Te Kura O Take Kārara is a brand new school being built in Wanaka in 2020. What a stunning place for a school. The exact location was known as Take Kārara by Ngāi Tahu back in the early 1800s.

When it came to designing their new school logo I discovered the word "reflection" as the key to unlocking how it would look. 

Three unique things about Te Kura O Take Kārara would end up defining the direction of their logo - the name, the lake and the surrounding mountains.

It was called Take Kārara by the Ngāi Tahu people back in the early 1800s. During the summer months they would stop and stay for a while, hunt local wildlife, before climbing the mountains above the Haast River in search of pounamu. Their connection with the area ended abruptly around 1836.

The area showcases some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. The surrounding mountains rise above Lake Wanaka and are then 'reflected' back upon themselves. Images of the iconic Wanaka Tree highlight the beauty of the lake and its transcendental like qualities. I decided to use these features as a way of telling a story about what the new school represents.


Lake Wanaka Township

Meaning Behind the Logo 

There are three mountain shapes represented in the logo symbol. The largest (central) is symbolic of the Te Kura O Take Kārara student. Supporting them, on both sides, are two smaller mountain shapes that represent staff and whānau.


The mountains in green are 'reflected', in blue, on the water below. This reflection honours the special importance Take Kārara holds to the Ngāi Tahu people as an historic meeting place. The logo symbolises a new beginning for this location as a meeting place of learning and sharing of knowledge and ideas. Students direct their learning while being supported by the school and their whānau.


The motto "Navigating Pathways of Learning" is symbolised by the Mangapore pattern running through the junction between the mountains and their reflection in the water. It is not only a symbol of strength, leadership, determination and courage but also symbolic of wealth.

Te Kura O Take Kārara is in an unique location - a scenic wonderland surrounded by a ‘wealth’ of natural beauty that students will draw upon for personal growth as well as explore as part of their learning.

Te Kura O Take Kārara School Branding Wanaka New Zealand

Te Kura O Take Kārara Mock-up


School Hall Signage and Flag

Ethos Diagram & Learning Framework


Ethos Diagram


Deep Learning Framework

From the Principal - Jodie Howard

Jodie Howard Te Kura O Take Karara

Craig was recommended to us by another new school that had just opened. When we explored Craig's website, we really enjoyed reading other school's stories and the experience and service Craig provided.

Our face to face meeting with Craig was very valuable as he was genuinely interested in finding out about us and our story behind the development of our new school. There were many aspects that we wanted represented and valued in our logo design and the challenge was to make that all happen but to still make it look cohesive. Craig achieved exactly that.  

Craig is passionate about what he does and he ensured he would do the best for us. He listened carefully and we felt he cared about us as clients. As the logo has such significance, Craig's pride in his work ensured he would get the best possible representation for us. Craig was very good at consulting with us along the way and kept us up to date right the way through the whole process.

We just love our logo. We are so very proud of it and feel Craig 'got it so right!'


Jodie Howard
Tumuaki / Principal
Te Kura O Take Kārara, Wanaka

Interested in more new school build or rebuild examples?  Follow the link HERE to the "New Builds / Rebuilds" page on my website. I will be updating that page with new examples, and links to case studies, as they come to hand.


Are you building a new school or in the middle of a rebuild?

I'd love to work with you in developing an exciting new brand image for your school. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about the process and planning.

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