Choosing words wisely

Monica Mockus
Monica Mockus

Principal & Executive Creative Director

Who knew that stringing together a concise positioning statement for a company that’s had 7 years to find itself could be so difficult?

Everyone but me, apparently.

Seven years in and it’s time for a rebrand. Surprisingly, our new visual identity materialized fairly quickly and to much fanfare. What remain elusive, however, are the words.

We’ve got a shiny new coat of arms but no battle cry.

With a background in graphic design, I’m accustomed to criticism and revisions. I approach design like science, an exercise in creative problem-solving, as analytic as it is artistic. Decidedly not personal.

But words shape the world. Create possibility. Crush dreams. For me, crafting a message is a dangerous game. Ignatius may have eluded confrontation decrying his collapsing valve, but likely didn’t win any hearts.

So here I am wrestling with connotations, cliches, overuse, unintended references. My Big Chief is overflowing with strikethroughs and stet marks. I’ve spent hours contemplating a single word, debating it’s implications, philosophizing on origins. Agonizing over the possible and unending ways our message will be received by the world. Any half-decent creative knows when she’s gotten too close to the flame.

Time to go back to the process. The brilliance of design thinking is that you can build, deconstruct, and craft a completely new approach in mere minutes. Clear it all out and open a space for contribution. That’s where discovery and creative transform to invent and inspire. Getting the words out of my head means letting go of my ownership, of course. Like words, though, putting your passion out into to the world is the only way for it to become meaningful.

We haven’t quite found all of our words yet, but we trust the process and we’re resolutely on a path to voicing our vision.

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