Home birth in New Zealand is a part of mainstream maternity care. Around 5% of women choose the option to have their babies at home (fully supported by the government-funded health care system), but not all women in the country are aware that this is a choice they have.
Home Birth Aotearoa is a charitable trust in New Zealand dedicated to helping women understand their birth options and the benefits of the home birth choice. The Trust draws upon the native Maori tradition and culture in its operation and is funded in part by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, and in part by member contributions.
The trust needed a visual identity system which has come to include a new logo, collateral and marketing materials, a website and an online magazine.
The challenge of this project is that the audience is quite broad. The goals of acknowledging and responding to the passionate opinions of the current members of the trust while appealing to a broader audience and overcoming ingrained cultural stigmas is a multifaceted challenge. The look of the organization needs to feel warm, secure, trustworthy and legitimate.
The first element designed was the logo, nicknamed the “Protected Circle”. It is a riff off of a universally recognized symbol in Maori culture, the koru (spiral / baby fern) which signifies a new beginning. The koru is housed inside multiple layers of circles. These circles are representative of the mother, the family, and the broader community, again a reference to a strong Maori belief and tradition that a community raises a child by supporting the family and the mother. There is also a reference of ripples of water which is meaningful in the culture as a symbol of how one action has compounding effects.
Through research we found purple to be the single most powerful brand signifier, so we kept that color as a link to the history of the organization.
The WordPress site and online quarterly magazine are maintained and published by the employees and volunteers.
Web development by Carl Aiau: carlaiau.com
Photography gifted by many birth photographers in New Zealand, check the live site for credits.