Nasou Via Africa Proprietary Design & Branding VIA AFRIKA - GIVE STUDENTS A VOICE. BOOK COVERS by The Jupiter Drawing Room South Africa

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Industry Books
Media Design & Branding
Market South Africa
Agency The Jupiter Drawing Room South Africa
Executive Creative Director Ross Chowles
Copywriter Ian Malone
Designer Brandt Botes
Illustrator Brice Reigner
Released January 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Books
Executive Creative Director: Ross Chowles (The Jupiter Drawing Room)
Creative Director - Design: Joanne Thomas (The Jupiter Drawing Room)
Designer: Brandt Botes
Copywriter: Ian Malone
Illustrator: Brice Reigner
Media placement: Grade 1 & Grade 2 Covers - South African Schools - 10 June 2011
Media placement: Grade 3 & Grade 4 Covers - South African Schools - January 2012
Media placement: Grade 5 & Grade 6 Covers - South African Schools - January 2012
Media placement: Grade 10 & Grade 11 Covers - South African Schools - January 2012

Describe the brief from the client
In South Africa publishers of textbooks have to take part in a tendering process before their books are selected for schools. Via Afrika was the result of an amalgamation with a black-owned publisher, but still suffered from the perception that it was from the 'old South Africa', where historically education was a tool to divide and repress; where textbooks were boring and uninspiring; where teachers encouraged rote learning and discouraged questioning. They wanted to re-evaluate the important role they played in the education of South African youth and the way they interacted with learners and teachers.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
In their quest to become the preferred textbook provider, Via Africa needed to change the negative perception of education and the uninspiring nature of textbooks. They wanted to do so by celebrating children as individuals with dreams, potential and future possibilities and by giving them a voice. They tasked us to make that vision a reality.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We wanted to listen to learners, rather than talking to them. We decided that the design of the books should be informed by the children themselves - their thoughts; their dreams; their aspirations. We embarked on a year-long journey, interviewing children from every corner of the country. The children themselves star on the front covers of the books, surrounded by illustrations that represent their dreams. Their thoughts are quoted on the back cover. The illustration style was inspired by the way children often cover their school books.We designed books across all grades and adapted them to be age appropriate.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The feedback from students was hugely positive. They felt immensely validated and inspired for being part of the textbook redesign. The tendering process is still ongoing, but so far Via Afrika has been very successful in having their textbooks selected for most grades across most provinces.