Last Wednesday I followed the cogent advice of my son-in-law: I went to http://www.99designs.com and contracted for a logo design. The process ended just after 12 noon today (Sunday).
It involved creating a basic design idea, then waiting and watching as designers from all over the world submitted their various approaches to it. I wondered how well it would work at first, but I must say the process was quite rewarding.
And the design I approved today is a good one, I think. As soon as the artist sends me the appropriate computer files (vectorized PDF, JPEG, and PSD), I will be on my way to employing this new logo design for my part-time business.
The new domain is http://www.heartdepot.org and I am hoping a website will be completed later this summer. There is much to do.
Several weeks ago my wife and I sat one morning and brainstormed, searching for a name for the pursuit, something catchy that would depict what I am trying to do, and hoping that once we had the name we could also find an available domain. I had my doubts.
I usually do. Have my doubts, that is.
Our brainstorming centered around railroad themes, the human heart (emotions and mind), and the journey of life that can be depicted in such picturesque and captivating ways when one employs the figure of a locomotive, a depot, and railroad tracks. We had such fun with each other while brainstorming. But when all was said and done that day we still did not have a name that “rang our bell” (so to speak).
Overnight that night I woke with the thought that the word “Home” could easily substitute for the overused word “Heart.” And I immediately put two and two together and came up with . . . (you guessed it) Home Depot! I wagered right there on the spot that I deserved the right to that name much more than Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank; I was just 36 years too late.
I wasn’t sure which way to go. Our brainstorm had not seemed to produce anything that actually amounted to much. It was like the old humorous phrase that preachers used to recite when I was a boy . . . you know, where the Indian Chief says, “Much thunder. Much wind. But no rain!”
And then . . . I awoke one morning with the answer.
It seemed so obvious. How had we not uncovered it already? That was what baffled me most. The human mind is an amazing thing. Not only does it come up with some pretty intricate thoughts sometimes, but it can also veil the most obvious ideas known to man! It is the strangest mix of insight and unsight.
Of course! The place where the human heart boards its trains of thought; the platform of embarkment, the gate of departure, the point from which the present can intersect with the past. Not an escape so much as a hidden tie to the heart. Something lost that we can rediscover.
When I got up that morning I went to the computer, hoping to find this domain name available. But knowing deep inside that there is no way it could be (as I said, I always have my doubts). Surely someone had already captured this address and probably even trademarked the term. I found that the .com was not available, but .org was indeed available. I purchased it forthwith!
I could not find it trademarked/service marked either (but that is a process I am not ready to tackle at this point; I need some commercial use first; and . . . more money).
And all this . . . led to the decision last Wednesday . . . to contract for a unique logo to accompany this name.
As I said, the competition ended just after noon today. This could have been just the preliminary round of competition, but as it turned out one designer (I had nine different ones who responded) worked sleeplessly to offer just the right design for the occasion. A clear winner. I am pleased.
But then . . . there are . . . my doubts.
I feel something like President John F. Kennedy; not long after the favorable results of his election in 1960 he supposedly sat with his weary but celebratory colleagues in the Oval Office and is quoted as having said (with remarkable humor and humility), “Now what are we going to do?”
I have spent much of my life doubting.
Doubting that I had anything to offer. Doubting that I could be successful. Doubting that I even knew what success was. Doubting that I could be a good husband and father. Doubting that I was a good musician, or a good writer.
Doubting . . . (in short) . . . that anything really good could happen to me. Not me!
Looking back over six decades of life, I can now say that I have been blessed with countless wonderful opportunities, numberless fantastic relationships, expressions of affection and love the value of which would rival the gold of King Midas, accolades and notes of gratitude that establish me as a “rich man” by any standard.
Heart Depot was a name that evolved for us over a period of time. The Heart Depot logo evolved over time as well. And me? Well . . . I am a work in progress, too . . . in my own process of evolution, literally a rolling out of sorts.
No doubt – you are in a process of self-evolution, too. It is an aspect of life’s journey that we all share, do we not? And as our individual lives roll out before us there is . . . precious little time for doubts.
Oh, they will come. Of that you can be certain! But dismiss them as intruders as quickly as you can. For they do not enhance your journey. I wish you well as you travel. In railroad terms I want to extend to you the positive farewell wish of “eight and sand.”
Now you will have to pardon me, but . . . I have a train to catch!