After this year’s Origins convention I decided to do a small write-up on why I chose to re-brand from “Arcane Machinist”, a name with apparent steam-punk influence, to a more conservative personally named brand.
After reading an interesting article located here, I definitely picked the right time to change the ol’ internet welcome mat. According to this article there are specific times, circumstances and legitimate fears involved in the process. As a designer I alleviated the “too expensive” fear as I can re-brand myself for no money. The other fear is still very real, but given the responses that I saw at this year’s Origins convention, I feel that I have overcome this final hurdle. People recognized my work, most cared very little for the name it was under. SUCCESS!
When a concept like steam-punk emerges and becomes wildly popular to the crowds of people that come to these conventions, it’s either a way to easily carve a niche in the market, albeit a very narrow one, or a good way to get lost in the sea of people who are using it as a branding strategy. Back in 2004 when I originally chose the name, steam-punk was still underground and very few people knew about it. Visually it was like nothing else at the time, however nearly ten years later, it’s almost all you see.
I decided to choose a branding strategy that was so solid that I would never have to change it again. It was based on the core of who and what I am, so I branded MYSELF. I chose my name, which is a name that stands out in peoples minds because of its structure. I like to introduce myself as having three first names, three middle names, three last names, and I will answer to any combination there of. The logo was an easy choice. It’s a double edged sword at times since the way I sign my name seemingly drops letters out of my name. When people study the brand they begin to ask questions about it. This is a good thing because now it’s sticking out in their minds and my name will be in their minds as long as this occurs.
It was sad dropping the Victorian-inspired feel that I’ve used for nearly a decade now, but it was necessary to float above the sea of people using those kinds of strategies. Because of my personality and the quality I strive for in my artwork, I’ve always stood apart from other people. I’m beginning to realize that my work has an almost alien-level difference in style compared to other artists.
The last thing I would also like to mention is the level of accountability in my work, which I feel people would be more willing to associate with because it’s my NAME on the line. The very fiber of who I am, which means there’s no running away from it, I stand and deliver or I burn at the stake. So far I feel like I’ve met the challenge well and I will continue to deliver beautiful art pieces and explore the depths of my creativity.
See full post here: Matthew Lee Keith2011-06-30.