Graphic Designers in Zimbabwe

Art & Design | By Tashinga Dekunye, Graphic Designer | 02 October 2015

The design industry in Zimbabwe, maybe the world over, is probably the single most under-rated profession historically. Zimbabwe’s multi-faceted economy revolves around the design industry. With all due respect to elements and components that hold up our economy, it’s a great misfortune that everything that needs to be done in any business related activity cannot be done without a designer. From this background however, the industry pays very little homage to the process of design. It is because of this primary reason resulting in a lack of appreciation that has passionately given birth to Graphic designers Zimbabwe (GDZ). 

Graphic designers Zimbabwe is setting up to be Zimbabwe’s largest designers’ body. We envision a national agenda of being able to certify and assist in publishing graphic and communication content for designers.  Whether an established individual or a designer just starting off, the organization seeks to have a component that one can contribute and belong to. GDZ will turn its focus to the grass roots of our industry as a means of getting participation that revolves around the designer as opposed to the organization. Our establishment will embody and commit to the advancement of professional standards, value and impact of design, starting locally but targeting influence internationally and actively regulating professional conduct.  GDZ  will be a member-based organization of design professionals, educators, administrators, students and affiliates in communications, marketing, media and design-related fields, working together to inspire, support and learn from each other by contributing from each other’s individual growth. The Organization’s primary goal/focus will be to harness and foster a membership that is driven to advance the profession, grow professionally, mentor each other, show off their work, and enjoy the camaraderie.

designers work as vendors or in a professional setup churning the wheels of industry and oiling efficiency for our country, turning what is seemingly void and empty into perceptions that the mind can readily grasp. A huge gap between the process and an appreciation for it still persists though. This misunderstanding has become the basis for manipulation, distorted expectations and to some extent taking advantage of the industry.  As designers we have expectations of the sweat we put into our work, in terms of monetary returns, long term investment and a general satisfaction that comes from a day’s work. Some designers barely realise this, hence Graphic designers Zimbabwe is meant to become an influence in bringing the much needed change for creatives across Zimbabwe.

The Organization is setting up the administrative structures that will enable individuals within the industry to speak as one voice, action their concerns and make a difference that can be recognizable with the global community. These will enable us to effectively put in place a mission and goals that we can work towards in building a robust design industry that can produce work to rival  regional and international standards. Our vision will include putting in place an industry that can complement content coming out of regional block on various media platform.  Most creative content is produced primarily for three media platforms - television, internet and print. As creatives in Zimbabwe, we should dominate this space and assist our individuals to reach their full potential by investing in them and the industry. A system founded primarily to foster change and cater for the needs and growth of the industry allows the creatives themselves to rest assuredly in producing quality work. Those who engage creatives should do so with a full appreciation of the work they are doing and the process to get the work done within the Zimbabwean industry. The organization is putting in place a facility that will generate funds for the organization and its membership as well as be the central hub for assisting our members to grow, to be educated and to be highly efficient Zimbabwean professionals. 

In conclusion the organization embodies every person who qualifies to be creative, by virtue of passion and is driven by a genuine desire to constantly better the visual component of being a creative. It fuses the concept of appreciation and value addition into a single space for the benefit of engaging professionalism at its highest level. The organization will standardise the design process and bring order to the industry – however in the rephrased words of Saki Mafundikwa – 

“You wanna break the rules? Well, you gotta LEARN the rules first”. 

 

Learn to draw like your life depends on it and in his Yale adopted concept “less is more.”, We find our passion to educate Zimbabwe about our industry so they can appreciate it more.

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