The Creation Story.
They say a brand needs substance and great thought behind it - and for a designer - it NEEDS to represent the work you do. A logo, being the primary face of a business, needs a strong rationale, to communicate that business' values, philosophy and identity, in order to differentiate itself from the competition. A brand story tells the world precisely who you are and what you have to offer.
Storytelling is such an integral part of First Nation's culture - therefore my very first blog is the the creation story of the X-ing Design logo.
Contemporary First Nation's design.
As a First Nation's designer interested in cross-cultural design, it was important to create a logo that reflected a hybrid of cultures. I was finding the typical dreamcatcher or feather logos that seem to dominate the First Nation's design landscape a bit uninspiring and stagnant. I wanted to reference the symbols and styles of the cultures I've had the pleasure to witness and to integrate them into something contemporary and relevant that represents the journey of my design philosophy.
Why a deer?
Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, the deer was always prominent in my world and surroundings and had always been a kindred spirit for me. A deer is a totem animal representing sensitivity, intuition and gentleness (some characteristics I hope to carry into my communication style). The deer then followed me to Mexico, where I did a year of study at la Universad de la Americas, in Cholula, Mexico. I was hoping to learn a different perspective of design and I was also very also curious to witness the history of the art and architecture of the Indigenous people in Mexico are how their influence still permeates Mexico's cultural identity today.
I was researching a paper on the branding of Mexico's 68 Olympics (the branding was an very successfully executed integrating of the art styles of the Huichol and the relevant POP art of the day. During my research I started to notice a similarity between the Huichol art style to the Woodlands Style of art from Canada. I then became interested in the stories and legends within their art. I was interested in why the deer was prominent in many of the compositions.
Huichol creation story of Kauyumari, the Deer Spirit.
it was Kauyumari, the Deer Spirit, who discovered the tunnel between worlds, he was the last to enter through because, being a trickster spirit, he felt more at home in the chaotic sky realm. When the gods and goddesses turned from the center of the world to disperse in the four directions, they noticed the tracks of Kauyumari were fuzzy green disks on the desert floor. They learned to ingest these disks and found themselves filled with Kupuri from the Sun, God’s light. They called these disks peyote. The Deer Spirit left them as tracks so those who come through the tunnel later will also be able to find their way, be filled with divine insight, and remember who they are and where they come from. The Huichol creation story resonated with me. The symbolism of the deer spirit and its ability to cross between worlds seemed appropriate inspiration for X-ing’s logo.
Deer crossing highway sign.
Utilizing the silhoutte of the deer from the deer crossing road signs - seemed the logical choice as it's a symbol that I was exposed to on many trips on the Saskatchewan roads and highway. It's recognizable and memorable to the vast majority of the prairie people. It also seemed appropriate due to it’s association with the word “crossing”.
Woodlands style art.
Being part of the AIM (Adopt Indian and Metis) initiative - I was a definite success story of the government's mandate to "take the Indian out of the child". I had no exposure to my culture during my childhood and adolescence. The one connection I had was art. The Indian Group of Seven was the gateway to my culture. I read about the myths, legends, and stories behind the paintings and was exposed to the teachings. Norval Mourrisseau was a very influential in providing me a path on my cultural journey home. Mourrisseau , a First Nations Odjibwe artist from Northern Ontario, founded The Woodland School of Art. This visionary style emphasizes outlines and x-ray views of people, animals, and plant life.
Encapsulating contemporary cross-cultural design.
The above inspirations, influences and symbols were the basis in the creation of X-ing Design's logo and will hopefully always continue to inspire and assist in the growth and development of the work we create.