Adding Pixels to the Streets of Lagos
At Check DC, we create innovative design solutions for a diverse set of clients. From brands who are empowering farmers, facilitating informal trade, accelerating payments to fund managers, and renowned conglomerates, we are constantly creating a wide range of solutions that reflect the identities of our clients.
While working hard to ensure that the solutions we create are authentic and precise reflections of every brand’s message, having to use foreign mockups and elements to represent them— because that’s what is mostly available — always felt like adding tribal marks to the Mona Lisa. These mockups just could not portray the authenticity we seek.
But how do we use Nigerian mockups in our designs if there are hardly any available? Simple: we create them! Cue in the conception of Nigerian Mockups — a library of photorealistic mockups, for Nigerian designers by Nigerian designers that we could use to showcase our designs in a relatable and appropriate context.
Want to know the best part? We know for a fact that there are a ton of designers and creatives in Nigeria and Africa also in need of these mockups, which is why we’ve made this resource free and accessible to the community(we know, we’re awesome!).
How It Started:
To build this resource, we decided to start it off by featuring the most prominent locations in Lagos; both on the island and mainland. Like cartographers, we identified all the spots we wanted to include, the famous LED screens at Ilubirin, Alexander road, the Lekki Toll Gate, Maryland Mall, and some major billboards in Computer Village, Ikeja amongst others. That was a lot of locations to cover and images to capture so we split the shoot into two different Sundays in order to avoid the difficulty that comes with creating content on the streets of Lagos, mostly from thugs who want to collect ‘owo ile’. With our logistics in order, and a fire playlist, we packed up our gear and hit the streets (oshey Ajala the traveler).
First up was the island. We started off at Admiralty way in Lekki to take shots of the lamp posts along that road and then the huge LED at the roundabout. The sky was beautiful, the roads free of traffic, we couldn’t have picked a better day.
We moved on to the Alexander Cube just a few metres away and took really cool drone shots of the cube. This one was a little tricky because we had to pilot the drone from the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge in order to avoid attention (Rumour has it James Bond saw us shooting and took up sewing instead).
Would our story be complete if we didn’t have some form of run-in with the infamous Nigerian Police Force? Nope. A police patrol vehicle made a U-Turn on the bridge that had us thinking: is this how it ends? Instead of stopping to ask what we were up to, their car crept towards us and they simply stared at us- for a hot minute. It felt like we were about to be on the receiving end of a ‘drive-by’ from a rival gang. Luckily for us, the drone was already in the air else we would have had to go through the strenuous activity of explaining what a drone is and what it’s used for to the last of the baby boomers in the Nigerian police department.
After a few shots, we moved on to Lekki roundabout, took pictures of the billboards on some of the pedestrian bridges, then on to the Lekki Toll Gate where we took pictures of the LED while in the car to avoid the Nigerian Army who were still occupying a part of the toll gate — vestiges from the End SARS protests. From there on out, it was a rather uneventful shoot. We captured some billboards on Falomo Bridge, Law School, Bourdillon, and on our way back to the office we used the opportunity to take pictures and drone shots of the wide LED at the newly constructed Ilubirin residential area.
Next up was Lagos Mainland. We set out on another Sunday knowing we wouldn’t have it as easy as we did on the island so we came prepared; we hired an officer from the Nigerian Mobile Police (MOPOL) as an escort as we snaked through what many have fondly referred to as the jungle of the mainland.
We started from the vicinity of our office at Yaba, took photos of the large LED on Herbert Macaulay way then we moved on to Yaba Market where the decision to hire the Mobile Police came in handy. An ‘area boy’ approached us looking to extort us, but our MOPOL scared him off and had us feeling like citizens of Asgard whenever Thor appears. Thankfully we only had one other similar encounter at Surulere- again, MOPOL to the rescue.
We captured different billboards, lamp posts, BRT Bus Stops and LEDs from the Oworo Gbagada Axis to Ikeja (Computer Village & Cantonment area) down to Ikorodu Road (Maryland and various bus stops along the road). We finally wrapped up at Stadium bus stop, Surulere.
All in all, asides the two incidents at Yaba and Surulere, shooting around Lagos was fun and (surprisingly) calm probably because we stuck to Sundays (pro-tip for content creators out there).
How It’s Going:
We have successfully developed the photos from our Lagos trips and created the Nigerianmockups.com platform where you can readily access them.
We hope you’ll have lots of fun using the mockups and love them as much as we do! Don’t forget to share with your friends and haters ;)
We are super excited about this project and we’re looking forward to expanding it even further — more cities (did someone say African Mockups?).