Matariki Calendar 2012

This was the first year I was 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 was to consist of illustrated Māori whakatauki or proverbs across each month.

Initially our concept was to create a wall calendar, however after analysing postage and printing costs and deciding that the purpose of the calendar was to build brand awareness rather than turn a profit we decided on a different format. After researching various options for desktop calendars that would be a cost-effective promotional item for the company, I came up with a D.L.E sized concept that would fold onto and support itself.
We went with a thicker, card stock for the cover and I created a die that allows the user to easily fold and insert a tab into a slot to keep the calendar upright. The inside calendar pages were attached using a wirebound method while keeping in mind that the calendar needed to be fit inside a D.L.E sized envelope.

Our initial print run was very well received and we quickly had to do a reprint to cope with demand.
These Matariki desktop calendars have become 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.

Graphic Design

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


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

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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