Award winning designer / illustrator shows us how its done – Oliver Whyte


Thank you for giving us a few moments of you time and welcome to the SA Creative Network.



Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.

My name is Oliver Whyte and I am an artist.I currently live in Cape Town and have spent the past four years working in a design studio,with a specialization in Identity Design, where I’ve had the great opportunity to work for a diverse selection of clients, both locally and abroad. From exclusive luxury brands, to the cheap-and-cheerful variety – I enjoy the contrast of work, and it gives me great pleasure seeing an idea or brand come to life, as if out of thin air. There is something magical about the process.


You are an award winning creative, what have you won and tell a little bit about the winning artwork?

I was the illustrator on an HTH campaign in collage, which won a Loerie Award – (See here I also worked on an identity design and film piece for the Vega School 2006 student showcase, which went on to win a Sappi Think Ahead award. (See here - )


You have a very clean yet quirky style, how would you further define your style. (and please correct me if I’m completely wrong) ?

For me it always depends on the project. For example, when I’m working on an identity for a new brand, it’s more important for me to work out what aesthetic would best serve the client, and it’s audience, as apposed to imposing a preconceived style upon it. In principle, I love simplicity. Simple things make me stop for a moment. We live in a world which is visually overwhelming at times, and simplicity gives us a chance to stop and breathe. For my personal art and illustration commissions however, I let things happen very organically. The whole process comes very naturally, so I’m not really fixed on any specific style and I don’t ever need to force it. Sometimes my style changes, sometimes things repeat themselves. Either way, I’m usually surprised at the end of it all.


What advice would you give young South Africans looking to be graphic designers/ illustrators?

Pursue a career in something because you genuinely enjoy the kind of work, not because other people say it’s cool. Be comfortable with experimenting, and remember that every great artist has to start somewhere. Your work will get better with time – it always does – so don’t be too critical of yourself. Surround yourself with people who support your work. Treat your imagination like a little kid, and be sure to give him lots of time to play.


What would you say is the downside of being a graphic designer / illustrator?

As with all professions, there are always ups and downs – but, quite frankly – I just don’t choose to focus on the negatives. I keep my mind as positive as possible and remind myself that it is really a privilege to have a talent that allows me to bring beautiful things into the world.


Where can we view more of your work? (Also supply your twitter and anything else)

My personal website (

The studio where I have been working for the past four years is Room 13 Design (

Follow me on Twitter (@oliverwhyte)














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