branding and design and strategy

(oh my!)

What’s in a name?

Hi, my name is Stephanie, and I’m a logophile.

You don’t even have to say it. The names I choose for the various aspects of my business and brand border on ridiculous. Ok, fine. They don’t just border, they pole vault over them. And for those that are still on sentence numero uno of this blog post, a logophile is defined as a lover of words. Which, in of itself entertains me to no end. We had to get an SAT word to tell people we liked words. Eh…. It is what it is, yo.

It wasn’t too long after starting my business that I was seated at the table of a dear friend and killer business mentor (here’s lookin’ at you, Stevie). As she was helping me develop and refine some processes and branding aspects, we arrived at an uncanny description of me as an individual: I am a walking juxtaposition. Allow me to elaborate via examples/receipts/evidentiary fact:

  • I am a Christian with a pottymouth.
  • I’m a logophile who says “dope,” “legit,” “word,” “I’m down,” and other 90’s slang words peppered with some current ones.
  • Classy with a little bit (sometimes a lot) of hood (“Somewhere between Proverbs 31 and Tupac there’s me).
  • Healthy but boycott veggies (except beans, potatoes, and corn. And no, I don’t care if you think they “don’t count.” Get off me).
  • Refined but tatt’ed.
  • Super rough and sometimes abrasive exterior, but pretty mushy and vulnerable on the inside if you dig deep enough.
  • Intelligent, logical, and grounded, but also has an intense need for magic, whimsy, and all out fantasy (my heart genuinely aches with a NEED for the fantastic beasts in the HP realm to be real. Dead serious. No joke.).

I think you get the idea, but just in case you still need/want more, let’s deconstruct a juxtaposition (see what I did there?).

Actually, let’s back up and talk about deconstruction. Deconstruction is a “a method of critical analysis of philosophical and literary language that emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression” (thank you Oxford Dictionary). In literature, deconstruction basically seeks to reveal any hidden meanings or messages within the text. We all know that words can have a million different intentions or interpretations, so when we deconstruct them, we’re revealing their instability and throwing away the notion that text is rooted in one meaning and accepting the inevitable conflicts/clashes between intentions, ideologies, and so on and so forth.

Still with me? I’ve gone a bit academic, I know. I’ll try to reign it back in (#logophile). What I love about the idea of “Juxtaposition: Deconstructed,” is that when you really get into the meat of deconstruction, you’re essentially uncovering juxtapositions (“the fact of two things being seen or placed together with contrasting effect”) within the literature as you search for those underlying/hidden meanings. Again, thank you Oxford Dictionary. Or at least, that’s one way to view it.

I knew I loved to design in juxtaposition: hard geometric lines with abstract watercolors, floral with shapes, hard with soft, etc. But it wasn’t until I was sitting with Stevie that I realized, holy crap…I’m a literal walking juxtaposition. And you know what? I freaking love it. I love things that can’t fit into a normal box. Probably because I know I sure as hell can’t. See how this ties back in to the calling on my heart for everyone to be loved as they were created??

Important tangent: if you haven’t seen the new holiday video about the hedgehog, stop what you’re doing right now and watch. If someone asked me for a visual representation of what’s on my heart, this would be it. All the feels beginning in 3…2…1 (Video)

Ok, I’m back. And we’re both totally crying. It’s fine. So, what’s in a name anyway? For me, this blog is all about peeling back layers, gaining and providing insight and a different perspective, and maybe even uncovering some things that have been hidden. But here’s the kicker: if I want to let some light in, that means we have to let some dark out. Ya feel me? That applies whether we’re deconstructing me (yikes), my process, this creative industry, or a singular professional/personal experience.

Hopefully, my constant tie-ins and referrals back to logophile-isms, juxtapositions, and loving what was created and is (not what we think it should be), will help maintain some sort of consistency and streamlining across each post. No promises, though. Only promise I can make is that I’ll always write from the heart and with as much transparency as I can muster.

Until next time: Do good. Be dope. Stay weird. Live authentic.