Bison Interview

December 22, 2010 4:33 pm Published by

Name: Bison
Hometown: Cape Town
Favourite colour: Motor oil in sunlight

What was your inspiration or the idea behind your Verb design?

We interpreted the meaning of the word “Verb” as the creative processes in the mind, which results in the actions of the body. We wanted to somehow have a face on the one side and legs on the other, whatever was in between was representative of these processes within the mind.

Could you briefly explain the process you went through in creating this work?

We spoke a little bit about the concept or if there should even be one. The Illustration would be the base of the design as we decided the typography could work itself in afterwards. We scanned the line illustration into the computer and then experimented with adding some colour using Photoshop. The type was formed after playing with some geometric shapes cut out of black paper and the way the word is split in half seemed to balance the layout well, integrate into the illustration and reinforce the idea of a beginning and an end.

What music were you listening to while you were creating your graphics for the Verb range?

Good question! A lot of Télépopmusik at the time. Bon Iver, Colleen, Message to Bears and Danny Norbury. They always lend a helping hand.

Did you have any formal art education, or are you self-taught?

It’s a combination of the two. We both studied graphic design at Pentech in Belville.

What sort of full-time work do you do currently? Are there any other projects you’re involved with at the moment?

I freelance from home and run Bison from day to day and Linsey works during the day at the amazing Shy The Sun doing illustration work for animation.

What sorts of mediums do you work in and what do you enjoy about it?

Anything from paint to pen and pencil, photography. They all offer different feelings to the end result, it’s a matter of choosing the right technique and tool. Paint and brush is a lot looser and often expressive on a larger scale than the precision and detail you can get from a 0.1 point pen for example.

Do you do anything else for fun other than making art?

Designing furniture, trying to record music, eating sushi, going on camping trips with friends and watching good movies.

Who are some of the artist’s whose work you enjoy or take inspiration from?

Inspiration can come in so many forms and there are so many really great artists and designers it’s hard to define a list of inspiring work.

How do you feel about being an artist living and working in South African?

We feel as though South Africa has the potential to become one of the art and design centers of the world and is massively underrated. We are proud of the amount of great quality work that SA produces even though we are so small in relation to the rest of the world. We seem to be an inherently creative people, are always searching for new mediums for expression and are always willing to learn.

What was your favorite project this year and why?

Needless to say, it’s hard to choose one when you pull your all into every project. We particularly enjoyed the process behind a special edition vodka package we did for Smirnoff as well as the end result… great client too. We were also excited when Verb asked us to design a skateboard deck for them, it’s always refreshing to work on different formats like that. I know this is three now, but I have to mention how much we love working with musicians… Jay Wood, Aking and City Movie Scene this year in particular.

What are you looking forward to in 2011, any projects or goals in the pipeline?

Looking forward to 2011, more artwork for music hopefully. Together with Christopher Marc Moore and Capetonian band Aking we are working towards developing a new art direction for the band, which is going to be a lot of fun to work on. We are also always keen on doing more personal art and exhibitions, it’s quite fulfilling.

Do you have any websites or blogs that people interested in your work should check out?

Our official website is

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