A touch screen experience telling the story of the M.V. Matua for the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
As a vital link between Auckland and the Pacific Islands for many years, the story of the M.V. Matua is a story about an earlier New Zealand. To share this with modern museum-goers we were asked to create a nostalgic touchscreen narrative that explored the passengers and journeys of this iconic ship.
In a richly animated interface reminiscent of travel artwork of the time, users were able to delve into an evocative collection of interviews, animated scenes, photography and other ephemera. What emerges from the various treasures is a sense of the ship and what she meant to those she visited and those that used her for travel and trade.
Our priorities in bringing it all to life were to use the romance and possibilities she presented. Carefully stylised illustration, movements and animations captured a feeling of the serenity and idealism of sea travel, while the period photography brims with authenticity and life.
In carefully curating a mix of media elements we were able to evoke a more rounded sense of the ship and her impact.
Informed by period travel artwork, we used a simplified palette and style to create the dreamlike serenity associated with ocean cruising in the past.
Adding emotional humanity to the piece were some key interviews with former passengers.
By exploring the routes the M.V. Matua took, viewers understood the nature of the connections she made in a world that felt much bigger.
To visually bring the golden-age of cruise liners to life we used a sleek-nostalgic illustrative style but informed it with a distinctly Pacific twist.
While the style is effortlessly romantic, it was important to nod to the realities in the stories. So where relevant we depicted the human dramas, everyday life at that time and what it was like to suddenly come into contact with the great ship.