Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes.

Who’s Who

I don’t write book reviews. Not since high school. But this is an exception. The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes (2001) by co-authors, Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson, has changed how I see brands. The lens of cultural archetypes opens possibilities and narrows focus for greater impact in identity design, brand messaging, and campaign marketing. This book deserves more attention.

Their thesis is built on psychiatrist, Carl Jung’s understanding of psychological archetypes through events, relationships, and motifs. Jung proposed twelve archetypal figures as a means of understanding myth, psychology, and culture. …

Myths, like symbols, have the magical ability to transcend culture and era

Illustrations by author.

In ancient Crete, just south of Greece, King Minos ruled with his wife, Pasiphaë. Poseidon, god of the Sea, sent King Minos a sacrificial bull as a gift. When Minos disregarded the gift, Poseidon cursed the bull and Pasiphaë. After spending a night with the cursed bull, Pasiphaë gave birth to the Minotaur: a half-bull, half-human monster.

King Minos was enraged. He exiled the Minotaur to a labyrinth created by the renowned craftsman Daedalus. The Minotaur, trapped forever in the maze, killed and ate all trespassers.

Design as Semiotics


French artist René Magritte painted The Treason of Images (sometimes, The Treachery of Images) in 1928–29. You’re familiar: It’s a painting of a pipe with the subtitle, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”). Occasionally the painting even goes by this name.

It’s been mimicked, mocked, and copied ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Magritte’s philosophy behind the painting was the image is not the object: The image is a symbol or representation of the object itself. You can’t stuff the painting with tobacco.

Anthropomorphism in Typography


A head of lettuce. The shoulder of a road. Arms and legs of a chair. It is natural for humans to assign metaphors based on what is most familiar and comfortable to our knowledge. Language is no different.

“We read best what we read most.” —Zuzana Licko

Alphabets are the building blocks of language and are quintessential to human thought and fundamental communication. To see the construction of letterforms take the shape and qualities of the human body is appropriate.

Proportion, scale, contrast, and weight all inform descriptors of typefaces — as well as human anatomy. Balance and rhythm of…

An Interrogative Essay on Brand Identity Design


Salt is an interrogative and exploratory essay on personal experiences and brand identity design processes. Salt was originally written and published in 2013 while working at Focus Lab. This article is an abridged version of the printed copy. While my personal process has evolved dramatically, the text remains as it was written in 2013. The book is no longer available for sale.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose
  3. Process
  4. Trust and Preparation
  5. Action
  6. Quality and Value
  7. Conclusion

Where do free fonts fit into professional identity design?

Recently, I went to Twitter with a thought.

Free typography has its place but I’m not sure professional identity design is where it lives.

Zach McNair gave a valuable response and argued that tools are not the key to design—any tool can create excellent work: a broom can be a paint brush, a child’s crayon can create beautiful lettering, etc. Saul Bass, Paul Rand, and Massimo Vignelli created their greatest work without the aid of tools we have today: 27" retina iMacs and Adobe Illustrator. Free fonts are openly accessible—but are they precisely appropriate?

Fonts can be considered tool but…

Designing Collaboration


In 2015, Twin Forrest worked with the Savannah College of Art and Design to create Trace, a collaborative platform that lets students share their experiences, best practices, design processes, and project outcomes from past collaborations—everything from the smallest challenges to the biggest obstacles.

Some history…

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was formed in September, 1978 in Savannah, Georgia. Nearly four decades later it is now considered one of the most prestigious and reputable art and design colleges in the world with five locations globally and more than 10,000 enrolled students annually.

Improving Color Description

This article is a list for the sake of improving: synonyms for basic color words to enhance color description. I’ve used some of these to “brand” a color for a client and some just improve the variety of words dealing with color and description. These are listed simply to spice up text or add some possession to a name: use them wisely! Note, some words work across multiple colors. And finally, sometimes the best word to use when referring to a color is simply the word itself: red, blue, yellow, etc.

Feel free to comment to add or edit names…

Twin Forrest turns two

Blow out the candles and pop the bubbly: Twin Forrest is two years old! With another year in the books, I’d like to review, summarize, and celebrate the last two years in retrospective.

(Today isn’t technically Twin Forrest’s birthday, but more of a birth quarter. The fourth quarter of 2014 was momentous but we’re simply establishing today as the day — October 20 — for the sake of celebration. Just go with it.)

Some Context

First, who is Twin Forrest? For those that don’t know, Twin Forrest is a Savannah, GA-based design studio focused on brand identity design. We offer brand strategy…

Next Generation Child Care


Daybear is a San Francisco-based technology start up focusing on the roles and relationships between children, parents, and their caregivers. Through building trust and ensuring safe atmospheres, Daybear equips caregivers with the tools required to start and operate a center, allowing them to attain a more respectable income. Their family dashboard feature empowers parents to modify and customize schedules on as-needed arrangements or discover a provider they can commit to long term.

Daybear is more than just a listing directory or child care software; Daybear connects parents and caregivers through a central child profile. The fundamental technology platform provides the…

Matt Yow

Coffee, books, heavy metal, graphic design.

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