Capetown agency, Parsons Branding, brings a modern African influence to their brand identity for an enchanting South African resort.
First of all, tell us about the studio.
We are a brand design studio founded in 2009 and based in Cape Town, South Africa. Simply put, we are obsessed with helping our clients craft a visual language that connects them to their audience in a unique way.
Our creative is deeply founded in strategy (in partnership with our clients) with the sole purpose of driving business and changing perceptions. We are more concerned with the full brand experience rather than just what the logo looks like.
Our creative is deeply founded in strategy with the sole purpose of driving business and changing perceptions… The client sought to reflect the true lifestyle of the Camp Orchards Estate in the identity as well as their own heritage and personal sense of style.
Can you tell us about the initial project conversations?
This is one of those feel-good projects that doesn’t come around often. Our client is an all-in “details” person, her dedication to this legacy project is evident in the way she describes their vision to open and share their family estate with the communities around them. Info sharing was no issue and we were immersed in the inspiration, aspiration and real function of the business from the onset. Working with 150km sourcing footprint, they seek to uplift locally and provide a world-class experience for locals and tourists alike. The client sought to reflect the true lifestyle of the Camp Orchards Estate in the identity as well as their own heritage and personal sense of style.
What does your design process look like?
Everything we do is founded in a deep understanding of the brand’s culture and positioning. This non-visual identity is what we work on first – once we have clarity and focus established around the brand’s guiding DNA, we embark on the visual identity. The logo comes first, we present 3 options to our clients, all are weighted to different areas of the DNA. On approval of the Logo, we flesh out the identity which includes detail of illustration style, type selection, and arrangement, colour palettes, suggested print finishes and concept executions for them to see how it all comes together in the final product.
Can you talk us through the thinking behind the final design?
The history of the Camp Orchards estate goes back to the days of Winston Churchill whose army was posted there for a period of time. The old stone walls remain today around the paddocks which house the oldest site of Camphor Trees in Kwazulu-Natal. There is a powerful energy in the estate which has so many stories to tell. Coupled with this, the Estate was home to our clients family growing up. It now represents their heritage, and they seek to preserve the land and make it abundant for future generations to enjoy. The identity was born from a need to tell these past and future stories. Building it, literally, upon a foundation of stone which is present in the architectural narrative. Critically, this project is going to span a lifetime – progress, change, movement are key drivers behind the concept to a modular, highly functional brandmark, which we represent as the “stone shape.” The elegant stencil style word mark is timeless, utilitarian and resonates with the various offerings of the Estate which range from a working farm to a deli and retail node. As a whole identity, it has legs to travel across all areas of the brand’s activities, and we’re really excited about the future execution of their branded ecosystem.
The history of the Camp Orchards estate goes back to the days of Winston Churchill… There is a powerful energy in the estate which has so many stories to tell… The identity was born from a need to tell these past and future stories. Building it, literally, upon a foundation of stone which is present in the architectural narrative.
What was your favorite part of the process?
The focused collaboration between multiple creatives at the studio – we had a great team behind this identity and its layers of detail. We feel this reflects in the depth of the final product.
One final question, whose work is inspiring you right now?
There are so many amazing designers out there that inspire every day, Sascha Lobe is someone we’ve admired for his work with type for a long time. Brian Collins of Collins for the unique way they approach any brand project, you always get the sense that they are out to start a new ‘type’ of conversation. But to be perfectly honest, the designers in our studio (and we are aware this might look like shameless studio plug, but it ‘ain’t :)) We are really selective with the type of people who we want to be part of our studio. Beyond their talent, they are just good, humble humans who put an incredible amount of effort into each creative project.
Behind the Brief is an interview series celebrating the creative process where we speak to the team behind the project, pulling back the curtain on their design thinking, strategy and process to learn how they arrived at the final design.