THE WE OF ME
South African by birth. Greek by heritage. Designer by passion...
Upon completing her BFA in graphic design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Maria returned to South Africa and worked in the corporate design world prior to going freelance and setting up MixedElements Design Studio. Her love for package design, turned to a love of typography and print, until she realised it is all design that makes her happy. She is inspired by everyday objects, events & images around her and doesn't have a set design style, as she loves the freedom of not being constricted into a style or colour palette, as well as being able to 'chameleon' a design style to suit the needs of a client.
She is passionate about what she does, and has a love for constantly learning more. If she doesn’t know about something she's not afraid to ask (or to google it!). She has dealt with a variety of clients - from restauranteurs / psychologists / magazine editors / food stylists / interior decorators / cosmetic manufacturers / wedding planners... and realised a long time ago the need to put herself in their shoes and find out as much about their businesses as she possibly can.
"If I don’t know who their clients are, how can I design for them? Their business success doesn’t rely on their logo/branding or packaging - but being able to fully understand their needs to help their business grow and putting forward what I know to help them. It makes me smile when they reach their milestones and I feel so honoured to have had a little helping hand in creating their dream."
But more than that, her job is to listen to what they aren’t saying, the space between what they say and what they need. Maria's work often entails project managing her clients full brand from designing graphic elements such as identity and icons to managing their brand presence in our increasingly social world across multiple platforms.
Maria sells her own designs on POD (print on demand) sites and has been enjoying getting creative outside of her 'work' environment. It allows her the the freedom of going back to illustrating (by hand and computer generated), pattern design, re-looking at typography in a creative way as well as a bit of photography - "my iphone as a camera counts right?"
MIXED ELEMENTS DESIGN STUDIO
WAS STARTED IN 2008 IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.
OUR CLIENTS ARE WITHIN OUR BORDERS AND OVER THEM
'HEADQUARTERS' MOVED TO GEORGE IN 2014. OUR CURRENT STUDIO SPACE WAS BUILT & HAS
BEEN WHERE WE ARE LOCATED SINCE 26 MAY 2016.
MIXED ELEMENTS NAME WAS INSPIRED BY ALCHEMISTS, WHOSE QUEST IS TO ACHIEVE GOLD.
IT WAS ALSO MARIA'S CONCEPT FOR HER GRADUATING PORTFOLIO FROM AAU.
EITHER TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM CAN BE DANGEROUS, CAUSING THE HEART TO STOP.
"I VIEW DESIGN AS MY OWN PERSONAL POTASSIUM - IT IS IN MY BLOOD, ON MY MIND AND A VITAL PART OF MY LIFE. WITHOUT IT, MY HEART WOULD STOP" -ME
Mia Du Plessis
Mia is from a small town in the Western Cape and after finishing school, she went on to study Visual Communication Design at the University of Stellenbosch. During her studies she also had the opportunity to attend a summer school on Art Management in Helsinki, Finland.
After completing her BA in VCD, she went on to complete an honors degree in Illustration, also from the University of Stellenbosch.
After studying Mia moved to George to join a small marketing agency. Through a series of events and friends of friends, she got in touch with Maria to help out with overflow work, which soon turned into a permanent design position which suddenly turned to nearly 3 years later!
She now finds herself designing different things everyday, and loves not having everyday be the same.
"Design is a never-ending learning process, and working with a team and clients who allow for this is a great privilege. I love when design surprises and when different elements combine to create a fresh outcome. I am inspired by nature and friendly people and spend my free time drawing plants."