As a fantastic climax to the branding project for a modest family home in Oregon I was fortunate enough to travel out for a visit. Over the past couple weeks there I was really able to absorb the river and forest and house with such great friends. There, I found that no real photography can capture the spirit of this dwelling. It’s surrounded by crisp air, fulfilling laughter and a real sense of living. It was an opportunity to bring something like a flat pictorial symbol into the very environment that inspired it.
After all of the collecting, sketching, questioning, exploring and refinement of this brand, I can now see that symbols and emblems that attempt to capture a homestead are mere windows into the experience that they represent. A graphic symbol is a frame through which we see a product, or service, or idea or community. We see our country through stars and stripes, we see our charities through ribbons and hands, we see our teams through mascots and color couples, we see our groceries through logos and packaging. For a family, a few simple circles and lines forges a frame that can be carried with them as time goes by, solidifying their closeness, their love and appreciation of each other. It brings together their name, their members, their environment and their mission, even if that mission is simply to live as peacefully as possible.
While I was up in Oregon, I was able to have some gifts shipped to the family’s home to help christen their new brand mark. From watermelon lemonade in a reclining chair, to pale ales while flipping burgers, to irish coffee by a fire pit—I thought the family might like to have their mark on something they’d frequently use around the house, so customized mugs like a nice fit. A whole big batch of them for all the family and friends to whom they offer their home. At first I felt it would be tough to find places you might see the symbol, or ways to use it, since I was concerned with it not feeling overly present or even commercial. Now I can envision it use in subtle ways, like these engraved mugs, architectural decoration (doors, drawer pulls, etc.), or even on postcards the family sends. A brand doesn’t need to wallop you over the head, it doesn’t need to sell you something, it doesn’t need to be special to anyone other than for whom it represents.
This brand has been an exciting journey. Leisurely ponderous like an old growth forest hike, bumpy and exciting like a white water rafting trip, and thoroughly fulfilling like a 10 vacation to a faraway sanctuary. Thanks to Mountain Man and Dottie, and their special Doodah daughter, for sticking it out, being patient, and learning about what exactly I do and what I think about. I very much hope you enjoy the mark that frames your family and your home.