Saturday, May 21, 2011

Logos, The Good, The Bad...

Recently I have notice something, good logo/graphic design is very sparse in the avicultural community, in fact, it practically doesn’t exist but, when it does, it sticks out like a rose in a sea of dandelions. I bring this to attention because for the most part, we are a creative bunch but when it comes to good design, most bird people might as well be color blind and mentally challenged when it comes to aesthetics. I really think most parrot people art too cheap to invest in good logos or they think too highly of themselves to consider paying for a professional, yet don’t you dare step on their toes—you’ll hear about it... well.. too bad and if this pisses you off, perhaps you may learn something.
It amazes me how many parrot people think they are visually talented when the reality is they are truly graduates of the Helen Keller School of Art and Design. They don’t realize that a logo is the first representation many will have of them or their company or perhaps they think that being cute is still hip—sorry folks, when we grew up schlock lost it’s cuteness. Perhaps some of them think that the colors they use (picture puking Lucky Charms cereal) is clever and inviting and they don’t realize, if it can’t work in grayscale, it only gets worse in color—especially when you really don’t have a sense of color. Perhaps some of them think we are still kids and we love cartoons? Whatever the reasoning, it’s wrong!
When I pondered opening my own parrot related business, I knew the importance of logo design, I realized that many people would not know me personally so I had to set forth a representation of who I am, I am not a cartoon, I am a tasteful adult who happens to have a passion for parrots and aviculture. I still watch cartoons occasionally, when I’m sick and such, but I am proud to have gone through puberty and learned adult sophistication, I have learned much in my years and although I value my childhood, I am happy being a grown-up. I am a gay man and I love the Pride Flag but I don’t need rainbow colored logos, in fact, they make me wanna burn my Pride Flag!

Okay, here is some good design in my opinion, these are carefully planned, beautifully executed and in my opinion, very tasteful. I really like these and I am happy that someone had the brains to do these. Bravo!
One word... Spectacular!
The only question...Sanctuary or Greenhouse? or both?
Very, Very nice! A stunning logo!

One of my favorites!! God! I wish I did this one!!!
It works well for what he's trying to communicate...

Starting to become a bit too much but holding back...

Clean, simple, elegant

Well done!

Interesting... and has become very recognizable.

Very, very nice!

All three are beautiful... very professional... A very nice representation of Dr. Karen Becker!

Gorgeous!!! Beautiful color, nice form and very inviting!

Bordering on schmaltz, but still working and I like it!


Okay... Not avian but should give you an idea...
It could use some cosmetic work... but still functional!

Okay... so big money plays a part in this one, but it doesn't need to!!!

Another one of my all time favorites!

I really find this interesting...

This was done by yours truly for a company I had pondered opening...

The alternate version—not many people liked this, yet I did... and no, I was not being biased!

Okay... lets look at some real schlocky design... feel free to laugh, snicker, etc. I personally find it offensive as a design professional. If your logo is here, consider it a wake up call and a commentary and perhaps a good reason I will not endorse your products because although I love kids, I don’t want to patronize them. You do not support my profession, I won’t support yours... I am appalled how many people think they can design a logo and instead of creating visual assault, for crying-out-loud, just use type! The saddest thing is, I like some of the people that did some of these and yet they are really, really bad—open your wallets, you want people to buy your stuff, pay for a designers skills. 

Makeover seriously needed!!!

Technicolor crapola!

Only if the King is a kid!

I'd expect much better!!!

I really love these characters, I love the faces but it just doesnt cut it as a logo...

More Yuck!!!

About as disappointing as a faked orgasm!!


If your logo made it on the schlock list consider doing something about’s never too late to change and you may actually benefit from it. Do yourselves a favor, hire a design may pay off in the long run...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Losing Sight...

This is one of those "observation moments" of those moments I look forward and back and say "Huh?!" We all have them, but rarely do we want to admit we have made a mistake somewhere in our lives, but when we do, I think it makes us realize that we are only human and most of us are creatures of habit.

My best friend, Jeff, and I have always had this habit of getting ourselves lost in the moment, we got into orchids and we were at the greenhouses every weekend buying every plant we thought was stunning—two or three years later, we would look at each other and say "What did I do and why didn't you stop me?!" We have had this habit ever since we started making money and realizing our love of learning about different things, we would buy books on the subjects of our obsession, we would buy the obsession and we would then stop and look back, it has always followed a cycle. Sometimes Jeff and I would be on the same obsession, sometimes not but it made our friendship the strong bond it is.

I have had birds since I was a child, I started like everyone else that gets into them, with a budgie and then moved up the species chart. Finally, I got to macaws and I truly love them more than any species or anything else in this world, I have learned so much from them and the bond between macaw and man/woman is so strong. I honestly believe of all the parrot species, macaws truly love to be our companions and if given the chance—they make the best companion animal anyone could ask for, next to dogs.

When I got into macaws, my original plan was to eventually get a Hyacinth, that had been my dream ever since seeing one when I was a child. My grandmother also loved them and we would always make it a point to see them at various places when we could. I liked the other species but the face of a Hy is just so incredibly perfect to me, those dark eyes that melt your heart, that comical face that makes you smile, and that rich blue color that takes your breathe away, and then to make it even more incredible, Mother Nature puts all that into this body that houses an incredible spirit and brain, she really outdid herself when she created Hys. gee, I got one macaw, Lucy, and then I thought well if one is good—two will be better, and if two is better—three will be awesome! Instead of staying focused, I was the kid in the candy store, I got a Ruby Macaw, a Greenwing, and then finally my smurf. I lost my sight and focus... You can say "well, you learned along the way until you got to that comfort zone of owning a Hy" but looking back, when I got into the macs, I should have gone straight for the smurf and now, I really wish I did. But, I do believe things happen for a reason, and I honestly believe in my heart that Miss Maggie was meant to be my companion Hy, we compliment each other and we have learned what makes the other happy.

I look at my life and I now am at the point where I want it simpler, I want a couple pets but I don't want a zoo, I want the objects of my passion and I want to focus on those, I am at a point where I know this is where I want to be and continue my education on those... I want to be focused on Hys and perhaps another species as my pets and learn as much as possible but I don't need to own them all. Eventually, perhaps I will want to breed Hys but for now, I want to enjoy the moments I have. I will always want to learn as much as I can about all parrots but as for my personal choices, Miss Maggie is my comfort zone. I want to live in a quiet town and I don't care if I make a ton of money, I want to be happy first and foremost and make enough money to live on and retire on. If I become wealthy—fine, but I have come to realize that life is more about love and happiness and not necessarily wealth. I truly enjoyed my youth and I learned a lot, but that learning process has brought me to where I am today.

I love my other two birds, I love Blaze and I adore Popeye, but I can honestly say I can see a day down the road that if the perfect home came along, I would let one go to that home, but at this time, I just don't know which one I would let go. I also feel at times I am shorting the other birds by not spending as much time with them as they would like and I also feel that Miss Maggie wants more of my attention and I am shorting her. I keep wondering what my life would be like if I was down to two birds and I think I would quite possibly enjoy it more, and not feel guilty about spending time with smurf.

As we get older, our bodies cheat us, they rob us of the energy we once had, they make us realize we're fighting the forces of aging and that we can't do everything we once could. We gain knowledge but we lose energy and it's just wrong—let us gain both so we can make more contributions to the world...

I am seeing so many good friends cutting back their flocks, our realities have been brought on by aging, the economy, our loved ones, etc. and we are beating ourselves up—we have come to the point where we realize something has to change in order for us to continue to be happy. Once we do make those changes, many of us are happier and seem to benefit quite well from doing what we really needed to do. We ran into the candy store and we lost our sight, we didn't need all that "sugar" we only needed something sweet and we ended up with a toothache in the process. I think we also need to realize, many of our birds will eventually see another home aside from ours, many of us got our birds as we got older and our birds lifespans are long enough that many could outlive us. I really believe that if you're not 100% happy with the choices you have made, make life easier while both you and the bird are young enough and flexible enough to make the transition easier for all involved.

The point I am trying to make is—remember your original focus, remember your original dream, and remember to stay true to those. We can alter course but don't be afraid of altering it several times along the way. I really believe we know very early in our lives what we are passionate about but we allow other influences to cloud that perception. We allow too many things alter our course and then we have to correct that and at times it can be quite difficult to do and at times heartbreaking. God, or whatever you believe in, gave you life and a course, follow it and you'll be happy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jean Theodore Descourtilz

I found this on Ebay this morning, beginning bid—close to $3000, I like it, but not *that* much! I thought it was interesting the way he viewed Hys though...

Jean Theodore Descourtilz’s work, Ornithologie Bresilienne ou Histoire des Oiseaux du Bresil…, focused on the exquisite birds of Brazil and described 15 new species as well as a new species.  Wood notes that Ornithologie Bresilienne was a “very important, fundamental, systematic treatise.”

The first edition was published by Waterlow and Sons for Thomas Reeve in London between 1852 and 1856.  Each remarkable chromolithograph was printed in color and finished by hand after Descourtilz.

Descourtilz worked for the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. He was the son of French adventurer, botanist and naturalist Michel Etienne Descourtilz. Michel authored the work History of the Disasters in Saint-Domingue as well. The only other work that Descourtilz was known to have illustrated was his father's work Flore pittoresque et m├ędicale des Antilles.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Roy Astley Fryer

I love this mans work... he catches the very essence of why we love our companions in their facial expression, color, and gesture. I would love to one day own one of his stunning works.

Roy Astley Fryer, internationally recognized Bird/Wildlife Artist from South Africa (Johannesburg, Gauteng) spends much of his time in Africa's largest game reserve ("Kruger National Park") gathering and researching bird and wildlife reference to paint. Roy's passion for art started at a young age and after finishing high school (Sasolburg High) he served in the South African military force (1 Parachute Battalion (Bloemfontein), mandatory 2 years), afterwards  graduating with a National Graphic Design diploma (Pretoria Technicon).

From a very young age Roy has been interested in birds/wildlife and had the opportunity on the family farm in the Karoo in Southern Africa to enjoy and become aware of the outdoor animal wildlife. In 2000 Roy left the design and advertising world and turned his profession to wildlife and bird art specializing in parrots. He works from out of his studio in Springs and has visited the United States a dozen times selling his art. His work is flown to all continents on the globe.