North American Plant Collections Consortium Identity

Excited to be working with the NAPCC on a new identity system and accompanying brochure.
The North American Plant Collections Consortium is a network of botanical gardens and arboreta working to coordinate a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation, and to promote high standards of plant collections management.

Here is the new logotype ...

The Wren

I came across a simple text-post that a friend placed on their FB page. It stuck with me for days, I was washing the dishes and it came to me again ... very Zen, that Wren. I have a typeface built by the Interview Magazine and Harper's Bazaar creative, Fabian Baron. I wanted to try out the face, so I put this together in a flash. Oh yeah, I put a bird on it, too.

The Gift

 

The Present Moment from Wikipedia:

Buddhism and many of its associated paradigms emphasize the importance of living in the present moment — being fully aware of what is happening, and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.This does not mean that they encourage hedonism, but merely that constant focus on one's current position in space and time (rather than future considerations, or past reminiscence) will aid one in relieving suffering. They teach that those who live in the present moment are the happiest. A number of meditative techniques aim to help the practiser live in the present moment.

West Chester Story Slam Poster Series

The West Chester Story Slam, a monthly real-life-storytelling competition held at Ryan's Pub in West Chester, PA, just released the 2011 schedule. I am honored to work with Jim Breslin, founder of the slam to develop a series of 12 posters focusing on each theme of the month. Here, the January poster I completed, focuses on the theme of "New Beginnings". Kudos to Jim for putting this together, it is the second year of the Slam. I heard a few stories at the close of the 2010 Season, all were unbelievably, sad, funny, disturbing, awkward, and very fun. Robert Williams wins the 2010 slam with a great tale of "ahhhhr" in the "tahrrr".

The Authentic Aesthetic

The iPhone has a app for the camera feature, called the Hipstimatic. If faithfully reproduces the mistake-laden exposures produced by flimsy plastic cameras from the past. As most of us know, film is dead, but with tools like the Hipstimatic ... "Long live film!".The Vintage Video Maker for the iPhone is another tool, it provides the scratch and dent quality seen on the old super 8 and 16mm film. There are a slew of other products on the market that entice us to travel backwards to look so ever forward. Take for example the Olympus PEN camera, have you seen this old-fashioned styled stop motion video? Stop motion is so old school cool, just like the design of the camera ... hipster approved.

So, why do we desire to place our digital pictures into this analog time machine to produce such a gritty, over-exposed, "authentic" look and feel? What is it about these brilliant mistakes? Why do we choose to get grit right ... "flaw perfection"? Is it a desire to create warmth, soul, chance, personality?

Hmmm. On one hand, these tools are simple and inexpensive methods to create pure style, set a mood and express post-modern irony. Nothing too complicated about that. But on the other hand and under the surface, I think our desire to "make it look old school" is a reflection of our anxiety about the future. Apparently, only the past can provide comfort food, and in this post modern age, we are hungry for mom's cookin'. Take a look at Steampunk, Make Magazine, Etsy, Yarnbombing as examples.

I am not a Cultural Anthropologist, but I do believe that the influence of instant information and the power of technology to create great anxiety triggers this desire to create something "authentic-looking" It helps us re-create a less-cluttered past. Cultural comfort food for a hungry, possibly unsure people.

Everything that is new is old again.

 

Mr W.

This brilliant ad for Epouron is probably one of the most creative/clever ads I have seen as of late. It was created by the world renown German agency Nordpol Hamburg back in 2007. Enjoy ...

 

Happy Accidents

I was typing an email to a client today using my hunt-and-peck method. Typing this way often results in the strangest characters finding their way into the text. In the world of instant spell-check, it does not force me to change my habits. I was typing the word "together" when a plus symbol decided it has been neglected in a big way over the years, and popped up between the letter "e" and "t".

I call this a happy accident...or the genius mind operating under the keyboard. I stopped and looked at the mistake and saw the potential for the mistake to have meaning and decided to take 5 minutes to create the logotype above.

As a creative, I often see relationships between unrelated objects, ideas words and visuals. Some of the most successful design projects that I have created were a result of keeping an open mind and not trying too hard. I was a bit inspired with the accidental relationship between the word "together" and the + symbol.

The logotype could use some work, better kerning, maybe a more thoughtful placement of the +. And possibly a home. The logotype was set in Brauer Neu.

My crazy typing method goes to show that the unintended can have great consequences, we must be relaxed and open enough to allow all possibilities to be visible to us, even when we are not looking.

Lemonade

This short film reminds us that we have the gift of choice when it comes to the most difficult times in our professional lives. "It's not a pink slip, it's a blank page".

I recall actually getting my "dream agency job" years ago. I was laid-off with seven others after only six short months, it was very difficult, but it toughened me up a bit, and and allowed me to spend many months with my newborn son. I would not change it if I could. The bank account took a beating, but those moments with my wife and son were priceless. This film address the current state of several, laid-off individuals who recognized there was a deeper, more enriching life waiting for them. Imagine if all the pink-slippers that walk amongst our family and friends actually made the choice to do what they loved and were passionate about? I know there are mouths to feed ... but as the old adage goes, do what you love and the money will follow. This film is 30 minutes long, please pass it on to all of your friends and family who are right at the cusp of doing the great, fulfilling things they were meant to do. Oh, and if they just got a pink slip, you may want to wait a while.