International Council of Communication Design has designs on Africa
by Herman Manson (@marklives) Gaby de Abreu, the executive creative director of the Switch Brand Agency, believes the graphic design industry around Africa has much to benefit from associating with international industry organisations, and a lot to offer.
De Abreu was recently voted onto the board and became vice-president of the International Council of Communication Design (Icograda) as the representative from the Brand Council of South Africa. Icograda, a world body for professional communication design, represents 224 member organisations across 129 cities and 67 countries.
With his election de Abreu hopes to introduce South African designers, and their counterparts in key and growing African design markets, to Icograda, and use its established credentials to help enhance the standards of design, professional practice and ethics in the industry. He wants to regulate the pitching process for greater benefit to designers, for example.
Icograda also aims to measure the contribution of the design economy in socio-economic terms, something it believes will help the industry engage better with governments, as well as highlighting the value of design to the business community. It also endorses a Design Week in various territories which are billed as a “multi-faceted series of events addressing leading themes, thinking, and trends within the communication design sector.”
De Abreu hopes to host a meeting of Icograda in Cape Town next year to coincide with the Design Indaba and would also like to host an Icograda endorsed South African Design Week by 2014 when Cape Town takes on the World Design Capital title.
Talking of which, like much of the communication industry, de Abreu is still scratching his head as to how to get involved in and contribute to the Design Capital initiative, but says the graphic design industry will probably look to collaborate with other design industry bodies to showcase the best in design across a broad range of specialist fields.
Talking about the impact design has on business is something De Abreu is passionate about and he wants the design industry to communicate its success more forcefully to a broader audience. He points to the digital designers behind every successful website as an example and urges them to tell their stories and help highlight the power of design.
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