"COWBOY UP!"

This is a saying I heard as a preteen when I trained a discarded cart horse to be a champion barrel racer. We won horse of the year, novice division, in a tri-area gymkhana. The cart had rubbed horizontal cuts in her chestnut coat which grew back white and I called her markings "go faster stripes,"  not seeing the impossible ... only the potential. Through recognizing her strength in heart and spirit, nursing her back to health and gaining her trust, we turned her possibility into a reality.

UP! U.P. - Unique Perspective. This is what Ideabar designers / branders have. We step up with our Unique Perspective. In what ways can we move you UP in the hearts or your customers and UP past your competition? We see solutions. We dream big. We challenge the status quo. We TALENT UP! Everything is designed … some things better than others. Pretty cool when you think about it. Someone had to think about what a stapler would look like. Yes, it needs to perform it's function, but can it be better and look better? Can it stand out on the shelf next to the other staplers? Can it match other desk accessories? Can it's brand name be spread through product placement in a movie? (Guess which movie, hint, swingline)

Ideabar's TALENT UP crew sees what is unique in our clients and we communicate this in a marketable way. We put our heart into a product, company or project, even if it isn’t always sexy. Some of us had the "dream job" projects in design school, hmmm? graphics on a snowboard? But what if he or she is designing packaging for a generic line of grocery products? Think of Publix's cute packaging lately. Remember when “generic” looked cheap … black and yellow or white? I look at the foil roll packaging with pictures of animals shaped out of foil, or the toilet paper with a pile of sheep made from the cardboard and white fluff. Makes me smile knowing other designers TALENT UP.

Forward years later and I am a Sr. Art Director for a fortune 500 company for 10 years, I know that the star eyed student interviewing has to do 10 times + a week what he or she did in a semester. I can't help wondering, will he or she have what it takes to carry the passion of designing snowboard graphics to whatever comes his or her way, toilet paper, a new stapler? Will he or she see the emotional not transactional satisfaction of TALENT UP? Will she know someday she could contribute to keeping a 120 year old family business relevant to the next generation of family and customers?

Branding is a big honor and responsibility and deserves our best. Meaningful work is when the magic happens. For me this means giving every project, big or small, the same heart. I loved my cart horse like she was a champion before she was. It's all in perspective and seeing the positive = WIN WIN. Stay a student of life with sparkles of curiosity and hope in your eyes. Whether you are a business owner or their trusted designer ... we all win when we TALENT UP. Thank you for reading, Madelon.