This morning my good friend from the squarehead kids introduced me to our new state slogan.....
Before I talk to its effectiveness, keep in mind I have no idea who made this, no idea how many "committee members" were involved in forcing hands and I most likely know what it's like to be in this designers shoes. Sometimes the designer has little say in the project's outcome (with a project this big, that fact needs to change) .... I also don't know the goal of the project which could affect my view on this piece. I don't know how much effort and time they spent trying their best to make this work. There are a few variables that could make this write up completely moot. But I have to say something.
I think North Dakota NEEDS a better mark than this to bring people here. I do however, understand it is a finished logo and not needed of any critique. All we can really do is learn from it and move on. so let's dig in.
being a designer is sometimes tough and in the words of my friend, "I really think this was not designed by a designer" but designed by a committee of untrained eyes.
What happened? Why did we go so sterile?
BREAKING DOWN THE MARKS
Our old Legendary logo had its problems I'm sure, but I never thought it was bad. It was working hard and well for the last 15 years, so I could see why we might need/want an update. I think this mark had a lot going for it. It told the outsider "adventure on the prairie!" which may or may not be true for a resident, but for an onlooker, it meant they could go ride horse, camp, mountain bike and just be away from all the noise of the city. At the least, it had energy and was a unique mark that won awards. (note: Awards don't REALLY matter, but it's worth saying at this moment)
"Legendary" was designed by one of North Dakota's most loved and known designers,
Mike Bruner. A designer I looked up to for as long as I can remember. If you look him up you will notice his work is anything but boring and unnoticeable. It is clean, unique and playful. In my mind, our first mistake was when we chose not to have this powerhouse designer revamp the mark... but I understand politics, pricing, and everything that goes into choosing the right designer/design firm. I just wanna list some local designers who could have done a really good job:
I don't even know all the designers in the area, but the point is, did we look at options in the freelance world? some of these kids are killing it hard.
I don't think this logo was done by any of these in the list but why? Why are the people on this list not working on things as important as - bringing tourists to our beautiful state? what I think happened is, we went with a design firm. I can 100% understand. This was very important to get right so you need to hire qualified people. Branding a state usually requires a few hands on deck, but maybe design firms need to outsource stuff like this, to specialized people.... not for everything of course, but for things that will perpetually make money for North Dakota for 15 years.... We should hire the best we can afford. I see the branding of North Dakota as an investment in our future. right now, I'm a little worried.
I think this is different than UND's mascot, or other "surprising" changes that happen every day. Change is good. When something is redesigned weather it be a logo, a brand, a refesh in style, it is completely normal to feel disconnected or even not like the new work, at least for a little while. Pepsi's logo looked uncomfortable at first, Instagram's new logo looked too simple at first. but they were designed well and they have worked their way into our daily life just fine. It worked because these marks were unique and DESIGNED to work.
our new mark seems to lack uniqueness and Design function. It doesn't need a critique but unless I missed something, we need a better mark to represent North Dakota.
- Ben Brick
Branding is at the base of almost everything you're creating, weather your starting a business or writing the great American novel. you're brand is the reputation of that new creation. It is paramount to get it right, this alone will get you the right client and the right client makes all the difference.
On June 9th I will be doing a walkthrough on How to brand yourself or your creation and how to find the clients you need
Join me for a branding workshop June 9th a Co-studio, here in Bismarck, North Dakota
I think tickets are about $20 bucks. So get your little arrow over there and sign up!
Weeks before Christmas my cheap pacific arc compass decided it was tired and stopped following its threads (didn't even know that happened but basically, it wouldn't keep its radius any longer). This might be cool if I was just dicking around drawing on the back side of my math homework... but damn, I'm a professional here... gotta shape up. I immediately began googling and spent roughly one and a half hours going down the Compass hole on the internet. Needless to say. I found the best one it had to offer that day.
The last few weeks have been insane. Planning a bangin 30th birthday, working with amazing people, and starting up some personal projects. I have spent no time bringing in great content for you. Sometimes I just need to buckle down and get stuff done.
Finally I'm back in full force! I have opened myself up to continue on some important personal projects. Follow along on my newsletter in the footer.
Don't get me wrong here... I love challenges. It's absolutely essential for getting better at stuff but I gotta say.. I HATE drawing flowers.
There is so much going on with bouquets that its hard to figure out what the heck is even going on with 'em.
Today I bucked up.. Sometimes a man's just gotta draw some flowers.
Hand lettering pieces are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make. Just signed on to help Mabelle create a bunch of greeting cards.
Can't wait to show them all off!
People think they know you by what you wear, how you speak, and how you carry yourself. That's the way it is.
When we judge someone's appearance we could be right and we could be wrong. These quick decisions are blamed on us and looked down on, but why? shouldn't it be just as important to dress for your personality? I mean if you dress in sweat pants and a stained shirt and you want to be my life coach... I am not hiring you... I don't care how nice you could be, you had no respect for our meeting. If you want to have lots of friends and you have a face tattoo, you're insane. a face tattoo is a clear warning to me that you have no interest in being friendly. Dress yourself the way you want to be treated, and others will get you right more often.
Some of you might think - "I don't want judgmental friends anyway,"
but that's ridiculous. You wouldn't fart on a first date and you wouldn't build a haunted house only to put a daycare in it. Impressions are important to others and you should respect that every human judges out of instinct.... it has little to do with the depth of a person. It's just the way we work.
Instead of sitting around waiting for others to figure out who you are, take control of it. project who you are and make it easy for people. Complaining that others judge you incorrectly is a waste of time and should not be as common as it is. You control how others perceive you.
***I do understand there are racists, sexists and so on - Thats not what I'm talking about.
Billy was born with a Mustache. Instead of trimming it off his parents let the mustache tell the world who he was. Even worse Billy lets his mustache tell himself who he was. At first, he has a "good guy mustache" and he becomes good. but it all changes when his mustache grows a curl... It changes others perception of him as well as his own, and he becomes a different person completely.
I found it quite sad that everyone judged poor billy just by looking at his mustache, but the truth of the matter is, he could have fixed this entire problem by shaving the sucker off.
The book is great for kids, great illustrations and fun story. If you are looking for a great underlining theme or lesson. this might not be the book for you. I didn't get anything from this book aside from the humor of seeing a baby with a mustache. Kids will love it. its funny and cute but it has little for adults to grab onto.
Post first published in my personal newsletter
© 2016 Mabelle Photography
Did you know you have a talent that is more developed than any of your friends? You can do something that nobody else around you can. The trick is, knowing what that is.
When most people travel they look for the main sites, the places they see in magazines and photographs. This isn't really reaching the potential of travel.
you are seeing new things and developing new stories. But these experiences are the same as so many others before you. Instead look for the nooks and crannys, This is where great stories come from.
One of the best things we did in Brno was act like we belonged there. I know we still stuck out like a thumb but I think it is important to curb that as much as possible.
When you travel, submerge yourself in the local culture, try your best to avoid the "hot spots" and find something only the locals know about.
Locals like to keep the good stuff to themselves, but show a little bit of interest and they will most likely send you somewhere you would have never thought to look... And that's where good stories begin.
Post first published in my personal newsletter
© 2016 Mabelle Photography
I didn't have many friends as a kid, which isn't a complaint. I had enough fun alone at 6am, television full volume, and stuffed bear in hand to keep me busy. The day had begun.
My bear and I were cowboys, ninjas, or any other thing you would think of. Other kids were not needed for such play, no, no... We worked alone. I don't know what I would have done if I lost my imaginary friend. I believe if I had, I would have gone to the very edge of the galaxy to find him.
Creativity is hard to hold on to
This behavior is rarely encouraged. We are taught to be efficient and productive. (which has its place, but I talk about that all the time) In turn we build routines and comfort which leaves us to lose our creativity.
If we break routines, we see new things. If we become uncomfortable, we learn and grow and if we are creative we can do anything we put our minds to. These all seem like very important things and they are.
We instinctively learn how to Imagine as children and try our best to hold on to it all the way through life. As an adult it is hard to remember what it is like to race through space to save a friend. "Harry and Horsie" reminds us of who we were when we were when everything wasn't so complicated. It's an exciting action adventure of a boy who can not sleep and ends up flying through space to save his best friend. The art backs the story perfectly with an 80's/90's comic mixed with modern character design. This is THE BOOK that started my love for children's books and got me on the path of creating my own. I strongly recommend it for anyone!
Designer & Illustrator