Flow has worked with Gauteng’s Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site for well over a decade. So we were thrilled to be tasked with a fresh and exciting assignment that tied in seamlessly with this work: to create a vibrant microsite for the Western Cape’s cool new Cradle of Human Culture in time for its high-profile launch in April 2019 at World Travel Market Cape Town.
Encompassing several regions of the province, the Cradle of Human Culture comprises three world-renowned archaeological and palaeontological sites and myriad others, providing fascinating insight into how our ancestors started to innovate socially, behaviourally and culturally.
As part of the launch campaign, Wesgro – the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape – asked Flow to build a website to promote the various sites and routes along the way.
The project is a partnership with the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, where the story of humans began millions of years ago. This story continues in the Western Cape, where discoveries at the Diepkloof Rock Shelter on the Cape West Coast; Blombos Cave near Stilbaai; and Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay preserve some of the world’s earliest evidence of modern human behaviour.
The Cradle of Human Culture encircles a vast area focused on these three sites, but the evolution of human culture can be traced across the whole province.
Our early ancestors started to harness their spirituality, use fire and tools, and illustrated abstract thought in the Cradle of Human Culture. It is in this region, too, that they learnt to adapt their behaviour and diet to their environment.
Journey of self-discovery
The site’s aim is to inspire South Africans and visitors to be curious about their origins and explore the experiences along two Cradle of Human Culture “journeys”: The Artist’s Journey along the Cape West Coast, and The Coastal Journey, along the southern Cape Coast.
Flow’s role included writing, editing and proofing all content for the site, as well as designing and developing the site, using the logo provided as a design element to inform the site’s look and feel.
A major element of the site is an interactive map that visitors can use to negotiate their way around the various routes, towns and attractions throughout the Cradle of Human Culture.
Flow’s team changed and simplified the original map provided by the client substantially to highlight the journeys and experiences applicable.
Once users land on the site, they see the creative branding of the route. As they explore the map, different towns and experiences pop up. Users are encouraged to make up their own road trips that include experiences along the way and not necessarily choose one route and stick to it.
The site also had to fit into the broader campaign, calling on visitors to “Discover yourself” – the idea was to not only inspire exploration, but also encourage a journey of self-expression.
The assignment was briefed in late March, but the tight deadline was cast in stone.
The website went live in time for the launch of the Cradle of Human Culture at the World Travel Market Africa 2019 conference in Cape Town on 11 April 2019.