The Great Re-Branding (Logo) of 2019
Back in 2015, when the first edition of the Dragon Sex Calendar (DSC) was released—I had designed the whole thing with zero anticipation of longevity. The calendar was simply a silly concept, yet one that might have a chance of succeeding, due to its stupidity alone. So I hired artists to paint gorgeous images of dragons banging, designed the calendar, built an accompanying Word Press website modeled after a Harry’s Razor’s website (LoL). I did all of this just to prove to myself that I could do it. Nike status. It was one of those ideas that if I didn’t follow through on I’d beat my self up for eternity about. Just like not telling that special someone you loved them, or not being able to apologize for something wicked you said to someone in your youth and you have no way of finding them now to properly apologize. I never anticipated that the 2015 Dragon Sex Calendar would sell out—elevated to cult status thanks to a post on Reddit in a subreddit called r/thisiswhyimbroke (thanks Adam at thisiswhyimbroke.com, BTW). So, all this to say that in that hustle and bustle of creating the first DSC I went with one of the first fonts I found on dafont.com that I felt worked. Times have changed. And I hate my current font. Sorry, "Motion Picture" font! I will always appreciate you.
Ever since the aftermath of the success of the Dragon Sex Calendar, I’ve had a branding crisis. I’ve been battling between two different "company” personas. How do I present myself? How seriously do I take myself? Do I position the calendar as a super-serious piece of art and market it that way? Or position it as a silly product, filled with subversive humor—marketing it under the guise of “seriousness,” (and everyone is in on the joke). These types of questions have had a big impact on the overall design over the years—everything from the printed calendar itself to the website, and especially the logo. The results have been a weird hodgepodge of both ideas. A deformed hybrid. This is what the homepage looked like back in 2015. Quite charming actually.
Short interlude. I’ve had a rough 2019. My wife and I miscarried twice. In May of this year, my brother Philip died in a car accident. He left behind a pregnant fiancée, who gave birth to my nephew Sullivan a month ago (he’s the spitting image of his dad BTW and I’m going to spoil the fuck out of him). The grief around the loss of my brother and our miscarriages has drained me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It’s impacted my relationship with everyone in my life. I’m quicker to anger than before. Things stress me out easier. I’ve had trouble focusing. But, I’m getting better. I’m aware of my grief and my “new normal” and am trying to forgive myself for setbacks but also work harder on loving those around me. All this to say I haven’t able to focus on the calendar or put much energy into it at all. For the last few years, and during all the heartache this year, I’ve known that I’ve needed to fully dive into the Dragon Sex Calendar as a brand. I’ve been ignoring it and taking it for granted. And in a way, refocusing on it has been a bit healing for me. It’s a place to put all this energy. And the first step in diving back in has been to get some professional help.
Yes, I’m seeing a therapist but I’m talking about a BRANDING therapist. Enter Seafoam Media out of St. Louis. One last thing—my brother left me some money when he died. His best man speech at my wedding he spoke about how proud he was of me, at the man I’d become, and how I’d always followed my dreams, no matter how stupid. This was a direct reference to the Dragon Sex Calendar. The only way I could have ever afforded to work with a creative agency was through his grace. Thank you, Philip. I love you.
I’ve met with the agency, Seafoam Media, a few times now—most recently this last month. I a 4-hour brainstorming session with their team of experts; the social media person was there, along with the google analytics person, the copywriter, and mega supervisor who knows everything. They gave me some insanely solid advice. I’ll go into that in another post. Needless to say, the Lil’ coal in my heart was ignited by the kindling of creativity. (Barf-worthy analogy).
I’ve been making updates to the website over the last month. Which, if you’re a regular visitor you’ve probably noticed. This will continue to be updated as I come up with more and more ways to optimize and bring you guys value. Because that’s the whole point. To build a community of people who love this stupid-ass calendar and return time and again to look at my content. I can’t wait to engage with you people.
On to the crux of the branding crisis. In many ways, the logo IS the product. It IS the company. "It is known." (said like Ygritte from GoT).
A good logo adds an extreme amount of value. Knowing this and not doing anything about it is something I’ve been struggling with for 5 years. And it’s finally time for a change. So this font is what I’ve been using since 2015. I want to take this “logo,” wood-burn it into a baseball bat, wrap the baseball bat with barbed-wire, and pay someone to shove the barb-wire-wrapped baseball bat up my ass 3X.
Although I’m an Art Director by day, I’m shitty at logo design. Super shitty. And tbh, sometimes the last thing on earth I want to do when I get home from designing things all day is to do more design work. So….I’ve hired an amazing agency to design a new logo for the Dragon Sex Calendar. Check out their website https://coldcastlestudios.com. This shit is amazing. Here are some samples of their logos:
My direction to them in this process was literally, "We realize how stupid the product is but we're positioning ourselves as if we take ourselves completely seriously.” With that in mind, here is a sneak peek, guys, of the preliminary look and feel of the logo. I put a bunch of ridiculous watermarks over the logo for some reason. The next round is going to include a design with a frame around the logo, a la the World of Warcraft logo—to see if that looks good and serves the logo.
I simply cannot fucking wait to reveal it to all of you. I will finally have a brand. This brand will live across all print and social media. It’s the next chapter in my company. And I couldn’t be more excited. This logo will provide the base for future, ridiculous calendars, pins, coloring books, electric cars, personal spacecraft, and dolphin tattoos. Let me know what you think of the preliminary design in the comments below. I love you all!