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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Friday, October 29, 2010

Still wanted: Graphic Designer!!

Elsje Designs is looking for a breath of fresh air to join their dynamic, creative team. We are looking for a talented and energetic graphic designer with a minimum of 2 years experience in a design environment. Should be able to conceptualize and communicate effectively and pay extra attention to detail and have strong layout skills.

Your responsibilities will include all facets of design and job follow-through, to print. Deadlines are a challenge. Humour, self-motivation and teamwork is a must!

Oh, and if you can pull a rabbit out of a hat at the last minute... it would be preferable!


CorelDraw X3, Microsoft Office, Print, working with client and suppliers

Minimum 2 years working experience in a design studio or agency.


Remuneration: R5000 (neg)

Based in Durbanville

Send your CV and portfolio urgently to:


For more info visit:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A German Wedding by Doreen Winking

We frequently collaborate with Doreen Winking, the Munich based wedding coordinator of the Aleit Group. The Elsje Designs team always have lots of fun working with this very organized and extremely passionate planner par excellence. Doreen is very dedicated, making it always a pleasure to work with her, whether being a client or a service provider.

A picture paints a thousand words... Judging from a sneak peak of Marlene and Matt's wedding photographs, it's clear to see where Doreen's niche lies. Doreen said that the planning, preparation and the actual wedding day was just a great joy and harmony! The wedding was in the Carthusian, after it went into the Rhine in Cologne, with terraces overlooking the Duomo ..... a really impressive view with deep meaning for the couple.

An incredibly beautiful day with a happy couple, good-humored guests, many funny moments and a sensational live band / Party in the evening. DECOY is by far the best I've heard in a long time at a private party. WOW! The impressions of this beautiful wedding were taken through the lenses of Leifhelm photo, said Doreen.

The stationery was chic and printed in cool blue and grey tones finished with pale blue satin ribbon. For the stationery's artwork, we made use of a lovely couple silhouette that Linnett translated to their stationery to give this special wedding the finishing touch.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Never to be repeated again ‘trends’

Annemie and I recently spent a lazy late afternoon having good Sauv Blanc with Jaco and Hayley from Just-Jack. We had a laugh about faded trends. Jaco promised to write an article about our findings, but we would also like to hear from you, what's on your "in" and "out" list?
In the past, trends have come and gone, but some of them just do not seem to be going fast enough. Just Jack has put together a few of those ‘trends’ and what it should be replaced with to keep it modern and fresh.

Chair covers with organza tie back

I recently jokingly said to a Service Providers; “You and me, we’re going to bring chair covers back into fashion” and we had a good laugh about it, but the reality is that so many Brides still think this is the way to go. We all loved it, but believe that this is a ‘trend’ that should be only be seen in old wedding albums…not modern wedding photos.

Rather than the classic chair cover, shop around and find chairs that will fit your style, and of course pocket. We realize that hiring chairs are expensive, but if you shop around, you will find that it is possible to use a beautiful chair without breaking the bank. A crazy thought is to alternatively ‘wrap’ your chair, but this would still require you to hire a decent chair, and not use an old hotel’s banqueting chair.

Matching Bridesmaid’s dresses

Now, maybe I can get the support of all previous Bridesmaids here. This is something that is just a little too overdone. Brides, making your Bridesmaids wear the exact same dress is a very old trend, and to be honest, I think they do not appreciate it either, as people are different shapes and sizes and one style dress might not suit all body types.

Our recommendation is to rather ask your Bridesmaids to wear a dress in shades of grey, for example. This way they still blend in beautifully, but also look beautiful in their own right, as the tone and style of their dress suit their complexity, style and shape better. Remember, you want to stand out on your wedding day, but this is not done by surrounding yourself with badly dressed Bridesmaids, but rather by making them look and feel good.

Black and White photos with splashes of colour

Yes, I know, everybody loved this and in to my despair even found out the other day, that my own sister has one of these pictures in her wedding album, but seriously, this ‘trend’ is over. For some it used to be cool, but that is not the case anymore. I’m not trying to offend anyone who has one of these photos, but keep in mind that times have change.

I think the most important thing to remember is to keep your photos beautiful, but natural. You do not want to look back at your photo album in ten year’s time and cringe, because of your choices back then. Have coloured photos and have black and white, and/or sepia photos, but don’t mix the two. You’ll thank me in the end.
Let us know what you think!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

modern and transparent

Again, together with Aleit and Okasie, we created this beautiful see-through-feel table! Especially the clear perspex with stacked words, was a visual treat, dangling from a branch in the afternoon breeze. As a gift/keepsake, we had miniature perspex boxes made and rolled into it, was ribbon printed with the menu - definitely something different! For the cards we made a very simple yet, unusual "twist" card. Worthwhile to pop into the studio to see more....

Farmstyle on Pasella

Thanks to Inecke (, we got these lovely pics from the Pasella shoot. Please contact the studio if you would like to know more!
Flowers by Okasie, Stellenbosch.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Behind the scenes on the Pasella shoot

Elsje Designs, Aleit and Okasie were featured together on the afrikaans lifestyle TV programme last week. Here's a few behind the scenes pics to show you how much fun we had!

For the farm table, we created brown paper bags with the Afrikaans saying "trou is nie perdekoop nie". Linnett's mom made these beautiful crochet buttonniere's that added an instant festive appeal to the concept. For the shoot, we've put vegetable seeds into the packet with the growing instructions printed at the back - this is a nice keepsake for your guests and a reminder of your love that continues to grow.
We had the artwork of the table number and festive words lasercut from clear perspex and hung that above the table. The transparency of this piece, added a modern and simplistic twist to the table.

Elsje in action - styling (what she loves most). The guest names which was printed onto clear film tags were tied to the knob of the bell jar, adding to the see-through feel of the table. With the clear perspex table number contained inside the bell jar, it created a understated focal point on the centre of the table.

Aleit and Minki admiring the colourful farm table, created by Okasie. Its always a treat to work with Chris and Dané from Okasie - these guys must be the most creative team in the industry!

Vanessa posing on the white couch, looking like a lady of leisure! We were very proud of her, well done V!! You looked glamorous and stylish - it seemed as if you might have luck as a TV presenter!

Vanessa basking in the lime light (again)! Well done Inecke for taking this shot - it's my favourite!

Vanessa, Minki and Elsje. Minki must be the most beautiful TV presenter - inside and out. Everyone adored her, she is warm, funny and a joy to work with.
Officially we would like to thank Inecke de Kock ( for the lovely pics. Okasie for the flowers and decor and for Aleit, for giving us this opportunity to work with him.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vivid African Affair

Europeans Suzanne and Simon exchanged their vows against a contemporary backdrop of vibrant colours in the Franschhoek valley. With the bulk of the guest list flying to Cape Town from abroad it was extremely significant to the couple to design a celebration with noticeable African elements and an original, contemporary décor. In striking hues of yellow and black, Elsje Designs together with Wedding Concepts created their very own African stationery.

On arrival at the chic Franschhoek Wine Estate guests were greeted by dynamic Djembe African drummers and marimbas. Personalised coloured cocktails kept guests cool in the African heat with waiters lining the pathway to pre-dinner drinks, with homemade raspberry lemonade, berry daiquiris and Mojitos. The African singer Mapumbe entertained, whilst guests snacked on the Malay inspired canapé selection.

To compliment the modern décor it was imperative that the wedding stationery was as progressive and unique. We think it had the true wow factor. An exclusively designed insignia of the African continent was carried throughout the stationery, reminding the guests of the flavours and facets of South Africa.

Before dinner each guest received a personalised name badge that had been pinned to canvas complete with instructions of where to sit at the reception. The menu for the evening was printed onto a black napkin and then personalised again with the guest’s name on a bright yellow band creating a stunning contrast of colour against the crisp white tables and orange and black floral décor. The evening’s weather turned out to be nothing short of an amazing African summer sunset accompanied with warm evening temperatures, so dinner was to be held under a majestic oak tree in the gardens. Large French inspired arm chairs held their own amongst the contemporary and colourful décor. Table centre pieces comprised of charcoaled wood, bright orange lilies and strelitzias. Burnt orange coloured glasses for candles, mirrored light boxes and a mix of white and orange vases added the finishing touches to the stylish table setting.

Contemporary vibrant Africa at it's best!

Venue: Grande Provence
Photographer: Jean-Pierre Uys
Stationery: Elsje Designs
Decor & Lighting: FOCI
Music: Rus Nerwich