Extended Whānau 39 Te Awhi

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Tyrone Ohia
  • Ngā Kaimahi / 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.

To further heighten the connection to nature, photos of harakeke are used throughout. The colour and paper stock palettes of creams and earthy greys create a tactile warmth, and physical signage pairs locally sourced hinuera volcanic stone with aluminium that carries the Te Awhi typeface.

The identity was rolled out across all print pieces, the website, staff uniforms and physical site signage.

The result is a natural, welcoming experience that stands in complete contrast to the stark, clinical world of public healthcare.