This is one cool cat, he surfs good, makes a mean cuppa joe, he’s an apple die hard, and has a sharp eye for a trend…
Craig Parson’s designed our Black Hawk logo a few years ago, put together a document that outlined our label, which created a belief in our work that has grown ever since. I still use that document every week , even now, 5 years down the line.
The genius behind many a company’s brand strategy and visual appearence…
Craig Parson’s takes our questions…
Q. Give us some background on how you reached this point in your career, what work have you been involved in over the past few years.
A. I started off my working career, 10 years ago, as a graphic designer at Espresso advertising. Ant (Ellis) & Nat (French) gave me an opportunity to intern at Espresso when I was fresh out of Tech. I loved design, it was (is) my passion and I put so much energy into my work at Espresso that I kind of forced my way into the door with the promise of making the team great coffee. I worked there for 3 and a half years and really grew as a designer, working with great team of people working around me. After a couple of years designing T-shirt prints for & managing A-Store in Cape Town, I decided that Durbs is where my heart is and I returned home and took up a position at ITI (the International Trend Institute). At ITI I was able to develop and hone my design skills further, whilst learning more about the importance of Branding & having a strategic foundation set as a design platform for your brand. I love working there, with such incredible people and it was hard to leave but it was time to spread my wings and start my own company, Parsons Branding which has been running for 2 and half years. We're growing quickly and have incredible clients so I feel like I have definitely chosen to follow the right path in life - I wake up everyday to do something I love!
Q. When did you get hooked on design, branding etc, was there a moment where you knew this was your future?
A. Design was something I took to from an early age. My mom is an amazing artist and I was always fascinated by the idea of making a living doing something that is creative & fun. I remember being at Tech thinking that this is cheating, surely the real world is supposed to be boring? But my first introduction to branding came from my friend Rui Esteves, who was a relentless perfectionist and my teacher, boss & friend. He taught me the incredible importance of attention to detail and this is a principle that I have carried through to every aspect of my life.
Q. Explain your process, what is it that you offer to brands over and above design?
A. We first need to spend time with each of our clients and audit their current brand architecture in order to understand their brand from the inside out. Getting to know the people behind each brand is key to this process and identifying each unique attribute of the brand is part of this initial stage. Only once we have gathered enough insight into the BrandScape & Architecture can we start with the branding process - designing their logo & other brand collateral. Everything emanates from a Brand's core positioning - so it's up to us to define that with our client before we can create an exceptional and unique design identity.
Q. You have a side hobby making t-shirts, what’s that all about?
A.I love having my own creative outlet and whilst I currently don't have the time to work on my KOOBINK brand and T-Shirt range I will come back to it when the time is right. Fashion has always been an interest of mine and because of the trend research we do each day & the work we do for so many fashion brands, designing my own range of T-shirts comes naturally. Fashion is a great way to to explore design in another medium but for now KOOBINK is on the back burner!
Q. What inspires you on a daily basis, what gets the creative juices flowing?
A.Everything inspires me! I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to research, read and take in all the trends, innovations and leading brands out there. The world is moving at such a fast pace and trends feel like they are changing daily. Nature is a huge inspirational force in my life - landscapes, wildlife and more importantly the ocean - being in the sea is a spiritual experience for me and I always finish a surf feeling invigorated and energised. When my wife & I were on honeymoon in Mauritius I started to notice that the coral that was along the shoreline started to form letters, so I started to walk along the shoreline collecting coral that formed a complete alphabet. On that note my wife inspires me. Kimi is such a driving force in my life and she is amazing when it comes to supporting my every-changing 'fads' and 'fixations' that I get hooked on almost daily - as I said there is just so much out there!
Q. You and your wife are a powerful team, really well balanced, what are your plans for the future of Parson’s Branding?
A. Well basically we just want to attract clients that really appreciate the branding process. Working with businesses that want to build & streamline a consistent brand experience for their customers and internal people is what we thrive off. We want to work with people who desire a brand that offers a well organised, differentiated offering, which is communicated in a unique way. We need to work with people who understand that a brand is not just about a logo - it needs to live within every facet of your business. Being able to represent one's brand consistently whilst staying abreast of and moving with ever changing trends and consumer expectations is fundamental to the success of any brand. At the heart of all of this is our desire to work with businesses that seek to communicate what they stand for in a super creative way.
Thanks CP. To see more of craigs work click here