Get it right the first time!
We do not like to waste time, either our own or that of the client. Our approach is simple: listen carefully to the brief, ask questions to make sure everything is clearly understood, decide on a strategy, and then buckle down and get the job done. And get it right the first time (or at least try to)!
Likewise, meetings are generally a waste of everybody's time; just about everything can be explained by telephone or e-mail. This is borne out by our recent experiences: all national advertising work for Taylor Blinds was done from Stanford for 13 years without a single meeting, and the redesign of a national magazine for a client in Johannesburg required only one initial meeting. Distance simply need not be a problem at all in this day and age.
We believe good design has only one purpose: to get the message across. Graphics are needed to define the mood and style, but any ornamentation or "creative" elements that get in the way of the message, should be avoided.
As the written word often forms a large part of this communication process, our design work is always underpinned by sound typography. This has to do with everything from letter shapes and sizes, to the space between letters and between lines of type. We rely not only on intuition, but also on years of experience as well as published scientific research into legibility and readers' emotional response to, for instance, different colours. If required, we can even design a new typeface.
Although the technical requirements for web sites differ from those for the printed media, the underlying requirements of legibility and accessibility remain unchanged. Clear, intuitive navigation is crucial for a web site to be useful; this is more important than gimmicks and fancy trimmings that slow things down.
Our web sites are known to load particularly quickly, as all graphics are optimized to be as small as possible while still looking great. With more and more people accessing the internet from mobile devices, we provide a separate layout for viewing on smart phones (this is also in line with Google's latest requirements for rating sites).
And we won't charge you a fee for search-engine optimization – SEO is already built into every site we design.
Production of books & brochures
As recent clients will attest, Icon offers a complete, "one-stop" service for book production. Bring us the text and photographs, and we'll handle the editing (in English or Afrikaans), determine the most appropriate format and printing process, do the layout and process the photographs, and get the final material to the printer. We obtain an ISBN and can also generate an index for the book. Where necessary, we can take photographs or supply images from our archives.
Our book designs may be described as elegant, perhaps even classical, as they incorporate the proven principles of legibility and grid-based design. These are combined with a sound knowledge of digital pre-press preparation to ensure optimum print quality.
We bring the same expertise to bear on the production of brochures, magazines and newsletters.
Copywriting & editing
Complete services are offered in English and Afrikaans. Our experience and proven capabilities cover writing newspaper and magazine articles, editing of newspapers, magazines and books, translation and editing of books, as well as writing copy for a wide variety of brochures and advertisements.
Writing is handled as an integral part of the design process, which cuts down on time and costs. All this is done in-house, thereby eliminating meetings and sending proofs backwards and forwards for copy changes.
Advertising & marketing
Marketing experience covers a wide range, from selling investment diamonds through direct-response advertising, to promoting an entire country (Namibia) in overseas markets.
With the client, we identify the product's unique selling proposition and help to choose appropriate target audiences and cost-effective advertising channels. Recent successes have included the extensive use of social media, at very little cost to the client.
Photography & illustration
Maré Mouton has exhibited photographs in South Africa and Namibia, and also served as photography critic for Die Burger. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, advertisements and many brochures. His commercial work covers the gamut from photographs of small products to landscapes and aerial photography. Annalize's work has appeared in i.a. Village Life magazine and the large-format book Stanford 150 – Portrait of a Village, and has been exhibited in South Africa, Holland, Italy and Germany.
Maré's illustrations have appeared in i.a. Huisgenoot and Sarie, and many corporate publications. His cartoons have also appeared in Die Burger, BY, Die Republikein and elsewhere.
When necessary, we can contract outside photographers for specific shoots, or supply material from our archives.
© Copyright 2019 Icon Communications CC • Registration Number CK1992/002208/23