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
An image featuring a business card for Akoako, placed in front of some red-blossoming tree twigs. The business card features a Maori pattern as the background, with the Akoako logo centred on the card.
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
An image featuring a duotone photograph of a fern serves as an example of the image style used in the Akoako brand. The fern is shown in shades of grey. This style can be used as a background.
A tote bag design for te reo Maori educator akoako
This is a testimonial. I love the work Nine did for Akoako.
—Kristy Jefferson, Founder at Akoako

Have a similar project in mind?

Brand Storytelling Workbook Mockup

Join my newsletter!

Receive regular branding updates and claim your free Brand Storytelling workbook.