Jason Bagley and Adrian Myburgh (photo sourced from www.flywhitespace.com
After studying a one year course in information technology and web development in Kenilworth, Cape Town, Bagley began web design by working for a company part time as well as establishing a freelance company “on the side”, which he called Beanbag Media.
“The previous name for the company was Beanbag Media and when I eventually teamed up with Adrian... we decided to rename the company,” said Bagley.
The name Whitespace was chosen by Bagley and Myburgh after jotting down a few options.
“Obviously being in this line of industry, white space is something we talk about all the time whenever we’re designing sites, so that is why we named it White Space,” said Bagley.
White space is a technical term within programming. “That is where it started. Applying white space into web design.”
Bagley and Myburgh said they chose to call themselves the “Wright brothers of the web” because there is “not much substance” to the word white, “other than its blank and empty, so we wanted to create a theme behind white space and one of them was fly, so we decided to try and bring in more of the old-school Wright brothers from the 1900’s,” and apply it to a web design concept.
It is also the reason Bagley and Myburgh chose a paper jet-plane as their logo. “So the Wright brothers is a sort of play on words for a theme for the web,” said Bagley.
Bagley and Myburgh went to school together in Somerset West, Cape Town, however “we weren’t really good mates in school,” said Bagley.
It was only after matriculating from high school that the two came across each other again and Myburgh presented a portfolio to Bagley, which he was “blown away” by.
Bagley then told Myburg: “Dude! We have to work together!”
Bagley said the main challenge he faced in setting Whitespace up was obtaining enough “recurring work so you’re able to pay yourself a salary at the end of the month,” especially when it comes to supporting a family.
Bagley said that obtaining a ZAR500,000 (US$55,000) loan from the bank is probably enough to keep a company of Whitespace’s size afloat for at least a year.
He added it took him and Myburgh a long time to achieve a recurring work base.
“Adrian worked after hours and I was working within another agency, but part time. They knew I was starting a thing of my own and they were happy to help me,” said Bagley.
Bagley believes skill is more important than machinery with regards to web design because many online tools such as Wordpress and font shops are mostly available for free or at very low costs, but it comes down to skill to properly and professionally utilise “those features of tech”.
Aside from web design and development, Whitespace teamed up with Obox Design to design Wordpress website themes “specifically for their (Obox’s) theme shop”. Whitespace designs themes exclusively for Obox Design and do not have plans to team up with other similar companies because “we’re not really wanting to go the whole theme game,” said Bagley, who is also involved with HumanWrit.es.
Bagley and Myburgh’s favourite gadgets include: the 15 inch Macbook Pro, the 24 inch Samsung LED monitor, a 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S and the HumanWrite.es note books.