Icon Communications was founded in March 1990 in Cape Town as a full-service communications and graphic design agency specialising in brochures, newsletters, magazines, annual reports and advertising for corporate clients (see client list). Icon offered experience across the whole communications spectrum with the expertise to produce publications from concept, copywriting, photography and design through delivery of the finished product. It liaised closely with media agencies, reproduction houses and printing firms to ensure that those best suited for each project were brought on board.
Maré Mouton has over 40 years’ experience in designing, editing and producing publications ranging from daily newspapers (Die Burger, Beeld, Die Republikein) and national magazines (Huisgenoot, Landbouweekblad), to brochures, books and postage stamps. After more than ten years with various divisions of Nasionale Pers, he worked in Windhoek from 1982 to 1990, first as chief sub-editor at Die Republikein and thereafter as general manager of Transcontinental Consultancy, which represented the Transitional Government of National Unity in various overseas countries.
From 1987 to 1990 he was managing director of Interface (Pty) Ltd, a highly successful design and communications company which inter alia compiled and published the official Windhoek Information Brochure (1988/89 & 1989/90), Namibia Brief for the Namibia Foundation, tourist information brochures, as well as corporate publications and advertising for clients such as the University of Namibia, Standard Bank, the electricity corporation (Swawek), the Broadcasting Corporation and Air Namibia. Maré also took the photographs for most of these publications. Interface was one of the very first companies in southern Africa who could convert word-processing files to typesetting and do page make-up on-screen.
In 1990, Icon Communications was one of the first studios to fully utilise the full-colour electronic make-up capabilities offered by the newer generations of computers, and the company was regarded as amongst the leaders in this field. It built its reputation on quick turnaround times, meticulous attention to detail and hassle-free production, even under great pressure. Icon delivered on time, at reasonable cost. The company, employing only three designers, in a single month produced more than 300 pages, which included five-colour make-up for three annual reports.
Maré closed his Cape Town business and moved to Stanford in 2001, from where he continued to produce national advertising for Taylor Blinds, as well as other graphic design work (including the redesign of a magazine for Media24 in 2008). From October 2003 to July 2010 he and his wife, Annalize, published Village Life magazine, which was noted for the quality of its contents, photography and production, and had 2 000 devoted subscribers all over South Africa.
In 2008 Village Life published a hard-cover coffee-table book, Stanford 150 : Portrait of a Village by Annalize Mouton, and in 2009 and 2010 added a tourism guide to the Overberg & Surrounds, which proved to be hugely effective and popular.
Maré handles the design, editorial and production side for print, advertising and custom-designed websites, while Annalize contributes Wordpress websites, social media campaigns and photography.
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