We love brands. So much in fact, that our screen savers show interesting packaging, the weekly Escher or an inspirational quote from Margaret Calvert or Neville Brody.
We live and breathe it. We analyse the font usage in a headline before we read it and secretly guess the Pantone colours on the products in our shopping trolleys and seeing our brands reach new heights as a result of great design is the goal.
Many years in advertising and design has yielded experience in: Aviation, Beauty, Tourism, FMCG, Retail, Corporate, Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Decor, Mining, Telecommunications, Food & Beverage, Conservation, Radio/broadcasting, Insurance, Automotive & Car Rental, Education, Physiology & Life Coaching, Fashion, Courier & Transport, Property, Construction, Government, conferences, weddings and events.
We are a below-the-line design studio that caters for big campaigns we can get our teeth into, to the everyday projects that keep a brand ticking. Our services include: Below-the-line & Graphic Design, Brand Creation, Development & Activation, Corporate Identity, Strategic Communication, Creative Production, Corporate Programmes, Concept Development, Brainstorming & Creative Consultation, DTP & Repro Services, Copy Writing, Photo Retouching & Enhancement, as well as training and mentoring within our field of expertise.
We are often asked to explain graphic design. There is much confusion as to the exact definition. There are many facets to the design industry: above-the-line, below-the-line, layout, DTP, high-level strategic creativity, finished art and repro, origination, content and copy, brand, trend analysis – to name a few and each is as different as the other. Some require years of experience; others need a mathematical and technical mind; some require the creativity of a collective brainstorm and others simply need a talented guru to sit quietly in thought to produce a design worthy of award. Whichever discipline you are looking for, there is one common goal for all – communication. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it and who you are saying it to. If a strong, well-researched, collaborative marketing strategy is the voice, then a well-executed design is the megaphone so the world may hear it.
The industry is changing. In past years, making use of an advertising agency was for large companies who had large marketing budgets. This thinking excluded the small to medium businesses and while many smaller businesses prefer to do things themselves. We are moving toward making graphic design services accessible to anyone who understands the value a professionally designed logo or brochure.
The cost of a creative project is difficult to predict, making the budgets for marketing a frustrating exercise. This is why we provide a cost estimate based on a perfect world scenario and previous work of a similar nature. To ensure the project runs as close to the plan as possible, we work with you to ensure your briefs are concise, your strategic thinking is sound and reverts are kept to a minimum.
In 2014 after 2 decades in the advertising and design industry, Nicole Landey took the step to create a design studio unlike any other at the time. She loved her career but wasn’t convinced that she needed to sacrifice the other areas of her life to achieve success and enjoy her creative field. This philosophy gave rise to Nikolorum Design Partners. The name itself (Niko-law-rum) is deeply personal, being the nickname her grandmother gave her as a child. She believes that the advertising, design and marketing fields need not be found exclusively in fancy buildings in city centres. Her studio was based on Johannesburg’s east rand, away from the bustle and traffic, where a designer can enjoy fresh air and focus on creativity and find inspiration.
“Excelling in the creative field is about honouring yourself, because we pour everything we are into our work. In a world where the boundaries between work, life and everything else are slowly disappearing, it is important to define the areas we draw the most joy from. Everything is design – every influence, every feeling, every activity gives us the passion, inspiration and experiences we need to be the best designers we can be.”
In 2020 when the world stopped and held it’s breath at the news of Covid-19, Nicole decided to reinvent the philosophy in response to the change. The Nikolorum Design Pods were conceptualised. Each design pod is able to operate from anywhere, all feeding back into the collective to uphold the design standard they are known for. We have now included other companies that service the design industry as partner pods, to create a network of services that we were not able to offer before.
“Nikolorum is more than a graphic design studio. Integrating ourselves as a design partner is about becoming an extension of the marketing or PR teams, working side by side with sales, operations and e-commerce, as well as other creative agencies. The relationship does not end when the job is finished. We are as invested in the brands and companies as the employees and the results of this approach has seen clients stay for many years.”
Nicole is determined and focused on delivering a service that adds value – not just a pretty layout with a logo. Her team shares this outlook and as more pods are added to the network, she believes this approach to design, branding, marketing and strategy will redefine what it means to be a design partner. Her view on how the world uses design provides a refreshing change from the norm and promotes the idea that engaging with a designer partner is not only for the monied folks at large corporations.