- Created: 29 September 2016
20th Poetry Africa Poster
The Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology in The Department of Visual Communication Design is delighted to provide some insight into the process of creating and designing the 20th Poetry Africa poster.
This collaboration started in 2012 where the Centre approached DUT to breathe new life into the Poetry Africa campaign. It has become a vital part of the visual identity of the festival, where Durban can expect a new design each year to embody the current mood of events. The project has developed over the years from a brief that initially required students to hold on to the image of the African mask and slowly evolved and invited interpretations that include a broader set of references to the festival’s rich African heritage. The goal of the poster is not only to convey the energy, richness of content and spirit of the festival, but also to shift people’s preconceptions about poetry, and to entice the viewer to find out more about the events. The evolution led to this year’s poster designed by 3rd year student Nhlakanipho Nxumalo.
Nhlakanipho is a 22-year-old young man from the rural area, Umbumbulu, South Coast of Durban. He is described by his lecturer, Marlene Louise Wasserman as a gentle, thoughtful and dedicated student. He often uses his sketchbook to develop his ideas and takes caution in crafting the end product. Nhlakanipho’s response to the brief given by the Centre came from a deeply sincere and personal interpretation of the role of the poet. Without it being his intention the result was evocative of a once prescribed Zulu young reader book, called Masihambisane. In that way, the image seems to touch and tap into a collective memory of early encounters with words.
Marlene went on to say that their department is known to have a healthy relationship with industry and the students often get an opportunity to work on real-world projects. This particular project is special in that the students get an opportunity to design for an audience within their own community and there is great excitement when the final poster goes up on the streets of Durban.
This is what Nhlakanipho had to say, “I couldn’t believe it when I was told my image had been chosen to be the face of the 20th Poetry Africa, I am excited because my work will be exposed to other creatives and I hope it will serve as inspiration to young graphic designers like myself.”
The two runners-up as selected by the Centre for Creative Arts are Micaela Leigh Naicker and Lindo Msibi.
Presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Phone: +27 (0)31 260 2506
Fax: +27 (0)31 260 3074