Two years ago, Ellae Creative Branding Agency launched Designers Arise, a social enterprise to showcase Africa’s top design talents.

On Saturday, March 16, 2019, Ellae ran a Designer’s Arise meetup event tagged “Let’s Talk Digital and Design”, in partnership with the popular design community, Figma Africa. Speaking on the partnership, Figma Africa lead advocate Namnso Ukpanah explained that working with Ellae provided an opportunity for members to get mentorship from experts already working in the design field. Adding that, such collaborations should be encouraged as it means more can be done for the design ecosystem faster in Africa.

Figma Africa is gradually becoming a name associated with web designers across some parts of Africa. So when the opportunity to work with Ellae Creative came, it was highly welcomed. Such collaborations expose the audience to more design concepts, learning materials and mentors with professional experience in their design fields”, says Namnso.

Figma’s vision of fostering a design community in Africa made them an obvious choice for Ellae Creative’s Designer Arise meetup event

A member of the Figma Africa team facilitating at the meetup

Founded in 2011, Ellae has operated as an integrated creative, digital and brand agency with a rapidly growing client base including local and international brands like Exxon Mobil, Sterling Bank, Union Bank, Keystone Bank, Paga, Wakanow, USAID, Citibank, BASF Germany, the Nike Foundation and Google Inc.

Ellae launched Designers Arise as a social enterprise to spotlight the role of design in the African continent through a unique portfolio-based platform and curated design-driven events.

Speaking on the motivation for the launch, the founder, Noella Ekezie says “we would like to bridge the gap between creative talent and opportunities by providing a unique platform for designers to showcase their work and get discovered by the worldwide community.

Last year, they ran a “designathon” (live design contest). The winner of the event, Mr Ifeoluwa Sopeju received 100,000 cash prize and a free trip to Dubai, courtesy of sponsors GTBank and Wakanow.

Winner of Ellae’s Designathon, Mr Ifeoluwa Sopeju

Noella recalls that her foray into the world of design came from the opportunity she had to attend a summer program at a Design school in New York, USA. “I have an engineering background but was able to launch my career as a designer because of the singular opportunity I had to attend a summer program at the Parsons School of Design in New York,  I was able to hone my talents enough to launch and build the world-class brand that Ellae is today and I would like to have that success replicated in our industry by exposing our designers to similar opportunities”, she adds.

The company is looking to curate various design-driven events, meetups, and designathons in collaboration with industry partners and sponsors. In turn, they will offer free access for all designers to learn, network and collaborate on design solutions.

Not resting on its oars, Ellae is looking to launch a creativity conference by October 2019 and are open to sponsorships and partnerships. “We are also looking to launch our inaugural creativity conference in October of this year and are currently seeking partners and sponsors who are aligned to our purpose” says founder Noella Ekezie

About Ellae Creative

Ellae Creative Branding Agency is an award-winning creative organization fluent in brand, marketing, communications, digital and print design. Founded in 2011, it has continued to strengthen its digital presence that is set centre-stage in Lagos, Nigeria, engaging some of the world’s top profile personalities and organizations across the globe. Our portfolio includes brands such as the USAID, BASF Germany, Google Inc., the Nike Foundation, Exxon Mobil, Citibank, Cognizant, the Girl Effect, Union Bank, Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Paga and Wakanow among others.

About Figma Africa

Figma Africa is a community of people interested in design (developers inclusive) that is primarily focused on design education and accessibility.

The community is powered by Figma, a collaborative interface design tool that enables an entire team’s design process to happen in one online tool.

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