south african designers guide

one of the biggest bummers about HG closing was that a number of pieces i comissioned from my favorite bloggers that were due to appear on the site weren’t able to be posted. thankfully the writers were ok with the content appearing here instead! one of my favorite pieces was written by gary payn of spray glue in south africa. gary kindly agreed to let me post his roundup of up-and-coming south african artists and designers here instead so i’m thrilled to introduce gary’s selections right here. the guide starts below the jump so click here to view the full post or just click “read more” below. this guide will be archived in the guides section from now on if you’d like to view it again after it’s off the main page. thanks to gary for all his hard work!

Designer #1: Heather Moore

After working as an illustrator and writer for 11 years, Heather Moore decided to try her hand at a bit of design, so she started up a label called Skinny laMinx.

While still keeping up her magazine illustration and comics writing work, Heather puts her spare time to good use, designing and printing in her Cape Town studio. Her favourite tool is a nice sharp exacto knife, which she uses to hand-cut vinyl and paper artworks as well as decorative fridge magnets. She also wields her knife while coming up with textile designs which she screenprints onto T-shirts, teatowels, cushions and purses.

After opening an online shop at in April 2007, Skinny laMinx has been growing fast, and Heather has launched five new fabric designs since her shop opened, with many more waiting in the wings. Following the label’s online success, Skinny laMinx is now available in selected shops all over South Africa too. Heather’s fabrics and artwork is for sale at, and you can keep updated on her creative progress by reading her blog at For more info, read interviews with Heather at Craft Synergy and Indie Pretty Perfect.

Designer #2: Heath Nash

Heath Nash is a designer and maker from Cape Town. After majoring in sculpture at UCT, Heath started using the paper-skills developed there to make lights, eventually leading to the exploration of local craft materials and techniques – wire, binding, recycled materials. This led to a range he calls ‘other people’s rubbish’ made from old used plastic bottles. You can contact Heath via email right here.


Designer #3: Trevor Paul

Trevor Paul of Firebrand Design is a one-man graphic design and illustration outfit based in Durban, South Africa.


Designer #4: Chloe Townsend

Missibaba is a young, Cape Town based, accessory design company established just under three years ago by designer Chloe Townsend, after completing her studies at the London College of Fashion and homesick for her native surroundings. The leather pieces are hand crafted in an old cold room on the second floor
of a building housing a creative bunch. Her on going love affair with leather – it’s smell, maleability, depth of colour and texture – have been the underlying constant element in her design, be it pleated, hand painted, punched out, cut out or stitched. Fusing her solid practical training and her playful work ethic, Chloe’s designs allow for more freedom with colour and texture experimentation in a traditional craft field. A happy work environment is key – whether collaborating with craftswomen at the IKaya Trust Centre on one off embroidered bags or with her workshop team on her everyday bits and pieces. Inspired by people and surroundings allows for constant suprise and creativity.


Designer #5: Annabella Hilda Loubser

Annabella grew up in the Kalahari desert in Namibia. After finishing her degree in textile design and Technology (cumlaude) in Cape Town she and her husband relocated to Durban, South Africa. Annabella is inspired by the people of Africa, her german heritage, fellow designers, her environment
and God’s love. The she does variesm but it’s always about surface decoration and styling enhancing beauty and meaning in every possible way. You can contact Anabella right here.




Designer #6: Clinton Friedman


Clinton Friedman is a commercial photographer specialising in Advertising, Editorial and Fashion photography. He not only works on local projects in South Africa, but has also had the opportunity to shoot commisions in Miami Florida, Atlanta, New York City, London, India and China.


Designer #7: Christopher de Beer


Christopher is a graphic junior designer/art director from Durban South Africa, that wishes he was an industrial designer as well. Christopher is currently working in the advertising industry (fulltime), while completing his 4th year of study (Btech. Degree) at the same time. While completeing his graduate course in graphic design at DUT (Durban Institute of technology) Christopher works full-time as a Junior Designer in an Advertising Agency and runs his blog. He’s also in the process of sourcing and importing a clothing label with a partner and sells products developed by members of The Empire Collective at his Etsy Shop.



Designer #8: Crystal Cambell and Rosebud&Grumpers

Rosebud&Grumpers is a network of creative thinkers for developing interdisciplinary design projects. As a network, they blend unconventional, traditional and modern equipment and methods to produce a unique perspective in public art, open communities and knowledge sharing. Rosebud&Grumpers exhibits their work as a collective and aims to create community in design. Members of Rosebud&Grumpers are involved in several different creative facets. For this reason you will find we work in a wide range of creative projects. More detailed information can be found right here. South African stockists and e-commerce information can be found right here. The designer behind this specific project is Crystal Campbell.



Designer #9: Chantelle Roberts

Chantelle Roberts is a designer and illustrator from Vryheid, South Africa (but living and studying in Durban, South Africa). The 22 year old is currently studying for a Btech. Degree in Graphic design, focusing on Children’s Book illustrations and Character Design. This year has been spent specializing in children’s book illustration, having written and illustrated a children’s book of her own called I Love Broccoli. After spending some time developing her drawings she found that the medium she was working in for her book, namely gouache, wasn’t suited to some of the illustrations. She decided to branch out and, after searching the net for some inspiration, she came across the website of Heidi Kenney. After seeing her plushies, Chantelle decided that she had found her new medium: felt! Unfortunately, the pure wool felt is a little pricey in SA, so she’s stuck making them out of synthetic felt… but the extra love and care put into the making of each creature makes up for that. She hasn’t been taught how to sew or make patterns, but instead makes it up as she goes along. Chantelle’s toys are on sale at The Empire Collective at Etsy.


Designer #10: Suzanna Garland and Petticoat

There’s a delightful story behind the conception of South African fashion label, Petticoat. It all began when Cape Town designer Suzannah Garland was living in New York, doing a stint as assistant fashion editor for an American pop-culture magazine. One day, combing the streets of New York for inspiration, she came across a tiny boutique infused with the most wonderful scent. It was a moment when destiny played her card. Suzannah bought a bottle of the fragrance and left the shop having made the decision to launch her own fashion label. Today, when you buy one of her Petticoat creations, you’ll discover each has the same subtle scent. It’s this delicious attention to detail that is Petticoat’s signature. Suzannah returned to South Africa and honed her eye for fashion as art director of Glamour magazine, before introducing Petticoat over three years ago.


Designer #11: Bridget Mcnulty

Bridget McNulty is a passionate writer inspired by why people act the way they do. So fascinated, in fact, that she’s written a book about it. It’s about other things, too, but the undercurrent is all about figuring out why we do the stupid things we do. Especially when they relate to love.
Strange Nervous Laughter is this book. It follows a garbageman and an undertaker and a man who can speak to whales and a cashier-turned-motivational speaker as they muddle their way through the hottest summer Durban has ever known.

To promote the book, Bridget started a daily blog, and linked it to her website. The website offers news and a biography and an email club. There is also a Downloads page with a sample chapter, desktops and recipes. She sent the press copies out with hand-stamped green tea packets and handwritten notes, and ensures that at each of her readings there are green cupcakes (and green cake for a kissing photo prize.)

Why the emphasis on green? One of her characters eats only green food, in the hopes of getting into the Guinness Book of Records. Bridget is entering for the World’s Largest Cupcake in November.
Through her website, emails, and blog Bridget has gained a strong online following, but she feels very strongly about personally interacting with her readers, which is why she has three tea parties planned in the next two months – one in Durban, one in Cape Town and one in Joburg. She is inspired by cupcakes and fancy tea cups and time spent having real conversations in beautiful places.

To contact her, please visit her website or blog above, or email

Cover design by Disturbance Design



  1. Christian says:

    Excellent work!! Really love it!


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