Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's "Brand" New

As a new business, I’ve been reading constantly about the importance of ‘branding’, keeping a unified message of words and images to always represent ME and who I am as a business and artist. (Not as easy as one might think). In the sea of internet clutter we face everyday, everyone seems to be looking to distinguish themself as unique; to ‘brand’ themselves with something identifiable. We make ourselves ‘public’ every day on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Tumbler pages, but don’t necessarily set ourselves apart from all the rest of the flotsam and jetsam out there. Perhaps we write some memorable text, add a catchy slogan or signature phrase, or upload our own unique images. But what is that one symbol or identifying mark that identifies us as unique individuals and what is our consistent message? This is where branding comes in. Branding is really nothing new. We can trace its roots back to ancient times, to heraldry.

The dictionary defines a herald as “a royal or official messenger, especially one representing a monarch in an ambassadorial capacity during wartime.” From there we find heraldry, “the practice of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms.” In medieval times, this artistry was painted on shields so that knights could ascertain friend from foe in battle, with each color, pattern and shape having its own symbolic meaning. (learn more at

(Arms of the Earl Spencer, courtesy

            A coat of arms may also relate to a family crest, as a way to display one’s noble lineage. Branding through heritage.

(Kate Middleton’s former coat of arms, before achieving royalty status, courtesy

              Heraldry is still practiced today. On the blog IDTG, you can find a list of modern masters of the practice, devising ever more shields while still adhering to its traditional artistic methods.

            But if you think it’s just for the stuffy and old, check out artist, Rashaad Newsome’s work, honoring the ‘royalty’ of rap and hip-hop. They use their own version of heraldry to promote their status, (by way of BLING!)

(By Rashaad Newsome, courtesy Sick of the Radio)

            Which brings me back to my own brand. I may still be searching for that one image or logo that will set me apart in the vast marketplace of wearable artists, but I certainly am not put off by thinking that heraldry is the exclusive province of the aristocratic or fabulously hip. I’m bestowing my own brand of heraldic regalia on even the most common folk, with pieces fit for a king and prices a rapper can sing about.

            Find them at my shop:

Peace, Love, Coats, and Arms,

Pauletta Brooks

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