Flow Communications

“Doing work we love with people we love” is at the heart of Flow’s ethos, and one of our latest pieces of work delivered to the South African Investment Conference in November really resonated with us as it aims to benefit every South African by spurring economic growth.

A brief from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to design and print booklets, a slipcover and memory stick for the conference heralded a busy few weeks for the content and design teams.

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The two booklets and hard case that Flow designed for the South African Investment Conference. (Image: Flow Communications)

Having created similar products for the same event in 2018, we had an idea of what was needed, but this year the IDC was looking for a premium print pack with a cleaner look and improved aesthetics.

With a tight deadline and a week required by the printers to meet the 2 500 print order, Flow’s “pink tank” ratcheted into high gear and came up with some truly South African-inspired artwork.

The designers’ approach to the booklets was informed by the five economic sectors being showcased. Large images depicted the beauty of South Africa, while the colours of the country’s flag were used to delineate the different sectors and make them easy for delegates to access. Each pack was made with future use in mind, and contained a handy flash drive containing all the booklet information.

“The slipcover holding the booklets was attractive, elegant, easy to pop into a laptop or carry-on bag, and lightweight,” said Flow’s head of design, Elmarie Nel.

“We enjoyed the challenges of this work as it made us push existing boundaries in terms of materials used – recyclable, of course – and special treatments like foiling, embossing and ultraviolet varnish.”

The designs were approved on first presentation with minimal changes, paving the way for a smooth production process in close collaboration with one of the many “people we love” and the person responsible for researching and compiling the compelling statistics in the investment pack, Jorge Maia.

As head of economic research and information at the IDC, Maia is an exacting, attention-to-detail client who has been described as “a dream to work with”. Maia made himself available for a few days to collaborate with our designers as the project proceeded.

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One of the booklets showing the flash drive and its pouch. (Image: Flow Communications)

Investment-attracting facts and figures were updated by the client and edited by Flow, and designs were presented for approval. 

With the printer’s proof signed off on a Friday night, printing began on the Saturday and continued until the following Friday, with client liaison extending to Flow sending the IDC videos of the die-cutting process at the printers. The weekend was taken up by packing, followed by a personalised delivery to the Sandton Convention Centre on Monday 4 November 2019 in good time for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to local and international delegates on Tuesday 5 November 2019.

When Khensani Mageza of the IDC’s marketing department picked up the finished product for the first time, her body language said it all. She hugged the packs to herself and beamed in obvious delight.

“This was such an uplifting project to work on as it’s such a positive thing. The whole point of the investment conference is that everyone is accountable for South Africa’s growth, from new businesses to potential investors in South Africa. For us, it was rewarding to have played a small role in helping to grow our country’s economy,” said Flow’s head of traffic, Christelle de Beer.

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