The Fire Tree was born on April Fool’s Day in 1999, and we partied like it was…well, it was. Headed up by Managing Director Arthur Lello, Financial Director Debbie Palframan and Creative Director Bianca Schmitz, we were a little team of five that could and did.
By 2007, we had doubled to ten. A year later, we’d doubled again to 20 and taken on another agency called Brandwing, and designer Desmond Smith had become Studio Manager (then director in 2010). Never content to stop branching out, we began to forge amalgamated partnerships with various advertising agencies, an exhibition stand company and international publishing houses.
In light of our expansion, by 2010 we saw the need to offer our clients a cost-effective and top quality solution for their printing needs. Hence Print Division, our very own large format digital printing and finishing company, was seeded. Print Division has dedicated installation teams and a fleet of vehicles to ensure that every job is done on time and to specification anywhere in South Africa – no matter how remote the location. If you can’t find it on Google Maps – we’ll still find it.
Our in-house manufacturer, Sign By Design, opened its doors in 2012 and has been lighting up brands ever since. We create anything from lightboxes and fabricated lettering to streetpole advert structures and branding towers.
Print Division and Sign by Design have both outgrown two sets of premises and we are now in the process of buildng a new facility in Riverhorse Valley to accommodate both companies. This will give us the space to add even more state-of-the-art equipment from benchmark brands to our canopy.
Between 2014 and 2017, we stretched our roots into Mozambique, operating a labelling company which provided SABMiller with all their beverage labels. At the same time, we ran a freight company, using 40 horse and trailers to meet SABMiller’s needs.
We are constantly travelling the world for new insights and ideas to keep us on the cutting edge of fresh and contemporary. We also go hunting for the latest substrates, most of which we import ourselves in order to offer competitive prices and innovative solutions.
The second half of 2017 and beyond brings the promise of further expansion and greater adventures.