The Artist, the Brewer and the Famous Village by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Clarens Brewery Clarens, Eastern Free State, South Africa

Situated on the foothills of the Maloti Mountains in South Africa you will find the small, picturesque village of Clarens, a popular tourist destination famed for adventure and art; nicknamed the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State”. If you were to venture into this quaint little village, you will find one of South Africa’s first brew-pubs, cideries and distilleries. Clarens Brewery, regarded as a pioneer of the micro-brewing industry in South Africa, is famed for its craft beer, ciders, flavoured liqueurs, distillate, whiskey, apple brandy and its passion for transforming regular, commercial beer and cider drinkers into craft beer and cider connoisseurs.

It should come as no surprise then that Clarens Brewery would choose Sumi Creative Co to design the branding of their flagship products. “Dubbel Trappist Ale” and “Tripel Trappist Ale” were added as a limited release craft beer to a fine and ever-evolving collection. Graphic design studio, Sumi Creative Co was briefed to come up with a design reflecting the superior class of the product. Only the highest quality paper and gunmetal foils were chosen while the logo’s poplar tree, so typical of Clarens, paid homage to the historic village where the brewery is located.

The synergy between village, brewery and graphic designer does not end here. The longstanding relationship between Sumi Creative Co and Clarens Brewery is also built on a shared respect for history and tradition. A great variety of teeth, claw and bone fossils indicate that prehistoric dinosaurs roamed the land around Clarens even before the first human inhabitants did. The Khoisan or Bushmen people left their own legacy of a bygone era by way of rock art which is still preserved in Clarens today. A fascination with the ancient symbol-based writing and art forms of hieroglyphs, rock art, petroglyphs and pictographs led artist SUMI, head designer at Sumi Creative Co, to develop her unique brand of modern rock art in SUMIGLYPHS. Equally, when brewer Stephan Meyer built Clarens Brewery he decided to use reclaimed containers from the dairy and chemical industries, thereby honouring the ingenuity and workmanship of people who have gone before. The love, passion and high regard that Clarens Brewery has for unique craft beer and cider as well as for its beautiful village with a rich history of over 100 years were united through the creative energy of Sumi Creative Co.

When craftsmen meet, something out of the ordinary is born by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

When Sumi Creative Co received the brief to design a logo for FABER, a progressive South African restaurant with a passion for handcrafted food and wine that is authentic and evocative, we knew that something extraordinary was about to be born.

Creative energy is always taken to the next level when craftsmen from different disciplines combine their efforts based on a shared reverence for the creative process. And such was the magic when Sumi Creative Co joined forces with FABER to create their new logo. On the one hand, you have a client, who happens to be in the food industry but who is in fact artists whose material is made up of earthy ingredients like fresh, organic, biodynamic vegetables and herbs; pasture-reared cows, chickens and ducks. A culinary craftsman who says: “There is a narrative about the food on your plate that is significant to your dining experience”. On the other hand, you have a graphic designer who happens to be an accomplished artist whose materials include ink, pen, and craft paper. The logo was first hand drawn with ink pen on paper. It then went into production, letterpressed onto the beautiful recycled Cycles Offset paper to compliment the whole synergy of craftmanship. Sumi Creative Co’s aim is not to follow trends but to create timeless designs.

The heart of the design of FABER’s logo is the universal yin-yang symbol which holds its roots in Tao, an age-old Chinese religion and philosophy. It symbolises how seemingly opposing or contradictory forces in reality contribute to a complementary, interconnected and interdependent whole.

Award-winning Chef, Eric Bulpitt, and Avondale’s proprietor, Johnathan Grieve, combine their talents and skills to create an unforgettable and inspiring dining experience for food-conscious guests at FABER. Together they create a whole that is greater than the parts. The yang side or darker side of the logo depicts a bull symbolising the passion, creativity and vigour Eric brings to the state-of-the-art FABER kitchen, transforming superb ingredients into an exquisite dining experience. On the yin side or the lighter side of the logo, Johnathan’s hand amongst the leaves represents his exceptional talent for creating nurturing conditions conducive to healthy, balanced ecosystems.

At Sumi Creative Co we value the individuality and inherent characteristics of our clients and we always strive to reflect in our designs the energy and dynamics that are unique to each client. In combining the respective energies of different distinguished craftsmen we are able to celebrate a unique end-product reflecting the heart of our client.

A Precious Elixir by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Recently, celebrating 70 years of fine wine, Stellenbosch Hills launched their flagship aperitif called La Serena.  It is crafted from one of the rarest varieties of grape, “Muscat de Hambourg”.  It reflects the rich history and heritage of Stellenbosch Hills.  We here at Sumi Creative were commissioned to do the packaging.  The concept was developed around two ideas, “serenity” and “royalty”.  Looking at the design one can see and feel the “royal” crown part as well as the idea of “serenity” through flowing dark black lines.  This gives a classic look and feel to the product.  The serif fonts used are also Italian/Latin in nature and therefor enhances the classic look and feel.  The box design was cleverly done that allows it to be used as a “display”.  The top of the box is held to the bottom with two beautifully crafted small lion head locks.   Neil Pendock, well known wine lover and critic, described the packaging as “…….magical and requires a secret trick to open the palimpsest to reveal the glorious treasure within…..”.  We could not describe it any better.  

Fresh Fruity and Colourful by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

It was 1035 when a Persian traveler walked into a market in Cairo and noted that vegetables, spices and hardware were wrapped in paper for the customers. This is the earliest record of packaging. Since then, packaging has evolved into a great industry that serves so many purposes for modern society, making package design one of the most essential elements to sell products. First impressions make all the difference, especially in a fast-paced age where everyone is just too busy to take a step back to wait and see. But what kind of design will impress the consumer?

This was the spark behind the design for Clarens Brewing’s Red Stone Fruit Juice. We wanted to make this product shine with its design to imply quality and creativity at a glance. The minimalistic graphic illustrations with bright and bold colours make this range of juices instantly recognisable from any angle. It shines with freshness and entices the consumer to try it out.

Will you be able to resist?

Allée Bleue's Blue Owl by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Sumi Creative Co again had the opportunity of working with famed Franschhoek wine and food farm, Allée Bleue.  This special project is a wine label called Blue Owl and so the story goes. After farming for 3 generations Pieter Quixley the owner of the Riversmeet Farm felt it was time for him to retire. He approached his neighbours Wilfred and Elke Dauphin to see if they would be interested in buying the farm and incorporate it into their farm, Allée Bleue.  The Dauphin family took over the farm and with it came a huge surprise...abundant wildlife, especially birds.  Surrounded by 2 rivers on the southern and western borders the farm  has an abundance of old trees and little forests on the river banks creating a natural conservancy for wild life to shelter and flourish in.  Very special amongst the wild life was the owls. Within a few days after acquiring the farm, while on a leisurely stroll, the most beautiful Owl was discovered who made herself at home in the old barn on the farm.  Amongst the wooden roofs rafters she would stay during the day and at night she would leave the barn for her nightly patrols of the farm.  After clear instructions was given that she not be disturbed in anyway, a few days past and it was discovered that she had two baby owls.  From this story was born a lovely wine and it was appropriately named Blue Owl.  Blue, synonymous with Allée Bleue, depicts royalty, wisdom, confidence, faith, truth, trust and many more positive characteristics.  It represents our sky and oceans and is good for the body and soul.  Sumi Creative Co put all this together and it culminated in this beautiful label below.  We are proud to display our work and to be associated with soulful nature loveing people like the people on the farm of Allée Bleue.

Sumi Creative Co did it gold, three bronze by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

We realised that you do not need to be big to make it in the world. It is good to see that our creative design can make our clients stand out in the world. This is what we try to achieve when looking at branding. These awards are for us a small way of saying thank you for your support! This year Sumi Creative Co participated in the Harpers Global Design Awards and we walked away with one gold and three bronze awards. Gold for Crazy Diamond for Triggerfish Brewery, Bronze for Sparklehorse for Ken Forrester Wines, Bronze for 10 Year Grappa for Dalla Cia Wine and Spirit Company and Bronze for the liquer range for Clarens Brewery.

Global Performance Management by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

Every now and again there is a story that needs to be told. Too often we hear of people leaving and it is very little that we hear of people coming back. At Sumi Creative Co we believe that you can only make an informed decision if you have a reference. Such an example is Steph Nel from Global Performance Management (GPM). Steph, after having spent many years coaching in Europe, came to the realisation that South Africa was isolated in the way we approached and thought about rugby. With our ever growing population and the role that sport plays in South Africa, GPM was born.  Steph felt that in order to grow the game locally we needed to tap into the global network to allow children in Africa and South Africa to access the game. The values and ethos of GPM as a company is the following: “to improve South African society through sport; to unearth the untouched rugby talent lying dormant in our country and to assist in transforming the game so that high performance teams are chosen solely on merit.” GPM approached Sumi Creative Co with the idea developing a company logo that woud reflect that determination. Sumi Creative Co was commissioned to do the corporate art which, as you can see, reflects that determination to take hands, put heads together and push forward to achieve the ultimate goal…….victory. The corporate art speaks of power, togetherness as a team and the prospect of achiement. We will watch Steph and his team and cheer them on as they are willing to put back into society for the betterment of sport and South Africa.

The Grand Chenin Party on the Beach by SUMI CREATIVE | CO

A while ago we worked with the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa and mentioned a partnership that was developing between the Association and Standard Bank of South Africa.  Within this relationship there appears to be amazing things happening that borders on the birth of a "cult movement".  This partnership is now going to new hights and after our recent involvement in the Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge we were also drawn into the development of an invitation to a very special party....... a Chenin Party  (#SBCheninParty) to be hosted on the beach.  The venue is the famed "Grand Cafe and Beach" at Granger Bay.  This retro-looking invitation below is inspired by the elements of see, sun, sand and Chenin!  It further emphasises the good life for which South Africans are well known under the banner of "local is lekker and Chenin is local".  Those responsible for Chenin will pour their wine and share their stories.  Categories include: Sparkling, Fresh & Fruity, Elegant, Wooded, Out of the Ordinary and Sweet, quite a variety!!!!  As stated on the invitation it is "flip flop, chenin drop" thing.  Sumi Creative Co is proud to be design partner in the goodlife Chenin Blanc Party department. Top Billing is going, are you...