What does brand/concept authoring mean to you?
Brand/concept authoring crystalizes and squeezes high altitude, general ideas into grounded, comprehensible forms… forms that are recognizable, healthy and precise.
Forms that all businesses should consider vital?
Absolutely. All businesses begin with a personal interest of some kind. A hobby, a passion, a question. But in order for it to fully manifest, they each require a plan, a path of sorts. Esoterically, I like to think of brand/concept authoring as the lighting on that path. A dark path is only fun if it’s Halloween or being frightened is your thing. And if the path is well lit, it not only provides all who choose to walk on it with a decent view of the path but a safe and secure experience psychologically as they learn more about you and your ideas.
Is there a lot of background investigation, a lot time spent coming to a clear understanding of the human narrative prior to time spent developing any deliverables?
Absolutely. In fact, the majority of the truly important work, I’m by no means too proud to admit, is simply spent interacting with any and all people in the business, organization, etc. And the reason is radically obvious: if I’m not able to extract clear, exclusive, robust sociocultural traits from the people involved, there will be no foundation on which a successful brand/concept can be authored.
At the risk of sounding ignorant, why is it so important to do this from the very beginning?
Not an ignorant question at all actually. It’s important from the very beginning because a brand/concept is essentially a person or group of people and how they relate to the world around them compressed into an experiential language that is “readable” to those NOT part of that group. Because of this, to correctly build a brand/concept means you must comprehend exactly what the people believe in, how they feel about their environment, their motives, their future goals, dreams, fears, expectations, their skills, their weaknesses, their desires. From that vantage point, and only from that vantage point, can the process of developing a brand/concept begin.
So, would you consider logos to be, more or less, the general synopsis of this experiential language?
Logos are essentially the ultimate distillation of the brand, yes. The smile and the handshake and the “hello” and the pat on the back and the friendly reassurance and the birthday card and the foot massage all rolled into one. Okay, maybe not the foot massage. And for this distinctly high-pressure reason, I truly enjoy developing logos. It’s personal. Much like mountain climbers claiming they do it because it’s there to be done, the challenge is just too tantalizing and the inner reward too gratifying.
Minus the altitude sickness?
Yeah, minus the altitude sickness. Haha!
Would you consider what you create to also be able to categorized as ‘marketing’ then?
There’s a fine line… but no, I wouldn’t. Marketing is the discipline of hierarchically organizing and then implementing the brand/concept as an awareness and/or sales tool. The brand/concept authoring is responsible for inventing the tools themselves that are being implemented.
So, it’s the difference between the logo itself and what is then achieved with that logo?
Exactly. They are, of course, intertwined and ultimately help to accomplish a unified goal.
So, you are focusing on the manufacturing of the tools essentially?
More or less, yes. And I’d like to be explicit about this: under no circumstances will I provide a client with a deliverable that in any way might be able to be employed to manipulate citizens into forming beliefs about that client that conflict with the reality of that client’s business or project. In other words, if you want me to create a rosy picture of your crappy business or project, you should keep looking. There are plenty of psychopathically image and profit-obsessed, spiritually and emotionally-challenged brand/concept authors out there, but I’m not one of them. However, if you currently operate or would like to launch a decent business or project and would like help getting all of it to make sense to you, your potential clientele and the general citizenry, I’d be honored to help you.
From where would you say the majority of your experience has come?
Honestly, I’m a storyteller. I always have been. The human narrative that plays such a large role in any decent brand/concept fascinates me to no end. The amount of constructive communication that can come from a well-crafted brand/concept rivals just about any other platform for large-scale idea dissemination. And I’ve acquired the majority of my storytelling experience from my personal involvement in heavily conceptual visual art, music, time-based performances featuring contemporary dance, music, and full environment design and, of course, developing brands/concepts for these projects and brand/concept authoring for various business ventures.