Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016

Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.

The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).

As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”

Owiny Sigoma Band: Afro Grooves and Psychedelic Album Art

I discovered Owiny Sigoma Band thanks to Radio 6, while in the studio this week. Hearing Luo piqued my interest and then, upon discovering that the song was called “Deep Kisumu Fish” (listen), I had to look these guys up.

When I did, I was mesmerised by the fluorescent, psychedelic album cover art. Totally matches the description of the music on Bandcamp: “a collection of gloriously hypnotic Afro grooves symbolic of the true culture clash between the Luo and London”.

Continue reading “Owiny Sigoma Band: Afro Grooves and Psychedelic Album Art”

Project Stories: African Women’s Development Fund Logo and Website Revamp

Every now and again, a project comes along that speaks to my heart, mind and soul (I’m really grateful that, after almost 5 years in business, this is becoming the rule rather than an exception!).

Working with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has been one of those projects. It’s merged the things I care about:

Continue reading “Project Stories: African Women’s Development Fund Logo and Website Revamp”

Finding the right graphic designer for you – dos and don’ts

This post was originally written for Your Radiant Business – a blog created by my homeopath, Tracy Karkut-Law, and I, born out of our shared passion for the web and social media. On the blog we share everything we know about building a great online presence. It’s targeted towards homeopaths but a lot of the content is transferable for people building a business in other fields. This post fits that bill and I thought I’d repurpose it a little to share with you.

—————————

People are naturally very visual and, like it or not, many of us make judgements based on how something looks. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is a common warning for a reason!

It’s important to think about whether your communication materials are aligned with the personality of your business, your values, what you want to be known for and how you want to make people feel. All of these things can be expressed through the design decisions you make, be it the colours and fonts you choose, the style of your imagery and how you put all of these elements together.

Let’s face it, this can be fiddly. And it’s hard to know if you’ve got it right. What might seem sufficient in your eyes, may not be effective in communicating your message to the world and, specifically, to your prospective clients/customers.

How can you create materials that let people know that you’re the right option for them (and keep your sanity at the same time)?

Continue reading “Finding the right graphic designer for you – dos and don’ts”

Project Stories: ‘African Cities’ Greeting Cards

You may have already gathered my excitement, from Facebook and Instagram, about one of my latest projects – a series of greeting cards I’ve titled ‘African Cities’. Here’s a little secret: they were a bit of an accident.

 

Context is everything

I was working on calendar designs and I was inspired to embark on a side project, taking abstract elements from the drawings I’d created and reinterpreting classic festive themes. Upon experimenting, I realised the beauty of this approach was that the cards could be seen as holiday-specific but, they could also very much work well for any occasion, any time of the year.

Continue reading “Project Stories: ‘African Cities’ Greeting Cards”

Project Stories: Brand Identity Design for Toghal

I recognise that the story behind the work is often more compelling than the outcome. It’s through these stories that we understand the full context within which something exists. We get an insight into the creator’s intentions and inspirations, as well as into their process. And so a new Afri-love series is born: Project Stories. I hope you enjoy it – let me know what you think in the comments.

————————————————————————

The brief

About a year ago, Dayo Forster approached my graphic design studio, Asilia, with regards to developing the visual identity for the homeware brand she was launching.

Toghal was born out of a love for textiles, African heritage and the huge diversity of pattern, form and expression found in traditional African fabrics. Co-founder Dayo wanted to take inspiration from these traditional designs and keep their heritage alive by reimagining them in a fresh, contemporary way.

Continue reading “Project Stories: Brand Identity Design for Toghal”

Inspired: Chinua Achebe Book Covers

1 Chinua-Achebe-Things-Fall-Apart-A-Man-of-the-People

 

Since Chinua Achebe's passing last Thursday, my Facebook feed has been inundated with great quotes from the inspirational writer. There is a particular statement that I love and that resonates so perfectly with philosophy behind this blog:

"Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am, and what I need, is something I have to find out myself.”

Chinua Achebe's literary works inspired great book cover designs and this post showcases some of my favourites. 

Continue reading “Inspired: Chinua Achebe Book Covers”

Defiance by Design: Chaz Maviyane-Davies

Chaz-Maviyane-Davies

As a student, it was difficult to learn about African graphic designers, let alone ones concerned with channelling the power of design for good. I remember the excitement I experienced when I finally discovered Chaz Maviyane-Davies.

Here was somebody creating striking, clever and provocative work. Challenging several perceptions at the same time:

Continue reading “Defiance by Design: Chaz Maviyane-Davies”