In most attempts at Maori typeface design, designers have chosen to digitally revive painted and carved Maori type, or they have simply transposed Maori forms, such as the koru, onto alphabet characters. In contrast to these approaches, Whakarare is built from the ground up with the focus being on the creation of wholly new forms. Thus, while referencing Maori aesthetics and studies of Maori typographic preferences, each letter was created from hand-drawn originals. Maori typographic preferences seen in Whakarare include the use of high contrast between strokes, an emphasis on the vertical stress, and the use of an irregularly high x-height. The use of macrons to indicate long-vowels was also an important aspect of the typeface.
The Whakarare typeface will be available for download and purchase in early 2014.