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Admire someone’s Creative Work, but don’t copy it – Nana Kwadwo Duah

Admire someone’s Creative Work, but don’t copy it – Nana Kwadwo Duah

The Creative Director of Oxygen, Nana Kwadwo Duah has urged design professionals to refrain from wholesale plagiarizing of the creative works of colleague designers, adding that while you can admire someone else’s work, copying it trivializes the whole design process.

In a submission that is bound to divide opinions, especially at a time of high demand for innovation, the award-winning designer intimated that “copying another person’s work is a great disservice, first to you as the designer, and to the client.”

Nana Duah told Rev Albert Ocran in a Springboard, Virtual University, interview to be aired on Sunday 10th April, that young entrants into the Graphic Design space must be self-confident and enjoy the experience. They must recognize that they are in the industry to solve business problems. They must therefore always see themselves as businesspeople.

Nana Kwadwo Duah’s story is a reminder of the immense possibilities open to anyone who masters their craft. His Instagram and Facebook pages feature imposing artworks and picturesque designs of notable brands in Ghana and beyond.

But the story of Nana Kwadwo Duah and his meteoric rise, from a young returnee from the UK to his current position as Creative Director at Oxygen, a brand identity firm that he owns, did not happen overnight. It dates back some twenty years ago.

“I grew up wanting to be a teacher. I had the rare opportunity to study English and Literature at Oxford University, in the UK, but things changed when my mum, the actress Alexandra Duah, passed. Marian Appah-Sampong of MAK Consult & Dezynes became my second mum and introduced me to design.”

And since that experience, Nana has never looked back. From MAK Consult & Dezynes, moved on to the Ad Agency, STB McCann Accra, where he met his mentor, Kofi Amos. Nana describes him as “a very creative and no-nonsense boss and the one who polished the diamond in him.”

Nana Duah underscored the important role of having a natural flair as a Graphic designer and tasked his colleagues and other up and coming designers, to veer off the norm, and inculcate other things outside design like writing, music, reading, current affairs, literature, history, art and photography in their works.

“Exploring non-design themes is very important because a hundred percent concentration on already designed themes in trying to solve a problem creates repetitive solutions and outcomes. Veering out expands the echo chamber,” he added.

But just like every other profession, he admitted that there are days when he suffers from the ‘designer’s block’ and nothing creative seems to flow. According to him, when such days come, step back, take a stroll, go for a swim, rejuvenate, and come back to complete the project.

He described the cross over artwork for ICGC as one of his most iconic masterpieces that has widely been replicated and become the pivot for several variant designs.

1 thought on “Admire someone’s Creative Work, but don’t copy it – Nana Kwadwo Duah”

  1. Very inspiring, NKD. Keep shining the torch in your corner; it’ll soon turn into a floodlight. Nice article.

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