Finally here … a logo for me and my All Lines Are Beautiful freelance design company. I used the last week of the Art Challenge to get to this point and to show there, my process and my thinking. All other art that I love I’ll use in other creative endeavors … For now, just loving that I can update my website, and start using this as part of my world.
An important shift happened with the name of my logo / personal brand … It suddenly dawned on me that it’s important language and Intention wise not to use the word “not”. I have come to learn from experience that the wise ones are right when we spend out lives saying or believing things like “I don’t want to work for another bully”, you will actually end up working for another bully. The word “don’t” evaporates and the universe only hears “I want to work for another bully”. The fact that the Universe / God doesn’t hear the word “not” is not has woo-woo as it sounds. In our deepest held beliefs, we set out in the world just kind of finding whatever it takes to affirm, confirm, validate those beliefs, through a series of small steps - reading, living, talking, feeling, what we watch on tv … Every tiny decision - even subconscious - is an action step … An action step in creating the thing.
So that’s why setting Intentions is so important. Intentions of values - like for example I value trust and good teamwork, what is good teamwork, etc. So that your whole being can encompass that Value - and intention.
This title I had for my logo, nothing happens in a straight line, was first said to me by my life coach and I don’t know why it felt so revolutionary to me at that time. Now, I just think DUH, of course. I also wasn’t aware of exactly how much I pinned myself TO that straight line … I always thought I was such a free spirit. But then when my life started going into more layers of design, I always looked back at the straight line.
Anyway, the point is, I wanted to get the “negative” out of the words “Nothing Happens in a Straight Line.” Nothing may not be negative to you, but I see the word “not” in it and it bugs me.
all lines are beautiful feels more open to me, not to mention there are 3 a’s and 3 e’s, which connect to my first name.
It’s also to pointedly choose a Positive. All = is encompassing, Nothing = excludes or negates. Straight line = is ONE line, “lines are beautiful” = are many lines. Positive positive positive.
all lines are beautiful
The shape of the line in the logo somehow has to convey a journey …. Motion …
For my logo, the icon has to be an icon but you still have to see the motion of the line.
What I love about this idea as a brand is that there are LIMITLESS kinds of lines. And there are limitless kinds of humans, we are all on some kind of path, and ….. each line and path is beautiful.
And, each line design shape can be used as an art element to design into a person, a story, or a blog.
It has to be abstract because I don’t want one line shape to “win” or be perceived as “better”.
This morning I listened to three of the women whose voices I so respect and admire. Oprah, Ellen & RGB.
Oprah and her profound SuperSoul Sunday conversations, she has an uncanny ability to bring to the world deep spiritual ideas and break them down to mainstream. She’s such a beautiful spiritual translator.
“Do the work you want to see.” - Oprah
Ellen Degeneres becoming more profound in her work, slipping in introductory sentences like this one before Ellen interviews a woman who pushes past her incredible pain to be all that she can be. This is Ellen encouraging us to talk about our inner process:
“The more people talk about anything that people are scared to talk about it’s good for all of us.” - Ellen DeGeneres.
And RBG, saying do something outside of yourself, if the law isn’t a tremendous opportunity for Voice and Change.
“If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside of yourself. Something to repair the tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is - living not for oneself, but for one’s community.” - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I’ve always heard different versions of these messages but somehow today, hearing all three within an hour, it helps me understand more about my logo path. It’s not enough for me to just be a designer, earn money, and “give” to my employer and clients like before. I also want to contribute to the need to dispel Pink Elephants in the room. That being real, transparent and trustworthy about our inner processes - including the messes - mean everything to me. I want to see more of this.
Also hugely important, I realize, that my focus up until now has been about how my life path has not been a straight line (NothingHappensInAStraightLine) and kind of wishing that I had the easier straight line path. But it’s literally today that I learned that my focus has been wrong. It’s not about whether my life is straight or curved. The point of the messy-line-life is not that it’s a disaster, it’s that the disaster is beautiful.
Maybe it’s not even an exaggeration to announce that today, January 13th, 2019, is the day that I felt the inner shift. I love my life. Exactly how it is. I see and feel and live bigger things that add eternal value not just to me but you too. (And it’s funny, EVERY TIME I have an inner shift like this, the soundtrack music I listen to matches it, the fight of the music resolves into a harmonic peaceful chord, how weird. How not weird.)
And that is the heart of it all for me. My core happiness is not just designing, although that will always be fun for me. I want to be in this Arena and contribute to the dispelling of universal fears, that there is no right path. If I want to see more courage and vulnerability in the world, I have to be it first.
Being a designer is safe for me. It just comes, clients love it, I get paid, I go shopping, repeat. Love. Being a Blogger is not safe. RGB says to “do something outside of yourself.” This couldn't be more outside of myself.
And yet I know more of this kind of vulnerability has to come in the world, it’s the only time when I experience people being happiest. When those moments of being real, connected, authentic, courageous and vulnerable HAPPEN.
So here’s more of to the sketch work of my logo:
Posting in my Logo page: some of my truth, a piece of my brand, for love of my life, my messy beautiful life ...
As my life continues to be, The (Actual) Art Piece, there is just no use in rushing it the creative pieces or awareness or lessons learned that are connected to the process. Things come as they come and I have to accept that. The most amazing thing happened recently. I was the given the wonderful gift of being completely furious at someone. One of those negative emotions we are never taught to have. Love is supposed to be all the positives, and so is happiness, and living. God, can we change that? It doesn’t matter what happened really, the lesson is in the trigger. So as I’ve been pondering and pondering what do do, how to figure it out, I suddenly realized with absolute clarity that I believe in the emotional mess of human life. And I feel lucky. The messy getting down to the bottom of something, with us humans trying to understand each other. I love that mess, and also I know I would have been challenged with my belief if I had had children … So we find other people to belong to … That mess is not unfamiliar to me since designing doesn’t pop out perfect for me, and I’ve always from the first time I designed something just trusted that process. Where did I learn that trust? That was a bliss thing to discover about myself.
And so it makes sense to me in now, why this life of Nothing Happens In A Straight Line, and me both learning and having a kind of trust into my future. This strange and beautiful life of mine, which I seem to be designing. I’m being aligned, some would use that word, from my core function out into the world. That makes sense now. The Beauty in that is not just calling it all beautiful, which I do, but making it all beautiful. Not perfect, but with flow. Maybe with edges, but still with flow. Working in the valleys and the hills. And I think key, is not shutting down or hiding. I just BELIEVE in a certain depth of being. Spiritual awakening and Love is messy and full bodied and I am 100% committed to it.
It’s funny - people have tried to control me and my particular kind of authenticity before and it’s always a disaster. Specifically, asking me to be a certain level of fake, wow, I mean it’s 2019. I’m so ready for a more authentic world …. And watching people be less authentic than they really are, well, I feel that. It’s also none of my business.
Hilarious generalization here, but generally true, how tired I am of every (!) else speaking the truth or living from the heart or speaking from their heart, at funerals. I’ve been to too many funerals, and I’ve lost too many friends way before their time. I have family members who are struggling with big health things now and the usual “o we are fine, just a cold.'“ The beauty, is, in, the mess. Just picture yourself at the funeral and what you would say or feel or think and say then. That’s what I want now, and I’m sorry, but I’m going to push for it. The point IS the mistakes. Mess and hurdles and shadows and lines that seem to have no light at the end of them … It all is beautiful stuff to work with. Never, never, never shallow perfection or shutting down and hiding.
Meanwhile back to the drawing board. To my life then, not yours. To picturing what I would say at your funeral and saying it now. To learning Surrendering and not controlling how much you are authentic. To harnessing my anger energy into something productive. To harnessing anger, which really deep down, is love. VERY active love. To my showing up, through it all.
With love, xo
Continuing my personal brand idea that Nothing Happens in a Straight Line …. In creating a logo for myself as a designer, and a logo for this website. The Mark has to incorporate all of who I am, my sense of aesthetics, and also that my life has not been a super convenient perfect straight line, with easy destination points. The Mark has to convey partly that my life is an art project, that there are many creative parts of me … I walked off the grid without really intending too, but now that I did it, I realize just how much more I see about myself and how I fit into the world in a more authentic way.
The main idea around Nothing Happens in a Straight Line is that the curves and wayward lines are also beautiful … That when it comes right down to it, every line and curve is beautiful, every part of life is beautiful, if we find the lesson and gift in each movement of life …
What I see in this first sketch is the motion and movement of the pencil starting as a line - straight - and then going off path. I thought of incorporating arrows to indicate direction but arrows are annoying - they suggest a “should” - and that’s precisely what life is not, when one follows an intuitive creative life … Free form is what it means to live off a grid, outside of traditional structures …
The first sketch is a little too clean and perfectly circular, I’d like to get away from any sort of perfection. I’d love to arrive at the point of the imperfection is beautiful. I will need the Mark to match my life. The mess of this mark will be beautiful …
And then to simplify it visually.
Names …. Is www.NothingHappensInAStraightLine.com be too long of a URL?
I also like the idea visually that lines are actually circles, that lines and circles come from the same place … the morphing of a line becoming something more.
Animated the line could morph into many playful shapes until becoming the final Mark …
Here are some first ideas, plus some play with shapes and color, even if ultimately I’ll land at 1 or 2.
And in order to be this thorough, a lot of deep percolating and holding things steadily in my consciousness while all my daily tasks and chores take priority ...
Thank you K for sending me in one of my favorite things - a personality test ... Thank you for joining me with this kind of self awareness work, it's so connecting for all of us. I was struck by the logo for 16 Personalities and the gorgeous icon artwork. Am inspired that good art can apply to everything, if it is valued as a group ... How great that has felt in my life and that's part of my greater alignment work as a designer ...
It arrived! "401 design meditations" by Catharine Fishel. Her opening to the book is splendid, as is (almost) every one of the 401 quotes. My virtual tribe ... Fabulous inspiration for me to hear what other designers experience in their process, and how they see our field ...
Here are a few:
Form follows feeling.
David Turner, Principal, Turner Duckworth
Design that moves others, comes from issues that move you.
Jennifer Morla, Principal, Morla Design
Design is like life: It is an ongoing process of development and discovery.
Thomas Vasquez, Principal, Cyclops
Helvetica. To look further is vain.
The best design tool is a long eraser with a pencil at one end.
Marty Neumeier, Neutron LCC
If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
Marc Chagall, French painter
In this uncommon age of having personal brands that have are not commercially oriented, these last days I've become more clear on the purpose of my brand ...
The pieces of my site - blog, political icons work, Tribe app do create a whole - and it's my concern for our society and ways that I am showing up to create positive change. I believe strongly that Connection, connecting and being real and open with each other is the key to making this world a better place.
My brand is to send these ideas out into the world as a Value. It's a kind of a vision of how I would want the world to be in the future, but I can start now.
My website works in progress are a personal ane creative challenge, to "be in" the things that are unfolding and develop artwork around them.
In creating connection and things that connect, we are erasing depression, anxiety, and is better than any kind of medicating. It encourages inspiration and creativity, and a large-hearted version of ourselves. Part of my Anne brand is to dislodge the shame culture we live in - ie, comparing ourselves to seemingly more perfect lives and how we encourage perfection over being real, strength and winning as ideal models of 'being', over vulnerability and other true things.
I believe this has value for a greater good, not just 'for me', or my own ego gratification. I am digging deep to design a logo that is all of who I am, not just a designer, but also my contribution towards making the world a better place by writing about my spiritual journey, to encourage others in theirs. I get tired of always hearing the Real stuff at funerals, when people usually finally have the courage to open up, be real, be true.
My blog is for voice and authenticity, and to bring that out into the world more as a value.
My icon illustrations page is for my political and philosophical voice, a piece of social commentary.
The Tribe app that I developed for a UXD class is also about similar connecting and inspiration. Its core concept is to connect people in a real way, to counter the studies that show a negative impact of social media into society. This is an app that creates connection and inspiration, in this digital world where there is very little of that in a "real" way. It was thrilling to hear about Sebastian Junger's book TRIBE appear two months after I finished this app, because it's the same concept on social commentary.
Thank god for our left brains. I'm being a tiny bit sarcastic, but mostly it's honesty. This logo I'm designing for myself isn't just any logo, it's connected to an Anne Brand, which is something I'm developing as I live it. And not really something I set out originally to do .... It just happened. I couldn't for the life of me step back enough to do the creative work, and today I figured out why.
Brands used to be for companies - new businesses - establishing themselves in the commercial world. Now individual people have Brands, although usually it's still business related. Candace, I'm sure that someday I'll connect with you and your Brand & Voice business, but for now I want to stick it out with my tiny and strong intuition, using what I know and what I am pushing to know/learn.
The Northern German super efficient side of me feels relief to realize my solution will be to use the left brained process of working out a corporate identity, the steps of this ... YES.
Here's my to-list. Since I love homework assignments and deadlines, this list is fabulous. This creates a balance between left and right brain thinking / feeling things out ...
As a single art piece, I love this logo. For me personally I love the colors, the hues, the simple shapes and that it's abstract. I never - or rarely - get to design just for me so this logo page is a fabulous opportunity to explore ...
The CJM logo connects to the building, and so I'm curious about the whole brand story ... Was the building design created the same time as the logo? Was the logo developed after the building ... What are the stories behind both ...
This is why I love commercial art, it's a chance to wrap so many stories into a tiny symbol ...
Why this new page? Here it is - a new page and blog on my website expressly for my logo-in-progress. I got to thinking about how we go down with our fears, and the whole spiritual conversation about fears and emotions ... With design, I have somehow been lucky enough to learn ages ago to test out my design abilities within challenging settings, say yes anyway, push though and discover that I am fearless. (I LOVE that line in "Julie and Julia" when Julia Child says her cooking classmates say that she was fearless with killing a lobster, which she learned about the same time that they did.)
I have learned and always been proud of my intuitive ability to trust that process and to be successful with it. It's how I knew I was in the right profession. It's hugely funny to me now that I'm learning how to trust this process in almost - yes! - every other part of my life. And with my own logo. But since I always wanted to live whole heartedly this is one of those growth opportunities.
Part of my inspiration just for the sake of my own internal inspiration - and not within any external context - is finding abstract modern artwork like this piece :: love love love love.
So here's to this Blog-page. Facing a new fear, because this puts a kind of pressure on me. A pressure that I LIKE. I usually like. I have liked before. I have never designed in public before, but then there really is not much of a difference between this and designing for clients. The difference here is that this logo is this new Anne Brand. This new me who I am becoming as I inch my way into that full manifestation ...
Voice and color, vulnerability and strength, fear and courage, perfection and imperfection, mistakes and growth opportunities, trying not to care and caring deeply ... and the one that I'm constantly trying to unearth, my goddamn sense of humor. I had it today for about 3 minutes. It was progress.
"Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see." —Paul Klee. (Swiss painter, graphic artist, and art theorist.) The perfect quote for logo design, and what makes a good logo a good logo.
Looking at logos is good research but it's also something I feel like I should do five minutes a day just for inspiration, like looking at gardens. This random batch that I found - including from print express.co.uk - grab me on many layers, the first layer is visual. Another layer is noticing typographical logo design which seems particularly ingenious. Colors are great but since when does it work to have a logo include transparency? I've always loved abstract logos, but would need to hear more of the story / meaning behind some of these. The ones that grab me completely are the logos which include all layers - shape, color, form, a double meaning in conjunction with the text. Gallop Green's natural looking leafs is just a a fabulous combination of nature and this commercial world. Love seeing Paul Rand's first IBM logo - that fabulous design exhibit was at the sfmoma. :) Having designed some tree based logos, I know that this GroundWork logo is probably one leaf away from looking dorky and clunky, and this designer pulled it off into it's elegant final shape. Of course it would also be great to read about the process of the designers, what the company looked for, what the company's culture and voice was like. Love finding more of Tom Geismar's PBS logo artwork.
I'm moving this from my Inspiration page although it is Inspiration too, onto this my new My Logo blog. That post is part of this story ....
Thank you Tony for sending this as a source of inspiration for my logo design-in-progress. I love listening to Tom Geismar's thought process, it absolutely resonates with me, which feels harmonic. This liquid universal process that is being a graphic designer. What good company, in this moment. Really great to see the process sketches for PBS, too ... Fabulously intelligent questions asked ... My absolutely favorite is Tom Geismar's push for the abstract mark for Chase, in 1961 it was the first of it's kind. A kind of standing alone, yes, to create modern design over conventional art. Here, the audio interview of this design journalism.
My project is to Rebrand Anne to be all of who I am, and to be more Real in the process. The phrase Nothing happens in a straight line, especially not life came from a friend of mine and I loved it so much that I knew I wanted to transform it into my logo. Having always been a lover of perfect straight lines, the idea behind this sketch is that there are, actually, no rules, which a straight line could symbolize. This squiggle shows that there is beauty in the mess. That forming our lives into what we want is different than controlling them. And as I work with it, it will become my live art-metaphor, of shaping a mess into a thing of beauty. I'll use this art in all it's stages as my logo. Here is my beginning.
Design wise, I'll add that what I see with these two squiggles is that not all squiggles are equal. Funny, I like my first one better. Sometimes it just happens. But you do have to go through the steps to learn along the way.