HUIA Publishers
Goddess Muscle

  • 2021

    Submission # 198

  • Output

    Publication – Pukapuka

  • Kaupapa

    Identity – People & Culture


  • Location


Project Overview:
Produce and sell a book of poetry written by Pasifika poet Karlo Mila. It’s a body of work that has been written over the last decade and spans the intensity of personal relationships and the urgency of political issues. It will appeal first and foremost to the poetry market who are a diverse and eclectic demographic with a strong eye for creative expression. Take this opportunity to re-enter the poetry market, ride and capitalise on the current energy and momentum for spoken word within the markets.

The cover should be able to compete against the creative daring of existing poetry titles but draw on a uniquely Polynesian aesthetic and feminist attitude.

Play with layout, colour, different design treatments and use this project to push the boundaries of what’s expected in a poetry book. However, the design must not distract from the words – our main objective is to be authentic to the writing while matching the power of the poetry.

This body of poetry acts as a reflection and a self-portrait of Karlo Mila, her journey and perspective of the now. We wanted to create a thoughtfully crafted product that was authentic to the poetry and let the words speak. The poems deal with themes of feminism, relationships, identity politics, racism – it is intensely personal in places and feels highly authoritive, evocative and aspirational all at the same time. There is a sense of urgency in the book with big statements within the poems that tackle pain, hurt, anger and injustice. There are also quiet and soft moments paired with the recurring motif of the flow of water throughout the book and being immersed in the warm, rolling ocean that is highlighted with push and pull motions.

We provided a creative eye to every poem and used the power of composition, typography and colour to match the energy of the words. We amplified sections through tension, white space, contrast and scale that heightens the readers’ experience with each poem whilst maintaining visual cohesiveness. The final design was complimentary to and tailored to each poem.

We sense-checked the design before launching with a renowned fellow poet which was well received. We sold through our initial print run after the book was released and have reprinted as well as produced a limited hard-cover edition.

Credits & Collaborators:
Business Director - Eboni Waitere
Creative Director - Te Kani Price
Designer - Camilla Lau, Christine Ling
Editor - Bryony Walker
Illustrator - Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

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