A few weeks ago I issued a rallying cry to artists and musicians to help us “re-brand the movement” of Live Local. Inspired by the creative strategies employed in the film, “NO!”, essentially, I am looking for a way to make the Live Local message a happier, more appealing one. I want it to evoke less of a whine and more of empowerment. What better way to do so than to have the masses put their stamp on it?
I asked for graphic designers to come up with an appealing logo and musicians to write us a jingle. So far I’ve had response from the former, but I still would love a catchy tune to keep the Live Local message rolling around in the old noggin’—the way the McDonald’s theme song gets stuck in our heads, or the Pat and Ashley shtick from the radio.
The point is: I am looking for memorable and happy!
Graphic designers create visual communiqués frequently used in commercial advertising and online publication. An example would be the creation of a logo for a product, business or candidate. In this case, I am discussing the creation of a logo for the Live Local campaign. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, North Carolina had 5,080 employed graphic designers with an annual mean wage of $43,980—in other words, a solid job that we as a community utilize.
By and large, the support of local graphic designers is not something we have talked about much in the Live Local column. Maybe we should talk about the importance of supporting these jobs rather than out-sourcing them via the Internet to designers out of state or even out of the country. What if we lost 5,080 jobs that were $40,000 or more a year? That would have a very noticeable impact on our community. Not to mention, if we could no longer find a designer who understood the nuances of our local and regional life, then local advertising would suffer mightily.
Local designer Barbara Nicely answered my call for a new Live Local logo. See it above? Isn’t it totally fab? I am hoping to receive more logos from creative-types to feature as well, so I can have more to choose from in deciding the new moniker for our movement. I am hoping do rename it by the end of the year, and I think Nicely’s work provides a great start.
She was kind enough to tell us a little about her thought process and share some advice for supporting designers in our community.
encore: Tell us a about the design concept and why you made the design choices you did.
Barbara Nicely: encore asked designers to keep their ideas simple when making suggestions for renaming “Live Local, Live Small.” I liked that the present name of the column encouraged a “call to action” and wanted the new words and logo to retain that idea. Keeping some form of the column’s name would also help ease the transition to a name change.
I first experimented with words and type-style selection. I wavered back and forth between local/focal and focal/local. This vacillation led me to a design solution that would encourage readers to shift back and forth between the words. I achieved this by adding directional arrows into the “Os” of “focal” and “local.” As a result, the face/eyeglasses became visible and completed the desired effect and overall concept.
e: How long have you been working in graphic design?
BN: More than 15 years.
e: Where did you learn your trade and how?
BN: I learned graphic design while working at UNCW. Employees could take one class per semester, free of charge. I took several types of courses including an art class centered on learning Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, taught by Associate Professor Ned Irvine. I have used this skill throughout my career as a marketing communications professional.
e: What do you hope to inspire people to do as a result of your work?
BN: I hope to inspire people, especially the business community, to use the vast array of talent available in Wilmington.
e: Tell us about your favorite local places to shop?
BN: Let’s just say, I’ve gotten to know the Ivy Cottage personnel pretty well through the years.
e: To eat?
BN: Most recently, I’ve enjoyed RX, Los Portales, and Jester’s [Java].
e: What can people do to support local artists and designers?
BN: People can look to Wilmington, first, for talent before venturing outside of the area. They can educate themselves about our talented and thriving communities by attending, for example, a Fourth Friday Gallery Night event.
e: What do designers contribute to the community?
BN: As an authentic and professional collaborative community, artists and designers contribute to and increase our city’s viability on multiple levels: economically, socially, culturally, etc.
e: To business?
BN: I would look to Asheville, NC as an example of the domino-like effect a recognizable and talented art community can have on an area’s identity and attraction.
Thank you so much, Barbara, for the lovely new logo! Though we love it and are grateful for the use of it, we do need to point out that all rights to the logo belong to Barbara Nicely and inquiries for the use of it should be directed to her.
I think this is just the beginning of what this creative community can come up with. Ms. Nicely and her work is a wonderful inspiration, and I would love to see how other designers and artists can respond. We are honored to wear the “FOLO” mantel this week, and look forward to shinning a spotlight on the next step of the conversation as more creatives come forward.
Thank you, Ms. Nicely, for inspiring us all!
[Editor’s note: Artists who wish to partake in changing the Live Local name and creating a logo or jingle can e-mail their work to firstname.lastname@example.org. All contenders will be chosen by Gwenyfar Rohler and featured in the Live Local column; the final vote will be decided upon by Ms. Rohler by the end of the 2013 year.]