The Huvalu Forest Conservation Area covers almost a quarter of Niue. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations tasked us to develop and create a bio diversity product to promote this amazing wonder.
The brief was to create a brand for use across signage, an interactive touch screen, a display at the Niue Visitor Information Centre, and a graphic window installation at Hannan International Airport, plus update existing Huvalu Forest periphery signs. The aim was to inform, educate and excite both visitors and locals on the importance of Niue’s forests in sustaining the island’s ecosystems, it’s culture, and biodiversity conservation.
After consultation with various government departments, village councils and local guides, as well as extensive scientific research, our strategy was to design the Huvalu brand identity to have a natural and intentionally imperfect look, to fit into the Niuean context. It needed to be exciting enough to capture people’s attention in the display and be seen on the tracks, but not detract from the beauty of the forest itself.
As part of the six-month project we sent a photographer and a research scientist to Niue on a mission – to uncover and capture the forest in its true glory. From this the design process started to take shape.
The Huvalu logotype was based on hand painted signs that are dotted around the island, and includes detailing from leaf prints we created, using foliage collected from forest excursions. These prints helped form the eclectic mix of elements within the brand identity.
The colour palette was also intentionally kept natural, taken directly from the forest, to complement the landscape, rather than stand out from it.
As stipulated in the brief we remade large existing forest signs. After much research we couldn’t find an exact font match, so used the old signs as reference to create the Huvalu typeface for specific use throughout the identity.
A Niuean illustrator was commissioned to add to the brand identity, giving invaluable local knowledge and a more cultural angle to the visual identity, with a rudimentary illustration style, complementing our design strategy.
Special touches included local hardwood Kafika, collected from the forest, to use as sign posts along the trails, directly linking back to the project objectives.
The Huvalu identity was successfully rolled out across all elements as briefed, keeping everything informative yet interesting, including point of interest signage, track entry-point signage, a portable display and interactive touch screen in the Information Centre, and airport display signage.
The Huvalu Forest Conservation Area brand was officially launched and gifted to Niue Tourism. This also coincided with the New Zealand Prime Ministers visit to Niue, where it was well received. Since then it’s been receiving great feedback and acting as a draw card to the Information Centre, as well as getting people out into the forest to discover it for themselves.