Ayok’a was a print-on-demand platform for emerging and established black artists to share their work with the world, a space for sharing the story behind each piece of artwork while presenting it in a stylish, fun, and original format. Ayok’a means “welcome” in the language of a tribe native to the Ivory Coast. The brand style should reflect the African heritage but for the digital era.
For the brand typography I tried to combine two seemingly incompatible typefaces – the dynamic and vertical narrow Khand and the rounded minimalist sans-serif Muli seemed capable to be friends only in the presence of the Ayok’a brand elements. As all Ayok’a stuff should be printed using very modern techniques, any “handmade” approach was not required, so I decided to combine Africa-inspired symbols with simple geometric grotesque. Literally, I wanted to connect welcome gentleness and up-to-date sharpness in one form in the way that the word looks the same as it sounds – rounded with surprise ringing splash. An uncompromising logo without optical compensation inspired by writing systems from Ghana’s Adinkra symbols, Guinean alphabets of the early twentieth century, simple geometric decorations painted on the walls of houses by South African women, as well as the precise geometric drawings of a new technological era.