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Pivot from Science to Graphic Design

An interview with
Fungi Dube


Fungi Dube is an incredibly talented brand identity designer from Zimbabwe. Her work is heavily influenced by Afrikan cultures, including patterns, historic writings, graphic symbols and colour as a form of visual and global communication.

But design wasn't part of her studies and early career, it was science. Fungi eventually wanted to work in graphic design, and through hard work and determination she succeeded in pivoting from science to graphic design by teaching herself everything needed to become a successful self employed graphic designer.

In this interview we discuss her pivot from Science to Design, with the hope to inspire others who might wish to do the same. We then end the conversation talking about her passion for African design, and how the designers of Africa today are in the exciting position where they can document the design history of the country, and share it with the world.

Fungi Dube Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: Something I find really interesting about your story is that you are not a trained graphic designer. You actually originally studied as a scientist, but what you've done is that you've been able to pivot, and now you're doing graphic design. Based on your portfolio, you are a very good graphic designer as well. So I want to dive into this story, because I think there might be people listening that might be studying a completely unrelated field and they might potentially want to go into graphic design. So I want to put some focus on this as part of this interview. So let's start off by talking about why did you originally study science?

Fungi Dube: So it's actually a question that I get asked a lot and I am always happy to answer, because when I think of how everything came to be, it's actually weird and crazy and doesn't really make that much sense. But I feel like I always had creative inclinations as I was growing up, so I was that child who would like DIY special occasion cards for my family members. I would draw all the cartoons that I loved, so Big Bird from Sesame Street, Looney Tunes characters. That's what everyone will get on their card, because that's what I know as a child.