When I started Barefoot Brainstorming 15 years ago, Lift Communications created the first iteration of the original logo and I loved it from the moment I saw it. Not only was it a foot, but inside the foot was an exclamation mark! Anyone reading this will know the exclamation point holds a very special place in my heart!!! Hehe
After 10 years with the original logo, I wanted to freshen it up a little with a more modern look and feel. So my love affair with the foot continued.
Enter @Rebekah Miskin!! Earlier this year, I hired Rebekah’s company, MMP CREATIVE https://www.mmpcreativeconsulting.com/ to help me launch some new initiatives. Rebekah is best described as a young, driven, creative genius.
During one of our first conversations, she remarked “You know Marilyn, I have to tell you I hate the foot!” It felt like being told I had an ugly kid!!! I did my best to keep it together as she explained why:
- My name is and always has been Marilyn Barefoot; so the foot didn’t give any new information – it just reiterated the obvious.
- It was tired and outdated and ‘on the nose’.
- The business does so much more than brainstorming that ‘Barefoot Brainstorming’ sold me short.
I didn’t want to believe her, but everything she said made total sense. I was willing … or so I thought … to give this a try. Next step, hire a fabulous designer and brief them on the rebrand. My creative brief was short and sweet, and extremely challenging! I wanted the new logo to be ‘smart, elegant, and timeless’. I mean… who doesn’t? And so the journey began.
After reviewing portfolios and chatting with several amazing designers, we decided on @Jill Southern. https://jillsouthern.design/
Being a client is a relatively new experience for me. I admit openly, I’m not good at it! During the first couple of rounds of design presentations, I was quickly advised by Rebekah not to use the word ‘hate’. I think you get the picture.
This journey was off to a very rocky start. I had more than a couple of ‘turn back’ moments! The problem was not the designer, it was me! I was clinging to the foot as if my life depended on it. The second and more complex part of the problem was identified by @Rebekah Miskin. I needed to be part of the creative process. Not to control it, but to understand it and feel involved.
Jill very wisely explained something brilliant to me that I’ll never forget:
She said that a great logo mark is learned. It grows on us and with us. It earns the respect of those we respect. The layers of information it may contain may NOT be initially obvious and that is, in fact, the ultimate goal of a great logo mark: one that reveals more and more information the longer one interacts with it; as opposed to a flash in the pan that people (namely, me) will tire of quickly.
God bless @jillsouthern for her patience with me … the client from hell who had so much to learn!! But Jill was more than right. Her ability to identify the real goal I had for the rebrand is what sparked the perspective shift I didn’t know I needed. One that ultimately enabled us to arrive at a logo mark that felt truly evergreen.
Upon seeing the earliest iteration of what came to be the final logo mark I immediately visualized all the things it could do, be, and represent. It felt perfect for more reasons than I can put into words.
As the days passed and we saw the MB logo evolve through colour, texture, and motion treatments, my love for the design only deepened. It came to life in so many extraordinary ways. It was growing on me and with me in ways I never expected.
Thank you @RebekahMiskin and @Jillsouthern from the bottom of my heart for your genius, your patience, your creativity, and your tenacity. Collaborating with a team of innovative women was truly just the cherry on the cake of an incredible experience!
I invite you now to consider one last (super key!) thing:
The rebrand was quite the journey! Ultimately, it was an awesome creative experience I grew so much from; though it certainly had its ups and downs! But in order for me to get around to the growing, awesome, creative part, I had to realize something first:
I’d grown so attached to the foot, that I was resistant to growing beyond it. For a while, I got totally caught up in the undertow of that resistance. It wasn’t until I chose to be brave and run toward the fear of the unknown – that I could truly see my own blindspots and get out of my own way. And I learned so much from the process! But the learning part only became possible when I was willing to open up to it! Once I was willing to allow myself to really go there, I was finally able to envision an outcome that was even better than I could imagine! And that’s when it happened!
So… to conclude, I’ll just leave you with one question:
What’s the ‘foot’ in your world?
What is the thing in your world that’s grown tired and outdated and is holding you back? And yet, you hold onto it for dear life! You cling to it like a life raft. You’re so close to it, you can hardly see all the ways it’s dragging you down… but deep down, you already know… it’s time to let it go… Foot for thought.
This was such an incredible journey and I welcome your feedback with open arms Thank you!
P.S. If you want to laugh, just picking a title for this blog was a journey unto itself! Here are the blog titles that didn’t make the cut… are you surprised? Hehe:
1. Kicking the foot to the curb.
2. Footless … and fancy-free.
3. Losing the foot/ losing my foothold.
4. One foot in the grave.
5. Setting foot on the journey to rebrand.
6. The rebrand that knocked me off my feet.
7. Never let the grass grow under your feet.
8. My journey on foot to the rebrand.