Narrative behind our design

Our design is inspired by the Pacific concept of the Talanoa (“talk” or “discussion”) ceremony, a uniquely Pacific Island forum for dialogue that gathers people together to share their views, to plan a journey ahead, air grievances, or to provide advice. It is the indigenous qualitative research method practiced throughout the Pacific. In many nations, the ceremony is traditionally held around a tanoa (bowl) and the sharing of kava, a drink made from the root of the Piper methysticum plant.

Our symbol is a circular collage of patterns inspired by traditional tanoa, arranged to reflect an atmosphere of radiating mana that knowledge creation, open and free dialogue, and unbiased sharing can bring. It will also act as tanoa for the conference/talanoa itself, as a visual call to gather.

The design is influenced by patterns from across the region, chosen and arranged to represent our diverse makeup and speak to concepts of protection, heritage and the natural world. The aesthetic also speaks to our current digital age, with a low-tech, pixelated, and data driven aesthetic applied across the look and feel.

Our colours, Sea Foam and Night Tide are inspired by the Moana, the ocean pathways between each of us, and the connecting fabric of all nations across oceania.


Crafted by the talented designers at SixOneNine.

About SixOneNine

Phila and Carmen are the husband and wife team behind SixOneNine. They have been married for seven years and have four children. Their aim is to build a company that contributes towards a world their children can be proud of by championing diversity, difference in thought and building up the wider community.

Phila trained as a Designer in Auckland at AUT University. He has worked in the Advertising and Branding industry for almost 15 years. He is proud to have worked at both big and small agencies and gained experience in both environments. But over time a little seed has grown inside him, a desire to move away from mainstream work and to focus on his passion which is for Māori and Pasifika Design, so in 2020—SixOneNine was born. He is proud of his Māori/Niuean heritage that has largely influenced the way he views the world, his career and ultimately who he is as a Designer. Phila’s childhood was spent growing up in Manutuke surrounded by whanau and friends, just two doors down from his Marae. It is still a priority to go home several times a year and give his kids a taste of what it’s like to be part of the East Coast community.

Carmen does the ‘businessy’ stuff, mostly in the background. Her experience is largely within the corporate world in Research, Strategy and Commercial decision making. She keeps us focused on our purpose, helps give projects structure and makes sure we pay the bills. Sometimes she consults on projects that require a bit more strategic thinking or ideates on how to scale concepts up. She is a bit more global than Phila with her life spent across Papua New Guinea, Australia, Denmark and New Zealand.

And our designer...

Chanel Tukuitonga-Yandall is a graphic artist and designer based in Auckland, NZ. Born in Alofi, Niue to a Niuean father and Fijian/Samoan mother, he migrated with his family to Auckland in 1988. Traditional Pacific art forms, motifs, and storytelling have always been his earliest artistic influences and he continues today to draw inspiration from the Pacific diaspora.