416-435-4753 mike@mikebeard.com

I know people don’t know what I do. Happens all the time. I meet people who say, ‘You’re a graphic designer’. Or ‘You’re a writer’. ‘Oh, I get it, you’re a branding guy.’ The thing is, I usually get what THEY do. I say, ‘You do X’. Hopefully they nod in agreement. If they turn out to be a business owner or markekter, I go forward.  I offer ‘X and Y’ or riffing now, ‘X,Y and therefore Z’… a typical pattern.

If they let me, I’ll create a little and give them back the beginnings of something we can both believe in. A new way of looking at what they do. Or at least trust, a new relationship, and the hint of process. And yes, not to go off into the wild blue, we’re probably talking about a logo. It’s a start. If it’s a good logo, an evocative logo that sticks, it may help us create a future. That is, it may develop as part of a revised identity. I give them the first step toward a new way of looking at what they do. Call it branding if you want. I call it a fresh start. If this sounds like business psychoanalysis, I have a couch for you.

And we can talk, write, design, blog about this fresh start for ages and there are many experts who do just that. But for the next month, at least, I’m focusing on logos. I can call it Mike’s Month of Logos, or something maybe a bit less pretentious. As logos, each is jammed packed with meaning, focus, historical references, design, business analysis and of course, marketing. I forgot communication! Each little piece is a communication nugget, packed with thinking. It is a result of many conversations, up and down the client firm and out in the real and online worlds. Sometimes these come undusted in my case, out of the past as it happens, but each still exists as a note in time, and yes, even before we start I will agree, now some are history. But being a senior guy, I don’t discount history. If we don’t keep looking at it, as is often said, it’ll turn around and bite us in a place that hurts.

So here’s the first one. It’s a tribute to the indomitable Canadian spirit, in this case The Great Canadian Breakfast, a charity event – no coincidence I’m bringing this forward on Canada Day. When the idea for the image came along, it went rumbling through my mind, bumping into things for a few weeks and then, when I thought I had the concept right, butter mold in hand, I invited my photographer friend, James Krant over to my kitchen. He placed the strawberries on each side and suddenly aha! we have an edible flag. Then it was right. Thanks, James! So here it is. The first of 31 logos this month, cause this is what I (in this case we) do.