6/29/12

Charlotte Senini, White River

Charlotte Senini's South Africa blog, The Traffic Lights are Robots
I am so excited to introduce you to one of the most talented and inspiring people I know, and one of my closest friends, Charlotte Senini. Charlotte is a Canadian graphic designer who has spent the last three years of her life (and counting!) living, working and loving in White River, South Africa. If you've followed my travels Charlotte's popped up a lot as we share our collaborative travel and design blog There and Here and she was my incredibly gracious host for the two months I visited South Africa. My time with her was truly the trip of a lifetime as she took me under her wing and ensured I saw the best, and sometimes the worst, that South Africa had to offer. It was so great to visit and get some insight into how brave she was showing up there three years ago completely alone to make a life there. I already miss her terribly but thankfully, our goodbye isn't for long as Charlotte arrives in Calgary in just a few days to spend the rest of the summer here so we have many more adventures to come!

Charlotte recently launched her own blog The Traffic Lights are Robots which chronicles her travels and life in South Africa. If you've ever wanted to visit this amazing part of the world please check out this lovely new project to get some incredible insight into South Africa and the surrounding area.

Chelsea Watson and Charlotte Senini in Soweto
outside 707 in Soweto

Chelsea Watson and Charlotte Senini in Cape Town
on the beach in Cape Town

Chelsea Watson and Charlotte Senini in the Lowveld
last days together in the Lowveld

Chelsea Watson, Charlotte Senini
sundowners in Calgary last summer

Charlotte Senini's South Africa blog, The Traffic Lights are Robots

Charlotte Senini's South Africa blog, The Traffic Lights are Robots

Charlotte Senini's South Africa blog, The Traffic Lights are Robots

Charlotte Senini's South Africa blog, The Traffic Lights are Robots

Fairview Cheese, Cape Town

Fairview cheese packaging design
More packaging design goodness from South Africa, and another product that was on my radar well before I visited thanks to Charlotte's recommendation. Fairview packages their delicious cheeses in expressive typography, beautiful pastels, quirky illustrations and humorous copy. We visited Fairview while we were in Cape Town and they also make equally yummy and just as beautifully packaged wine. Cheese, wine, graphic design (AND a tower of goats?!)...heaven.
Fairview cheese packaging design

Fairview cheese packaging design

Fairview cheese packaging design

Fairview cheese packaging design
  Fairview cheese packaging design

6/28/12

Bos Ice Tea, South Africa

Bos Ice Tea packaging design

I'm not a huge ice tea drinker but for killer packaging design like Bos' I definitely could be converted.  Bos Ice Tea's simple, timeless and ridiculously cool "afro-pop" packaging is the brainchild of South African design agency The President, who have also worked on many other awesome projects. Charlotte turned me onto Bos before I even got to South Africa and I had a can as often as I could while I was there. I am such a sucker for good design.
Bos Ice Tea logo

Bos Ice Tea packaging design

Bos Ice Tea packaging design

Bos Ice Tea packaging design

Bos Ice Tea packaging design

6/27/12

Braam Van Wijk, White River

Braam Van Wijk etching

Braam Van Wijk is a South African etch artist I discovered thanks to Charlotte. His studio and gallery space is just down the road from her in White River and I saw his work in many homes around the country. Braam's unique etchings reflect the South African landscape, as he aims to capture the beauty and vastness of his country through texture, collage, detail and roughness. We stopped by the shop a few times and although I never got to meet Braam I did end up taking home a few of his pieces. Now I just need to find a home to hang them in!

Braam Van Wijk etching

Braam Van Wijk etching

Braam Van Wijk etching       Braam Van Wijk etching

Just to be clear, I am indeed back home in Canada! But, with the craziness of my last week abroad and trying to settle in here I still have a few more posts to catch up on from South Africa before I move on to life at home.

6/18/12

La Capra Wine, Cape Town

More beautiful wine label design from the Cape. Charlotte and I visited Fairview for a tasting due to the gorgeous packaging design of both their wine and cheese. I fell in love with the whimsical typography and illustrations for their La Capra wine so had to take a 6-bottle "to-go box" back from Cape Town. Now, how to get all this wine back to Canada tomorrow!




      


6/17/12

La Bri Wine, Franschhoek

La Bri Wine label design, South Africa
One of the many reasons that Charlotte and I get along so well: we both choose our wine based on the label. This is how we ended up at La Bri Wine Estate just outside of Cape Town for a chocolate and wine tasting, as the bottles caught Charlotte's eye at a wine festival earlier this year. The labels feature black and white sketches of the flower that best represents the characteristics of the wine. Such a simple yet elegant design choice.

La Bri Wine label design, South Africa       La Bri Wine label design, South Africa

La Bri Wine label design, South Africa

6/15/12

Haas Collective, Cape Town

Haas Collective, Cape Town


Charlotte and I got back from Cape Town a few days ago and are still recovering from our whirlwind week of unplugging and indulging. After polishing off a few too many bottles of wine with our lovely host Jean the night we arrived, we spent the following day doing a coffee and food tour around this beautiful city. She armed us with a massive list of recommendations and we had the most perfect rainy day.

One of my favourite places we visited was Haas, a coffee, design and communications collective in the colourful Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town. Voted voted one of the top 20 reasons to be living in South Africa by Wallpaper magazine, Haas is unlike anything I've seen in any of my travels, let alone in South Africa. Tables are nestled amidst beautiful ceramics, fine art prints, jewellery and bicycles, the coffee is roasted in house, the walls are papered in pages from old books and the baristas wear top hats. The collection of items available to buy has been expertly curated and I think we both could have spent a lot more time (and money) in the shop if given the chance.

Haas Collective, Cape Town


Haas Collective, Cape Town      Haas Collective, Cape Town

Haas Collective, Cape Town      Haas Collective, Cape Town

Haas Collective, Cape Town      Haas Collective, Cape Town

6/5/12

Comrades Marathon, Durban

comrades marathon congratulations I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying my dear friend Murray as he ran his second Comrades Marathon in a row. Comrades is a legendary South African 90km "ultra marathon" from Pietermartizburg to Durban that must be ran, gun to gun, in under 12 hours. Nearly 17,000 people started the race this year with only 12,000 crossing the finish line. It was seriously mental. I had originally tagged along with Murray and his family for the chance to see Durban and catch up with them all at the finish line. However, I fell in love with his family and the Comrades spirit really got to me so there was no way I was missing the big event. I ended up spending the whole weekend with Murray and his support team and experienced the race in its entirety. We drove the route and carb loaded on Saturday, woke up at 4am on race day Sunday along with thousands of other supporters to cheer him on along the route and then celebrated his victory over many drinks on Umhlanga beach on Monday. This was an experience unlike anything else I've ever had before and I do not at all regret trading in my time exploring Durban for this unique opportunity. Words cannot begin to express how proud of this great man.

Now, time to start training...

Murray Anderson Ogle       Murray Anderson Ogle
Murray looking good with 22km to go.