Award-winning graphics design firm SJD World is launching a new online store selling everything from unique T-shirts and tote bags to posters and books.
Creative directors, Stephan Johnstone and Anna Dill, said the project was years in the making.
Founded in 2004, by Mr Johnstone, SJD World’s team have worked to balance their time between servicing clients and designing their own unique products that appeal to them as artists.
With the launch of their new online store, Mr Johnstone and Mrs Dill said they now have a digital space to promote all their one-of-a-kind wares.
“In the early days of SJD World, I always wanted to do both – offer services that would provide first class value for our clients, as well as design products,” Mr Johnstone said. “Over the years, we have built up our services to become the backbone of our business. Still, when we can we’ve also made it a priority to carve out time for research, development and artistic exploration, which is something extremely important to us.”
Previously, SJD World’s goods were sold in local stores, but it was always their dream to have an online store.
“We were on this path pre Covid-19, but now it’s all finally coming together at the perfect time,” Mr Johnstone said.
This week his company won The Bermudian magazine’s Product and Service Award 2020 for web design. It was their fifth time winning an award from the magazine.
“It feels great to be recognised by the community for our web design work this year,” Mr Johnstone said. “We’ve been offering web support services to select clients since 2011 and perfecting our offerings over the years by drilling down on what we’re good at. It’s been a wonderful team effort.“
He said it was amazing to see their labour of love released into the world.
“With our products we get to have full creative freedom and autonomy,” he said. “Our aim with this shop is to create another revenue stream for our business that will serve us and our families for years to come.”
SJD World’s products range from $12 to $40, with the exception of the digital art prints listed at a higher price point. Available online are several photo book collections featuring local photographer Ras Mykkal, as well as a limited edition children’s butterfly activity book illustrated by Mrs Dill.
“One thing I love most about the shop is that it’s a digital archive for each of our products,” Mrs Dill said. “We share with our customers the history and inspiration behind each item so they know the story behind everything we make and create.”
As a gift to fans and the wider community, Mr Johnstone, a talented spoken word artist, has also made his albums available for free online download.
“Our clients mean so much to us,” Mr Johnstone said. “We wouldn’t have been able to grow our company to where it is today without their support.
“Truth be told, I started SJD World while in college and then in 2010 moved back to Bermuda and started building the company full time working out of my basement and have built it around the clock, with Anna’s help.
“One thing I’ve learnt in business is there are no losses, only lessons. You may occasionally lose clients and money, but if you keep moving forward you can turn that loss into a win. It can be disheartening when a client doesn’t like your work or a project doesn’t go to plan, but if you study it and stay optimistic you’ll figure out how to move forward and get to where you want to be.”
SJD World was an official student nominee in the tenth Annual Webby Awards in 2006. The New York Times has described the Webby Awards as the “highest honour” any website can receive.
While SJD World did not win top prize, the nomination in itself opened many doors for this rising creative entity.
In 2008, SJD World made the transition from a hobby to a full-fledged business. Instead of profiling artists, the company focused more on professional creative services and developing their own products. Located today at 15 Front Street in Hamilton, SJD World’s team now consists of two graphic designers; Mr Johnstone and Mrs Dill and programmer/developer Prasanth Govindankutty.
• For more information, visit sjdworld.com/shop/