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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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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Elsje Designs



Durbanville bespoke and fast-paced, vibrant graphic design business needs left brain person that is brilliant with administration, management and planning. Requirements: strong leader, costing and business qualifications and/or minimum 3 years experience. Salary R12 000 with great upward potential. Scroll further down to view a complete job description. Email your CV to

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Garland of names

These photographs by Maria Ikonomopoulou are absolutely breathtaking! Originally for an exhibit, the shapes are actually names cut from paper. I adore the simulated waterfall effect and the concept of being clothed in names of loved ones is brilliant.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fashion evolution through the decades

Since all of us love fashion at Elsje Designs, our attention was captured by a history of fashion trends as silhouettes - and we knew you'd enjoy it too!
So what do we think will happen beyond the end of the chart? It's all a little bit of history repeating: being right now in the tail end of a seventies revival, we expect to creep back to those later sixties and potentially the roaring twenties in coming seasons. This inspired information comes via retrogasm.

Beauty and the Blue Bull

Gorgeous beauty queen, Elodé married the formidable Flip van der Merwe, from the Blue Bulls ruby team. We created this stylish digital thank you card with the couple's favourite wedding pics.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fabulous feedback

We have worked on a extremely stylish wedding with Jayne and Andries, getting married in Plettenberg Bay. Gina Potgieter was the stylist and coordinator, we delight in collaborating with her, as she's always got the coolest and most fashion forward ideas. This celebration was no different.... Navy blue, white and a hint of gold. The scene was set for a magical wedding with lots of contemporary elements, like the brown paper bag with gold stitching (featured here) and the monkey chandelier menu inside.
(Thanks to Nita that worked tirelessly with me on this job, and for taking this beautiful photograph.)

Dearest Elsje Team

I have been meaning to call ever since I first laid eyes on our absolutely gorgeous wedding stationary but with no signal at the venue and even less here in Madagascar, I have had to resort to email!

After our meeting, I was completely uninvolved in the whole stationary process and although I had no doubt that you and your team would do a brilliant job, I could never have anticipated the quirky, OH-SO-BEAUTIFUL stationary that arrived in Plett perfectly on time, despite the very tight deadline that you were given. Our stationary really made the decor and wowed our guests. Without it the wedding would certainly not have been the same!

The beautiful origami order of services looked stunning hanging from the Milkwood outside our ceremony venue – I loved all of the special details that you included that represented Andries and I so perfectly. It was so meaningful to be able to use my great granny’s old sewing table and the canvas seating plan with gold stitching looked perfect draping over it!

The cute images of the insects looking through the binoculars made a perfect balance of old and new – we spotted tons of photos being taken of this feature!

The menus turned out even better than I could ever have hoped – the gold foiling was sublime and I was so excited to see our monkeys hanging from the chandelier – one of my favourite images that the brilliant Gina found!

You used everything we gave you so cleverly and managed to surprise us with special extras that only a phenomenally creative team could think up! I saw many guests leaving with their adorable pop-up-place-mats tucked under their arms but am thrilled that most of the lazer-cut pieces under the cloche made it back into their boxes – I am so excited to find the perfect place for these in our home as well as for the wooden monkeys who I suspect will be living in our pot-plants on the kitchen windowsill!

Right from day one and especially during the last couple of weeks (when I had so much on my mind that I was barely able to think straight) you and your team made the stationary process an absolute breeze and one of the most fun and rewarding parts of our wedding.

You realised that we had big ideas and a small budget and managed to guide and advise us on how to get maximum impact without breaking the bank!

I will sing your praises to everyone I meet and look forward to the next excuse to have something special designed and made by Else Designs! Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm, astounding creativity and professional follow through!

With love Jayne (& monkey)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Distinguish yourself with Social Calling Cards

Calling cards have made a fashionable reappearance in our fast-paced 21st century lives. It is far more casual yet refined to give during social occasions. These cards will help remind people of new acquaintances. It can almost be viewed as a way to brand your social identity. They are the perfect personal introduction for those occasions when a business card is too business-like. What is a social calling card? A visiting card, also known as a calling card, is a small paper card with one’s name and personal details printed on it. What is the history to a calling card? They first appeared in China in the 15th century, and in Europe towards the end of the 16th century. The footmen of aristocrats and of royalty would convey these visiting cards to the servants of their prospective hosts seriously introducing the arrival of their owners. In formal Victorian times, they were used when making introductions and home visits. The difference between a calling card and a business card… During the heyday of calling cards, using a business card for a social purpose was considered bad manners. Today, while business cards are great for making business contacts, they still aren’t really suited for social situations. They probably have your work number and work email, and not much else on them. Think of all the times you meet someone you’d like to see again. Handing them a business card is too stiff and formal. Ditto for simply having them put your digits into their phone. What do I put on my social calling card? Your blog or website address; Twitter username; Facebook or Myspace name (if it’s different than the one on the card); Email address; Instant message name and mobile number. Social Calling cards in 2011 and beyond? Essentially, social calling cards are just like business cards except they don’t “state your business”. They simply have your name and contact information. This is a much more stylish way of presenting your details as opposed to scribbling your name and personal email address for people. Often there are instances where you would like to give people your personal contact information and keep business separate. Social calling cards are also useful while traveling. You can meet some wonderful people during your journeys and they make it very easy to exchange personal information. For Newlyweds, they are a great way to share your new name (if you went that route) and/or your new address. Because there are no rules for today’s social calling cards, they are great avenues of self-expression. These can be less serious than your business card.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Saying good bye to Annemie, our studio manager.

At the end of the month we will be saying goodbye to the most loyal and dedicated colleague, that any company can dream to have. Annemie, we will miss you and just our best wishes accompany you on the road ahead as a children's wear designer. We have lots of happy memories to treasure!
We are still looking for the right candidate to fill Annemie's shoes and hope to appoint the right person by mid April. If you do know of someone interested, please forward this email on to them.

STUDIO MANAGER: brief job description

Take charge of the day to day operational planning in the studio:

Dealing with initial enquiries, interface with clients, develop orders and bring the designers to the forefront as need be. Formulate all quotes and secure orders as well as deal with all variations in mandates. Allocate various jobs to designers and assume overall responsibility for the performance of the production staff. Help, in conjunction with Elsje, to create a productive, energetic and fulfilling working environment Ensure that service levels are exemplary and that output is attuned to client needs Maximise profitability Interface closely with Elsje regarding the strategy, direction and general conduct of the business Specifically develop a marketing plan and personally promote the business and secure corporate clients. In conjunction with the accounting function, develop a simple yet effective reporting system. Interface with the accounting function in regard to inputs and invoicing and collection of debtors Interface with Elsje and the accounting function in regard to the budget and performance against budget.

Weekdays from 8am to 5pm. Salary R12 000 negotiable.

Requirements: business degree or diploma and at least 3 years experience as a manager.

Send your CV to or phone 021 976 7111 for more info.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Studio Manager wanted

Elsje Designs is looking for a dynamic studio manager to guide a vibrant team of creatives!

R10000 - R13000 per month negotiable

Education level:
Business Degree or Diploma or at least 5 years experience in project management

Travel requirement:

Tasks include:

• General Project Management
• Must be brilliant with organising and meeting deadlines
• Planning and coordinating of work flow within Elsje Designs
• Basic financial management and bookkeeping
• Costing of products and quotes to clients
• Liaise with suppliers, clients and wedding planners
• Flair for new trends in fashion and decor
• In depth knowledge of Excel and basic knowledge of Pastel
• Fast learner and the ability to multi-task
• Excellent numeracy and writing skills

Ideally we are looking for a left brain go-getter that is brilliant with project management, administration, management and planning. To work in a creative, fast paced design environment!

Contact details Elsje 021 976 7111

Friday, April 1, 2011

Studio Manager needed for Elsje Designs

Elsje Designs soek 'n dinamiese en energieke studio bestuurder vir ons unieke en fun Grafiese Ontwerp Studio in Durbanville. R12 000 onderhandelbaar. Stuur jou CV aan of besoek om te sien wat ons doen! Elsje Designs are looking for a dynamic and energetic studio manager for our bespoke and vibrant Graphic Design Studio in Durbanville. R12 000 negotiable. Send your CV to or visit to see exactly what we do!