Featured work

TA Transformational Audit 2011

indicators Mixed media publishing solution.
Supported by a blog.

The meaning of...


About us

In the year 2000, François van Schalkwyk and Ross Frylinck founded Compress. Both left established publishing houses to create a progressive publishing company that would poke sticks at some of the industry's lazy holy cows. Their innovative approaches soon paid off and Compress built up a loyal client base. Ironically, many of these clients were themselves from an unconventional and under-serviced quarter - not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) publishing research reports and books.

In 2006, Compress expanded its NPO-focused service offering to include investor communications for JSE-listed companies. At the beginning of 2007, Compress bought Imagine-BTLS, and formed a new company, Greymatter & Finch. By 2008, Greymatter & Finch had become the largest investor communications company in the Western Cape while continuing to service its loyal NPO clients. At the end of 2008, however, it was decided to split the NPO publishing and the investor communications divisions into two separate companies. And so, COMPRESS.dsl was (re)born.

With offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Maputo, COMPRESS.dsl continues to provide innovative publishing solutions to its clients. These innovations include high-quality, short-run printing; cutting-edge websites and other research-orientated electronic products; and setting up international distribution channels. Holy (and other) cows remain in the sights of the company.


François van Schalkwyk

firefox François completed what he regards to have been two years of invaluable conscription at David Philip Publishers before starting Compress in 2000.

Qualifications: BA (Hons), University of Cape Town; MPhil (Publishing Studies), Stirling; MEd, University of the Western Cape

PatrĂ­cio Langa

firefox PatrĂ­cio heads up the Compress Mozambique office. Dr Langa is also the founder and Director of the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CESD) located in Maputo and the current president of the Mozambican Sociological Association (AMS). He regularly collaborates in research projects related to higher education and development and has published in sociology and higher education studies.

Qualifications: PhD (Sociology and Education), University of Cape Town; BA (Hons), Eduardo Mondlane University.

Mathilda van Niekerk, Project Manager

firefox After graduating from the University of Stellenbosch and a brief stint in wedding co-ordination, Mathilda embarked on a career in investor communications. She joined Graphicor in 2002 before moving to Compress in 2005. In 2006 she relocated to the UK and joined Williams & Phoa, before moving to join Merchant in 2007. Mathilda returned to South Africa in 2009, and rejoined Compress as head of investor communications.

Qualifications: B.Com (University of Stellenbosch)

Simon Chislett, Project Manager

firefox Simon taught English as a foreign language in Italy, Japan and the UK for nine years before coming back to South Africa in 1994 to work in the field of Adult Basic Education and Training. By the turn of the millennium he was working in educational publishing and has been with Compress since 2005. Simon reads at work and works to read! He's a keen absorber of contemporary fiction, science fiction and popular science.

Qualifications: BA in Dramatic Art (Wits), MA in Creative Writing (Bath Spa, UK)

Felicity Gallagher, Project Manager

firefox Felicity worked in banking and publishing in the UK before moving to South Africa in 1996. She has been involved in the not-for-profit sector for many years, as project manager, director, trustee and sustainability consultant. She joined Compress in 2012.

Qualifications: MA in Applied Ethics for Professionals, University of the Witwatersrand. BA (Hons) in French and Spanish, University of Durham. Diploma in copy-editing and proofreading, Book House, London.

Lesley Price, Designer

firefox Lesley has a particular passion for publication design, with 16 years of experience as a Graphic Designer. After completing a BA in Applied Graphic Design from Stellenbosch University, she focused her career on art direction and layout design, from magazines and brochures to books and logos.

Lesley also has an excellent knowledge of the editing and proofing process, as well as project management. Her meticulous attention to detail is admired by both clients and colleagues alike.

Qualifications: BA in Applied Graphic Design from Stellenbosch University

Elizabeth Duff, Typesetter & Online Assistant

firefox Elizabeth has a stong interest in language and design. After majoring in English at the University of Stellenbosch, she completed the copywriting diploma at the Red and Yellow School of Advertising in Cape Town. It was not long before she joined COMPRESS.dsl team.

Qualifications: BA (cum laude), University of Stellenbosch; Diploma in Copywriting, The Red and Yellow School of Advertising


dsl = decorporatised, self-programmable labour

"Self-programmable labour is labour which has the built-in capacity to generate value through innovation and information, and that has the ability to reconstruct itself throughout the occupational career on the basis of this education and this information. Therefore it is always at the source of the creation of value."
- Manuel Castells in M Castells, J Muller, N Cloete & S Badat (eds) (2001) Challenges of Globalisation: South African Debates with Manuel Castells. Cape Town: Pearson South Africa. p. 13.