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The Process: CurateZim logo Design

The concept of CurateZim is simple. A person is chosen to manage the page for a specific amount of time. This can be a day, a couple of days or a week. It can be a once off event, or it can be a regular occurrence. Regardless of the format, the key is to give the “curator” creative freedom to share their unique point of view. You can sample CurateZim on our Twitter page here and the Instagram page here.

CurateZim has collaborated with a range of partners who share similar ethos. One of whom is MadeinZwe.

MadeinZwe

MADE IN ZWE is a creative & lifestyle brand leading the next generation of global Zimbabwean art & entertainment culture β€” through music, events, β€œmerch”, content creation and being proudly Zimbabwean. You can see everything they do on their website here.

One of the most exciting collaborations between MadeinZwe and CurateZim was the production of the new logo. It was a months long creative process, involving discussion, iteration and experimentation and I am proud of the output we produced.

Valentine Writes

Specifically, the logo speaks to the following:

1) The black background speaks to the blackness of being African. Ok, black is such a dope colour so it wasn’t a choice which was purely ideological πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ From fashion, to graphics, to painting, a black canvas is an aesthetically pleasing point to begin.

2) The White Stripes are inspired by QR codes. Both CurateZim and MadeinZwe are digital platforms and the QR code provides a visual metaphor for being a new media platform.

3) The White Stripes also speak to people sitting around a court / fireplace. Africans are known to have sat at the Dare / Indawo as they listen and share in stories about the heavens; history; humour; kings and all other things both profound and trivial. We sought to capture storytelling as a big part of our ethos.

Tamia

4) The Green, yellow and red dots speak to the Zimbabwean identity. These are colours of the Zimbabwean flag, and therefore, are essentially a national colour scheme. It must be noted, as was seen on the controversy of This Flag as well as Zimbabwean Lives Matter, that concepts of national identity can actually be controversial, political and or contentious. Our logo stakes a claim to being Zimbabwean to all people.

5) The logo has a Zimbabwean bird. The bird on the national flag, is a visual representation of a relic Zimbabwean Bird, found within the Great Zimbabwe ruins. Part of the iteration process came from its re-imagination. A concept by Baynham Goredema is worth a view here.

6) The direction of the Zimbabwean bird is facing left to right. On the national flag, the bird faces right to left. This change in direction finds reference in theatre or movie Production where left to right speaks to forward movement. The idea of moving forward is something we wanted to capture for ourselves, but also capture for our country.

Saint Valz

7) The Twitter bird speaks to the present iteration of CurateZim. Being a multi-media platform, our vision is to always be where the people are. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Tick Tock, Pinterest, Spotify… To be in sync with the audience. Admittedly, CurateZim is biggest on Twitter (with over 47 000 followers) but the icon is to be adapted to the media it speaks to.

8) The MadeinZwe logo was a subtle acknowledgement of the collaborative partner involved in designing and executing the concept.

9) Right in the centre, are the Curators. The logo morphs to adapt to different faces. Men, women, black, white, coloured, immigrant, expatriate, smiling, sad, ecstatic, colourful, a corporate logo, novel…. It is meant to be a personal touch to each member of the community we are building.

Nova Bleq

10) The standard version has the Zimbabwean flag at the centre. Where no curator is named, the platform is still distinctly Zimbabwean and speaking to the Zimbabwean experience. The flag is matted not glossed as it speaks to a difficult history of the country, and an acknowledgement of that history for our people.

CurateZim X MadeinZwe

Look, symbols mean something different to everyone, and I am open to anyone having their own interpretation of the CurateZim logo. But, this is my point of view, conscious of the design history. It is dedicated to all Zimbabweans, especially those with a story to tell.

May we all take a turn to listen.

Compliment with: Chido, a Love Story by Munashe

Valentine Makoni

I am a sapiosexual, who finds joy in being a prolific and unapologetic composer of WCW posts. I have little stamina for books, so poetry is my reading of choice. I am a hip-hop head, I stan hard for Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Run the Jewels.

4 Comments

  1. I hadn’t been taking that logo from a critic’s mind….largely cause I’m no designer myself, but learning of the inspiration the creation of the logo was derived through is quite fascinating!

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