South African caricaturist Konrad Rode usually gets commissioned to do retirement gifts, corporate gifts, farewell presents or wedding anniversary presents as caricatures – representing the person's stand-out features and interests. Konrad operates from Cape Town and Bellville. Please note: We do not create live caricatures for events.

Caricatures are basically cartoons of particular people, accentuating and distorting their standout features.



Editorial caricature


Example of caricature

This caricature was drawn for a property economics publication's cover. The headline was, "How to lick the cap rate problem".

The caricature was of Erwin Rode of Bellville-based Rode & Associates, based in Bellville, Cape Town. He's been known for his sometimes cringe-worthy sense of humour by his family.

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Caricature as retirement gift

The Godfather

Example of caricature

Cape Oil, producers of sunflower oil etc., asked us to draw a caricature of a top manager who was about to retire. It was his farewell present.

We were given a few pictures of the manager, affectionately known among employees as "The Godfather", for his love of gambling and always having something up his sleeve when it comes to business. If you look closely at the full caricature, you'll see oil dripping from his sleeve.

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Editorial caricature


Example of caricature

Something Konrad did in his early days as a caricaturist.

South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu has one of those faces that are a cartoonist's wet dream. The more expressive a face, the more you have to play with.

Tutu has played an important and constructive role in politics and is generally seen as one of those really rare species in politics, the good guy. 'Bad guys' are usually a better source though because you can get downright nasty!

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Caricature as a birthday gift


Example of caricature

Belim dos Santos of Cape Town asked Konrad to create a caricature of his brother, Pépe, as a birthday present for Pépe's 40th, incorporating all his loves such as his dog, the Portuguese soccer team, his fleet of luxury cars and his career in selling Atlantic sea board property developments. The signage heading – "BUY NOW, pay more later" – was Belim's idea.

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Caricature as corporate gift

BDO directors

Example of caricature

Konrad was approached by chartered accountants BDO Spencer Ward's staff to create a group caricature of the directors of BDO. The budget was relatively small, so they wanted a line art group caricature.

Konrad was sent separate photographs of each director, which he then caricaturised and pasted into a group.

Caricaturing one face takes time, so in the case of a group, less time is spent perfecting each of the caricatures.

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Caricature as mascot

Dingdong girl

Example of caricatureOK, this was a strange one. Dingdong SA Online Property Directory approached us to create a kind of logo or mascot for their business. She had to be female, and obviously in office gear. So Konrad created both a digital vector illustration and a freehand illustration of what he thought this girl might look like.

Only thing is, in the freehand version, she ended up being a caricature of his ex-girlfriend! How that happened, we don't know, but obviously it was a subconscious thing.

It must be said that there's no way in hell she would dress like that – quite the opposite – she's actually a fashion designer for very informal, alternative wear. Konrad guesses that's what an alternative universe's Jacqui might look like.

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Caricature as farewell gift


Example of caricature

Grey Advertising of Mowbray, Cape Town, called Konrad for his caricaturist skills – they needed a caricature of brand manager Franco Maria Maggi. It was given to him as a farewell gift when he left South Africa for Mexico.

Elements they wanted him to incorporate would be Franco's Italian ancestry (born & bred), his enviable travel history (he's been to just about every country in the world), his love of music, Heineken, and his cheekiness and kind, caring and witty nature.

So, Konrad made his jacket green for both the Italian feel and the Heineken brand colour - Heineken was his portfolio. The background was a cowboy flick sunset, "riding into the sun", with the odd cactus for the Mexican reference. The rest is obvious.

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Editorial caricature

Tito Mboweni

Example of caricature

Konrad's responsible for Rode & Associates' quarterly property research publication covers, and sometimes it means drawing caricatures of real people.

For this edition of Rode's Report on the South African Property Market, Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni had something to point out on the graph behind him.

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Caricature as a personal gift


Example of caricature

This was a personal project of Konrad's circa 2000. The idea was to capture the essence of a very beautiful acquaintance of his in a fairy caricature, but rendered in Japanese comic book style a.k.a. manga.

All he had to go on, was her face in his memory, but because the nature of this style is not about accuracy, all he really needed to get right were her eyes, eye brows and hair, well, in a caricature kinda way.

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Caricatures for event invitation

Rode Conference 2008

Example of caricature

This e-mailed announcement for Rode & Associates' annual property conference involved caricatures of the speakers – all expert economists. It was a great idea by Rode's marketing manager Lynette Smit, and we ended up with a colourful, eye catching e-mail.

Obviously we couldn't draw a detailed caricature of each speaker due to the budget involved as well as the small sizes, but we did relatively simple, scaled down illustrations that did the job.

It was quite difficult, as it was based on one photo of each speaker, often in bad lighting, missing detail and so forth, but we managed after Lynette sent back two caricatures for being ... less than flattering to the speakers ;-)

It is of course the nature of caricaturists to distort people's stand-out features, but one must find that balance between humour and flattery.

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Caricature for training programme

Nelson Mandela

Example of caricatureFor this quick caricature for a workers' training programme we had to portray integrity as one of its values the company wanted to communicate to its workers, some of whom are illiterate.

What better icon to use than Madiba, the most loved face in South Africa? He has become known as a politician of integrity, a humanitarian equal to Mahatma Gandhi. Nelson Mandela has even made public statements that countered his own political party's policies when he believed the policies or decisions were morally wrong, and he has brought together all races in our country – a feat previously thought impossible by many.

Commissioned by Sea Harvest.

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Caricature for stage poster

Why't Burp

Example of caricature

This poster was designed and illustrated for (now TV actor) Chris Vorster's satirical stage performance "Why't Burp" during 1998. Subtitled "'n Afrikaanse Western", it was a send-up of the legend of Wyatt Erp, à la South Africa.

Konrad got the job via SmartArt, a small design studio in Bellville. Of course, both Chris and Konrad grew up there behind the boereworsgordyn, as some Southern Suburbs types like to refer to it.

The style was naive, crude and cartoon-like, popular with rebellious, young Afrikaners at the time – a style popularised by the likes of Conrad Botes in Bitterkomix (Conrad and Konrad also grew up together).

The poster proved so popular in the Durban leg of the tour that all posters were stolen soon after being posted in the streets, according to Chris. Compliments don't get better than that! Of course, Chris has always had a groot bek, so the jury's out on that one ;-)

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What clients say:


Lynette Smit
Marketing manager, Rode & Associates

"A creative genius..."


Pieter De Waal
Sole proprietor, Hermit on the Hill

"A stickler for detail, Konrad appreciates the difference between good and great, and won't stop tweaking till the end-product meets his exacting standards.

His offbeat sense of humour, coupled with his ability to transform this into his designs, makes it a pleasure to brainstorm new concepts with him.

Konrad has been a key member in developing my brand, and I always look to him for inspiration and creativity."


Tania de Maine-Oosthuizen:
Manager, Tharagay Addictions Services

"We love his work, from initial ideas to final designs! What he has done for us, was simple, yet elegant, and purely beautiful".


Zeki Hilmi
Sole proprietor, Chelsea Village Framers and Antique Shoppe

"Konrad has this exceptional ability to develop illustrations.

We were so thrilled by the work he undertook for us that we employed Konrad to design our wedding invitation, which, through collaboration and Konrad's outstanding knowledge of graphic design, he designed for us exactly what we were looking for. All our guests commented and said, "what an amazing wedding invitation!"

I recommend Konrad to everybody and will use him in the future again."


Sanett Uys
Marketing manager, Colliers International (SA)

"The work Konrad did for us has been outstanding! His customer service is great and his creativity exceptional. He is willing to think out of the box and come up with new ideas, which we love."


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