(director / designer / illustrator/ video editor)
In 1995 he was seconded to work on the launch of The Sunday Independent. He illustrated the weekly Dispatches cover story from its launch in 1996 until April 2010. During this time he produced around 800 works for the paper. Some of the illustrations were exhibited at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg in 2006. Conceived as a celebration of the close relationship between newspaper and artist, the exhibition showcased the best of his works – many of which have become part of South Africa's visual discourse.
Vivian van der Merwe, his former teacher, mentor and the curator of the exhibition, says Smit is widely respected for his "formidable imagination, skill and artistic rigour, and especially for his idiosyncratic pathos" which "somehow manages to balance on that almost impossible edge between sharp conceptual narrative and beautiful visual forms." Critic Mary Corrigall likens Smit to a cunning journalist with a "talent for capturing the essence of a story and building it into a fascinating and absorbing product".
In 1996, Smit established QUBA Design and Motion, a design company which produced many books of photography including David Goldblatt's Photographs (2006) and Some Afrikaners Revisited (2007), Then & Now: Eight South African Photographers (2007), a collection by Paul Weinberg, Mimmo Jodice's Lost in Seeing (2007), and Jodi Bieber's Soweto (2010). He designed Pierre Crocquet's books, Enter Exit (2009) and Pinky Promise (2011). He worked with photographer David Goldblatt on the design of his book, Particulars, which won first prize at the photographic festival in Arles, France in 2005.
He has worked on many magazines and since 1995 has designed and art directed Enjin Magazine. The magazine has won several Pica awards, including Best Overall Design. He has illustrated for several publications, including Millennium, Living Africa, the Rhodes Journalism Review and most recently was commissioned to illustrate the cover of Art South Africa.
He works in Johannesburg as designer, illustrator, artist, website and electronic publisher and video maker for local and international clients.
Read other articles about Francois here...
Debbie joined Quba in 2004. She does the production, layout and design of various publications for Quba. She has added writing and research to her repertoire and was responsible for producing a weekly page for The Sunday Independent newspaper which began as a small column called Haywire that grew into a much bigger page called Haywired and a website.
Apart from the skills gained from working in a public library for 17 years (patience and communication) and 18 years of motherhood and marriage (patience, communication and love), Debbie has a particular affinity for unbundling the complexities of the projects that are handed to us so that they can be packaged in an accessible way for any audience.
At heart, Debbie is a farmer.
– April 2010
What we do:QUBA Design and Motion is a graphic design and production company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. See in Google Maps.
For enquiries, please e-mail Francois or Debbie.
or call +27 (11) 640 3322
Who we are:
Quba was created in 2002 to leverage the specialist abilities of a group of people with a passion for design, illustration and video production and to offer our expertise to corporate clients, NGOs and marketing communities.
In addition to corporate work, branding and publishing, much of the work we do focuses on adding communicative strength to social enrichment projects and the conception, creation and enhancement of communication and educational tools.
How we work:
Over the past years QUBA has established itself as one of the leading graphic design, production and creative consultants in Johannesburg. We maintain a small production staff that is highly skilled and enjoys a close and positive interaction with clients. We make projects and products our personal concern and are well known for going the extra mile.
To be fair to all parties we prefer to charge by the hour – which means that you pay only for the time we spend on your project.
We have a strong sense of responsibility to our clients and a work ethic fortified by a proud tradition of unmissed deadlines.
Recent projects include: