Sunday, November 16, 2008

Branding and Fireflies

I have been working with Nina Baldwin and Paula Scott to apply a new logo to RRAA, and to create a branding that reflects RRAA, and it is a task that is giving me pause. The goal of branding an organization is to create something constant in everything you show that reflects what you are. Yet, to me, art is an every changing expression of the people creating it, the people viewing it and the society in which it is being viewed. So how can I presume to design something that reflects – constantly – a group whose existence is based on an ever changing process of creation?
I was thinking this over this last night as I looked out over the mesas. I flashed back to my life in the north east when I used to spend hours catching fireflies. You might see a single firefly flicker for a second and then disappear. You knew they were there, but you had to be so patient and search to find them. Every kid had an old mason jar with a perforated lid for catching them, and it would take all evening. But once there were ten or twenty or more in the glass jar you could suddenly see them all. They all flickered in their own time, but the light shared illuminated all of them, and created the most beautiful display. You held them there for just a bit then opened the jar to let them fly off in a flurry of magic and light. That is what branding an art organization should do. It should be the mason jar that for a moment brings all the light and magic together to make every artist shine brighter than they can alone.

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