Kimiora Whaanga The Tītī bird

  • Tauira / Student
    Kimiora Whaanga
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Fay McAlpine, Annette O Sullivan

The Tītī bird

The Tītī bird, is a response to a brief set by the International Society of Typographic Designers called mapping the world. The objective is to conduct a rigorous exploration of maps in a chosen field which extends my skills in design research, conceptual thinking and communication through typography.

The story of the tītī (sooty shearwater) provides an unique insight into many aspects of society, place, practice and culture. The mapping of these domains allowed for an in depth investigation into the role of this culturally and economically significant species for the southernmost Māori tribal group of Ngāi Tahu. Tītī are harvested for food, as a trade item, and for their feathers and down. This book doesn't just look at the tangible aspects of mapping like migrational and foraging maps but also presents non-figurative representations such as the mapping of intergenerational knowledge, practices, and processes passed down from one generation to another. My target audience is intermediate kids to young teens, wildlife groups, Māori who are interested in understanding the significance and importance of the tītī and as a gift to whānau who still practise muttonbirding.

The typeface used is Field gothic and Aktiv grostic. These typefaces provide a neutral feel and draws inspiration from the Dorling Kindersley animal/nature books. The visual follows a story/journey narrative as it maps out an introduction to the tītī, its astounding migration feats, its nesting sites, how it forages for food, how it is harvested and processed, and its cultural significance. The colours used are inspired by the tītī’s environment; the use of blue from the ocean signifying its connection as sea bird and brown/ white from its feathers and down. Sections of the book include a transparent overlay to showcase swarms of tītī to create the experience of abundance and presence. The binding strategy is influenced by the pōhā, an airtight storage container made from rimurapa (bull kelp) that is wrapped in tōtara bark and carried inside a flax basket.