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Crafting Aotearoa

What we did

Book Design

The entire publishing team wanted Crafting Aotearoa to become the go-to reference source for Māori and wider Moana Oceania craft made in a post-colonial context. Each chapter of the book contains multiple narratives—often concurrently running body text, a glossary explaining Māori and Pacific terminology, extended captions and sidebars from over 60 different expert contributors.

Managing this level of content requires a grid that is simultaneously fluid and organised, along with a palette of typefaces and weights to clearly delineate each voice. We took inspiration from formal grid and reference systems from the Swiss tradition and we also liked the museological reference that comes with these organisational considerations. From a production point of view, this approach also democratised a range of imagery from many different sources to create a cohesive approach. At the same time as dealing with these issues we wanted each spread to feel unique and dynamic—to do justice to the diverse range of craft objects. With the tension of a page-specific glossary and extended captions flowing dynamically with the body text (and side bars) the interplay between content, space and imagery was an intriguing moving target on every spread!