Aesop creates a vibrant visual identity for unique Maasai safari camp
23 May, 2012
Aesop, the brand storytelling agency, has fashioned the complete brand story, brand identity and collaterals for Lewaso Cottages, a new safari camp owned and operated entirely by the local Maasai people. The camp, which is on the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, is scheduled to launch next year and will be the first of its kind. Profits will be ploughed back into the community and will help to fund the education of Maasai children.
When tourists go on safari they usually take excursions to visit the Maasai community; at Lewaso they will literally be in the thick of the community. The camp is the brainchild of Maasai warrior and experienced safari guide Paul Lebeneyio. During his time working at some of the most prestigious safari camps in Kenya, he dreamt of creating a lodge run entirely by local Maasai people, with the profits directed straight back into the community. With the help of the UK-based Lewaso Maasai foundation, his dream is becoming a reality. Lewaso Cottages will offer responsible tourists an authentic experience of Maasai culture and the opportunity to make a positive difference to local children.
Aesop, which is better known for its award-winning work for FMCG brands, jumped at the chance of working on the first sustainable Maasai owned safari camp. The multidisciplinary start-up was approached by a business contact to work with Lewaso Cottages in 2011. Concepts were presented around a camp fire at the lodge at the start of this year.
Having plotted the brand story, Aesop created the identity, stationery, staff uniforms, merchandise, vehicle livery, advertising look and feel, brand guidelines and a website, which will go live later this year, when Lewaso Cottages is in a position to take its first bookings. When the camp is operational Aesop will help to roll out the branding to interiors in a sustainable and appropriate way. The A in Lewaso has been accentuated to represent a leaping Maasai warrior performing the tribe’s famous ritual dance, which has captured travellers’ imaginations for centuries.
Aesop executive creative director Martin Grimer says: “This was a wonderful opportunity to work on a very worthwhile project and to create something as colourful and characterful as the people running Lewaso. Bringing their story to life was a great experience, not least for one of our narrative planners who literally presented work to a group of warriors sitting around a fire.”