In 2012 City Property, a Pretoria based residential and commercial property Management Company, ran a competition with the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Graphic Design second year students, to create a designed vinyl covering the shop fronts of 439 Helen Joseph Street, to liven up the façade of the building.
The students were briefed to depict the drive towards urban renewal, city life and those who live, work and study in the CBD. The design had to be fun, hip and funky with modern design flair.
The building was in a poor state of repair and while the students were crafting their designs City Property did remedial work to the shop front and façade of the building. After the shop fronts were cleaned and fixed the winning graphic by Carla Slabbert was fitted to the shop fronts in March 2013.
Carla explains the rationale behind the winning design: “I chose lots of bright colours to get the viewer’s attention. This included the blue of the City Property logo as well as the TUT logo’s colours. Along with the bright colours I decided to create a very graphical design, because to me that is modern.”
For the first panel Carla chose light blue as the background with different buildings and shapes of buildings to give a city feeling.
For the second panel she chose a bright yellow, which is striking to the eye and also a warm colour that evokes a good mood. She designed what looks like street names in the shape of arrows, with the words “City Property” to the left, and “Student Life” to the right.
Carla continues: “I also designed buildings with some of the real names of City Property buildings, and on top of them I added big graduation hats with words like “Future Doctor”, and “Future Artist” written on them. This is to show that City Property also provides accommodation to students.”
The third panel is the same yellow as the second panel. In the right corner of this panel there is a round shape that symbolises the sun with sunrays going towards the left part of the panel. This is to show the light at the end of the road as students complete their studies to achieve greatness in the working world.
The sun continues onto the fourth panel and sunrays going to the right. This panel displays the TUT and City Property logo with contact details.
Throughout the entire design there is a story being told at the bottom of the panels. It is in the form of line drawings, and this story is about students and how they go through student life and studying. These drawings are yellow on black, but at the end of the third panel the drawing changes to red and continues onto the fourth panel into three big solid human figures. These three figures symbolise a student graduating, finishing a course and then at the end becoming a successful businessperson.
City Property MD Jeffrey Wapnick is proud of this project because it is yet another example of how City Property changes the streets of the capital with innovative urban renewal projects. “It was a pleasure working with the young minds in the city in creating an artistic reflection of city life and bringing our motto ‘Addressing the future’ alive by allowing students to depict the city as they see it.”
In terms of Carla’s future she is planning on completing her Btech, as well as her Master’s degree in Graphic Design. “Only recently have I realised that I actually see myself becoming a lecturer in graphic design one day. With that being said I plan on first being a part-time lecturer while also working in the industry doing advertising, as that is what I find I am good at, and also what I enjoy most.” Depending on what the future holds she might decide on becoming a full-time lecturer.
“City Property’s future is here in the capital” Jeffrey Wapnick confirms. We will continue to inject fresh vitality into the city with our urban renewal projects.
City Property is working, among others, on the following urban renewal projects to meet the increasing need for quality accommodation in the city:
Demar building in Francis Baard Street
Elizabeth Lockley in Stanza Bopape Street, across from the Union Buildings
Trekmin on Steve Biko Street in Gezina
Les Nize in Leyds Street, Sunnyside
Nedholm and Standard Court in Leyds Street, Muckleneuk