One conversation that has repeated itself over the past few years is a discussion about authenticity and originality. These two words may seem to be synonyms, but in actuality, they describe two totally distinct yet often complimentary ideals. I thought it would be a great topic to discuss this week. Trust me, you’ll see why in a minute.
Authenticity is a word that is thrown about quite a bit these days, with various definitions being offered to describe it. Wikipedia says that “in existentialism, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.” I kind of like this definition personally, because it seems to fit my own ethos.
With blogging, for instance, the tide has turned away from independent creative thought toward the wide world of corporate sponsorship. This has always seemed a little sticky for me because, no matter how many disclaimers to the contrary, it’s almost impossible to stay unbiased toward a brand or company when they are paying your bills. Seriously, when I see the ” I only share products that I love and personally use” disclaimer on a blog, my first thought is: “Will you share these products when you stop getting paid for it?” You already know the answer to that. I’ve tried my best to stay clear of this model, in the hopes of being able to stay true to my creative mission to support makers. It’s a hard road to walk, but one that makes me feel, you guessed it, as authentic as I know how to be.
Another definition of authenticity is “the truthfulness of origins”, in other words, not fake, genuine, original. Here’s where the synergy between the two words becomes apparent.
I don’t know if there is a greater need for this type of authenticity, marked by a respect for originality, than in the world of design. With so much content out there, it is really challenging to come up with an original concept. Having created fresh branding for a few companies this year, like this one, that challenge becomes clearer and clearer as you research to within an inch of your life, hoping to conjure something original from the ether. This leads me to the purpose of this diatribe.
After I completed the branding for this site, I found myself lost in the ocean of pictorial morass that is Instagram and lo and behold, I came across A Space Studio, a Brooklyn-based design studio founded by Anna Aristova and Roza Gazarian. (You really need to see their work. It’s incredible.) I follow A Space with my LAB account and there, staring at me was their logo that looked way too similar to what I created for Mondemade. Yes, it has its differences, but showing the two logos to my partner in crime, she noticed the similarities right away. So, in keeping with my quest to be both authentic and as original as I can be, I set about creating an entirely new branding concept. Hence, the newness you see here today.
At the core of being an authentic person is recognizing that none of us create in a bubble and a heavy dose of humble honesty goes a long way. Who knows if and when I saw the A Space design and it stuck to my feeble brain like glue, the way good branding should. I simply don’t remember seeing it before. The point is that the similarities were too great to ignore. Like Ferdinand Porsche once said, “Good design should be honest”, and that’s how I try to live. I hope you like the changes. There are more to come!
#branding #logo #design #authenticity #makers #designer @ellodesign