Beautiful design has always seemed to be more or less a Western concept; in Africa, were there is relatively little manufacturing, and where many foods are gotten ‘fresh’, we haven’t always put much stock on packaging and design.
But this is changing. It’s always refreshing to see design out of Africa, and whats more, design that looks and feels like Africa. A good example is this work of South African, Judy Kriel. He has gotten into the trend of craft beer with ‘Bhuti’, a beer that is steeped in South African tradition. And he has packaged it to look like South Africa. He describes it best himself:
“The concept for this project was to create a South African inspired craft beer. Traditionally Zulu women make their own beer that the men drink at festivals or weddings. A Zulu festival beer was created, making use of traditional colours and symbols. The beer named “Bhuti” refers to a brother, bro, or guy friend. The masks on each of the bottles refer to the traditional masks that were used at Zulu festivals, also inspired by the wood-carved Zulu masks that can be bought in KwaZulu-Natal. A triangle was used in the logo. A zigzag pattern was also used in the design. This is depicted from the traditional beer baskets and means masculinity. Each colour used has a specific meaning within the Zulu culture. When a colour is used next to white it gives it a positive meaning. White represents spiritual love. Black indicates rebirth, and yellow wealth. Lastly red indicates love and strong emotion. Traditionally two types of beer are made, namely a darker sorghum beer and a lighter maize beer, thus the reason for making a series of two types of beer.”
Kriel’s beer and its packaging, as well as other promotional materials, are shown below:
Meanwhile, this beer makes me think of the 1988 song about the ‘magic’ African beer, by South African artist, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Listen to it below.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka ~ Umqombothi