Comparing apples
with apples

By Scott Campbell Gamley

Advertsing industry differences between the United Kingdom and South Africa

Having recently emigrated from sunny, tropical Durban on the east coast of South Africa has been an interesting ride for myself, my wife and 2 kids. We’ve basically turned our lives upside down and shaken them. We are loving our new life in the UK, the opportunities it’s presented us and are feeling very blessed to be here, living in the South of the UK near the coast certainly helps.

Having over 18 years experience as a graphic designer I started my career in 2001 at global giants TBWA\Hunt Lascaris and finished 13 years of service at one of South Africa’s most renowned below the line agency’s, Paton Tupper, before emigrating.

Design wise the change on a whole has been an easy one for me. Design is design, deadlines are deadlines and an Apple Mac is a Apple Mac. Most UK brands I’d never heard of before, at first going to a Waitrose or a Tesco was like going to the Moon. The importance of brand guidelines are crucial for any brand and has been very helpful in the transition. The thing I’ve battled a little with is growing my network, not knowing anyone in the industry was hard at first, there is something to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone, it’s the hardest thing to do but so fulfilling.

So much emphasis has been put on the digital realm these days and feel the UK are slightly ahead of the curve compared to South Africa and are far more focused on things such as user (UX/UI) journeys, although its the way advertising has evolved globally. Students coming out of Uni are far more tech savvy that I ever was, the UK designers seem to be a jack of all trades and up skill constantly. With the broad scope of graphic design its important not to get pigeon-holed.

Culturally creative agencys and staff in both countries are very similar, they buzz, are vibrant and full of humour. My advise for anyone coming over from South Africa or anywhere for that matter is put yourself out there, back your talent and work hard!!

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