Cleo Copplestone Kauri; The life of a tree in layers

  • Tauira / Student
    Cleo Copplestone
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Annette O'Sullivan, Fay McAlpine

ISTD has proposed the brief ‘Mapping The World’. This brief delves into the intriguing world of graphic representations provided by cartographers.These maps not only aid in our navigation but also offer an insight into the spatial understanding of objects, concepts, and events in the human world. ‘Kauri; The life of a tree in layers’ has been designed to uncover the hidden maps that surround us, yet exist beyond human recognition. This project serves as a testament to the fact that maps go beyond the traditional notion of directions and location, and instead hold the power to reveal hidden aspects of our world.

Kauri's tree rings may not be widely regarded as a map, but they have a significant impact on the way we move through the world. This natural resource maps climate change and history, by using them, we can connect knowledge and gain a better understanding of our environment. The style of binding in the book, with two staple length cotton stitches at the top and bottom of the spine, reflects this connection and the importance of using natural materials in our exploration of the world. The book tells the story of kauri trees, their history, the process of mapping their growth rings, and how they have become a vital tool in learning about our environment. Due to the tight structure of tree rings, the body copy in the book is compact and tightly formatted across each page, echoing the distribution of information found in the rings. Resources around this topic are sparse and tend to target either children or scientists. Therefore this project was constructed as an informational resource for adolescents. It uses digestible language and hand-drawn illustrations to reach this market and bridge the gap between scientific research and everyday understanding.

Kauri consist of many shapes, textures and colours. To emulate their essence in this design, long columns are used to hold the body text, mirroring the mightiness and height at which kauri stand among each other. The typeface applied in the headings is F37 Judge. Crafting a bold and tall structure, this typeface ensures each letter is closely hugged by the previous or following letter. This formation imitates kauri’s tree trunks. The primary colour that runs throughout the book is a rich brown which emits earthiness. Secondary to this is orange, an ode to kauri’s bronze foliage.

Tree rings trace time. Therefore by tracing their form and integrating the illustration within the header typeface, a striking and expressive display evolves for the cover. This introduces the audience to a visual representation of the idiosyncratic patterns tree growth creates and the map they’re soon to learn about. Through the use of natural materials and thoughtful design, ‘Kauri; The life of a tree in layers’ serves as an educational and accessible resource for all who wish to learn more about this essential aspect of our environment.