Design Indaba 2016

Execution & roll-out of theme and look and feel of the 20th Anniversary Design Indaba Conference.

Design Indaba 2016
'Experience the wonder of creativity'

Design Indaba is one of South Africa’s largest annual creative industry events and is attended by close to 4000 creative professionals. The festival spans over 3 days and features international speakers, film and design showcases, music, as well as local wares and talent.  This year the festival reclaimed its roots by moving back to its original venue – the Artscape Theatre.

The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town) has been creating and designing Design Indaba’s annual theme/concept for the last 13 years. 

The Challenge

The Design Indaba Festival celebrates creativity in all shapes and forms. This year’s campaign had one main objective: let delegates ’experience the wonder of creativity’. Our challenge was to create a festival identity that would capture ‘creativity’ and let delegates experience it visually.


Transforming the venue’s entrance with vinyl
The Solution

We created an identity that, like this year’s festival campaign, explored the elusive, ever-changing nature of ‘creativity’ and the creative process: how every person sees and experiences it differently; how creative ideas are born from a faint spark, then grow and develop into something brilliant and wonderful.

Inspired by this, we used light as a visual metaphor for the creative process and used vibrant colourful images and a flexible typographic system to convey a sense of motion and dynamism – even in static 2D elements.

Creating the unique backgrounds and identity building blocks

The look and feel was brought to life and used to transform the festival venue by applying it across various campaign elements – from the colourful flags and steps that welcomed festival-goers as they arrived, to the vibrant signage in the registration area, the auditorium, interactive installations, the stage, audio-visual elements, and more.

Speaker Installation

Every year part of our brief is to introduce festival-goers to the conference speakers.
They are often only announced the week of the conference, so making them visible is extremely important.

 Our solution was to design and build a colossal structure of light, growing from the marble foyer downstairs
 and continuing up to the second floor in the chandelier foyer.


The structure’s design was inspired by the thought that Design Indaba is a creative pilgrimage for many creative professionals. Therefore, we designed the installation to resemble a cairn stone (like a waypoint on a journey), while ensuring it’s visually striking, to evoke awe and wonder.

The structure was made from coloured perspex panels, lightweight aluminium LED tubing - has several colour-changing LED light boxes as well as 3 LED screens that displayed hologram videos of each speaker. (These videos were done in partnership with Wicked Pixels.) Upstairs, the installation featured two interactive pyramids (designed and build in partnership with Jam Donut) which pulsated and changed colour by reacting to any movement in front of the installation’s strategically placed Kinect cameras.

Speaker Video Introductions

To announce this year’s Design Indaba festival speaker line-up, we created video portraits of the speakers.
These were displayed on a large, modular LED display, and integrated into our double-storey speaker installation. The faces were treated to look like hologram projections.

Featuring quirky and strange video portraits of each speaker, the video gave festival-goers a glimpse into each speaker’s personality, and helped build anticipation about their upcoming talk.


Daily Holograms

To give delegates the chance to experience the wonder of creativity, we created an interactive flyer that transforms delegates’ smartphones into hologram viewers. Each flyer contained a viewing prism that delegates could use, with their smartphones, to experience a bespoke holographic animation.

The holographic story unfolded over three days and uses light as a central character to bring the creative process to life - how an idea is born from a spark, evolves with colour and movement, and develops into something vibrant and extraordinary.

View this on your mobile with a prism - here is how to make one

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Under Creative Direction of Joanne Thomas, Carla Kreuser, and Lucas van Vuuren.
Conceptualisation. Product design. UX design. 
Corporate Identity Design. Animation.
Copywriting by Gerhard Pretorius and Ayesha Daniels.
Videography and Photography by Gerhard Pretorius.
Editing by Altus Brand and Gerhard Pretorius.

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