Write a blog about your first month in Cape Town? It may sound simple, but trust me, it’s easier said than done. Where do I start? What do I talk about? How can I fit this into a few hundred words. Well I thought I’d give it a try.
Twentieth of February saw me leaving my comfortable home in Rotterdam, taking two planes, and 20 hours later I arrived in Cape Town. Here I was, on a continent, in a country and having touched down in a a city I had never been to. Daunted? Not really. I was ready for this adventure and to explore a different part of the world, and anyway, it’s not like I hadn’t done something like this before.
To be frank, the city is still growing on me. There is a lot I have to get used to and working full-time didn’t make that easier on me. But that said, I have had a chance to experience some pretty great events so far like the Love and Light party at Nelsons Creek and the Holi One at the Grand Parade. Great music, great people and compared to back home, cheap beer, what more could I ask for?
Back home, everything moves fast; you have to walk fast, bike fast and if a train or bus is even a minute late, people are already getting upset. But what I’ve noticed in Cape Town is that everything is easy going, particularly when I’ve been to places like the Waterfront, Old Biscuit Mill and walking around Green Point. They’re all relaxing, there’s good food and a great vibe that tells you to slow down and enjoy the here and now. It feels like no one is in a rush here, which makes it is way more inviting and gives you a sense of calm.
The Infestation Internship Experience
But let’s get to why I’m here: my Infestation internship. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in on my first day, but it’s all been very exciting. Being around a great bunch of people who are open and willing to teach me anything is a great feeling. The work is varied, and Infestation jobs do not go on for too long, which keeps it fresh and challenging. I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the agency so far, and am looking forward to the next four months of learning, laughing and making!
If anyone has any tips for things I should do in Cape Town, they are always welcome!
Written by Anna Sinnige
“What are you doing for 2014?”
It’s the question everyone is asking, particularly with the spotlight on Cape Town as World Design Capital. This year is brewing and bubbling with anticipation and expectation. With everyone either waiting for things to happen or scrambling to make things happen, we believe there is only one way to see the change you want; lead the way.
So with the Happy New Year wishes fading fast, let me tell you what Infestation will be doing in 2014…
We plan on turning all those exciting new projects into visual reality. Many of the jobs we started last year are beginning to see the light. They excite us because they have challenged us. Keep an eye out for them as they emerge. Some – like the new website for CapeNature and Skybound rebrand – are visible already. Others like the “Better Living Challenge” from the Cape Craft and Design Institute and the Greater Tygerberg Partnership rebrand are still taking shape. Whatever the project, we are looking forward to sharing our ideas with you.
Internally, it’s very much in with the new, and chances are you’ll be meeting and working with many new names and faces. What that means is some new exotic spices being added to the mix. And who doesn’t like an added kick of flavour? For our clients, it means we can now offer more services in-house, like PR and direct-mail strategy.
Since 2001, infestation has hosted many interns and this year will be no exception. The only difference is, with the focus of WDC2014, we are getting a lot of enquiries from abroad. In early February we are welcoming an international intern from Holland and graduate from the highly acclaimed design school Willem de Koning Academie in Rotterdam. If you know of anyone wanting to intern or take up residency, let us know – this is THE year!
Thanks to our collaborative and creative space, our hot-desks have also taken off. This is the second year we are sharing our studio with like minded entrepeneurs and industry experts. So if you or anyone you know wants one of the hottest desks in Cape Town, let us know and we’ll be in touch.
Infestation’s Official Cape Town Design Guide
Now, we can’t talk WDC2014 without mentioning our yellow plans for the year. We have been privileged to be part of this incredible journey since bidding in 2010, and we continue to stay involved whether it’s through the Creative Sessions or Cape Town Design Network. We even have our very own officially approved WDC project, the Official Cape Town Design Guide. Sign up to get news the minute we go live!
If you want a flavour of what the different projects are all about, I can recommend attending one of the eight pitching sessions: 30 short entertaining inspiring pitches per night.
Please stay connected, either through Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter and take look at what we’re doing – our website has it all. We’re really happy to say our experience in digital has given us a competitive edge, but we’ll let our work speak for itself.
Wishing everyone one hell of a yellow year!
P.S: Take a moment to read this article by Business Day on the rise in tourism Cape Town is experiencing. We’re hoping to give those visiting our shores an insight into Cape Town design with our Official Cape Town Design Guide.
Any design or advertising agency will tell you that pitching for a job is a lengthy and risk-filled process. Lengthy because preparing for a pitch often involves hours of research followed by more endless hours of designing creative, and risk-filled because all the hours spent on the pitch may prove fruitless if the potential client rejects the pitch, which means lost time that could have been spent on billable clients.
If you consider that creative for pitches is crafted off pitch documents that tend to be left to an individual studio’s interpretation as they are not able to discuss the brief in depth with the client, the client being pitched to won’t always get the strategic/creative solution that they were seeking. So what you’re left with is a “no win” situation.
“Preparing creative might seem easy, but it is only effective if it is based on a sound strategy, well discussed briefs and confirmed outcomes,” explains Infestation’s MD, Christo Maritz.
But what if there was a solution to this dilemma that allowed for an agency to pitch for work without losing that valuable incoming-earning time as well as possible IP, while still showcasing their ability to execute their work? Recently, Infestation pitched in such a way and won the job without showing any creative directly concerning the job itself.
Ethical Pitching: How did we do it?
It’s no different to interviewing for a job opening at a company – candidates are judged on past experiences, the way they approach situations and the way the follow processes to ensure they achieve satisfactory outcomes – the only difference is that in this case – it’s an agency and not just an individual.
“By focusing on what we call ‘Ethical Pitching’, Infestation was able to steer away from pitching creative and strategy around the pitch brief, and rather pitch our credentials, experience and past projects that speak directly to the client’s brief,” says one of Infestation’s brand designers, Nix Harwood.
Through demonstrating a detailed approach, both creatively and strategically, to the client’s specific project and highlighting the easy-to-do’s and the challenges of the work, Infestation was able to show the client that they could capability manage and execute the project based solely on work done previously.
“Any agency worth their salt should be able to confidently explain their process and their approach to a brief and pair this with past examples, providing enough context for a client to make a decision,” says Christo.
*A challenge to agencies and clients – be open to ethical pitching that focuses on the road to the final product and how you, as the agency will get there. Not only will this save time and money – but also ensure a more in-depth and strategically focused end product that benefits both client and agency.
As a Cape Town design agency passionate about the Mother City and the design that is not only part of its heritage, but also part of its everyday fabric of life, it would have been remiss of us as an agency not to put forward a project during the World Design Capital 2014 Call for Entries, which not only celebrates design, but also showcases how design can play an integral part in the various ways we engage in the social environment. Below are two shortlisted projects that have made their way out of Infestation and soon, onto the world stage:
THE OFFICIAL CAPE TOWN DESIGN GUIDE
It’s easy to say design is everywhere, but for the visitors coming to Cape Town next year – and even the locals – it isn’t always easy to find design, particularly across the sprawling beauty of the Mother City. Based on the vision of an economically enabled design community and on the London Design Guide, The Cape Town Design Guide uses the principle of one city, one map and multiple routes. Accessible by web or app, the portal’s detailed, site-specific information allows users to map their way around WDC2014, connecting them to designers, events, venues, studios and the wider design community.
“With next year being WDC2014, there will be a lot of attention from visitors and media coming to Cape Town,” says Infestation’s MD, Christo Maritz. “We’re hoping the official Cape Town Design Guide portal will connect visitors to experience design by finding design to see, to do and to buy, and ultimately experience Cape Town from the perspective of the people who know Cape Town best.”
CLEAR DATA SCIENCE VISUALISATION
If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like to map out the millions of conversations people are having on Twitter around one specific mention, wait no more. Clear, a group made up of Nix Harwood, Mark Wilson and Ben Hartt, have managed to put the words to pictures and show the real picture behind our massive global community. They will be sharing, through data visualisation, quantitative and qualitative information, the online conversation surrounding WDC2014 amongst those engaged in the various events and those looking in.
“What’s great about visualisations is that they can be viewed in real time and you can access them on any device with a web browser – no special apps are necessary,” explains Clear co-founder Nix Harwood, who is also an Infestation brand designer. “We propose that WDC could use our project to show the sentiment of the social media commentary on how design is transforming lives during the year of 2014.”
For more information on both the official Cape Town Design Guide and Clear Data Science Visualisation, as well as other WDC2014 projects, visit World Design Capital 2014
It’s quite possible that the high of Open Design Cape Town has never really left the team of Infestation, but has merely been collected into a small inspiration reservoir ready for the next Open Design because we know 2014 is going to be big. And how do we know this? The numbers don’t lie.
The inaugural Open Design Cape Town event set the tone and made its mark to show that it was here to stay – and as the brand and marketing custodians, we couldn’t be prouder of the success we accomplished in such a small space of time:
Anchor Events: 12 | Total Events: 81 | Venues: 38 (throughout Cape Town) | Visitors through City Hall: 5 815 (21 – 31 August 2013) | Visitors through participating events: 1500 (21 – 31 August)
Events that broke attendance records: Pecha Kucha Cape Town (680) | Creative Mornings Cape Town with Bruno Morphet (122) | Future Cape Town Open City mini-conference (120) | Open Architectural Studios (15 studios) |
Media Exposure: R5 million (July 2013 – August 2013) | Facebook Likes: Over 1000 likes before event had started | Twitter Followers: Over 500 followers before event had started.
Unique Visitors to www.opendesignct.com: 11 456 (July 2013 – August 2013) | Page views on www.opendesignct.com: 72 622 (July 2013 – August 2013) | Total visits to www.opendesignct.com: 20 263 (July 2013 – August 2013)
What’s happening in 2014?
We can’t let on to too much, but what we can tell you is that we’re looking at extending the duration of the festival and hoping to create more platforms through which creative minds can showcase their work.
The year of Cape Town as World Design Capital is around the corner, and with design media attention turning to Cape Town, Open Design Cape Town 2014 can only be bigger and better, a through-the-year platform for everybody to engage with.
So, what will you be sharing next year?
Subscribe to the Open Design Cape Town newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know what’s happening in 2014!
It’s been a busy year for us, and with it coming to a close we take a look at a few of the fantastic Infestation projects we’ve had a chance to be part of, and share with you some of the work and clients that have kept us inspired throughout the year – from dressing Cape Town Airport to welcome visitors to our World Design Capital to rebranding one of SA’s biggest online accommodation booking sites.
Branding & Strategy
When one of our favourite clients gave us the challenge to rebrand their international investment company, we had our work cut out for us. The challenge was to produce a credible brand in a predictable visual market that would stand out above the rest. By positioning Skybound Capital as the artisans of investing, Infestation put together a consolidated multi-platform brand experience that spoke to their core values and business strengths, helping them better tell their story to their clients.
CAPE TOWN TOURISM
Design and Publishing
Our recent work with Cape Town Tourism allowed our strategic decisions and design to benefit all who visit, live in and work in our beautiful city. With the 2013 Cape Town Tourism Annual General Meeting, we were thrown into the fast-paced mix of presentations, annual reports, visitor guides and campaign shoots, ensuring that visitors will benefit from the work put in by this amazing team of people so evidently passionate about their city. Look out for the latest Visitor’s Guide sporting a double cover. Thanks to photographer, Russel Smith, and his team for their beautiful cover photography showcasing the best Cape Town has to offer.
You can read more about our work with Cape Town Tourism here.
OpenStreetsCT is a citizen-driven initiative, working to change how streets are used, perceived and experienced. When we were approached by the Open Street Cape Town team to design a t-shirt that embodies everything that is OpenStreets – there was plenty to work with. From skateboards and coffee to music and general happiness, the t-shirt became a fusion of elements that spoke to the celebration of OpenStreets.
Branding & Strategy
The travel industry is rife with overused visual metaphors. SA’s biggest online accommodation booking site, SafariNow.com wanted to carve a unique space for their brand and we were able to deliver an identity that communicated their Number One status producing a modern personalised on-line brand that speaks directly to their audience.
You can read more about our work with SafariNow here.
HOW TO BE A DESIGNER
Design Education and Publishing
Asking the question “Want to have a designer future?”, we had the opportunity to put together an informative booklet for the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), educating young people on the different avenues that form part of a designer future. Using trendy illustrations, it analyses specific design careers, and matches its attributes to different characters and their accessories. Bright, bold and captivating – a design future brought to life.
WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL AIRPORT BRANDING
Branding & Campaigns
With World Design Capital 2014 expecting visitors from around South Africa and the world, our airport will play a vital role in welcoming guests to our design city and as such, Infestation was asked to design large sections of the Domestic and International Arrivals walkways with World Design Capital (WDC2014) branding. This is one of the first activations – sponsored by the City of Cape Town – that has brought the reality of World Design Capital to our citizens, with artwork that highlights a few key projects and showcases how design can transform people’s lives.
You can read more about our work with World Design Capital here.
*To take a look at all the other Infestation projects we’ve done, check out our portfolio.
Creative innovation with the up and coming design talent, at Tent London yesterday, is inspiring and thought provoking. Young creatives from around the globe show cased their wares, earning Tent London the deserved title of being a beacon for discovering the best contemporary design.
It was also great to experience the interest Europe has in African Design, as witnessed by the turnout at the Graphic Africa Event at Habitat last night. The Habitat Visual Merchandisers, who organised the event, heralded it a true success!
To end off this incredible day, we attended the London Design Festival Party at the V&A, where we had the pleasure to meet some of the design greats, the highlights being Neville Brody and Ross Lovegrove.
London Design Festival Highlights
Post by Nix Harwood
We were selected out of 70 applicants to be one of the 24 artists to create a letter for TEDx Cape Town’s theme “Amazing People, Crazy Places” at the Baxter.
The installation was displayed during TEDx Cape Town at the Baxter in July and asked testers to formulate new words with the installation.
Our prescribed letter was the e’ of ‘Places’. Our concept shows the topography and contours of ‘Place’ by using 40 sheets of laser cut paper, with our letter ‘e’ migrating from a lower case ‘e’ to an upper case ‘E’.
Thanks TEDx Cape Town, it was fun project and a great day!
Alphabet Soup at TEDx Cape Town
Cape Town Airport, also known as Cape Town International is the 2nd largest airport in South Africa. It is a major gateway for tourism in the country seeing million of visitors arriving in the city of Cape Town annually. It is predicted that Cape Town Airport would have seen fourteen million travelers by 2015 making it the 2nd busiest airport in South Africa, and the third busiest in Africa, coming in behind OR Tambo International Airport and Cairo Airport. (http://capetown-airport.co.za/)
We recently had the honour of designing large sections of the Domestic and International Arrivals walkways with World Design Capital branding. It’s become apparent that not many Capetonians know what WDC2014 is about and why Cape Town has been awarded this designation. This is one of the first activations (sponsored by the City of Cape Town) that has brought the reality of World Design Capital to our citizens. The World Design Capital branding artwork highlights a few key projects that showcase how design can transform people’s lives.
Last week Friday we were treated by City Officials to a VIP tour of the airport so we could see the World Design Capital branding artwork up close and personal. It was an afternoon filled with adventure that started with a trip on the MyCiTi bus from the Civic Centre to the airport. After a very smooth ride on the road, we found ourselves weaving our way past floods of oncoming passengers eager to see their families as we walked into the domestic arrivals hall. After some rather funny security checks (with most of us setting off the metal detectors), we were escorted past some rather alluring Duty-Free shops and into the International arrivals area.
It was a great feeling to see the result of many long (and late) hours in prime position for the world to see.
To the rest of the world, we are ready to welcome you to the World Design Capital of 2014, CAPE TOWN!
World Design Capital branding project