Carike Smit's efforts in creating inspiring designs, and whatever printings are needed, have caught the eye of the jury at Dscoop EMEA, where she has won the European Inkspiration Award two years running.

Describe your job and interest in graphic design and printing.

I am part of Minit Print's creative team and absolutely love everything about print. I love pushing all the perceived limits of print while creating the most beautiful packaging, labels, and whatever printing clients need.

Where do you find inspiration? 

My office is covered in paper and samples that I collect everywhere I go. Any new paper substrate that gets launched, a new ink or perhaps a new finishing method, makes me super excited. I can’t sleep from excitement while I dream up endless possibilities.

What is an example of an interesting and fun client brief?

When the client says, here is my product, make it work! Especially if it’s a new product or something that I know has never been done before. I spend hours designing and making up samples for clients on the right substrate, with all the finishings. I actually had a client today who started dancing from excitement when he saw the printed sample labels on his product.

You won the Inkspiration Award at Dscoop EMEA in 2018 and 2019. What makes your work stand out?

I push the boundaries of the technology that we have available, making the jobs technically difficult, which is what I think makes my work stand out. Creating 1,000 unique boxes with 1,000 print files and 1,000 unique Scodix files was a crazy idea but luckily our team is used to my wild ideas, and we always end up making it work. There is nothing more satisfying than when you hold that first perfect box that you envisioned, in your hand. 

Carike Smit

Carike Smit, Graphic designer.

I’ve heard you are limited to using only a few colours. Why? 

We always joke that when something is old news in the rest of the world, it’s new in South Africa. I think things just take longer to trickle down to our end of the globe. Price is, of course, always a factor in everything we do or need from Europe and the US, with the Rand not being the strongest currency.

What challenges does this present to you?

I can’t always do things the way I want to but on the other hand, it means that I have to find other, different, and maybe even better solutions!   

How does this affect the final results? 

I think it sometimes makes the jobs turn out even better. I have often had to rethink an idea because that paper isn’t available, or we just can’t do it in the way that the client wanted it to work. Nothing like a good old-fashioned challenge to get the creative juices flowing.

What are your best tips for making a big impact with lesser means?

Work smart with what you have and push all the limits – you will be surprised where you end up. I think creativity takes courage and the ability to be able to fall down a few times but to carry on trying.

What kind of demands do you have on the paperboard? 

When choosing a carton to print on, I require it to be super smooth yet bulky and not crack easily. There is nothing worse than packaging with cracked edges.

How do you work with sustainability? 

I only use substrates from reputed paper mills that adhere to sustainable forestry and are FSC® certified. Obviously, I try to not waste any paper or resources and to recycle as much as possible.

What does the future hold for you?

I will keep pushing for more – better and crazier ideas. Every day and every client brings a new challenge and new inspiration. Perhaps there is another Inkspiration award somewhere down the road…


Created 28 November, 2019.