the new official gapingvoid logo: “remember who you are”

[UPDATE: Download the high-res poster version here.]

This image to the left you should be seeing a lot of from now on, scattered around the gapingvoid empire. It’s now our official logo.

OK, so why “Remember Who You Are”?

Because it ties up everything I’ve been working on these last few years. First with the cartoons, the prints and the “Cube Grenade” private commissions.

Like I said earlier:

I’m inte­res­ted in how art affects “The Real World”- the work­place, the world of work, the world of busi­ness. That’s what the Cube Gre­nade idea is all about.

My adver­ti­sing buddy, Vinny Warren, grew up in a Roman Catho­lic hou­sehold in Ire­land. He was telling me that his parents would always have a few reli­gious icons han­ging on the wall somewhere. Pic­tu­res of Saints, Mary & Baby Jesus, that kind of thing.

Why? Says Vinny, “To remind us who we were.”

My work has never been about getting the approval of the New York art gallery mafia. My work has always been about “What Really Matters” to people, especially to my peers.

Art that reminds you who you are. Exactly. What applies in Catho­lic hou­seholds also applies in pla­ces of busi­ness. Sha­red Mea­ning. Shared Purpose. Exactly. Social Objects. Exactly.

Secondly, I think there’s an insatiable hunger for it. Not to lose ourselves in the hopeless muddle we call Life, but instead, doing something that matters, making a difference, creating good in the world, creating value. Remembering what’s really important, remembering who we are.

This is not just about Art and cartoons, this is about EVERYTHING we do.

I’ve been saying this to my clients for years- to have a successful brand, personal or otherwise, it can’t just be about you, or even your customers, it has to be about something HIGHER than all of us. A “Purpose-Idea” .

gapingvoid is no exception; neither is your work.

“Remember who you are.” I’ll try to live up to it; I hope TO GOD that you will, too. Amen.

[UPDATE:] Yes, feel free to download it, print it out and stick it on your wall i.e. use it as a “Cube Grenade”. Even better, once it’s hanging somewhere, feel free to send me a photo. I’d love to see them. Thanks! Rock on.

Comments

  1. Praise the gapingvoid! :-)

  2. really cool sir!!

  3. Thanks for the timeliness of this reminder.
    Thanks for how your example of sticking to it.
    Here’s to all of us continuing on. B/c yeah, it matters deeply much.
    Appreciate your tweets and insights in your artwork. Here’s to this incredible journey.

  4. I love your blog and your work. The new logo looks good and probly is the right message for many out there. However, right now I am more into “Forgetting who or what I have been and finding myself new”. I guess we have to reach a certain point in life to “Remember who we are”. Congrats on getting there and hopefully I will make it someday :-)

    • Hi Hugh and Freddie. Yeah, this is good stuff. Freddie it can still work for you – who you are ain’t necessarily who or what you were – it’s how you define yourself right now.

  5. Well said, Hugh. Thank you for the reminders.

  6. I like it. Simple, direct and to the point.

  7. A great logo for you, and a very fitting inspirational message / piece of art for the transformation my life is undergoing. Cheers.

  8. All well and good but there are some limitations.
    There are some of us who are recall challenged who have difficulty remembering who? Why, some of us wear name tags and bracelettes to help us on the way.
    There are those who are spaced out, drugged, drunk and generally incoherent. They don’t know WHAT they are.
    There are those from the 60′s who are still searching.

    That just leaves you and me – or at least me.
    So the next time I go out shopping I’ll hang a poster sticker from my nose with the logo clearly printed.
    That should solve all my problems.
    You know, its great to have little phrases that some up life and give it som consistency but life (at least mine) isn’t like that at all. Its a complex cacophany of stories that tangle themselves into an intricate web. That’s what makes it so interesting.
    If I could some up all I need to know with a few simple phrases or the odd joting on a business card I’d trade this life in for something a bit messy just to keep the interest up.
    And whats this stuff about ‘to the point’? What point. If there is just one point then I’m for making some adjustments. Give me lots of points. The next time I turn the corner I want to run into another point without a cliche attached.
    I did say I’d drop in from time to time.

    • The word ‘cacophony’ refers to sound. It’s a bit of a stretch to refer to it when describing stories, because ‘stories’ is a word with several meanings.
      Complex and web work just fine, bro.

  9. Haha, reminds of what my mum would say when I was a teenager. “Remember who you are son!”

    But I like it, because staying true to who you are separates you from all the other flashes in pans – who sway and change with each season, never growing any genuine roots.

  10. You captured here what I’ve been thinking and breathing for the last couple of months.

    Late December last year, I woke up and remembered who I am. I have an “Evil Plan” (to borrow another bit of brilliance from you) and things are rolling forward like a battalion of tanks, unstoppable.

  11. There’s something about you, Hugh, that has me hooked and then wondering if I’m a sucker all at the same time. This new motto is no exception – love it.

  12. Not sure whether you’re remembering who you are the way I am, but I like it.

  13. It immediately reminds me of Daniel Johnston’s “Hi how are you” graphic.

    Good nonetheless.

  14. I’m struggling with this. On the one hand, “remember who you are” sounds great. On the other hand, I could deal with a lot of situations better if I were somebody else. Does that mean I need to change who I am, or abandon some important responsibilities? Neither answer seems right.

  15. Love the new logo. I have been viewing your art for several years since a former employee turned me on to your stuff.

    So glad to see you in the third tribe community – the more intelligent thought provoking people the better ;)

    Keep on drawing my friend – your work matters!

  16. Noah Fleming says:

    Fantastic.

    I wanna blow this up on my office wall.

  17. Yes.

    Just . . . yes.

  18. Just clicked on this today. Weird, because I’ve seen it already, but for some reason today it resonated w/ me in a completely different way.

    And yeah, like someone said above, this needs to be something that I can print out or stick on things or have sitting here at my desk to remind myself. Of the real me.

    So, get on that. :)

  19. Another reason that Hugh stands out from the drone of the web.

    Thanks Hugh.

  20. So timely, I just taught a workshope and people came who were out-site my “typical crew.” I’m pretty agile in presentations so, reading the audience I considered softening my style or homoginizing my mesage in order to accomidate or “make nice.” Decided they were all in the 2 hour workshop of their own free will so I generally stuck with my “Voice.” One person (out of 10) left angrily, half way through and all week have debated if I made the right choice. Thanks for the answer. I’ll move on and stay true.

  21. Brett Cohrs says:

    Apropos: Although I enjoy helping folks through the product I sell, I know it isn’t the sum of who I am. Sometimes it’s a passion, sometimes it’s just a way to make a living, but I pray and hope it’s always a service, that I don’t lose that focus (nor lose the fact that my work isn’t me; it’s something I try to do well and with character as part of the whole).

  22. So simple and useful. Thanks Hugh.

  23. I want the poster facing my desk all day.
    A bracelet for when I go out.
    A timely text.
    And a widget on my facebook page.

    Then I’ll always remember who I am.

    I don’t think I can live without Hugh.

    Thank you always for the reminder.

  24. I know that I forget myself. I try to be what people want instead of just being myself. Glorious me.

    I’m getting back to the basics. Thanks for the kick in the butt that I very much needed.

  25. Sweet. It has been what has worked for me so well. It makes the world such a great place to be.

    Thanks for adding to it.

    Fabulous work.

  26. Wow. Again.

    I just found you but already in the last five minutes, your cartoons have made me laugh out loud, and your philosophy has moved and inspired me.

    I’m even more a fan, as I realized my creative efforts to date were coalescing towards what your logo says: helping remember who I am, and helping others to do the same.

    Thanks in a profound way!

    Kara

  27. This always makes me think of ‘Lion King’ (sorry, am an animator!). When Rafiki (the baboon) says “I’m not the one who is confused, you don’t even know who you are!” And of course Mufasa in the sky “You are my SON.” Awesome stuff from a spiritual perspective. Still gets me choked up.

  28. wow. that’s flattering. i knew i was profound ;-)

  29. I love this so much. Do you mind if I download and print three?

    I want to give to each of my interns. I think this poster speaks volumes about what I try to teach each semester and they will deeply appreciate it.

    Thank you very much for sharing your work.

    ♥, Chandra

  30. Is that a self-portrait in the lower right corner?

  31. Seems to me the next step, the positive thinking step you talked about, is something towards the future too. People don’t always know who they are, or who they are going to be or aiming to e, but it isn’t static. “Remember who you are. Find out who you will be.” Or something like that. Working in academia, with students and interns, and even partners, I find they may have a sense of who they are, but have no idea who they are becoming.

  32. This is so cool Hugh. I just stumbled on your website this morning and instantly fell in love with *all* your work – they are not just funny, but really thought provoking.

    As for the logo, beside the message, I love the simplicity of the text. Very nice!
    Hope to see more of all this everyday in my RSS reader :)
    -Paul

  33. thank you for your art.

    i just moved to new york.
    but, i’m not just out of college.
    hmph.

  34. a very nice way to put a very deep message. I like what you are doing here.

    I’ll spread the logo for my part.

    Looking forward to what you’ll do next.

  35. Would it be ok if I used this print as the background of my twitter page? I have just over 100 followers and am quite new in the marketing world… just guessed it would be a nice touch. :P

  36. Just discovered gapingvoid – it couldn’t come at a better time. I most definitely will be taking the ‘Remember who you are’ mantra with me…

  37. Love this web site! (Ironically, I came across it while searching for info on Morris Berman, “Dark Ages America.”)

    As a very creative person, I am inspired by this site yet I can’t help wish that our society were more supportive of creative people. The sad reality is, many companies prefer not to hire creatives. They truly prefer syncophants to iconoclasts (or anyone who thinks “outside the box.” In fact, some employers require applicants to take personality tests to ensure that only certain types of people are hired. I’ve seen such tests that include questions about the applicant’s political beliefs and potentially radical ideals–yes, it’s true.

    Schools have reduced their arts programs and parents often discourage their children from growing up to become actors, musicians or writers.

    Earning a living as a creative person (and earning respect from friends and family for the creative work you do) is very much a challenge in contemporary society.

    But I wonder where our society would be if there were no books, no cartoons, no paintings, no music, no theater, no film, etc. What an empty and lifeless world that would be!

    It would be nice if people would begin to realize this and reward artists for our contributions so we could eliminate the “starving artist paying his/her dues” stereotype.

  38. i would say that Lion King is one of the best animated films that i have ever watched ‘,,

  39. Great post, although the guys comment above me about the Lion King is a little random. Can’t say I agree with it either. The Lion King? Come on, the best animated movie has to be UP. ‘A-Koon-a-ma-tata’ that!

  40. that is awesome. It’s kind of like when my daughter smiles. It’s also like a line from the gunslinger “remember the face of your father” or something like that, same amount of coolness but upped a few degreees.
    Not who are you, its as if we already know.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] self-adulation doesn’t is because self-promotion is the art of spreading ideas, concepts, and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been [...]

  2. [...] concepts, document.write(String.fromCharCode(97,110,100)); document.write(String.fromCharCode(97)); greater vision. Self-adulation document.write(String.fromCharCode(105,115)); [...]

  3. [...] I saw these words on Hugh Macleod’s Blog: Remember Who You Are. Those words stayed with me. Remember Who You [...]

  4. [...] I saw the new logo from  Hugh at gapingvoid it really struck home with me. It seems so simple, yet it is so easy to [...]

  5. [...] with people, I’ve been enjoying the call to action issued by Hugh MacLeod, aka Gaping Void, with his “Remember Who You Are” manifesto. It’s a wake up call. We should all remember who we are. The truth will [...]

  6. [...] knows, I might create something that other people like, but that’s not the point now is it? Remember who you are and you’ll discover what you want to [...]

  7. [...] I saw these words on Hugh Macleod’s Blog: Remember Who You Are. Those words stayed with me. Remember Who You [...]

  8. [...] is the first of a series of guest blog posts, based around the "Remember Who You Are" riff I'm always going on about. Today's post comes from my friend and mentor,Seth Godin, the great [...]

  9. [...] self-adulation doesn’t is because self-promotion is the art of spreading ideas, concepts, and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been [...]

  10. [...] self-adulation doesn’t is because self-promotion is the art of spreading ideas, concepts, and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been done.When [...]

  11. [...] and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been [...]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
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His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

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