'S' is for Sincerity · A Philosophy of the Moment

What does it mean to have ‘community’?

The word came up, ‘community.’ In handfuls of conversations, lately online and offline.

What does it mean, though? I am remembering the conversation party that I had hosted in Seattle at Kornerhaus, ‘Gather: What does it mean to have community?’ It was the era of blogging way more than I do now, of inviting people to come around and have a conversation with me and us, whoever else was there. Open and relaxed and inclusive.

Things have changed now and I just talk to people inS P A C E , which is a community that feels really comfortable to me because it is known, and has a history. I read something today that reminded me of why ‘community’ means something to me, personally, especially having been outside of the country where I was born for almost a decade now. It is weird not to have the old traditions, but it is welcoming, too, to have the freedom from having to feel obligated to enjoy them.

What is community, anyway, though? What is it in 2023?

According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, at this article, ‘Adding precision to our understanding of community can help funders and evaluators identify, understand, and strengthen the communities they work with. There has been a great deal of research in the social sciences about what a human community is.

Some snippets of the article:

‘Community is not a place, a building, or an organization; nor is it an exchange of information over the Internet. Community is both a feeling and a set of relationships among people. People form and maintain communities to meet common needs.

‘Members of a community have a sense of trust, belonging, safety, and caring for each other.

‘They have an individual and collective sense that they can, as part of that community, influence their environments and each other. That treasured feeling of community comes from shared experiences and a sense of—not necessarily the actual experience of—shared history. As a result, people know who is and isn’t part of their community. This feeling is fundamental to human existence.

‘Neighborhoods, companies, schools, and places of faith are context and environments for these communities, but they are not communities themselves… Most of us participate in multiple communities within a given day. The residential neighborhood remains especially important for single mothers, families living in poverty, and the elderly because their sense of community and relationships to people living near them are the basis for the support they need. But for many, community lies beyond. Technology and transportation have made community possible in ways that were unimaginable just a few decades ago.’

S P A C EWe can talk about it in one of the next online conversations. To join S P A C E conversations, see information at the crowdfunding page: http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine 

'S' is for Sincerity · Stories

Seattle brand design (and conversations about what that even is)

I started this studio in Seattle in 2006 because I was thinking about blogs. I was thinking about blogs because I worked in newspapers. I worked in newspapers in southwest Ireland and in downtown Seattle; mostly, just very curious, always asking questions, and ready to put a story together almost all of the time if I was moved. That was the main thing. If I was moved. I got out of the newspaper thing and into blogging because blogging was a way to write whatever you wanted and it did not matter a bit about what the advertising department would say about it. There is none, here at DK. I mean, okay, okay, for a moment there I did try to sell some ads for the zine. But it flopped, so I came here, to write about design, branding, and identity.

Because what is identity except an awareness of the core of who you really are? So the idea of brand identity design has shifted, I feel, for me, since the time I started in those days inC capitol Hill making logos with my then teammates and moved around from architecture office to software firm to design studio that also was doing similar things but in different ways to learn, to talk, to co-create, and make. A portfolio that did the thing we needed it to do. Show that we could make it happen. Draw and stuff. But not just that. Make things that have value, because the conversations that drive the design process for DK are exactly what makes it DK’s way. Which is off ourse inspired by the past work in newspapers. Asking questions, getting the story. Diving in because shallow is boring. Lack of colorful conversation is also dull. You need more. Many people would be happy, I think, to do less than they have to for ‘good enough’ publishing. Heck. You see a lot of it everywhere. Things spelled wrong and all that, and sometimes, misuse of English idioms which happens often where I am. I’ve gotten used to this but it still would be nice to edit if someone wanted me to, but they don’t. So that’s okay, too. It is fine.

I’m going to bring conversations back, though. To the center of what I do here at DK.

Conversations to help teams grow. Together.

So that they don’t fall apart in the passive-aggressive or politics of work or you know what I mean. No one seems to be having fun at work but I think.. that they can.

We can help you do that, because, um. That is what happened with client work. I am ready to talk about it. If you want to hear more, contact me.

Branding is changing.

Branding is performance. Art and science of doing things better, because ou can move articulately, with clarity, and realness. About who you really are. It all checks out, it’s authentic, as they say, because how do you mess up that ‘being on brand’ stuff if you are just being your real, true self? And that is where teh conversation I mean I want to make more of again comes back to the stage. We can do this internet-based, because that was an issue for the longest time. Now that WFH is a thing, we can work together again with some of you reading, in Seattle. Ask me how it works. I am really jazzed up about all this.

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