What Is A Naartjie?


We get a lot of quizzical looks when we first introduce ourselves... Naartjie Multimedia. Obviously the first question is, could you say that again? Naartjie

Now that you know how to pronounce it, (you won't embarass yourself if you decide to call us), the next obvious question is, "What in the world is a Naartjie?" A Naartjie is an orange. A satsuma or mandarin orange to be specific. Naartjie is the South African term for it. It's also a slang term similar to Rotten Tomato. Naartjies are the preferred projectile thrown at athletic events as a show of discontent.


Orange is combination of red and yellow, a warm vibrant color with connotations of energy and flamboyance. It’s less intense or aggressive than red but can be used in a similar fashion to grab attention and highlight important areas of a design. Orange designs often convey a sense of friendliness and in the right hands can maintain seriousness and professionalism. In general though, it’s a great color to attract attention without offending or stopping anyone in their tracks.


Designers use orange as a foreground color to highlight important elements or as a main background color to convey feelings of enthusiasm, vibrancy and warmth. Red-orange is highly energetic and fiery while softer yellow-orange is more soothing and less flamboyant. Without screaming, orange makes a big statement.


 In his book "Design as Art,” Italian Artist and Designer Bruno Funari describes an orange. "an almost perfect object in which one may observe an absolute coherence of form, function and consumption. Even the colour is exactly right. It would be quite wrong if such an object were blue."

Reading his edited description below provides a fun read on why the orange, a Naartjie,  is a fun symbol for us and what we do…


“This object is made up of a series of modular containers and arranged in a circle around a vertical axis. Each container or section has its straight side flush with the axis and its curved side turned outwards. In this way the sum of their curved sides forms a globe, a rough sphere. All these sections are packed together in a container that is quite distinctive both as to its material and its colour. Its outside surface is fairly hard, but it has a soft internal lining that serves as padding between the outer surface and the sections packed inside. 


The material is in origin all of the same type, but it is suitably differentiated according to its function.

Each section or container consists of an envelope of plastic-like material large enough to contain the juice but easy to handle during the dismemberment of the global form. The sections are attached to one another by a very weak, though adequate, adhesive. 


The outer or packing container, following the growing tendency of today, is not returnable and may be thrown away.

The form of each section exactly follows the disposition of the teeth in the human mouth, so that once a section has been successfully extracted from the outer container it may be placed between the teeth, and a light pressure is enough to burst the envelope and extract the juice. Apart from juice the sections generally contain a small seed from the same plant that produced the fruit. This is a small free gift offered by the firm to the client in case the latter wishes to start a production of these objects on his own account. We draw your attention to the fact that while no economic loss is incurred in this gift, it gives rise to an important psychological bond between producer and consumer: few if any of the consumers will actually start growing orange trees, and yet this entirely altruistic concession (the idea of being able to do it if he wishes) frees the consumer from his castration complex and establishes a relationship of reciprocal trust.


The orange is therefore an almost perfect object in which one may observe an absolute coherence of form, function and consumption. Even the colour is exactly right. It would be quite wrong if such an object were blue.

The only concession to decorativeness, if we may say so, is the highly sophisticated material of the outer container, treated as it is in such a way as to produce the ‘orange skin’ effect. Perhaps this is done to remind the consumer of the juicy pulp to be found inside the plastic containers. Anyway, a minimum of decoration must be allowed for, especially when as justified as it is in this case."

Bruno Munari, Design as Art, 2008, Penguin, page 83