(Also published on the EarlyWords blog.)

You know that phase at the very beginning of an idea where you just sketch things out? Maybe on the back of an envelope. If you’ve ever worked in an office and collaborated on something, perhaps you’ve brainstormed and sketched out a project on a whiteboard. That’s precisely what we did for the EarlyWords project. I drew a rectangle on the whiteboard in my office / studio and put a little bird and wrote “earlywords” where the logo is typically found on a webpage.

Damien lives in Hollywood and I live in the small town of Ashland in Oregon, so we sent images back and forth and chatted and collaborated. In our software development work, we follow a philosophy that we shouldn’t spend time building things that we have not yet validated that we need. So when we put together the first drafts of EarlyWords, I took a photo of my whiteboard sketch and wrestled it in Photoshop into our draft logo. Of course we would eventually have someone make us a “real” logo when we got around to it.


But a funny thing has happened so far. I came to realize that the little sketch just feels right for the project. A quick sketch made without any self-consciousness is a metaphorically powerful expression of the intention of writing our EarlyWords. When we write without self-consciousness, when we just get the ideas out of our heads and into the real world, magic happens. Ideas that might otherwise never see the light of day appear—the inner world of thought is manifested in our shared external world.

Is it a “good logo” that we’ll keep forever? LOL. Probably not. But it’s doing it’s job and holding space for a future that unfolds little-by-little and day-by-day.

— Rob