Exclusive Books' creative initiative links art with words

09 December 2019 - 15:35 By Helen Holyoake
Exclusive Books Ballito is where art meets words.
Exclusive Books Ballito is where art meets words.
Image: Supplied

“Good bookshops are ambidextrous. They often straddle both the commercial and cultural and, with the books it sells, Exclusive Books in Ballito does just that. Our collaboration with Damn Vandal injects our store with some of the beach-street-surf spunk of Ballito, bringing the outside in, and takes it to the next level.” - Batya Bricker, Exclusive Books marketing

Yasmeen Olgar, store manager of Exclusive Books Ballito Junction, was not happy having de rigueur stripes on the lip of space above the highest shelves of their bookshelves around the perimeter of the bookshop during the current facelift. The marketing team at Exclusive Books head office had to creatively ponder how to make this dead space visually and creatively appealing to stand out from the norm.

Enter local graffiti artist, father and businessman Shaun Oakley, aka Damn Vandal. Oakley has been commissioned by Exclusive Books to create graffiti art themed on books in this space. Born in Durban, Oakley has a degree in visual communications and 15 years of graffiti background. His style is a mix of vector illustration and graffiti and usually has a street urban influence.

Exclusive Books has created a new retail in-store design concept of combining art and books - books inspired by graffiti and magic with words.

“This collaboration with a local artist is just the start of an Exclusive Books move to further entrench our stores in the local culture of each store. Although we are a national chain with a globally recognised brand, we are still deeply connected to the rich and varied communities we serve.

“In addition to being a vital conceptual space for local writers and their work, inviting artists to share our physical space is just another way we hope to give expression to local voices and talent,” Bricker said.