When Sumi Gous met owners Denis & Julia Gaiduk, there was an instant connection as they all shared an authentic passion for design, architecture and art, with attention to detail the key ingredient. The brief for the Quoin Rock wine range, also known as the “Heart Range”, was to design a strong minimalistic brand that exemplifies the essence of winemaking. A strong cut into the vine reveals its heart, the ultimate proof of quality, just like the subtle rings on the label. The birth of a perfect wine needs a perfect metaphor, represented by the harmoniously balanced and iconic Quoin Rock logo in the centre of the rings. The metal rings and muselets are unique and a first for South Africa - an innovative design detail produced by the collaborative forces of Sumi Creative Co and Apholos Brand Identity from Argentina.All the labels have been printed locally by MCC Labels, Paarl.

All images by Bakkes Images.

An energised, living system by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Sumi Creative Co was recently briefed to create a unique gift box for Avondale’s Flagship Navitas, an exclusive, limited Rhone Blend of organically grown cultivars.

The giftbox concept was inspired by Avondale’s rich history of contributing to mother nature via agriculture's ancient connection to the cosmos. Throughout the ages farmers have looked to the skies for guiding their endeavours on land. While this union has been seriously disrupted and damaged by modern farming methods over many decades, it has survived and been revived by some through practices such as biodynamic farming. Avondale makes use of the full spectrum of biodynamic preparations which deepen our connection to the unique energy of the farm and sustain a lively awareness of a special place in the cosmos.

By using a hexagonal box shape, the stars in luminanced foil, textured organic paper and the Armillary Sphere (Avondale’s Logo) we have created a gift box that represents Avondale’s holistic approach to life on their farm where, from the minerals in the soil to the stars in the skies all is combined in an energised, living system.”

Thelema Mountain Vineyards releases iconic new-look Rabelais 2014 in vivid, classic Packaging by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

ARTWORK - Sumi Gous
The artwork is a vision of the utopian Abbey of Thélème, the giant Gargantua, the flowing of wine, books flying (free minds!) and a place where there are no rules. Instead of using typical twentieth-century imagery we have, like Rabelais, broken the rules and created a colourful, contemporary artwork, which we believe is more suited to rabelaisian ideals; a feeling of freedom, unlimited time, uniqueness and dreams.

The label design, in contrast to the artwork, is simple and classical with a strong focus on the gold-embossed "Rabelais" by calligrapher Andrew van der Merwe...a timeless label that acts as a conduit to the utopian world of Francois Rabelas at Thelema Mountain Vineyards.


When asked to be part of this project, I could not resist. To design a wine label has its restrictions in certain ways, but with this, there were no restrictions on me, only another beautiful artwork to work from. The label was based on the installation of the two renown artists, Lionel Smit & Andre Stead. I need say no more, but thank the artists involved. This label also won a silver packaging award in South Africa. I SUPPOSE WE ARE ALWAYS IN SEARCH OF NEW HORIZONS!

Delaire - Indopop

New Release...Black Mountain Karoo Flora...another super WESTERN CAPE flower... by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Proud to be associated with these passionate people... "This is a story of an unforgiving, yet rich and fertile land. A noble product of the Karoo capturing the essence of the land and reflecting the character of the unique people that inhabit it. Made from a wine base specifically created for the production of the finest grape spirit, it is triple distilled and forged by wood fire in a traditional Cape Pot Still. After endless distilling and using the finest Karoo botanicals, we bring you Black Mountain Karoo Flora Gin. A classic dry style gin with a smooth finish and subtle aromas of liquorice, citrus, rose petals and fynbos. Enjoy this gin neat or with a premium tonic with lemon zest." -Black Mountain Gin  So proud of these super people - check this out..Flower Power


The Wonderfully Weird World of the Breede River by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Breederiver Brewing Co Rawsonville, Western Cape, South Africa.

Not only is the Breede River Valley one of the most picturesque wine and fruit producing areas in the country, but it’s also a treasure trove of myths and age-old legends and tales. When Breederiver Brewing Co released its first four unique craft beers, they turned to graphic designer and artist, Sumi, to design labels that would reflect their shared passion for beauty and legacy. Boldly brewing beer in traditional wine country, Breederiver Brewing Co created eclectic names for their four beers. Beehive Blond, Bull Shark American Pale Ale, Thirsty Elephant Hybrid Pilsner and White Water Black IPA will not only intrigue even the most seasoned beer connoisseur, but it tantalises senses on so many levels.

The almost 340 kilometre long Breede River gently meanders its way through the valley which stretches from Montagu in the east, to Gouda in the west, to McGregor in the south, to the Karoo in the north. The river not only inspired the backdrop for each individually coloured label design but it also provided the inspiration for the different images depicted on each label. In typical style, Sumi’s playful creativity conjured up images of elephants drinking from waterholes in a bygone era, of bees busily buzzing on the banks of the river and of white waters offering rapids for adventurous river rafters.

All is not fantasy, though. The Breede River, rising in the mountains near Ceres and flowing into the Indian Ocean near Cape Agulhas (the southernmost tip of Africa), is also known for being a breeding ground for the bull shark, allegedly the most dangerous to humans of all sharks. Finding a ferocious shark five kilometres inland in a river, is the stuff that legends are made of. On the American Pale Ale label, a person riding a giant bull shark is depicted against a blue background. And this is where creative genius and an irresistible sense of humour combine to create a legend in a world of imagination where the weird and the wonderful meet.

Magic happens when the complementing energies of creativity and craftsmanship meet to give birth to a uniquely inspiring concept. Such was the case, yet again, when Sumi Creative Co and Breederiver Brewing Co joined forces.

Karoo Schnapps From The Klein Karoo by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Oudtshoorn, Klein Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa

If a craft distiller has a white bull terrier on their logo, you should know better than expect anything mundane or colourless from them. Known for its “witblits” (white lightning), muscadel, port, homemade liqueurs and pot still brandy, Grundheim Craft Distillers has recently added Karoo Schnapps in apple and pear flavours to its unique award-winning collection.

This family-owned distillery with its proud history spanning six generations since 1858 has become a landmark on the popular Cape Route 62, also known as the Mountain Route, which meanders through better known and lesser known towns and villages like Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Amalienstein, Zoar, Bonnievale, Robertson, McGregor, Worcester, Rawsonville, Ceres, Wolseley, Tulbagh, Wellington, Paarl, Misgund, Louterwater, Krakeel, Joubertina and Kareedouw. Located about 14km outside of Oudtshoorn on your way to Calitzdorp, you will come across Grundheim Craft Distillers, home to Karoo Schnapps.

Famous for its fermentation process in open tanks, Grundheim distils its range of wines and spirits in the traditional way. The meticulous attention the Grundling family gives to crafting its products flows seamlessly into the personal attention they give to the bottling and labelling thereof. Sumi Creative Co was commissioned to design the labelling of the bottles for their newly released Karoo Schnapps. Adding to the clean yet classical look, the unique design is silkscreened directly onto the bottles with a special permanent UV resistant ink making paper labels redundant.

Having its proud roots in the Klein Karoo, a fascinating and diverse region in the Western Cape of South Africa, it seemed apt to reflect the name of the area of origin on the bottle hence the reflective “KAROO”: red foil for the apple flavour and green foil for the pear flavour. The unpretentious design of fruit bearing branches makes this beautiful glass bottle a chic yet practical container for years to come.

Sumi Creative Co consistently strives to reflect the individuality of each client by creating timeless designs that bring visual delight while, at the same time, offering a sensual experience when curious fingers lightly trace the lines of the final product. Over the years Sumi Creative Co has become known for uniquely blending the tactile and visual elements of graphic design. Borne of a keen creative sense the Karoo Schnapps clear glass bottle with silkscreened design invites both a visual and tactile experience. When a distinguished craft distiller produces an exclusive artisan product, an exclusive artisan container is required.

When spirit evolves by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin. Karoo, Southern Cape, South Africa

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine” – Rick Blaine in Casablanca

An unlikely relationship when a gin maker from the Karoo and a graphic designer cum artist walk into each other’s worlds. But what is the glue that not only binds together but multiplies creativity between two seemingly disparate entities?

Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin, a joint venture between Grundheim Craft Distillery and The Brand Republic honours the land from which it sources the unique botanicals which gives its classic dry style gin a smooth finish and subtle aroma of liquorice, citrus, rose petals and fynbos. Made from a wine base specifically created for the production of the finest grape spirit, it is triple distilled and forged by wood fire in a traditional Cape Pot Still to create the refreshingly unique Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin. A timeless process of distilling and patient sourcing of the perfect ingredients in a vast unforgiving yet rich and fertile land culminates in a spirit that sees its origins in the Middle Ages and made popular by none other than William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Republic. Long gone are the days when gin was produced for its medicinal value and sold in pharmacies to treat the common stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. In its place has come a highly cultivated boutique gin culture to which Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin is a proud addition. Staying true to defining gin as originating from specific geographical areas, the Karoo is acknowledged as the birthplace of the botanicals used to create this noble product. The Karoo, a vast semi-desert region of South Africa, defined by relentless extremes of heat and frost, floods and droughts holds not only the unique botanicals that distinguishes Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin from other gins, but it also hosts numerous fossils dating hundreds of million years ago.

And this is where we need to return to the classic movie, Casablanca, and the unlikely relationship between gin maker and graphic designer. In designing the label for Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin, SUMI CREATIVE CO only needed to tap into her love for the diverse ecosystems of South Africa, her reverence for timeless history and deference for the people inhabiting this land to come up with a label signifying the unique and original identity of Black Mountain Karoo Dry Gin.

So, what is the glue that binds together and multiplies creativity between two seemingly disparate entities? Maybe it’s all about spirit. "The spirit of distilling" fusing with the spirit of creativity.