What would represent you?

June 11, 2006

Carl Jung talked about the symbolism of dreams and mythology. Logos and brands through the 20th Century began taking those up to rest in people's imaginations. Although we agree that branding, as a practice of creating a 'feeling' about a company is less and less possible in the culture of collaboration (the public will decide), symbols still play a strong role in association.

So, if we are going to create this really great consorgency of collaborants, we should also create a symbol…perhaps starting with a logo, but not remaining rigid to some silly set of 'logo standards' guidelines…for people to understand that, "Yes, this is a project of that generation." Like the 'Z' that Zorro left, or the rose that 'V' left, or the Obey Giant scattered around city scapes to remind us to pay attention – we would be recognizable by our mark.

And at the same time, the work itself is the 'brand'. If we do terrible work or unethical work, that symbol becomes tarnished…like many symbols in history. So that the symbol isn't what people get behind – it is the work…the proof in the pudding. The symbol only serves to give a quick representation so that we can recognize one another in an instance.

So, what is that symbol for Citizen Agency? We need a new symbol…one that hasn't been used before. One that doesn't have someone else's history baked in. One that means collaboration and change and individual and independence and collective and strength and a whole lot of other things all rolled up together. It's something revolutionary, but peaceful. It's something that is simple. It's something that we will know when we see it. You will know when you see it. Some will be inspired by it. Others will look at it and disagree. It won't serve to polarize, but it will serve to be a strong symbol of this idea that Individuals, working together, can move history.

So, what represents you?

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8 Responses to “What would represent you?”

  1. Shazz Says:

    Hey,
    Re your comment:

    “And at the same time, the work itself is the ‘brand’. If we do terrible work or unethical work, that symbol becomes tarnished…like many symbols in history. So that the symbol isn’t what people get behind – it is the work…the proof in the pudding. The symbol only serves to give a quick representation so that we can recognize one another in an instance.”

    that’s what (even) traditional branding is – consumers don’t get their heart pumping about a logo, it’s what’s behind the logo (good or bad) that gets loyalty (or distaste) from them.

    not sure why Yers get caught up in dissing traditional and proven process – it’s usually the content and the context of the communications that’s new and original, not the process.

    Shazz

  2. missrogue Says:

    Shazz,

    We aren’t caught up in anything. Practically, ‘traditional’ processes have their place, we are just not about them. Proven or not (I would, however, love to see actual stats where traditional processes were actually proven – it seems that many equate the grandfather process with proven).

    I agree that good ‘branding’ is exactly that. I actually say that. Unfortunately, many concentrate on the fabrication of brands – in boardrooms, with thinktanks…not the same as doing.

    You may want to read my post on Community Marketing for a further explanation of what my philosophy is about or visit the Pinko Marketing wiki.


  3. [...] Ah, and if you have an idea of what kind of symbol might represent this idea, we’re all eyes. Tags: citizen agency, community model, open source, pinko marketing, tara hunt [...]

  4. Shazz Says:

    Did my thesis on social marketing & community education, already read your stuff on pinko [etc] marketing — we’re not in disagreement here. I just see this good new inclusive(?) marketing stuff as evolution not r-evolution … standing on the shoulders of lots of good ideas and proven techniques (and natural failures) before it. I’m also very wary of Great New Things … it’s usually the culmination of many good little kinda-new things. Giving props where they’re due.


  5. http://www.mikons.com/people/OpposableMind/

    I’m no good with drawing vectors yet. The concept is the all-seeing eye/pyramid thingy inverted and reprioritized.

    I’m thinking about getting that idea working a bit better and using it as a symbol for Opposable Mind. I tell you what though… you want it, it’s yours. I really like what I’m reading so far about Citizen Agency. There’s a lot there that resonates loud and clear with me.

    It’s kind of like the complement of king of the mountain. Respecting the sovereignty of all.

    Can’t wait to play with y’all in this realm.

    – David


  6. A circle outline seems the only thing possible. Color can differ on occasion

  7. Todd Says:

    Why not use something that is consistent across multiple uses, but allows some customization. For example, why not allow each “agent” to draft their own variation on a common theme based upon a basic concept:

    http://www.mycuriouslife.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/citizenagency.gif

    In the linked example, the Citizen Agency banner and concept of an avatar-like image would be consistently used, but each agent could customize their avatar to look the way they want. The overall Citizen Agency logo could be the banner with a collection of varied avatars collected above it in a sort of group pose.

    Might be kind of a fun way to represent both Citizen Agency and allow its agents to represent themselves as members.


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