What’s happening on Instagram right now

As the corononavirus continues to sweep around the globe, our world has become new and uncertain. It has changed the way we connect, forcing many of our conversations online and making social media bigger than ever before. People are using various platforms to share information, talk about their concerns and getting creative with new TikTok dance moves they’ve learnt while in self-isolation.Read more

Tried, Tested, Tossed: TPB Guide to Productivity Apps

Running a small business doesn’t actually mean having to run around from office to clients and back to the office to check on your team. Neither does it mean sitting in front of your laptop with fifteen different tabs open. In fact, business management can be made simple with the right productivity apps. How do you know which apps will work for you? Our team has tried, tested and tossed a few apps to help make it easier for you to find the right tools for your business.Read more

Tips to grow your Instagram account

If, like us, you’ve been trying to get ahead of the everchanging algorithm to remedy your dwindling engagement, this post is for you. Yeah yeah, we know it looks and feels amazing when the numbers are high but what is the purpose of using this platform? First thing to remember is, Instagram doesn’t determine your success. Read more

How to improve your business: books, apps and more

We’re graphic designers and what we do is design. But we’ve learnt, after many missteps that we needed other skills to survive. Like how to work with numbers, manage cash flow, manage time, work collaboratively and more efficiently. Over time we've tried and tested a few apps, read a few books and relied on other online resources that have helped to shape how we work, make us more efficient and give us back a little more time. Read on for our reviews on a few apps and books that have helped us tackle those painful admin tasks.

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2018 Holiday Gift Guides

Finding something unique for the special people in your life is always possible when you shop at the Cape Union Mart Group of brands. You’ll find all the magic of the season of giving at Cape Union Mart, Old Khaki, Poetry, Tread + Miller and the newest member of the family – Keedo. Click on the link below.Read more

Everyone is creative

There is one myth about creativity that I’d like to bust. Creativity is not the domain of painters, writers, musicians or designers alone. Everyone is born with natural creativity. Perhaps some are born with more than others, passed down to them through their genes by talented parents. But innate creativity is not a reliable sign of future creativity or greatness even – regardless of any advantage of nature. My father gravitated toward sketching at a young age. Read more

A beginner’s guide to photography

By guest writer and photographer, Zaid Joseph.

Which entry-level camera is a good investment for taking lifestyle/blog style images?
I would suggest the camera on your phone. Don’t be bogged down by the tech. Today’s mobile phone cameras are amazing and with proper lighting (the #1 factor in good photography) you can take some great images.Read more

Content marketing for startups

While we’ve been around for a little over six years now, we’ve only been using content marketing for a few years relative to the life of our company. We have however learnt a few ‘truths’ about content marketing we think all startups can benefit from.Read more

The designers naughty corner

Yeah, we’ve all been there. We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of and that we knew we didn’t want to do. Round five of client changes and the energy to fight for what’s right quickly fades. So here we are, sending ourselves to the ‘naughty corner’ for the questionable things that we have done or rather, created. We’ve overcome the guilt-of-bad-designs-past and protected the identity of the responsible designer well enough to offer solutions that we hope will help you avoid the pitfalls of bad design.Read more

5 Things we’ve learnt at our first job in the field

Hey, it’s Nats here…
It’s often said that your first job in the ‘real world’ will not always be the greatest of all jobs. I can honestly say that being part of The Pencil Box team has been a true blessing. After graduating I was nervous about entering the creative work place for the first time, I didn’t know when, how or where I was going to begin my journey. Read more

How to tackle your first photoshoot

Lights! Camera! Meltdown! As an introvert, being the center of attention has always been frightening. I’m a naturally awkward person, so when I experienced my very first photoshoot, I was overcome with nerves. The end product was not what I had anticipated at all, it was so much better! The photographer, Zaid and his assistant, Danyaal did an amazing job at making me feel comfortable. Read more

What we’ve learnt about social media (so far) – Part 1

Where it all began…

Layla: Up until last year Feb, we had no Instagram presence. We focused mainly on Facebook which was great, until they made it almost impossible to reach our followers without paying for the engagement. We joined Instagram because one of our clients had asked why weren’t using it for business (duh) and requested we manage their pages. Read more

Tips for styling a photoshoot

Let me begin by saying that styling is not your average 9-to-5-run-of-the-mill kind of job. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever done. When you’re not in the studio, you’re constantly on the go preparing for your next styling project. When the shoot date arrives, it can be very stressful and chaotic, especially if there is a lot to get through. Read more

Miss communication

Love it or hate it, with technology we are now communicating more than ever before. But are we communicating more effectively? When it comes to work and everyday life, communication is key. We have all heard that a thousand times and I’ve probably rolled my eyes a thousand times when someone has said it, but it is such an important skill to learn.Read more

The juniors – our journey into design

Hey, this is Natalie and I’m all about “doing what we love”

Growing up, I always had a million passions. I would put all my energy into it; from ballet to theatre performance, art to science, teaching and even breakdancing. Yes, I could do head spins and took part in underground hip-hop street battles in Woodstock – and I was pretty good at it too! I was interested in so many different things, the thought of choosing one specific career path had me feeling uneasy. Was I the only one who felt like this?Read more

Why your business needs to hire a copywriter

We have a running joke in the studio that goes something like this. If someone introduces a new word or concept to the team, one of us will invariably cock our head to one side and with a face scrunched up in confusion, ask, “What’s that? Can I eat it?” Firstly, that phrase captures two important things about The Pencil Box we’d like you to know – (1) we’re an inquisitive bunch, and (2) being paid in food has crossed our minds a few times. Food, delicious food drives us. Read more

Why branding is important for your business…

If you’re reading this, then it’s crossed your mind and we’re very proud of you for taking a step in the right direction. Picture a room filled with slow clapping, nods of excitement and back patting as you make your way through the room. Welcome to our world, we’re here to help. You may be considering starting your own business, thinking of a brand refresh, or you just want to know what all the fuss is about and whether it really is necessary. Read more

The juniors – just getting started

Hello, my name is Natalie.
Welcome to my world as a recently graduated graphic designer working at The Pencil Box. I was asked to write about my creative journey when I started, my personal experiences and what I’ve learnt along the way. I was super excited about the new challenge, but when push came to shove, I couldn’t think of a single topic to write about. I adore creative writing, but it’s not something that always comes easily. Read more

An introvert’s guide to networking

You’re about to attend your first fashion launch. You don’t know what to expect and being you, social events are mentally exhausting and of course daunting. But you have to go, your boss has ordered you to network and report on the fashion brand’s new AW fashion line. You don’t know anyone there. You love fashion, but the thought of having to make small talk with complete strangers is giving you heart palpitations.Read more