About Me

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I have always loved how my work allows me to get a sneak preview of a new business or product and then be able to tell the world about it through both my designs and my publication.  I can imagine myself as the symbolic voice of the village standing on the top of the mountain with a gramophone, sharing the news of all the interesting things people do and offer.

My career as a freelance graphic and web designer started with a phone call and a leap of faith.  It was 2006.  I was working at a real estate business and the most valuable tool I had was this threadbare little local phone book.  It was the only copy we had in the office, it was 3 years old, very outdated and falling apart at the seams.   I had already phoned the book’s publisher a few times over the past couple of years to find out if we could advertise in the next edition.  He said the Hangklip-Kleinmond area was too quiet and he had no interest in the local market or in publishing it again.  He ended the conversation by saying: “Why don’t you do it if you love it so much?”  

As his words kept ringing in my ears, I discovered the first rule of successful sales – If you believe in the product, you can sell it.  I knew from personal experience how often I use the book and how much I wanted a new one with all the new businesses in it.  I knew there must be other people who felt the same.  I resigned from my job with immediate effect and a singular mission in mind – Update The Book.

By 2023, I will have published 17 annual editions of the Hangklip-Kleinmond Book. Over the years I have established the book as a valued household companion and turned it from a stapled together black and white copy with outsourced maps to a glossy quality publication with full colour throughout. 

I have had the experience of doing business with thousands of advertisers from all walks of life including individuals with startup businesses in their garage, so-called ’bakkie builders’, and the marketing departments of big corporations. 

I met many entrepreneurs who wanted to advertise but did not have a logo or any marketing material and one thing led to another.  I have always offered free design services to the advertisers in the book.  Over time I was commissioned to do all sorts of design work.  Having experience with providing print-ready materials, I received commissions to design advertisements for other publications, book covers and large format signage. Now, my services include designing websites, business cards, email signatures, logos, brochures, editorial design including magazine layout, and dealing with the printers on your behalf.

I studied Business Management for 2 and ½ years at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria in the early ’90s (then known as the Pretoria Technikon), which provided me with a solid understanding of not only running my own freelance business but also showed me the world of small business owners and taught me the skills needed to effectively connect with business owners and effectively communicate their marketing needs in reaching their target audience.  

I have always loved how my work allows me to get a sneak preview of a new business or product and then be able to tell the world about it through both my designs and my publication.  I can imagine myself as the symbolic voice of the village standing on the top of the mountain with a gramophone, sharing the news of all the interesting things people do and offer.  

In 2008 I took a course to learn web design and started to design websites in 2009, first by teaching myself coding on Dreamweaver but I soon migrated to the then-new kid on the block – WordPress, 10 years before the Gutenberg editor was released.  In some way, WordPress and I grew up together.  It was fortunate that I love photography and nature and had a variety of landscape, flower, and animal photos that could be used to market local guesthouses and other businesses in the tourism industry and to help promote our beautiful villages to visitors and I often incorporate my own photos in design projects for my clients.

As the internet and social media gained more prominence in the marketing arsenal of my clients, I updated my services to include Facebook advertising, audience segmentation and email marketing.  I took time out during the hard lockdown in 2020 to formalize my digital marketing skills by attending a variety of online courses in order to offer my clients a full spectrum of marketing services online and in print media.

I have been including my own custom-designed town maps in my own publication since 2010 which led me to design custom maps for other people too to use on websites, print publications and large format town maps to help visitors to Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay find their way around.

When I’m not designing or selling advertising space for my book, I love to go on long walks with my camera in hand, exploring nature and learning about plants, leaning towards the useful and edible ones.  I love creating great-tasting food and have been a contestant on a couple of TV reality cooking shows.  

I am a highly creative person with a love for entrepreneurship and marketing – the perfect combination to help you create artistic assets that will tell your business story to the world. 

Graphic design, branding and local advertising to help your business prosper

Ronel Theron t/a Villagevoice

+27 072 290 8332

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