Extended Whānau 28 Te Awhi

Design Craft 2021 Credits
  • Creative Director
    Tyrone Ohia
  • Team Members
    Rob Lewis, Viv Teo
  • Client
    Te Awhi

Te Awhi is a Māori mental health service provider in the Waikato and Whangārei regions. They’re focus is on individual and whānau rehabilitation and wellbeing through holistic Māori Hauora methods.

The brief was to rebrand the organisation to better reflect their philosophy and the people they serve.

At the core of Te Awhi’s philosophy is the metaphor of Pā Harakeke (flax plantations). Pā Harakeke are multi-generational. The younger, newer blades of harakeke grow from the centre, surrounded and protected by older, more experienced generations. An eco-system of support and nurturing.

To make the metaphor more visually apparent, we created a custom display typeface for Te Awhi inspired by Pā Harakeke. This typeface formed the heart of the new brand. It is used as the Te Awhi wordmark, and also flows through their services: Awhi Mai, Awhi Atu, Awhi Whānau and Awhi Ora.

When used in sentences, the typeface itself becomes a blooming Pā Harakeke, and the character of the letterforms plays a critical role in allowing Māori-in-need to proudly see themselves reflected within a health care system that more often than not is alienating and misaligned culturally.

Throughout the brand, the typeface is paired with calming photos of flax and a colour and paper stock palette of warmer creams and earthy greys and rolled out across all print pieces, the website, staff uniforms and physical signage.

It is a typeface that reflects nature. It is a typeface that helps vulnerable Māori to feel they have access to healthcare through the welcoming and familiar queues of their culture.