Originally from Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), Chaz Maviyane-Davies knows what it’s like to grow up as a second-class citizen in a racist state. As soon as he was able, he left his country for Switzerland to study art and design. Going back and forth to Africa at different times in his life, Maviyane-Davies studied and worked in several countries including Japan, Malaysia and London. It was London in the 70s that he cites as responsible for “opening his eyes creatively.” “That’s when I started to identify graphic design as a nonpartisan discipline that could help to bring about change. It doesn’t only belong to capitalism or anybody. But you’ve got to be astute how you connect culturally with your audience.”
There are designers who have a gift for type and then there are those that have the gift of story-telling or message-relaying in one powerful image. In a very different style, James Victore comes to mind. Though Chaz Maviyane-Davies is clearly talented at both, he is a superstar at the latter. His are smart, sometimes disturbing, in-your-face and to-the-point images that deal with everything from social, environmental and health awareness, to politics and human rights. The type is almost superfluous.
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