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Identity Design
with Storybox
for Wellington City Council

THE BRIEF       

      Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea, or Matariki, is the Māori name for the Pleiades star cluster, which appears in the skies of Aotearoa New Zealand around the time of the winter solstice. Its appearance marks the start of the Māori new year, and is widely celebrated across the country.
      As we were coming out of lockdown, Wellington City Council asked Storybox to develop an identity and marketing materials for the public celebration that would reunite and excite the community.


      We developed a visual identity that was inspired by the central themes of the Matariki celebration and reflects the Māori world view. We collaborated with Māori artist David Hakaraia, integrating his mandala designs into marketing collateral, and created a phased citywide campaign across print and digital. The identity we developed is still in use by the city council to promote their annual event.

      The identity was extended and given cultural depth through the addition of a Mandala design by David Hakaraia, seen here on the event poster.
      Red and black are used prominently within Māori art and design, and hold sacred significance. Pango, or black, represents the realm of potential. Kōkōwai, or red, is the colour of clay and represents the feminine, for the earth mother Papatūānuku.

      The logo mark is inspired by Te Ao Māori (Māori world view) conceptualisation of time, which is considered to be cyclical, rather than linear. Hence Matariki reads in a clockwise direction, always returning to its origin.
      The mark is naturally read from the far left M, but alternative readings reveal additional words, such as Ariki (king), Ata (morning) and Tari (plaited strands). It also features the Māori name for Wellington, Pōneke.

Matariki 2020 t-shirt