Matariki Calendar 2012

Each year, I have been contracted by Native Council to design and produce the Matariki Calendar for Mana Recruitment and the Māori Pacific Job Board, celebrating the Māori New Year. The Matariki Calendar consists of illustrated whakatauki or proverbs across each month and lately the illustrations and their respective whakatauki in a year have followed a consistent theme. It is something that clients look forward to receiving each year.

For Māori, the new year begins in June with the rising of the constellation of Matariki in the sky. Matariki is a small star cluster whose appearance in the north eastern pre-dawn sky in late May, early June marks the start of a new phase of life. Matariki can be translated in two ways – Mata Riki (Tiny eyes) and Mata Ariki (Eyes of God). Either way the eyes are thought to watch over the land and its people.

Celebrations most often begin at the next new moon after Matariki has risen. The exact timing varies from year to year but usually occurs during the month of June. Historically, Matariki arrived at the end of the harvest and was a time of plenty for our ancestors. The kumara and other root foods had been gathered. The migration of fish such as moki and korokoro made Matariki a time of bountiful catches. Visitors were showered with gifts of specially preserved eel, birds and other delicacies. It was a time to fill the storage houses (pātaka kai) with food and for whānau and friends to come together, acknowledge the successes of the past year, and look towards the year ahead.

The theme for the Matariki 2012-2013 Calendar was on our native and endemic birdlife (nga manu) for which our country is well known. All the whakatauki chosen made mention of Aotearoa’s birdlife in general or speaks of a specific manu.

Graphic Design

Layout of design elements, bilingual calendar and whakatauki text around manu illustration.
Developing systems to identify important calendar dates which are all listed on the calendar cover.

Illustration

Conceptual drawing and research in creating illustrations based on various whakatauki (Maori proverbs)
Vector based illustrations allowing space for whakatauki and the name of the specific manu.

Packaging Design

In the original brief, the calendar needed to be able to sit unassisted on a desktop or table to be easily viewed and fit comfortably into a DLE-sized envelope for postage. To achieve this I created a simple folding cover that inserts back into itself forming an a-frame. The cover works in a similar manner to a horizontal gatefold brochure when close to protect the calendar pages inside. Over the years the design has been modified slightly to allow for greater strength and durability.

Custom package research and design with dieline

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