Full credit to Chris Delany – Director of Craftmapper – for the photographs featured within the designs.
Many cultures are losing their indigenous crafts, along with the materials and knowledge behind these creations. Craftmapper has been working for over 20 years to revitalise, protect and raise awareness of the cultural heritage that indigenous cultures hold within the remote villages and communities around the world, from Kenya to Vanuatu, to Papua New Guinea.
Craftmapper’s mission is two-fold:
They help local communities to create sustainable livelihoods through their indigenous craft products (through distribution and authentication).
And, they encourage the protection of unique cultural heritage, through the identification, and recording of endangered craft practices and their associated stories.
The Craftmapper team, led by director Chris Delany, encompass a sense of responsibility and authenticity in what they do and how they do it. They were looking for a way to provide a way to recognise value, ensure credibility and build trust for the authentic hand-crafted products they distribute to museum and gallery shops globally.
Working as part of a creative team with Papuan designer Omphalus Harkie Kua and Laura Scatchard, we drew inspiration from Craftmapper’s projects in remote Pacific Island villages.
Looking at the shared symbolism held between the communities Craftmapper works with, we worked to create a unifying mark of authenticity, quality and (reverence).
Formed from the flat-base triangle – which features heavily in patterns across Polynesia, Melanesia and Africa, with meanings varying from comfort, to home, to the mountain peaks in the landscape – Craftmapper’s mark represents the strength the organisation aims to build in the communities, along with the methods of travel many communities would undertake on their journeys, on navigating across the water on sail-boats.
The Craftmapper brand mark was created purposefully minimalistic to keep the focus on the artists who create the beautiful artifacts they distribute, and the value of the crafts held by those artists and their communities.
Brand in action
Following the completion of their Mahuki accelerator residency in 2016, Craftmapper partnered with Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand and continues to provide and distribute authenticated, unique indigenous craft to international museums and galleries globally.
They continue their mission to facilitate ‘mapping’ an inventory of indigenous craft practices with local communities and develop training opportunities for youth to revitalise the indigenous craft practices.