The de Villiers family takes faith and creativity seriously. This family has pooled their energies and ideas to create a new line of children’s books that feature dynamic art and Bible-based stories. Designed to “grow a child’s faith,” the Seedling & Sprout series will arrive in stores fall 2005.
The de Villiers family came to the United States from South Africa in 1988 for Robbie’s work in an international design firm. After almost four years working for large, international companies in the U.S., Robbie decided to start his own design firm. He and wife Dianne have three children—daughter Michelle, son P.J. and daughter Lindsay. All three de Villiers children have inherited their parents’ creative energy—two are involved in the creation and production of the new Seedling & Sprout series.
The de Villiers have been active members of Hope Church, an Evangelical Free Church in Connecticut, since their immigration in 1988. Robbie de Villiers says imagery, nature and beauty have affected his faith and directed his creativity: “We hope there will be some imagery and words in our books that make a profound impression on children and even parents. We believe God reveals Himself in many unique ways.” The entire de Villiers family invites your family to grow in faith along with Seedling & Sprout.
Robbie de Villiers, husband, father & creative force: Robbie is a renowned graphic designer based in Connecticut. He is responsible for the overall look and design of the Seedling & Sprout series. His firm, Robbie de Villiers Design, was founded in 1990. Specialists in packaging, branding and corporate identities, Robbie and his firm have won more than 21 International Clio Awards. He has received multiple international awards from such prestigious organizations as the London Institute for Packaging (Great Britain) and Office de la Vigne et du Vin (France). His packaging designs have appeared on familiar household products such as Canada Dry, Maxwell House 1892 coffee, Hires root beer, Orange Crush soda and Motts applesauce.
Dianne de Villiers, wife, mother & writer: Dianne is called the “driving force” behind Seedling & Sprout by her husband. She imagines the captivating adventures for Seedling & Sprout, developing the story line and message of each book. Married to Robbie for more than 30 years, Dianne is the mother of three creative children, daughter Michelle, son P.J. and high schooler Lindsay. Dianne is a graduate of The Cape Technicon in Cape Town, South Africa, with a degree in microbiology.
Michelle de Villiers-Newton, daughter & designer: The eldest de Villiers child, Michelle de Villiers-Newton, is the designer for all of the products from Seedling, geared to the youngest readers ages 0-3. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she is proficient in packaging design and graphics. Her father says growing up in a design studio helped develop her love of design and a desire to make it a career. Michelle is married to a professional drummer, Tim Newton, and spends her time thinking of new colors to paint her and her friends’ houses.
P.J. de Villiiers, son and designer: P.J. creates all of the Sprout products, designed for older preschoolers. P.J. received a degree in 2003 in illustration from the renowned Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. Like Michelle, he grew up in a home with an appreciation for art and design and really had no choice but to become an illustrator. When not working, P.J. loves to compose and record music, and play active sports like snowboarding, skateboarding and Frisbee golf.