I communicate with words, images and data. I break the rules about having only one primary skill-set, I have several. I am a technologist, a naturalist, a photographer and a generalist.
And somehow I am creating a personal brand that encompasses all of what I do. I need something that will be used on a website and business cards, as well as with copyright statements on works of art or text I create. And it has to play well in the technical universe that consumes most of the hours of my day.
I want to create a single brand and point of presence on the web and in general for all of my endeavors. I have been a very successful technologist in data communications and security, a professional hacker, etc. And I still do all of this, but I also do much more.
I am also a professional photographer, a writer, a speaker, and a former entertainer. I am working on my Texas Master Naturalist accreditation as well. I want to do more of these activities without alienating my tech employment and customers. I debated whether I could unify all of this to keep some less important projects from dying on the vine, so to speak, and spilled my story to a guru of social media and personal branding.
He said, "Do it, James. You can pull it off - be quirky." Designing the logo for this endeavor and me is the challenge.
When asked to describe myself in three words I said, "Technologist. Naturalist. Generalist." When asked to expand and look for a unifying idea, I thought of this statement:
I communicate. I may use words or pictures or move data or test security, but always it is about getting the right communication - the right thought - to the right person in the right way at the right time.
Since I am the brand, you needed to know all of that.... Some more data that might be helpful are my LinkedIn profile and my Flickr account for my photography. If you can unite those ideas, I think the rest fall into place. My photograph is here so you can see the product itself.
In addition to the prize, I will also write about the contest and link to the winning designer.
I like ideas that are simple, bold and exciting. I really like the idea of a graphical element in the logo that can be used by itself, or possibly increased in size and serve as a backdrop of ideas and or services I offer.
The logo should be vector-based for the most flexibility and have some color options. I don't have a color scheme for where i am going with this, so am open for ideas. Nature meets Web 2.0 anyone?
When I sat down to determine what I liked and didn't like I went through a list of other personal brands and current tech identities and looked for what I liked and didn't like. Here is a list of the sites where I saw things i liked:
http://personalbrandingblog.wordpress.com/ (love the icon/graphic)
I don't want canned logos - I already looked through a huge variety of sites and such before deciding that I need to leave this in the hands of a trained designer. Thats why I am here. To find something just right....
I also don't want reflections or any other cliches. I don't want camera's or computers (but iconographic representations of communications or ideas might work) or any other specific service I offer as I wear too many hats to single out just one or two.
Also, as I went through the list of sites I found some real turn-offs too. To help you out, here they are: