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Ann Catherine Njuhi: The 23-Year-Old Who Won Sh1 Million in KBL Logo Design Competition

Ann Catherine Njuhi, a twenty-three-year-old lady from the Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts (BIFA) emerged the winner of the ‘KBL Still Got Skillz?’ logo design competition.

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) made the announcement on their official Twitter page on 14th January 2022.

The ecstatic Ann was all smiles as she got to go home with a Ksh 1 million cash prize and a three-month internship at an award-winning advertising agency.

East African Breweries Limited (EABL) Design Competitions

EABL, founded on 8th November 1922, is East Africa’s leading branded alcohol beverage business that has a rich collection of brands in spirits, beers, and adult non-alcoholic drinks.

The company has tentacles in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania under its subsidiaries; Kenya Breweries Limited, Uganda Breweries Limited, Serengeti Breweries Limited, United Distillers Vintners, East African Maltings Limited, and East African Breweries International. 

In 2019, the company launched a design competition where it derived its present logo. The competition came to an end with Elvis Otieno emerging as the winner delivering the present company’s logo that has become well-known around the region.

Apart from winning a cash prize, his career as a graphic designer was kickstarted at Scanad, a multi-award-winning advertising agency. Today, Mr Otieno is the company’s Junior Art Director.

‘KBL Still Got Skillz?’ 2021 Design Competition

The competition kicked off on 26th November 2021 after the company announced that it was seeking someone with any artistic skill to interpret a logo that highlights the great things about Kenya including its cultures, color, and people as they mark their 100th year since its founding.

EABL Corporate Relations Director Eric Kiniti said of the competition, “The competition and the subsequent logo unveil are part of the kick-off activities to the EABL’s centenary birthday this year and we look forward to celebrating with Kenyans, who have been at the core of our success since the company was established in 1922.” 

The participants were from all artistic paths including painters, sculptors, fashion designers, graffiti artists, woodcarvers, and sculptors.

KBL announced that since it has been involved in supporting the youth over the years in music, art, and sports, this would be another platform to nurture talents.

Applicants were required to be between 21 and 25 years from Kenya, non-employees, and make their submissions after registering online from 29th November 2021. 

Closing on 14th December 2021, a judging panel was tasked with identifying the winner after a series of vetting and selection.

On December 23rd the top 20 contestants participated in a virtual hackathon run by experienced designers who shared their feedback and guided them on how to proceed and better their work as they approached the unveiling of the winner. 

Submissions and Winner Unveiling

Scanad’s Executive Director Rakesh Jha was the competition’s lead judge who commented on the submissions’ quality saying, “It’s such a refreshing experience to interact with young minds in Kenya…over the years the talent pool keeps getting better and better. What astonishes us as judges the most is the conviction and clarity with which these designers have approached the brief, which is a great sign for the Kenyan design industry.” 

On 14th January 2022, Ann Catherine Njuhi was contacted with the news that she had won the competition.

She said in response, “I’m very excited for this opportunity. Words cannot explain how I feel. It’s been challenging but definitely worth it.”

Ann Catherine described her creative process of arriving at the final logo – an icon in the shape of a barley leaf with nine grains and the letters KBL in orange in lowercase and 1922 – saying, “The logo is designed to represent Kenya Breweries Limited as a company.

It represents the culture of its consumers. I chose a rounded font family to give the logo a warm feel and the color orange because it commands attention and is considered more pleasant and striking, which can relate to KBL’s customers.”

EABL is a customer-driven company and therefore a logo in line with this intrinsic quality took home the cup.

Bragin Maina, a 25-year-old from Mombasa, took home Ksh 500,000 as second-runners up and 24-year-old Austin Kamande from Nairobi emerged third taking home Ksh 250,000. 

Prizes

The winner was awarded a cash prize and is set to kick off her internship at Scanad, located  on the 5th Floor, The Chancery Building Valley Road, Nairobi Kenya, is an advertising agency that seeks to tell brand stories. 

Under the company Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Madan and Managing Director Sally Sawe, it has risen to reputable standards in the advertising industry.

It has worked with Safaricom on campaigns such as Eliud 159, Fuliza, Funtastic 4G, Never Miss a Moment, and the Mpesa App Campaign.

Other partners are the Kenya Tourism Board with the Come Live the Magic campaign, KCB Bank on Lion’s Den, Weka Weka, and Usitense under KCB Mpesa, Switch TV on SwitchForGood, Elton John AIDS Foundation on Chukua Selfie, Kenya Cane on Shangilia Hustle, Uber on Trust, Isuzu on Twende Home, and EABL on Tusker Lager.

Ann Catherine Njuhi whose artistic interest is in product design and sculpture will certainly be working with some of the most brilliant minds at Scanad. From WoK, congratulations!

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