Kirstin Uken Loeries 2018

How did you feel when you won the Young Creatives 2018 Award?

Kirstin Uken: “It felt absolutely surreal. I was overwhelmed, in awe and very thankful to God!”

Kirstin, designer at Sunshinegun was awarded the Brand South Africa Young Creatives Award during the first night of the 40th Loerie Awards, held at the Durban ICC on Friday 17 August. The award, sponsored by Brand South Africa, recognises exceptional creative performance of individuals aged 27 or younger.

Kirstin submitted five pieces of work to be considered for the award including, the Nando’s VI (2016 Gold, Gold Craft and Grand Prix Loeries winner), Ads24 Food for Thought (2017), Nando’s PERi-Farms (2017), Nando’s Broken Monsters and Sunshineguns’ Handguns (Loeries 2018 Bronze winner in Brand Identity & Collateral Design – Direct & Promotional Mail)

Loeries CEO, Andrew Human said the high standard of creativity of her work had stood out from the other candidates. “Kirstin… (has a) wonderful talent and I hope this award encourages (her) to continue to do great work,” said Human.

“It makes us extraordinarily proud to be able (as a young business ourselves) to grow award-winning talent and creatives like Kirstin” says George Rautenbach, Creative Partner at Sunshinegun. “To be a great designer requires great commitment to one’s craft and Kirstin displays the kind of grit, determination and focus that it takes to be the best.”

Kirstin stood out from her first year to her last as a student of Information Design at the University of Pretoria. She won a Top Achiever Award every year, including Top Overall Achiever in her penultimate year, and graduated top of her class.

Bronwen Rautenbach, Creative Partner at Sunshinegun, first came across Kristin when marking final year student portfolios for University of Pretoria. “Her work and the polish of her portfolio stood head and shoulders above the rest. I have had few portfolios cross my desk, before or since, that have had the same magnetism,” said Rautenbach.

Kirstin chose Sunshinegun, and in 2014 she started as a junior designer, promoted to mid-weight in 2017. According to Bronwen, “She immediately made her presence felt, not an easy achievement for the average newbie. She has had a crucial and very significant hand in the crafting of the new Nando’s Global Visual Identity”.

What’s next for Kirstin? Well, she plans to use her prize money for a trip to Japan and South Korea to explore the home of illustration styles that have inspired her own unique style (check her out on Instagram @kirstinuken).

Well done Kirst, and happy travels!