there’s been a long lull since last i wrote.
i was creating some honest to god sweat equity in johnson + wolverton. we renovated our barn to be a bona fide brand skunkwerks. there were guys working on it for months, and then in october it became the project of just hal and i. all of the foundation and heavy construction was done. it was our turn to renovate the studio. i’d forgotten how labor intensive a renovation is. long, hard, sweaty days. soreness, frustration, impatience, and finally satisfaction.
it struck me midway through how similar a renovation is to a turnaround. granted, i’ve never schlepped 2 x 4s or scraped wall paper on a brand project, but you get the drift. the research and planning, the concepting, the design, the unending need for a fierce persistence of vision, the budgets and the schedules… and along the way the need to remind yourself and your partners why you’re doing this crazy thing when really, you’re so tired you just want to take your toys and go home. there’s something to be said for the long, hard, persistent labor that a barn or a brand requires. there’s also something quite amazing about the joy-dividend that sweat equity pays.
not coincidentally we were also working on our brand during this renovation. i wrestled for months with our positioning statement (and have a much deeper respect for our clients for having gone through it again myself) finally identifying a simple, honest statement that invigorates us: we breathe new life into legendary brands.