The young entrepreneurs behind creative media agency, Dutch Ink had already made a mark on the Durban cityscape before their doors opened.
Pioneering the medium of reverse graffiti in the city, they have created eye-catching designs and images that rejuvenated formerly grubby spaces and cast them into the local spotlight.
We wanted to find out what we could look forward to from this dynamic team with their latest venture…
Safindit: Who are the people behind Dutch Ink & what expertise do they bring to the table?
Dutch Ink: Our team comprises of seven talented individuals. Ashley Clark heads up our production needs and keeps our clients happy. Stathi Kougianos is a talented illustrator, (check out durbanisyours.co.za). Nick Ferreria and Scott Hill live in another world. Then there are our multi media/ animated graphics, web guru’s. J.P Jordaan & I head up the studio with our skills lying in Art Direction and Strategy.
S: What kind did Dutch Ink set out to be?
DI: We have created an advertising & design studio which aims to help people & save their brands from bad creative decisions. We embrace the grey of advertising and cut straight to the point. There isn’t any time to muck about with vague communication. People’s jobs and livelihoods are at risk.
S: What makes Dutch Ink unique?
DI: What makes Dutch Ink unique is that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We don’t believe in your ordinary run of the mill ideas. They must touch home, or the work has failed.
S: You guys started out doing Reverse Graffiti. Who/what inspired you?
DI: Ahh yes Reverse Graffiti. We embraced this medium during college, and the work we created amongst Durban’s skyline was well accepted and appreciated. This work was greatly inspired by Paul Curtis, an artist in the UK. Please Google him. His work is ‘top shelf’ stuff!
S: Do you believe the popularity/ exposure you gained in that arena has built a good foundation for your new venture?
DI: Reverse Graffiti has been ideal for getting some free exposure. We have been recognized amongst various creative circles, and it has driven us to move onto new heights.
S: Are there any local media agencies that you guys particularly admire/ respect?
DI: We respect all agencies in our league, as it’s often quite a challenge breaking the big agency barrier, however we are chiseling away, and we are seeing the light.
S: Being in a creative field, how would you describe the creative environment of Durban?
DI: Our creative environment in Durban is unbeatable. Where else can you take a ride on a rickshaw, get stung by a blue bottle and burn your lips on curried pineapple all in the same day? For us at Dutch Ink, Durban is where the heart lies. We love this place.
S: Are there any plans to expand outside of Durban?
DI: We will branch out from Durban when the country is ready and of course when we have the bucks. Although, with the internet, we have moved out of Durban – one of our most recent clients is from Pretoria North.
S: What kind of experience do you hope to give your clients?
DI: We aim to give our clients and experience like no other. They will never forget working with Dutch Ink.
S: What are some of the challenges Dutch Ink has faced in your early days as a new business?
DI: As a small studio starting out, we find our biggest challenge is finding enough time in the day. However, a little sleep deprivation never hurt anybody. We work weekends and get the job done, whatever it takes.