The Cradle of Humankind Climbs the Evolutionary Ladder

Cradle of Humankind Brand Redesign

Year: 2009

Client: Cradle of Humankind

When we first landed the Cradle of Humankind account, we were presented with a great product that had a less than great brand. Years of unfocused messaging and an inconsistent brand identity resulted in very low brand awareness and even brand confusion.

We came in with a strong strategic team and started by developing a new strategy for the brand. Part of the rollout plan was to uplift this brand to match its product, and that meant creating a modern destination brand that had a South African feel but could stand its own ground in the international tourism market.

Award-winning designer Joanne Theron and our Chief Imagination Officer Sivan Portal set to work on the brand identity. One of the challenges we faced was that there was a certain level of equity in the “evolution” figures of the logo – they had become recognizable to those who knew the brand. As a result, we decided to keep them as an integral part of the logo, resulting in a brand facelift rather than a complete overhaul.

The result is a contemporary look with a strong focal point, a warmer palette and a more modern typeface. We updated the colour palette, swapping bottle green for a more punchy olive. Illustrator Martin Joel designed a series of shweshwe-inspired “wallpapers” to match and add to the local aesthetic of the brand identity. We launched the new identity with the release of a full brand manual, complete with an executive summary of our strategic objectives, visual guidelines and creative templates for a variety of media.