Mockup showing business card design in the Akoako Brand Identity


Te reo Māori is one of the three national languages of New Zealand. Yet only 21 % of all Māori and about 3 % of all people living in New Zealand can have a conversation in Te reo. Akoako addresses this problem by training the staff of large public and private organisations.

The biggest challenge in this project was the cultural divide between the Māori, the New Zealand Europeans and other immigrants. The traditions of the Māori are deeply rooted in the history of the country. Yet, to this day, they seem to belong more to the Māori than to the rest of New Zealanders. The founder of Akoako herself is not of Māori descent, nor are most of the students. So the central question was: how can the visual identity relate to Māori culture without being too exclusive or presumptuous?

For the company’s visual identity, I took some cues from the Māori culture, such as ferns and patterns. But the overall concept is inspired by a theme that all Kiwis have in common: New Zealand’s landscapes.
The image shows a folder, letterhead and business cards portraying Maori patterns for Akoako
Image shows business card for Akoako that uses Maori pattern as a background
Animation showing te reo Māori greetings in combination with icons. designed for Akoako
Notebook designed in Akoako Branding held by two hands and saying "Tuhipoka"
te reo Māori learning cards teaching greetings designed for Akoako
Duotone image for Akoako that shows a fern
hand holding a Māori-patterned tote bag designed for Akoako

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