Kotahitanga Pin

  • 2021

  • Communication
    Branding and Identity

Designed By:

  • Stephen McCarthy
  • Scott Bolton

Commissioned By:

Stephen McCarthy, Scott Bolton

Designed In:

New Zealand

In March 2019 what began as a normal Friday, ended as a day that no New Zealander would ever forget. The terrible mosque shootings in Christchurch, Ōtautahi New Zealand left over 50 people killed and a city in disbelief. How could design unite and create solidarity and hope?

  • MORE
  • How could we use design for good? Could we create something that could help raise funds for those affected. Tactile objects were something we'd done in the past and pins seemed like an ideal item for people to keep and wear. Could a simple emblem unite and create solidarity and hope?

  • On the Friday night of the attack we started sketching ideas and by Saturday morning a loose design of an intertwined heart had emerged. We felt the design needed to be simple with a strong sense of unity, and be universal enough to resonate with not just with the Muslim community, but all of Aotearoa. We consulted with Ngai Tahu, asking for permission to use the word Kotahitanga for the design, and by Monday morning we had created an ecommerce website and placed a small order of our metal gold and black wearable reminders - The Kotahitanga Pin.

  • The impact of the pin took on a life of its own. Schoolkids made human sculptures on playing fields. A 70 year-old man who hadn't had a tattoo in his life, had it tattooed on his arm. The symbol was painted on stones for strangers to find and adorned 2 front covers for nationwide magazines and was seen lanyards at supermarkets, nurses uniforms at hospitals and on school backpacks across the country. Exceeded our expectations, it raised over $110,000 for Victim Support New Zealand with all proceeds going to those directly affected.

  • Creating something tangible rather then a digital response was important. The physical pin acts as a longer lasting tool to create conversations well into the future