The Journey to find Te Kakano o te Totara (WIP)

PROCESS: Idea Exploration

Te Kakano o te Totara ( TKOTT ) is an innovative kaupapa designed to empower Rangatahi to chase their dreams. The events designed by the amazing team give these Rangatahi the tools they need to push their ideas to new levels and to action them sustainably. If you're new to the kauapa please look into it here.

And so with this kaupapa in mind we're looking to explore some Branding ideas that Rangatahi can easily identify and associate with self empowerment. Here we will explore the process needed to create a visual language that we can engrain as a branding strategy

Please walk with us on this journey.

Inspirations from the Te Kakano o te Kakano Crew

At this stage we're just exploring ideas, in search of something that will speak to the vision of TKOTT 

These are mean because of the colour schemes and use of frames that compliment a nice and strong typeface. They each strongly identify and support the visuals of the others. Their central photography is meke as because of the dynamic movements of the human body. These photos capture an infectious energy that young people can relate to.

We could play with the photography idea, but at this stage we just can't explore that with the current budget.

In no way were we meaning that the Rangatahi would aspire to become evil overlords like Matua Vader.

In no way were we meaning that the Rangatahi would aspire to become evil overlords like Matua Vader.

Another concept was to develop a character with a silhouette of the next level self as a shadow, which is an idea I think is quite interesting. We discussed with the TKOTT crew that it'd be nice for the Rangatahi of this kaupapa to wear on their backs the word 'RANGATIRA', as they themselves are working toward becoming these esteemed members of our societies, or even that the Rangatira's of their whakapapa lines have their backs. This idea made some connections with the image above that was suggested. So maybe the shadow of our Rangatahi could be the Rangatira versions of themselves. We'll expand on this idea.

Another interesting train of thought that we've entertained is the similarities in the words Rangatahi and Rangatira. This invited a bit of word play.

I researched further into some visual ways we could play with this idea and discovered an urban calligrapher called Peter Preffington who graphs up peoples property using word play. He looks like he's a Pakeha business man who often clashes contrasting words together to not only make the viewer think a little, but also give them something aesthetically pleasing to look at for a bit. Check out some examples of his mahi.

Some are hard to see, but has it ever been easy to the Rangatahi in great Rangatira? This might make more sense later 0.0.

So exploring these was perfect following another korero that Jess from the TKOTT crew dropped on me. Her korero followed the whakaaro of the branding style having the same kind of memorable impact that comes with the Maui Studios and Maui Empire  branding strategies. These brand styles are effective because of their use of colour, high levels of detail, and an illustration method known as masking. An example of this provided below. So the main image of the Taniwha is masked onto that torn shredded reality image, creating an effective contrast of highly detailed imagery embedded onto a simple silhouette.

So we could try something like this for Te Kakano o te Totara.

At this stage I'm thinking our word play of the words Rangatahi and Rangatira could be created into some amazing imagery, inspired by our Tuakana Peta Preffington, that could be masked over some 'shadows' of Rangatira of old with silhouettes of Rangatahi in the foreground.

Below are some examples of some meke Rangatira images that could inspire our silhouettes.

Now before we go any further we need to be aware that the Mana of these Rangatira is pretty hard out. The examples have been created by this mean old school artist called Gottfried Lindauer. ( You've likely seen some of these works before ).

We'll need to be very aware of how we are influenced by these people, whilst maintaining full respect for them, their images and what they represent. We're not sure how they believed in tapu but exploring these images spikes my wairua, oho mauri, so just be respectful of these Rangatira. I'm sure they won't mind as we're drawing influence from them to inspire greatness is Rangatahi.

Eruera Maihi Patuone  Learn more here

Eruera Maihi Patuone
Learn more here

Rangi Topeora  Learn more here

Rangi Topeora
Learn more here

King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero.  Learn more here

King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero.
Learn more here

I think these images are effective because of the strong silhouettes they'd make, with the raised feathers, the shapes of things like taonga, taiaha, hair and korowai. We'll create silhouettes that emphasise these types of outlines and shapes. The main thing we need our silhouettes to communicate is that the outlines of these shapes of Māori chiefs. 

Now following the idea of silhouettes we're looking to explore a similar feel for shapes that represent Rangatahi. And the best way to influence Rangatahi is to relate using kaupapa that they look up to. We chose fresh gears from emerging Fashion designers that we ourselves look up to.

The creatives over at Homeless Fits and Urban Flavours made the cut and so we started here for our Rangatahi Silhouettes.

Some examples are provided below

So at this stage, I think we've got enough to work with and develop to come up with our first round of ideas.


Edit* I've played with few a ideas to get something down. This urban calligraphy is an abstract of the word 'Rangatira' using subtle mirror symmetry.

Here I'm just playing around with chaos. I don't feel this best represents the kaupapa at all but the process has allowed me to get a whole bunch of ideas down, and try out a number of the softwares capabilities. I do think there are a few things I can learn from having had done these pieces.

Like the following:

1) The moko designs used here, although poorly placed, add that necessary Maori element.

2) As this part of the design will only be used for texturing our silhouettes, the details included here can't be too white as to effect our use of negative space, but with enough detail to not distract from

Edit* This is the roughest attempt at the general idea I want. So like a mean Rangatira silhouette, with a Rangatahi stencil overlaid onto it, but I literally picked the worst Rangatahi stencil to start with. I think what will fix it is a proud more pronounced Rangatahi pose, like a proud looking out and upward would be mean, although I don't want it to look to generic, so some steezy fashion would be cool. This hooded figure one looks a little too shadey.

We've recently been introduced to a number of new inspiration material and a few more Branding Developments which has been really interesting to weave into our growing process. 

We've attached the images below, and we're looking to approve a budget to add photography outcomes into the mix of what we're developing now.

Talia has come forward with a number of awesome pieces 0f imagery that gives us a more refined idea of how to approach our own imagery and brand collateral.

Illustrated outcomes for the Branding. I like this imagery because of their style and use of colour. The detailed frames leave alot of room for moko designs and the character portraits continues on our inspiration from earlier imagery. Pulling in and developing more iconic characters will add to the uniqueness of the support imagery for Te Kākano o te Tōtara.

Typography Concepts