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Great brands simply get it, striving for a healthy balance between substance and surface.

Despite the overused terms, great design makes sense, and it makes a difference. Design, when seen as a service, has a greater chance of becoming trivial, lacking consideration. Those brands that place emphasis on design, and see it as a necessity and not a service, are in the business of producing culture, as opposed to consumption. Gilgamesh endeavors to work with healthy brands who appreciate this perspective, and therefore have the power to influence culture, possibly change the world in some small way.

Cuneiform clay tablet. Ancient Sumeria (3100-2900 BC).

This Cuneiform tablet was an ancient ledger, likely inscribed during the reign of the mythical Sumerian king, Gilgamesh. It is an early example of written language, visual communication, recorded history, and the distribution of ideas. It is a testament to how information can be manipulated; how truth becomes legend, and legend evolves into myth. It is also, arguably, an ancestor to the fields we know today as Graphic Design and Typography. This chunk of rock-turned-matrix is symbolic of what Gilgamesh as a studio stands for.

The method behind the madness?

Gilgamesh’s workflow helps to keep a grip on things and maintain perspective. Cutting corners always leads to long delays, and whilst good design may require time and money, bad design often costs far more. Process matters and before working together it is important to understand the way that Gilgamesh functions.
The Devil is in the details



Every great project needs a foundation. From the introductory brief to research and planning processes, and building relationships – a holistic understanding of any given project needs to be achieved.



Wholeness in understanding should lead to findings, based upon solid observation skills. Findings should evolve into insights, and clear context should be the result; creating a defined path that starts with insights and ends with a core concept.



A creative strategy needs to kick-in once context has been realised, piecing together a design system, tactical approach, tone-of-voice, and visual language –  all leading to a grounded positioning and clear message.



The bridge between strategy and creativity, a concept is the backbone of any given project. When comprehension, context, and communication are coherent, flowing into a resolved positioning and message, the culmination should be a solid concept.



Once a concrete concept has been formulated it becomes possible to craft relevant and meaningful content. From the chosen channels to the touchpoints within them, aesthetically pleasing and ethically appealing content falls in line with the relatable story that a concept will seed.



A well-resolved execution always manifests itself when craft is based on a strong concept (substance, or story). A project based squarely on craft alone (surface, or style) always lacks substance. Gilgamesh strives to strike a balance between substance and surface, always choosing quality over quantity.

Macintosh is not a studio

Gilgamesh is a culture machine that prioritises quality over quantity.

Never underestimate the value of understatement. Great design is often understated and therefore overlooked by those who lack vision. Design makes things better than they need to be. It’s not about style, it’s about language. Forget about design thinking, vision will help your brand speak this language, and here are a few reasons why you should always keep design in mind.

The cardinal rule

Design is not a service, it’s a necessity. Design is everywhere, it infiltrates every aspect of our lives. No consideration for design leads to the destruction of culture.

Design makes good business sense

Design is a leadership tool. Brands who respect the value of design exhibit insight, hindsight and foresight, effectively seeking out problems and exploring brand challenges.

Benefits for brands and audiences

Design breeds culture, which aids in solving political, social, economic, and environmental issues. Culture makes brands meaningful, and therefore more relevant. Brands who keep design in mind can also uplift communities and help improve society-at-large.

Critical thinking defeats age-old formulas and models.

Design exhibits intent with the potential to embrace both chaos or order, which implies foresight, adaptation and consideration. Depending on the context, Design can be clear or abstract.

Speaking on multiple plateaus

Design as a form of visual communication embraces diversity, fueled by difference it helps brands to find a solid positioning and clear message, whilst speaking pluralistically.

Obey less, defy more. Stop following the herd.

Design Thinking alone is not enough. There is the thinking, but equally as important is the Making. Concept and craft need to be symbiotic. Brands need to think about design. Strategists need to keep design in mind. Creative people make design happen. Forget the buzzwords.

Creative strategy vs. strategic creativity

Design is not strategy. Great brands advocate thoughtfulness in design, just as good strategy always keeps design in mind. As opposed to design thinking, which is a trend, an overused, often-misinterpreted strategic tool.

Design generates value

Design builds integrity into brands, assisted by a symbiotic relationship between strategic creativity and creative strategy. It is the pendulum-flow between thoughtfulness in design and keeping design in mind, which produces culture. Design Culture.

Get into the business of culture production

Design produces culture. Culture doesn't have to be popular. Culture trumps strategy. Brands who are in the business of cultural production have Design Culture in their DNA.

Culturally aware brands who have worked with Gilgamesh.

Filled with the joys of spring by what you have read here?

Contact Gilgamesh
Clock and measuring tape


+27 (0)72 383 5091



Graphic Design
Packaging Design
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Digital Design
Motion Design
Creative Strategy

Live Design, Breathe Culture·

Live Design, Breathe Culture·

Live Design, Breathe Culture·

Live Design, Breathe Culture·

Live Design, Breathe Culture·

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