SQS were Swedish quantity surveyors who asked us back in about 2000, via Bellville based &ArchTech architects (yep, correct spelling), to design a presentation in printed form, advertising a new construction technology to be presented to the South African government.
One of the greatest challenges facing our government since the dawn of democracy in 1994, is to build homes for the millions* of homeless people. SQS are one of many companies offering cheaper and energy-saving technologies to ease the transition and secure long-term efficiency in housing projects.
Sweden has a longstanding tradition of financial support for the ANC and ANC-led government, during and after apartheid, and so we decided to use variants of the Swedish flag's colours and rectangular shapes as a reminder of the origins of the product. Using rectangles were difficult to resist since the product being advertised was to be used in construction work which is associated with such shapes.
The feel was modern and warm. The square pattern used on the edges of pages hinted at African decorative patterns without the usual condescending stance associated with imitation African art as a way of convincing your market that you're actually 'African'.
* By the early 2000's, the SA government had built 2 million free houses – a world record. We don't read this kind of news in the newspapers – in fact, it got a very small report on page 3 of the major local daily newspaper.