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Young Kenyan designer tops EABL new logo competition

A 22-year-old university student has emerged the winner of Got Skillz? the talent competition by East African Breweries Limited (EABL) that will culminate in a new logo for the company.

Elvis Otieno Atieno, a third-year Film and Animation student at Multimedia University in Nairobi, will take home Sh1 million and the logo he designed will now be refined into a final version, which will become the corporate symbol for East Africa’s largest beverage company.

The winner will also undergo mentorship at WPP-Scangroup, where he will get the opportunity to learn from some of East Africa’s most experienced creative designers, giving him a chance to develop his skill into a career.

Elvis’ design was among the top 20 selected from 385 submissions for a hackathon last Saturday, July 20 at Nairobi Garage, the penultimate stage of the competition.

The soft-spoken designer submitted a design with barley in the iconography. Barley is one of the ingredients in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.

He customised the font in circles to represent unity and stability and coloured it purple to represent the loyalty that alcohol consumers have to the brands they consume.

WINNING ENTRY

Elvis moved the iconography in the final logo to make it bolder and more balanced, adding the tagline “Celebrating life”. Against the purple background, the font is in yellow, signifying the celebration of life and sunshine.

His design won the hearts and minds of the judges because of the memorable independent device, the modern welcoming font, its clean and simple execution and its adaptability for various uses.

Elvis will in the coming days get a chance to refine his winning version, which will be EABL’s next-generation corporate logo, with the help of creatives at the regional advertising house.

“It was overwhelming,” Elvis said of the call from EABL informing him of his success. “I still don’t know what to do or say but I am very happy. My friend sent me a screenshot of the competition and I just submitted my design.”

25-year-old John Kinyanjui Nyambura, and the only group that made it to the top 20, Wiptem Creators, came in second and third in the competition respectively. The second-placed contestant will get Sh500,000 and the third-placed Sh300,000.

John Kinyanjui Nyambura, whose submission came second, makes his presentation during the hackathon Nairobi Garage. PHOTO | COURTESY
John Kinyanjui Nyambura, whose submission came second, makes his presentation during the hackathon Nairobi Garage. PHOTO | COURTESY

SUBMISSIONS

At the hackathon last Saturday, Wiptem were represented by Patricia Nkirote and Teddy Sananga.

EABL’s Corporate Relations Director, Eric Kiniti said the competition provided useful insights on the talent amongst young creatives.

“Listening to the contestants explain their submissions on Saturday afternoon at the hackathon, we were able to get a full appreciation of the depth of talent that East Africa offers. They were also happy to receive professional advice from some of the finest creative designers in the region. EABL is always happy to support the arts community and this we can say has been very successful,” said Kiniti.

He said more work would be done on the winning submission and the company will soon unveil the new logo.

EABL’s Got Skillz? was an East Africa-wide competition and submissions were sought from young creatives between the ages of 21-25, with the top 20 going to the hackathon.

Wiptem Creators, Patricia Nkirote and Teddy Sananga, whose submission came third. PHOTO | COURTESY
Wiptem Creators, Patricia Nkirote and Teddy Sananga, whose submission came third. PHOTO | COURTESY

HACKATHON

At the hackathon, the contestants were taken through a presentation on the basics of logo design and then got to refine their submissions, with guidance from the judges.

Each contestant then made a presentation on their submission, from the inspiration to the colour scheme and then how it had evolved into a final submission.

Ken Muir, one of the judges in the competition, said there was a range of incredible entries which were simple and clear and also some which brought some quite complicated material and tried to make it work inside the logo.

“The key thing was to find an aesthetic with a really beautiful balance and which really works to the eye but which quickly and simply captures some of the spirit of EABL which is itself a very large operation with lots of interests and things it does across the region,” said Ken.

He said the judges were impressed by the range of submissions, many of which demonstrated a range of ideas, sense and passion expressed creatively.