lost memos still somewhere in a pile on our desk


To: Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Jefferson

From: Pierre Eugène Du Simitière

Date: July, 1776

Subject: Great Seal Committee

Gentlemen, I have just completed the second draft of the Great Seal, taking into account your suggestions. I think this version is a good marriage of your allegorical ideas and my heraldic design. Please take a look and send me any points of fine-tuning before we can submit it to Congress.

Some thoughts:

Dr. Franklin’s idea for the motto — Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God — certainly sends a strong message, and considering Mr. Jefferson’s enthusiasm for it, I have placed it on the reverse. The front, I think, should stick with E Pluribus Unum. The phrase has appeared in every periodical within the past few months and is very much in the public’s mind. Once the heat of Revolution has cooled, I suspect it will prove to be a more lasting choice.

You may notice that the American Soldier of my first design has been replaced by the Goddess of Justice, who now stands side-by-side with Liberty. I do agree that the pair presents a more unified image, but I am rather worried now that the seal does not have a distinctly American mark. Erudition does not always translate into design. As of now, it looks more like a collection of insignia than a representation of its motto. I do not know if the strength of its visual impact has matched Mr. Jefferson’s Constitution.


To: Winter

From: New York City

Date: April 2014

Subject: Wasacominago

I’ve enjoyed watching my people navigate the slushlakes on Broadway, curse through icewinds, and put on light jackets only to return to their well-worn coats.

But with all due respect, winter, ya gotta move on. You’ve had a great run but I’m startin’ta get worried about my trees.

‘Cuz ‘a you the cherry blossoms don’t know what’s what. That don’t work for us. We like to keep things movin’.

Listen, I’m tryin’ta restrain myself here. I don’t want us goin’ at eachoddah’s throats. So stop being a tease and stick to the plan.


To: The Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, and Middelburg Chambers

From: The Amsterdam Chamber

Date: 1602

Subject: All for one and one for all!

Many of you have complained that the monogram is too simple. You wanted the V to carry more weight than the O and C that already hang on to its lines. But think of the monogram like a trading ship — it will sink with too much cargo.

Our monogram will appear everywhere: porcelain, coins, bags of spices, flags, buildings, and wherever else we can make our mark. If we want the company to have such a versatile, global reach, simplicity is essential.

Let us remind you of what’s at stake here. We’re building an empire. Though we’re only sending our first ships out to the East, and the possibility of failure is quite high, we have to think about the reputation of what we want to build in the future. The company represents the Dutch Republic. It needs a monogram that conveys a strong brand identity recognizable to foreigners and locals alike.

There’s no way we can fit the interests of six different chambers into one impression. We propose that each chamber add its own initials above or below the VOC monogram. That way, our brand identity stays consistent but flexible.

This is not a discussion, by the way. We contributed half the capital, so you’ll just have to live with it.


To: Every other design studio

From: Hello Kitty

Date: I thought this would be over sooner

Subject: Copy Cat

This is what I see:

Hello, my name is…

Hi there, it’s nice to meet you…

Hola, I’m a web designer and developer.

But it all becomes this:


I get it. You want to be chatty and welcoming, like you’re talking with the client at a coffee shop.

If you’re cute, like me, you can get away with it. And by cute I mean pink dress and red bow kind of cute. When I wave my paw and say hello, I move billions of dollars each year. Not bad for a 36-year-old cat.

When you say hello, all I see is lack of creativity. Just putting “hello” on your home page in big, fancy letters does not impress anyone. As my fans would say: not cute.


To: Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art

From: The Bowerbird

Date: spring 2014

Subject: MoMA Submission

I’m really just a bird, not a street artist with an identity crisis. MoMA doesn’t offer admission to my kind yet, but I have had the pleasure of looking through your glass walls through the garden.

I am writing to introduce the methods, materials, and philosophy behind my installations. My work has its roots in the early readymades of Duchamp and Schwitters, but aligns itself more with the Conceptual movement of the ‘60s, particularly the Land art of Robert Smithson and Walter de Maria. Like them, I believe that art should be an intense, immersive experience that allows the viewer to question his relationship to the natural world.

I specialize in the avenue bower structure, a vertical arrangement of sticks that frames an empty path down the middle. I surround the avenue with found objects, locally and internationally sourced, such as berries, shells, bones. My early work is quite colorful, but lately I have been focused exclusively on monochromes. The tension between the empty space I create within the chaos of the wilderness and the found objects prompts viewers to reconsider their own perceptions of stillness within a consumer-driven culture.

Please let me know if you are interested in including my work in any future exhibitions. I look forward to hearing from you. To view more of my portfolio, please click here.

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