Hello there,

I hope this finds you well! How are you feeling with all of the latest and greatest news these days?
At the end of 2021, someone said “I can’t wait to get 2021 behind me. 2022 is going to be so much better!” My instinct said “hold onto your hat sister, 2022 is going to be a wild ride.” I didn’t say that out loud, but I thought it. Barely 3 months into 2022, I stand by it. And for good reason. Omicron, Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergency Measures act (although temporary) and now the Russia/Ukraine war. Yikes.
In this newsletter, I am giving you some food for thought: a brand identity design, a beautiful illustration titled “War”, a new word, an article about seeing, a thought-provoking quote from Maya Angelou and mac & cheese (because comfort food makes everything better, right?). I would love to know if any of this material resonates with you. Please share if it does! Or, does it just raise more questions? I would love to hear those too!
Wishing you peace, good health and healthy optimism!
Janice Carter

Good Brand; Good Cause

I’m drawn to the colours in this brand identity. Do you ever wonder if your brand is using the right colours? Drop me a line and we can discuss. In this piece, the light pink is a lovely addition to the black, red, gold & white colour palette we’ve all seen many times. The deconstructed letters “DOPA” create a beautiful graphic element for this brand and the large type with tight leading fits with it nicely. Not only is the design excellent, but so is the content. Designed by Alex Normanton & Co., the project is described as follows:

“DOPA (The Department of Pro-Activeness) is a brand and podcast platform that fuels conversations around creative wellness and puts positivity back into the hearts, minds and ears of people working within the creative industry. A brand created to enable candid conversations around specific topics like: fear, self-doubt, failure etc, and turn them into more positive attributes like fun, self-belief and kick-ass ideas. An idea born out of personal experiences within the global pandemic; creative mental barriers became synonymous with everyday life in creative isolation. However, these themes and mental battles are timeless and equally relevant outside of the COVID-19 pandemic.” You can see the full project here.

Balbusso Twins: War

When I was a student, I very clearly recall discovering the illustrations of the Balbusso twins in Communication Arts (back in the day when people actually bought hard copies of magazines). I was drawn to their work back then and I continue to be so today. This piece is titled “war.” They are creative geniuses, so I am reluctant to say what I really think – “war” is not the right title for this illustration. It should be “the dichotomy of peace and war and how mothers can tip the scales in favour of peace.” Ok, yes, this is too wordy for a title, but this is what I see when I look at this illustration. I see war through the lense of our shared humanity. When one person suffers, we all suffer. What can each one of us do to ease the suffering?

The current global events make my heart feel very heavy. At the same time, I can’t resist a counter-impulse of optimism. Perhaps it’s escapism, or perhaps it’s wisdom. I’m an “Apocaloptimist.” I can’t take credit for coining this word. I saw it on Telegram. It’s defined as “someone who knows the world is going to shit, but feels optimistic anyway.” That’s exactly how I feel. Is it just me, or do you feel both depressed and optimistic at the same time? In my younger years, I would have forced myself to pick one or the other. Now that I’m older, I realize that it’s less “either/or” and more “both/and.” So, I embrace the paradox and sit in the messy middle. How are you coping? As a society, how do we thrive in troubled times?

Walking by Sees

Catherine Austin Fitts wrote this wonderful article titled Walking by Sees. She writes,  “A see is when you can see as far as you can see. That’s one see. Some days I was lucky and the “see” was a whole day. Some days, the “sees” came in hours, even minutes. I kept seeing and planning, and from it emerged a whole new way of living and dancing in a life that pulled no punches. Planning by sees made it easier to give up false certainties, false relationships, false status and invent new opportunities from what was real that flowed in and around me each day.

Catherine is an American investment banker and former public official who served as managing director of Dillon, Read & Co. and, during the Presidency of George H.W. Bush, as United States Assistant Secretary of Housing & Urban Development for Housing and she’s the creator of the Solari Report. Wow, she makes me feel like I’ve achieved nothing!

Do the Next Right Thing

If you have kids, namely daughters, under the age of 12, you’ll know this is a song from Frozen 2. My daughters are 7 & 9 and I’ve watched Frozen 2 more times than I can count. I’m not generally prone to taking advice from Disney characters, but full disclosure, I cry every time I watch this scene. Ana is stuck in a cold, dark cave and bursts into song: “Take a step, step again, it is all that I can to do, the next right thing.” I have no clue what my 10 year plan should be, but I do know how to do the next right thing. This really takes the pressure off! Thanks Ana, you nailed it.

We are only as blind as we want to be. – Maya Angelou

Comfort Food
In my world, a warm bowl of cheesy pasta says “everything is going to be okay.” This mac & cheese recipe is from RecipeTinEats, one of my favourite blogs! I’ve actually made this recipe many, many times and it’s a family favourite! Although grating the 3 cups of cheese is a little tedious, the rest of the steps are pretty fast and easy. If you make this, I would love to know if you like it!

How can I help?

Does your brand identity lack an element of human connection? Are you embarrassed by your lack of marketing materials? If you wear many hats as a marketing or communications executive, business owner or agency, but may not want to wear a beret, I offer you my expertise in brand identity and print & digital marketing. You could also benefit from my obsession with details, love of “to do” lists and project management skills. 

Reach out and let’s talk.