beautiful showcase of her varied skill set. “Being in the creative industry makes me happy and personally that’s one of the most important things in life. I also love the way design can solve problems and create better solutions. All in all, design can be anything and can be seen in everything,” says Wicker.
Inspired by childhood memories and life’s small joyful moments, Miriek Jansen van Rensburg‘s digital illustration and design work is playful and eye-catching, with fine patterns adding texture to otherwise bold forms. She studied visual communication at Open Window Institute in Centurion, double majoring in communication design and illustration. “I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. I play with leaves, skip down streets and run against the wind. We sometimes underestimate the influence of the “little things”. As a designer, I try to slow down and focus on the significant and truly appreciate what matters most,” she says.
With a love of creative expression as well as a mind that leans towards the analytical, the field of graphic design provided the ideal meeting point for these two very different but complementary aspects of Andrea Rossouw‘s nature. Having just completed her BA in visual communications at Red & Yellow, she is now freelancing at a design agency in the heart of Cape Town and plans to use 2021 to flex her creative muscles and learn new skills. “Personally, I feel that the easiest way to describe my individual aesthetic to someone is that it’s an extension of myself, since I try to capture bits and pieces of my detail-oriented, fun-loving and quirky personality within the work I create. I also love embracing colour and the things that make me happy – regardless of how silly those things may be,” Rossouw says.
Cheyenne Fernánda Miller‘s approach to design is unpretentious yet carefully considered, being of the belief that “great design holds the power to change the world”. Having studied at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography, majoring in multimedia design, she is now completing her postgraduate degree while growing her creative agency Atelier Ferná and developing an app to connect young creatives of colour with more opportunities in the industry. “I sincerely believe that well thought out, great design holds agency and the power to change the world. My philosophy as a designer is to stop and think about how my position and profession can impact the climate we live in, in the most effective and accessible way possible,” she says.
Chanel Slabbert received her degree in visual communication from Centurion’s Open Window Institute, and this year she’s going on to complete her honours. She enjoys working in a vector-based style, contributing to the crisp look of her designs, which are brought to life through a playful use of colour. “The projects I created in my final year allowed me to push myself as a designer. Each project presented a new opportunity to let my creativity be explored while learning new ways of thinking critically about design and applying my skills,” she says.