Graphic posters explore the notion of "keeping it real"

Ndumiso Nyoni, a young designer from Johannesburg, has created a poster series on cultures that inspire him.

Ndumiso Nyoni is a motion graphic designer and illustrator based in Johannesburg. Working a nine-to-five at Luma Animation Studios, a discussion with colleagues on individual identity and culture reminded him of a hip hop slang “Keeping it one hunnit”, a term that expresses the notion of keeping "it real" and staying true to oneself.

This inspired Nyoni to create a poster series of people and cultures that he felt were true to themselves. Drawing from personal experience and past impressions, Nyoni created graphic posters of; the Maasai tribe in Kenya, the La Sape (Les Sapeurs) movement from Congo and the ethnic group Yoruba from Nigeria. For him, the poster series celebrates what it means to be bold, beautiful, courageous, individual and African.

When did you start the poster project?

In January 2016

Have you designed posters before?

Yes. At one point, a long time ago, my friends and I made gig posters on a monthly basis. 

Can you explain the creation process behind the posters? What medium are you creating in and  how do you want to present the to posters?

I normally look at a lot of images for referencing. This helps establish the visual language I am going for. From there I sketch out my ideas using pencil and paper. I then use Adobe Illustrator to clean up my line work and add colour. Fnally I add textures and touch-ups using Adobe Photoshop. I would like to display my posters in a print exhibition soon. 

Please explain the process involved in making these posters. What made you decide that a culture is "true enough to itself" to deserve a poster?

I was visually drawn to these cultures and subcultures. I felt their expression of colours and textures were beautifully combined. When I first learnt about them I remember thinking how bold, expressive and proud they appeared. When the idea to create the series came up I naturally gravitated towards these cultures.

Not necessarily to say they were superior or deserved regocnition more than other cultures, but purely because they made a lasting impression on me

Who influences your work and who inspires you artistically?

I believe any artist will have a hard time narrowing down their sources of inspiration. For me, it ranges from music to film to the way I feel about news headlines. It's an ever-changing, organic source but the one constant influence is my Christianity.

Are you involved in the hip-hop scene or just a follower? And would you say music influences your work?

I am more of a follower. I say this because I am also heavily influenced by jazz, afro beat, lounge music and EDM.

Is there another poster series we can look forward to in the future?

Yes. I am currently working on a series that depicts my interpretation of the idea of "Mama Africa" I have interpreted it as three sisters as opposed to one mother.

Nyoni was one of Design Indaba's Emerging Creatives 2010. To see more of Nyoni’s work check out his website.