Day 23,708: What Would My Feminist Logo Be?
For the first time, I am reading the 1950s book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. The book was mentioned numerous times by many guests on various podcasts when asked what one book would they recommend for others to read? After the fifth recommendation, I put it on my reading list and asked for it when next at the library.
Thinking it was a self-help book of some sort, I was surprised when the librarian directed me to Biographies. I had no idea what I was getting into.
Turns out Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and details his experiences in concentration camps. Unlike his counterpart, Elie Wiesel, he wrote in an almost objective, deadpan voice. He assumed a stance as a researcher, observing what he believed allowed one person to survive and another not in the worst of all possible circumstances. The magic pill, he believed, was meaning.
Looking Forward Instead of Back
He was a maverick in his field. Whereas his counterparts in psychology and psychiatry dedicated themselves to exploring someone’s past, Frankl took at 180 degree stance and asked what people felt they were meant to do that they hadn’t yet done. He felt that it’s more important to have people look forward in their lives to actualize their purpose, or larger meaning, in life.
Frankl named the concept of logotherapy, taken from the Greek word “logos” for meaning. A light bulb went off. Finally, after years in marketing, I better understood the word logo. Prior, the word just meant “icon” to me. Now, I get that a logo is not just a symbol for a company, but should reflect what the company stands for, or its meaning for its existence. It’s not just a recognizable graphic.
Why Most Companies Don’t Deserve Logos
Asking a logo to define a mission? That is logo power to another degree especially since most companies can’t easily define their mission. They have no purpose other than making money. It is the reason the Nike logo, no mere check mark, carries instant shorthand for the words “Just Do It,” and stands for the athletic pursuit of excellence regardless of sport. Other famous logos may be as recognizable, but are not as meaningful because, well, they lack meaning.
I have a good graphic arts friend who, before designing a personal logo for a company of mine, asked me numerous questions about the name I chose and I why I chose it. Only then did he start designing the logo. Not surprising, I think he nailed it when it was completed.
Logos when done well allow people to know a name without seeing it written. It’s the photograph of the company’s face to the public. And just like some people can remember faces and not names, some can recognize a company by a logo while not remembering the name.
What’s Your Graphic?
But back to people and Frankl. We often ask people what they would want written on their tombstones. What, if instead, we asked them what graphic they would want etched? For many, it’s already a symbol of their religion, seen on so many gravestones, but what if it were more than just that one label? What if it were more like the tattoos that people put on their bodies, but with the permanence of stone to represent what a person stood for?
My husband was insistent that his father’s gravestone carry his company’s logo on it, and my husband considers the logo as his family crest. He can tell you what each part of the graphic stands for, and we each have necklaces with the charm insignia.
I have shied away from symbols for much of my life because I didn’t want to be labeled and it felt too publicly revealing. I also didn’t want to get into arguments or have to answer religious questions. I need to reconsider my stance. Accepting a label takes courage. Perhaps it’s time to don more logos.
Focus on Gun Sanity. One logo of the gun sanity movement is an orange American flag pin. It’s something you can wear to show your true colors — not ed, nor Blue. Orange.