Profile

The CREATE DESIGN ™ Story 

Having our own agency is a dream. A dream that has come to life through extremely hard work, sleepless nights and minute attention to detail.

The idea was born from a passion for visual graphics and image making.

Colin worked for The Lancet publishing house, which allowed him to experience working in the design and production of a weekly publication. Meeting heavy print deadlines and having to manage his own work flow was the sort of behind the scenes stuff that helped him understand the fast and furious world of production. From there, Colin moved to Leeds where he managed a design team at Sinclair Mason, a firm who handle accounts like Ashworths UK, Callaway Golf, Oxford Hotels and Silent Night (the largest bed manufacturer in UK). He gained fantastic experience there, expanding on his knowledge of print media and management as well establishing a solid foundation in online media, website design and that has proved invaluable to CREATE DESIGN ™.

After spending quite some time in the United Kingdom, working for these well-recognised design agencies, we felt ready to bring our experience home and make our dream a reality, starting in 2003 with our first client, LifeLine / Childline Western Cape. The charity work we did for this organisation set the pace for what soon became a rollercoaster adventure ride as we were approached by more and more clients.

Besides giving our clients the best service we can offer, we are also very conscious of the need to keep in touch with latest technologies and trends. Equally important is personal and intellectual stimulation and Colin Stephenson completed an honours degree through NMU in 2009.

We see CREATE DESIGN ™ as being an ever-evolving company – one that is kept fresh and inspired by our personal interests, influences and growth.

 

Colin Stephenson

(BTech Fine Art, NMMU, Photography)
www.colinstephenson.com


After completing a Fine Art Degree at the NMMU and taking an additional year to complete a second Major in Photography, I worked for a highly-regarded Cape Town advertising photographer for a year. This was followed by a year in a top UK magazine publishing house, working in the design and production department. I then returned to Cape Town for a year’s post-graduate studies in Design and New Media, refining a technical skill set to complement my Fine Art and Photography training. After freelancing in Cape Town, I returned to the UK to run a small design team for an agency with years of heritage. This role, and the lessons learned within the agency from very experienced colleagues, set the stage for the leap into starting my own agency. So, on returning to South Africa with new ideas and a well-rounded skill set, CREATE DESIGN ™ was launched. The graphic design studio was established in George in the Garden Route and we service clients throughout South Africa.

From humble beginnings we have established a strong brand. We have great clients, many of whom have allowed us to push the boundaries and grow as a company and as individuals. Personal projects, setting goals, further studies, an honours degree in Photography … I like to keep the challenge fresh. I blur the lines between work and play, pleasure becomes productive and the creative flame keeps burning.

The cornerstone of our company is passion – for small details, for huge projects. No matter what we are involved in, we remain passionate about what we do, from the everyday running of the business and client service to the really fun part - the design and photography, creating a product from a blank sheet of paper.

For me CREATE DESIGN ™ is not a just a business. It is an extension of who I am.