ystudio – Fountain Pen

It’s safe to say that we at the Stellenbosch Academy are stationery geeks. Whether it’s fun new gadgets, new types of paper or (of course) interesting pens – we’re in. So when we saw this fountain pen by ystudio, a Japanese design agency, we had to share it. Not only is the design of the product itself, perfectly minimalist and beautiful – it’s just such a cool pen to have!

This is going straight onto our Christmas list!


Thinking Tree – Packaging Design

What a great design by Hired Guns Creative for Thinking Tree Spirits! This brand is inspired by a folktale where a tree is given the ability to think, and we can see a number of callbacks to this story in the design – from the leaves to the birds, worms and butterflies. We also see a lot of influence from baroque mirrors and other ornate almost art nouveau stylings, which we must admit we always love.

Something tells us that this is the kind of bottle you could spend hours staring at while you sit at a table, slowly imbibing its contents!

Have a look at the details below!


Duncan Senkumba – Masso Awwo

Duncan Senkumba is an illustrator and animator from Uganda who pays particular attention to local subjects. Here, we’re sharing an animation he made that brings to life what it feels like to navigate a taxi rank in Uganda – all the sights, sounds and colours.

As South Africans, if we’ve spent any time at local taxi ranks, we can very quickly see both the similarities and differences. Amazing work!


BlckGold – Character Designs

Sy Black is a designer and illustrator from London who now plies his trade in Canada. We’ve shared some of his awesome 3D character designs here – using the fun, cartoonish style we are used to but with African and black characters. What we especially love about Black’s style is the way he his able to capture the personality of his characters, using just illustration, clothing and poses.


To see more of his work, check out his instagram page here.


Farnham Ale Packaging

This work by lg2boutique takes the category of craft beer (something we’ve featured many times on this blog) and turns it on its head. Craft beer is always a good place to look for great design, because people are willing to take more risks. There’s more room to try something a little bit out there. Which is exactly why this packaging stood out to us.

Rather than being over the top, this design is all about radical restraint and minimalism. With a minimal colour palette and the utmost simplicity, this design creates enormous impact. Building from the fact that this beer has strong citrus notes, we see how this translates into a perfect answer to the question of striking packaging. It is not always necessary to be over the top and exuberant – sometimes less truly is more!


Gradex 2016

What an incredible night!

We recently held our annual showcase event, where all our students get the chance to show everyone the incredible work they’ve done throughout the year. We had attendees from family and friends through to other educational institutions and industry and the feedback so far has been very positive – so well done everyone! This truly has been an incredible year for us at The Academy.

We’ve selected just a few pictures here of the exhibition to show you the amazing quality of the work our students have produced this year. Stay tuned on our social media platforms to see more.

Catch us on Facebook here.


Havana Club – Print Campaign

We love this campaign by BBDO New York for Havana Club rum. Through some smart art direction, this campaign brings to life the golden age of rum – when life was just a little more glamorous and exciting (or so we’d like to tell ourselves). We’ve got beautiful type, great illustrations and fun copy all working together to make for a campaign you can’t help but spend time drooling over.

Havana Club’s line: The golden age aged well is so fitting – perfect synergy between brand promise and art direction here! And while this campaign is fun to look at and admire, we imagine it was incredibly fun to put together too. Great stuff!