‘Marni naa putni Kaurna yarta-ana’. Beautiful isn’t it? This is how the locals from the City of Holdfast Bay in South Australia would have greeted you around 200 years ago. By the way, the translation is: ‘Welcome to Kaurna country’. The cultural map you see is by Ecocreative in Adelaide. It’s a beautifully designed guide created in consultation with the Kaurna Indigenous people of the Adelaide Plains, historians and academics. It explores language, history, biodiversity and storytelling and is printed on Maine Recycled – Silk 115gsm.
As the first council guide of its kind in South Australia, a strong visual identity was needed so Ecocreative set to work with this key piece of information in mind. The map highlights locations where native plants should be planted, forming a connection to Kaurna language and signage in the area. It also visually recreates the past, complemented with engaging stories. A Kaurna warrior painting is featured on the first page (suggested by one of the Kaurna participants), simplified figurines and an earthy colour scheme have also been used.
Printed four-colour process with vegetable-based inks by Finsbury Green (SA), the paper stock, Maine Recycled, was recommended to Ecocreative as the best environmental choice with a high resistance to cracking. “A very important aspect when producing a walking guide that will be opened and refolded repeatedly throughout its life,” Sarah van Maarseveen, Sustainability & Operations Manager from Ecocreative explains, “We chose Maine Recycled – Silk 115gsm because its hardy coated nature would stand up to coastal outdoor use.” Other sustainability credentials were also important, particularly the 60% recycled content, relevant especially in a project that emphasises past and future care of country and culture.
Many months and a lot of hard work later, Ecocreative have created a map that is being really well received by locals. They hope that this will set a precedent and help to share why ancient Aboriginal culture and language is so special. If it helps communicate to a broader audience in seeing their surroundings a little differently, even better. We think this is a case of ‘mission accomplished’.