Creative Latitude
« The history of Creative Latitude


Choosing a name
« Designing a logo
« Designing Creative Latitude's Web site
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The history of Creative Latitude

It was a dark and stormy night as the wind whistled through the naked trees. It was sound that sent a cold chill down my...

Oops! Sorry, that's my novel file. Actually, it was quite a nice morning in September, 2002. Catherine (Cat) Wentworth and Neil Tortorella were discussing ways to build visibility for their sites. Neil jokingly suggested Cat follow the example of the (notorious) Save Karyn site. Seems Karyn racked up 20 grand (USD) in debt, mostly by buying designer shoes. She set up a site asking people to help her pay off the credit card hounds. It worked. So, if Karyn could cyber beg for dough, why couldn't Cat cyber beg for links?

Cat then put up a message on the Graphic Design forum asking for reciprocal links to get the ball rolling. People from the forum started sharing links and the discussion became quite involved. All interested dove into the project, throwing in all sorts of useful ideas.

A few posts into the thread, Valarie Martin, of Wave Brain Design, Dallas, TX, suggested coming up with a logo we could all use on our sites' links pages. Well, all thought that was pretty nifty and Creative Latitude was conceived.

To be honest, we didn't have a clue what we were doing or getting ourselves into. We just wanted better visibility on the search engines. It quickly became apparent that we needed some organization.

Sladjan Lukic, of RainbowOrange Design, whipped up some logo designs that put more fire under everyone's hind quarter. UK-based Nigel Gordijk chimed in with the suggestion of creating something along the lines of a global collaboration he'd read about in Inc magazine. It was a group of advertising folks scattered around the world, who, on occasion, worked together. Then Jeff Fisher threw in a "Friendly Folks" concept gathered from a networking site. Now Creative Latitude was beyond conception. It was positively embryonic. We started to get a handle on the scope of this baby we created.

We developed a preliminary mission statement that was developed along with the project goals and name tossing. It was also becoming obvious that we needed to move things off the forum, so a nursery was set for the kid at, the perfect cradle. Bravenet provided a slew of free services that helped keep everyone up to date, without clogging up the forum.

The group came up with over 60 possible names for our child, put them up for a vote, edited them down and Creative Latitude was the final winner. The name reflects the creative nature of the project. You see we're all involved in some type of creative endeavor - designers, writers, photographers, illustrators, etc. The "latitude" part reflects the global nature of project, but also stands for flexibility and freedom.

Behind the scenes, the management team (are we organized, or what?) set to work. The team adopted the nickname, CNN - sort of the the 'Chicken Noodle News' of Creative Latitude. CNN kept everyone abreast of the development process, gathered reference links, held virtual meetings at ungodly hours across three continents, all the while drinking barrels of coffee and pots of tea.

In no time the project outgrew Bravenet and we needed to find a more permanent home. Enter Yvonne Adams. Yvonne, it seems, has her very own server and was willing to let Creative Latitude set up houskeeping. How's that for convenient? So, Yvonne became our site host-ess, code guru and database debutante. We owe her a huge round of applause.

Having found a name, we now needed a logo. Carey Numme, of Balance Design, came out with a great design. Read about her design process.

Now that we had a name and face, it was time to develop a body. Nigel got to work designing, coming up with three directions.

What you see now is the final design the group selected, after yet another two round vote. Wed enjoy reading your comments about it.

Our concept has been born and we slapped it on the butt with press releases shot around the world to start it breathing. Over time we expect our little babe to grow into a strong, smart site that provides useful information to client companies and creatives alike.

And there you have it - how to give birth to a promotional project in four short months - with a minimal amount of morning sickness and aching backs!

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