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A Case Study for Crafting the Empire State Indivisible Brand Identity

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The original NY Indivisible logo (left) and the new Empire State Indivisible logo

If you’ve been following US politics lately, you’ve likely heard of the Indivisible Guide, and the many local Indivisible chapters that have sprung up through its instruction. If you’ve been poking around in New York City and State politics lately, you may have noticed a new player on the block. That’s us, Empire State Indivisible.

I’ve been a participant for a few months now, and recently helped the group launch a new brand identity. Here’s how it happened.

Out With the Old … Sort Of

In branding terms, this isn’t a pure before-and-after. Instead, it’s more like a spin-off. NY Indivisible, the mothership org where we originated, popped up around the time of Trump’s inauguration, and over the course of several months, we found a routine in our role as a scrappy grassroots gang of organizers. We met in church basements, made phone calls, wrote letters, posted about events on social media, snapped photos with officials, signed petitions, and more. …


OK, here’s some thoughts on Star Wars, having watched The Last Jedi twice now. Spoilers ahead. You are warned.

There’s really three ways in which to analyse the film.

  1. As a standalone action/sci-fi/adventure movie
  2. As the second in a trilogy, started in 2015
  3. As a piece of a huge, multi-generational mythology, started in 1977

In the case of (1), it’s kind of a mess. Imagine someone who has never seen Star Wars sits down to watch this. Can they make sense of it? Not really. True, there is definitely some gripping action scenes, especially relating to space battles and that bit of martial arts, but this movie is looong, and essentially non-stop action. …


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Out with the old, in with the … current

The technology & workflow that allowed me to switch after so many years

I love my iPod. This little gizmo has been a part of my life since 2004. We’ve been through a lot together — international trips, crummy jobs, supermarket lines, hurricanes — and for most of that time we’ve been attached at the hip. (Not even kidding, most of my pants are worn out in the front-right pocket where I keep an iPod.)

But is it time to move on?

I’m a stalwart. Most people abandoned their iPods within 6 months of purchasing their first smart phone, especially if that was an iPhone in particular. The music player-cum-internet device is all that most people needed. …


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In conversation with my future boss

“Welcome aboard.”

You say on my first day. You keep it brief. It only took us a few hours of conversation to develop a shorthand. A cheeky abbreviation of everything said so far. We will, of course, have many more chances to speak thoroughly, and honestly, since we’re working so closely together. But in this nautical metaphor, you’re the Skipper, and I’m happy to be a part of the crew.

“What do you need?” You ask benignly. I almost don’t know how to react, having been so mistreated by years adrift in the choppy seas of freelancing. I’m a simple man, I don’t need much. …


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Third time’s the charm

Lessons learned designing & building busycreator.com v3

I recently launched the new version of The Busy Creator website — the third version since inception in late 2013. This one was a challenge. I’d been planning and working on v3 for about a year, and in some ways, since v2 launched in Nov. 2014.

At last, it feels like something to be a proud of, and indeed a site that works as it’s meant to.

Main Goals

A friend asked me plainly last year “Why do you need a new website?” A good question. …


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Protesting is easy. Organizing is hard.

It’s been a strange Winter, so far. Skipping the play-by-play about what Donald Trump has destroyed in his short time as President, (and honestly, I can’t keep up with it all), I have observed something remarkable which, in turn, brought questions to my mind.

A ton of causes and activist groups have formed, seemingly overnight.

This is no accident, of course. These groups are being helped. Amnesty International offers a manual called Activist Tools on their site with the intent that you’ll find it and use it. The Indivisible Guide is offering similar resources aimed at group leaders and organizers. …


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A few supporters from your audience can help bring your project to life

Every creator needs patronage. It’s an age-old issue, remarked even in the letters of Leonardo da Vinci. The old advertising and filmmaking adage “one for the reel; one for the meal” embodies this idea.

It’s unclear whether this is immediately reassuring or depressing, but it does point to one thing: the problem of getting financial support for our creative projects will always be with us.

“One for the reel; one for the meal.” — advertising adage

Let’s see what we can do about it.

The Power of Patreon

There are shared struggles among the creative pros featured on The Busy Creator Podcast. Funding is never far from mind; after all, if we can’t stay in business, we can’t keep producing. …


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Give your content new life.

When Fergus Henderson opened his restaurant, St. John, in London in 1995 it adopted the philosophy that when it came to meat, “it would be disingenuous to the animal not to make the most of the whole beast.” And so a new wave of cooking, dining, and eating came into being — one where no part of the animal is wasted. Twenty years after Henderson opened St. John, the way we as creative professionals and content producers view our online projects can borrow a lot from his philosophy.

Applesaucing, a Definition

Your published content as metaphor, if you will.

It takes time to grow an apple tree from seed. That’s your site and your brand. In time it bears you a large harvest of fruit of different shapes and sizes — these are your blog posts, podcasts, videos, and everything else. You sell the biggest, roundest, rosiest apples and use the leftovers to make apple pies. Or apple cider, or you bake apple biscuits and use the husks and residue even once more to make apple butter, or sell it off to make apple Fig Newtons or Apple Jacks cereal. In time, you’ve utilised every last piece of fruit from your tree. This is applesaucing; finding new ways to use — and reuse — your published content. …


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Autumn is coming …

This is a strange time of year. The onset of September comes with a host of seasonal and societal cues, punctuated by Labor Day — the unofficial “end of summer.”

And with Summer’s end, also comes the end of vacation season, beach season, sleeping in, barbecues and poolside drinks, long days, short pants, and otherwise taking it easy. Autumn is back — it’s time to wake up!

Back-to-School time reveals our “deep habits”, those behaviors that we can’t seem to shake no matter how old we get. Brushing your teeth is a good example of a deep habit — it’s not just something you read about last year, but rather something that’s become nearly automatic from a lifetime of repetition. I have a deep habit regarding my keys — I always hang them on the back of the door knob after I enter my apartment. …


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ardware, Software, and Services all come together to help me run by business

I get asked all the time about my setup, and what tools I use on the Mac — which software titles I prefer, and if I modify them in any way, etc. etc. And to all those questions the answer is usually “yes” or “all of the above”, so let me take you inside my studio setup — at least as far as my computer goes — and see if you can learn anything from my setup and copy it for yourself.

Hardware

I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole on hardware, but I’m one of these curious characters who uses two monitors on my main system. I have an older Apple Cinema Display, 23", and to the right of it, I have an even older Dell monitor. In my case, I really prefer having the second monitor only as a 4:3 ratio because I really don’t need another huge 16:9 ratio widescreen monitor just for a few extra palettes in Photoshop, or whatever. I like my setup, but I worry that one of my monitors will fail and I’ll have to change things up dramatically, because basically neither of these screens are made any longer, and lately the options are much better in terms of hi-dpi, and colour accuracy, and everything else. …

About

Prescott Perez-Fox

Independent Graphic Designer & Brand Developer, Host & Creator of The Busy Creator Podcast, Swing Dancer, Old Rugger, Blogger, Simpsons referencer.

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