botshabelo_inner cotton

The design proposal investigated concepts around visual branding and marketing and how it is applied to a specific product, aiming to promote the core philosophy and qualities of the specific product.  By this means one is aiming to sell beliefs and a life philosophy to a consumer and not just a product.

“When we choose to buy and wear certain brands, this information becomes part of our own personal ‘advertising’ campaign, our own logo” (
The site Botshabelo was branded as a whole and by introducing cotton agriculture the design aimed at bringing new income for Botshabelo and work opportunities for the residents.
For the branding, the name Botshabelo was done in a combination of two different fonts, the first part ‘botsh’ has a more old, historical feeling to it and the last part ‘abelo’ is written in a font with a modern feel to it.  This combination of fonts represents the history and future of Botshabelo that is intertwined on the site proposal.

The different routes on the site is outlined and layered over the text to represent an overall Botshabelo brand.

Various cotton products like bed linen, cotton clothing and specifically yoga clothing and products will be produced on site and the yoga clothing range was branded in detail.  One can’t separate Botshabelo from the cotton production, as this is exactly what makes the brand special – the fact that the cotton is related to Botshabelo and that one can come and experience how cotton is produced on the specific site.

The accommodation on site will use the cotton linen made at Botshabelo.  The idea is to market the cotton products to visitors that come for other reasons to the site and not necessarily for a yoga retreat.  “…The really clever ones will make it a strategic priority to add a little joy into their consumer’s lives.  So, think like a child, act like an adult now, not a lifetime too late.”(  To market the products and also to introduce a playful element, there will be old-fashioned view masters in each room, with slides of the different products and of the cotton fields. 

The experience of cotton is presented to the visitor through a cotton route on site, where they can see how cotton is produced and how the various products are made.  Historical and future viewpoints will be located on the different hiking routes, the future ones looking onto the cotton fields.

The yoga clothing range will have various products:  cotton shoes, clothing, mats and bags for the mats, all made from the organic cotton from the site.  The idea is to sell these various cotton clothing in the shop on site and to market the concept of combining the various garments – loose and tight fitting - so that one can easily go from yoga class to the shopping mall.

The shop will have a small yoga studio, incorporated into the space, to be used as a marketing strategy.  You can come in, put on the yoga clothes and have a trial yoga class to test out the products.  The chance for the customer to try out the clothes in a practical yoga session will instill a feeling of trust in the products.

In the studio and shop the concept of a gallery to display the history of cotton and the quality behind the products, will be incorporated and there will be a strong emphasis on the organic production of the cotton through these images.  This emphasis supports the yoga lifestyle of health and awareness of one’s environment.
Visitors coming for the yoga retreat and sessions will come to Botshabelo for the cotton yoga experience and not just any other retreat experience, so it is important to display and link the history and production of cotton to the yoga products, thus the idea of the gallery in the shop and studio.   The dining areas and restaurant will use and sell cottonseed oil and cotton paper will also be used and sold on site.

{interactive business card}
The design introduces an interactive experience, by folding open the various parts of the card, unfolding the story – interpreting the process of cotton production into the card - and learning about the products by means of the various images.
The one side displays the wider cotton clothing range and the other side zooms in on the brand innercotton.  The images run from where the cotton starts in the field, up to the final product and by doing so marketing the quality of the products and also emphasizing the organic production of it.  So the customer buys into a whole lifestyle not just a product.
“If a consumer thinks about you and your products when they think about a core personal interest or desire, then that makes you part of their lifestyle!”  (  

The aim of the design is to brand the cotton products on site, specifically the yoga range, by selling a much deeper philosophy and lifestyle to the consumer, not just a product.

“There is this place called Botshabelo just a few kilometers outside Middelburg.  It has these really beautiful old buildings and huge cotton fields and you can go there for a weekend getaway.  It also has hiking routes and a yoga retreat and you can sit and do yoga while looking out onto the cotton fields.  They produce all these cotton products on site and this range called innercotton yoga clothes and you can go and try out the clothes in this small studio next to the shop.  What is also really cool is that you can go and see how the cotton is produced and the products are made.  Would you like to go?”