Growing little fish into big whales with Didget Printing

One of the bigger focuses of Propak Africa this year was the importance of supporting locals in the industry with the overall theme of the final day of the expo even being ‘local is lekker.’ No company believes in this more than Didget Printing, who used their expertise together with the talent of a local artist to create a stand dedicated to showcasing the true potential of local talent. Marketing manager Gabriella Finke spoke to Tennille Aron about their stand.

The Didget stand at Propak Africa
The Didget stand at Propak Africa

In amongst the sea of the latest packaging machinery and equipment on display at Propak Africa, stood a structure consisting of over 273 coffee bags that had been digitally printed and assembled together to replicate a beautiful art piece painted by talented local artist Tumisang Khalipha. This amazing artwork stood in the middle of the Didget Printing stand at the expo and as marketing manager Gabriella Finke explains was about more than just displaying the outstanding digital printing capabilities of the company, but it was rather about showing how big companies can help grow little fish around them into big whales. This was an opportunity for Didget to pay it forward by helping fellow entrepreneurs gain more exposure for their businesses.

Interestingly, the idea for the installation came about while we were sitting and having a coffee,” explains Finke. I remember suddenly having the idea of what if we turned coffee into art and art into coffee,” says Finke. And that is exactly what they did. Sonwaro Coffee is a local coffee brand with their coffee house in Maboneng. They were also the first company to be a part of the Did.It entrepreneur initiative, which is an initiative that was started by Didget Printing just before the pandemic began to help entrepreneurs that they have identified to grow and develop their businesses.  

“The idea behind the concept was to have a curated café at the expo and so they decided to take a local artist’s artwork and turn it into art that could be shared with a wider community by replicating the artwork on coffee bags and assembling it into a 4m high installation at the Didget stand. This would in turn provide more exposure for both the artist and the coffee brand.

Each individual bag has a piece of the original artwork, a unique number as well as the Sonwaro story on it. All of these items were printed onto the bags using Didget’s digital printing capabilities and was put together manually. “Tumisang didn’t even know what his artwork was being used for when he agreed to let us use it. When he arrived here and saw his art, he was actually very emotional,” says Finke.

“ The next step in the process would be to auction of the installation either as a whole or as the separate bags and all the proceeds would go towards an art scholarship, paying it forward to another artist. So, we want to use this to support another up-and-coming local artist,” said Finke. At the end of the day, these initiatives help us to be the best of ourselves by helping those around us. The installation was well received at the expo and was already receiving great interest.

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