Oyemaja, Design, Brand Identity Design, Visual Design, Art Direction, Case Study, Colour, Typography, Illustration, The Oyemaja Group
By Olamide Oyebanjo,
Lead Designer at Encer, a division of The Oyemaja Group
Making You Better
In 2009, I was in JSS 3 at Tai Solarin University of Education Secondary School, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State. I and my siblings had attended the same school; my sister was a year ahead of me while my brother had graduated and was already in the university.
One Saturday evening, I walked down to the barbershop 20 minutes away. The only barber, who also owned the place, had his hands full, but he had an apprentice, a young boy a few years older than me.
It was an unwritten rule in Nigeria to never let the apprentice touch your hair so everyone ignored him. But, I was 13 years old, smallish, easily compelled and unaware of the rule. The barbed ordered me to sit down in the apprentice's chair.
The rule made sense 15 minutes later. The boy had taken my hairline a yard back. But I still hadn’t fully understood the consequences of that little mishap until I went to school on Monday. The climax of my shame was when the loudest brat in class yelled out if a carpenter had cut my hair for me.
I received mocking faces for weeks as I had slow hair growth. The few girls who had a crush on me avoided me till my hair grew back. It was long month, and I haven’t forgiven that apprentice till date.
But there were lessons. First, people who are with you because you make them look good will leave when you go through embarrassingly difficult times. Yep. My annoying friends mocked me, but they stuck with me. The pretty ladies however kept their distance. I was hurt.
Lesson 2: particularly for designers, you will have bad design days. It might be the damn printing company or your talent just decided not to show up for that project. But you will bounce back, just like my hair grew back; and the pretty ladies will come around gain.
Lesson 3: Never let the apprentice touch your hair.
Oyemaja is 4 years this year. We took a break off publicity to throw off the pressure and define who we really are and what we want to do for the next couple of years. As we worked behind the scenes, restructuring, tearing down and building up, we continued to explore till we struck gold. And we wanted to preserve this process with its confusion and clarity. Hence, if you go through our website, you would observe a gradual change in design styles across the years until we had our aha! moment. The final realization of that moment across our illustrations, photography and colours, is what you are about to experience as you download and speed through this 37-page document. But we want you to slow down and digest the content, to understand us, and critic what we have taken over 3 years to lay our hands on.
Encer, a division of The Oyemaja Group.