It was a dark and stormy night as the wind whistled through
the naked trees. It was sound that sent a cold chill down
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 About.com
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
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
Sladjan Lukic, of RainbowOrange Design, whipped up some logo
designs that put more fire under everyone's hind quarter.
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
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 About.com
forum, so a nursery was set for the kid at Bravenet.com,
the perfect cradle. Bravenet provided a slew of free services
that helped keep everyone up to date, without clogging up
the About.com 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
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. We’d 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!