Business of Creativity: Mam’gobozi Design Factory

Mam’gobozi Design Factory is a design studio started by Nontokozo Tshabalala and Osmond Tshuma, founded in 2016 in the city of Johannesburg. As young designers from the Afrikan continent, we've always had the dream to create work and spaces that celebrate our identity and allows us to grow in defining the role of the Afrikan designer. This is particularly important because although the discipline of graphic design is founded on western principles we still find ourselves discontent with its lack of representation and freedom to be defined by the individual who doesn't belong to that culture.

CN: What made you decide to move from freelance life into a studio?
MDFThere has always been a great desire to start something of our own for a while, which is why we even started MamG back in 2016. We love working on the urgency to contribute to the field of design in a meaningful way that represents us and what we stand for as Pan- Africanists. We think giving our time and energy to a studio is worth pursuing if we want to make Afrikan design a space to define itself.

What are some of the challenges that you are facing?
MDFGetting clients has been a challenge and the market right now is a bit hard as most clients have cut down their budget for creative work. Getting on our feet and defining what that means in terms of running a full business. This includes getting and securing clients - clients that will not only provide for our network to grow but also contribute financially in a significant way. We believe that the brand-building skills we have from a visual perspective are of a world-leading quality that we are proud and we would love to have clients that are willing to pay for that.

CN: How have you acquired clients?
MDFMost of our current clients are through referrals and some bump into our work via Behance and social media platforms, however most are referrals.

CN: What are the principles guiding your studio?
MDFCreate meaningful work. Unapologetic Afrikan by staying true to who we are. Provide top quality design aesthetics

What is the long term goal of your business?
MDFTo create a space where we can celebrate and show appreciation for Afrikan design by Afrikan designers. To build the design community in Afrika. Forming and promoting collaboration and collective growth in articulating the Afrikan design way of being.

dillion s. phiri

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