November 2021

Tree Syrup Aotearoa

Brand Identity
Website Design & Development
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Matt Wilson

University of Canterbury

Christchurch, New Zealand
brand strategy

The potential returns from a New Zealand (NZ) tree syrup industry could exceed ten times the returns of harvested radiata pine. However, the current uncertainties about tree sap yield are a risk that could limit investment.

The Tree Syrup Project will produce a world leading understanding of sap exudation phenomena by creating the only sap exudation model based on direct observations. This model will be used to de-risk the establishment of a new-to-NZ tree syrup industry, an industry that could produce $60 million/year in export revenues, while creating permanent and seasonal employment opportunities in NZ’s provinces.

Brand Definition

The Tree Syrup Project is the only research opportunity that uses innovative technology for landowners keen to diversify in New Zealand who want to produce a high-value export in an era of sustainable farming and niche artisan products.


The Tree Syrup Project wants to openly welcome everyone who wishes to get involved in this exciting opportunity. Discovered knowledge will be a very valuable asset in helping them invest in not only their own prosperity but that of New Zealand as a whole.

As this is a completely new challenge that is unique to New Zealand, the journey of learning, discovery, success and failure needs to be celebrated and promoted.

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Design Brief

Mixing of innovation with technology. Supporting local (New Zealand) landowners to challenge an international monopoly with knowledge and science. Fun but serious, having a go at achieving sustainable benefits for New Zealand. Accessible and welcoming to young landowners.


Natural colours that reflect the main elements in the project (greens, browns, ambers). Blacks and red.

Visual Reference

A connection to the natural New Zealand and Maori symbolism is a strong consideration. Maori symbolism will be more prominent if a Maori name is used as the brand name. A homegrown feel and connection to elements that are symbolic of the projects focus (leaves, earth, trees etc). Silver fern and kiwi icons.

Concept Generation
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Final Design

Trees and leafs are symbolically visualised within the texture and shape of the logo symbol. The internal texture represents the famous silver fern logo that is commonly used to represent New Zealand, and more famously, the All Blacks.

The outer symbol shape is symbolic of a drop of sap and a droplet of syrup.

Keeping the natural brown colour for the tree shape draws attention to the logo symbol without being overly intense.

Clear water

A light grey (20% Black) aligns  with the actual syrup colour. Blue is more symbolic of large bodies of water whereas the light grey is closer to the actual colour of the tree syrup.

Gazpacho Bold is the foundation for the logotype. It has a modern friendly feel with soft rounded serifs that can also be seen as sap droplets.

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Project Gallery

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