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Branding 10,000 Lakes
January 3, 2012 3:06 AM   Subscribe

Designer Nicole Meyer intends to create an unique logo for each and one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. The index makes navigation easier.

Minnesota lakes facts | List of lakes in Minnesota | LakeFinder
posted by Foci for Analysis (44 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
The logo for Lake Calhoun should somehow incorporate a dog walker being run down by a rollerblader while a cyclist swears at them for blocking the path.

Oh, and one of them should have just slipped in goose shit.


OK, that might be a little busy.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:30 AM on January 3, 2012 [20 favorites]


My favorite so far – though as far as the name goes, you can sense that by this point the lake-namers were becoming fatigued and had resorted to the "two-dogs-fucking" method of bestowing names. Here is where they just totally gave up.
posted by taz at 4:13 AM on January 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Minnesota & Lakes. LOL! 10,000 mill ponds and mud puddles, more like.
/Michigan rant
posted by Goofyy at 4:17 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a nice logo for TwitterPress Lake.
posted by taz at 4:22 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not sure about this. They're logos, yes, but branding is a lot more complicated than simple iconography. While nicely styled, these logos are more often than not mere literal visual interpretations of the lake name (see Cranberry, Cut, Moose). Logos, yes; branding, I think not.
posted by BorgLove at 4:28 AM on January 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know, a guy could do more than one logo a day--in the winter, eh? Unless a guy would be out der doin' some ice fishing on dem lakes all the time. Come to think about it, a guy could just do all that drinkin' and stay at home doin' them drawin's instead, don't you know.

One thing does bother me, though--who in the hell will ever see the logo for the 9,900 lakes that are out der in de middle of nowhere? Makes a guy wonder about this, huh?
posted by Sparkticus at 4:28 AM on January 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, pretty sure half of them were just automated steps using the following algorithm: 1. find random background, 2. use random font, 3. type name in. Also agree with above, branding is different than just creating a logo.

B- for the effort
posted by Blue_Villain at 4:40 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, if I may, a large number of the lakes would "benefit" from being renamed as part of this "branding" process. I mean seriously, how many of them refer specifically to not just animal species, but dead animal species, and not of the Norwegian Blue kind of dead either.
posted by Blue_Villain at 4:43 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are all the Long Lakes and Eagle Lakes and such going to have the same logo? Because that will save a lot of time.
posted by Flannery Culp at 4:46 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, Bracket Lake would look better if the brackets went around both words. This reminds me of unnecessary quotation marks. Bracket "Lake", if that is your real name...
posted by Flannery Culp at 4:49 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a project with one obvious goal. Establishing a "Nicole Meyer" brand. I'm not buying.
posted by davebush at 4:51 AM on January 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


When designers do projects like this, I'd really like to see them work within hypothetical-but-realistic constraints. Things like "all of these logos must incorporate X element," or "all logos should be easy to print on, and read from, a highway sign." Design is about the customer as much as the designer.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:02 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


They're logos, yes, but branding is a lot more complicated than simple iconography.

I have to agree. Some are not even logos in the sense of easily understood capsule graphic, they're simply variations on typography. Also, I like a lot of the typography a lot, but it also hews really consistently to the retro Old Navy/Restoration Hardware sort of aesthetic and that starts to lack variety.

Now I'm doing the thing of being needlessly critical of someone's work. I could see applications for this - maybe some of these lakes can get postcard or shirt designs from her - but yes, it looks like a project to draw attention to the creator's skills and employability more than a personal artistic challenge.

As I said, some nice designs.
posted by Miko at 5:08 AM on January 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


She should spend a day at every lake to really soak up the unique spirit of each before attempting to design a logo for it. Will check back in a few decades.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:09 AM on January 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


When I was but a little eriko, Grandma and Grandpa would take me up to Minnesota for two weeks of screaming boredom fishing, mainly to give my parents a break.

We always went to Nine Mile or Crooked Lake. Well, it turns out that there are about seven crooked lakes, sigh, but only one Nine Mile. However, surprise, when I get the map of Nine Mile Lake from MinnDNR, what should appear on that same map? [pdf]

Why, one Crooked Lake, apparently right next door. So, that mystery solved by fortunate map sharing.
posted by eriko at 5:26 AM on January 3, 2012


After that effort, she should take a short work-holiday in Finland. (187 888 lakes)
posted by Free word order! at 5:28 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The ratio of perspiration to inspiration here is rather high, IMHO.
posted by kcds at 5:43 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


With a project requiring 10,000 unique imprints, there are bound to be flops and versions that seem obviously phoned-in. But, there are already some quite inventive marks in the collection. I'm quite taken with the effective minimalism of Shallow Lake, for instance.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:00 AM on January 3, 2012


maybe some of these lakes can get postcard or shirt designs from her

Don't worry, she's got it covered. You can buy enlogoed iPhone cases directly from her site.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:19 AM on January 3, 2012


11,842 lakes of 10 acres or more (no not mill ponds or mud puddles), so a little more work to do.

(as far as I can tell MI has about ~6K lakes of comparable size)
posted by edgeways at 6:31 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


edgeways, Michiganders tend to focus on the four Great Lakes that border the state.
posted by Apoch at 6:46 AM on January 3, 2012


Here is where they just totally gave up.

That one needs a matador.
posted by carter at 6:53 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, if I may, a large number of the lakes would "benefit" from being renamed as part of this "branding" process. I mean seriously, how many of them refer specifically to not just animal species, but dead animal species, and not of the Norwegian Blue kind of dead either.
I dunno, if there was a lake were called Triceratops Lake, it would be pretty baller.
posted by delmoi at 7:11 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


10,000 is a big number. Even one minute per logo works out to 167 hours. I have the same feeling I got when Sufjan Stevens said he was going to do an album for each state: that sounds cool, but I think that may take longer than you thought when you were coming up with the idea.
posted by OmieWise at 7:13 AM on January 3, 2012


I await her interpretation of Dead Horse lake, or its nearby cousin, Little Dead Horse lake.

Man, the early white people in Minnesota were awesome.
posted by Think_Long at 7:15 AM on January 3, 2012


Can I just take a moment to complain about the interface? Nobody has done that yet.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:15 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


And once finished with the logos, she can start making little bicycles for the fish.

I kid because I love. The world needs more labors-for-the-heck-of-it.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 7:17 AM on January 3, 2012


Michiganders tend to focus on the four Great Lakes that border the state.

Talk about branding! That portmanteau effort to assert that all five of those lakes are "great." I mean, really? I am deeply fond on Lake Michigan, of course, but it's less a "great lake" and more a "I will kill you if you let your guard down, so why don't you call me 'Great,' OK? lake." Lake Superior is, well, superior, so I suppose that's pretty great. Lake Huron is pretty big and has a definite gravitas, but I've always thought that Ontario and Erie are kind of phoning it in. They are more like "pretty good on most days lakes" in my book....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:17 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Michiganders tend to focus on the four Great Lakes that border the state.

Well they would, wouldn't they, with their sad little 4 digit lake count. It's funny this is the first time I've encountered this Michigan Lake Envy phenomenon after four decades of being a Minnesotan, although I suppose that's often how it goes when you're number one.

Related: Man, fuck Minnesota.
posted by nanojath at 7:31 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lake Shetek represent! (I skinny dipped there!)

I'm still waiting for Upper Hay Lake, Weaver Lake, Mic Mac Lake, and Rice Lake. Chop chop!
posted by baniak at 7:43 AM on January 3, 2012


I once shook my head so hard after a mosquito attack on Dumbbell Lake that my glasses flew off and into the water next to the canoe. I watched them sink slowly into the murk. You can imagine how I felt.




I understand that its name is for its shape, but I shall never forget it as the forever home of my very expensive glasses. Also, we abandoned/lost part of our tent at a campsite there, probably because it was raining and I was blind.

posted by RedEmma at 7:48 AM on January 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


The logos are all full standard Copyright. No Creative Commons. It would be a pain for anyone to use, closed do not use.
posted by stbalbach at 7:50 AM on January 3, 2012


The logo for Lake Calhoun should somehow incorporate a dog walker being run down by a rollerblader while a cyclist swears at them for blocking the path.

Oh, and one of them should have just slipped in goose shit.


Lake Calhoun
is named after John C. Calhoun, former Secretary of War and outspoken defender and advocate of slavery. Couple that theme with the excellent description of Lake Calhoun pedestrian path dynamics above, and damn if that ain't logo GOLD.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:11 AM on January 3, 2012


Lake Calhoun is named after John C. Calhoun, former Secretary of War and outspoken defender and advocate of slavery.

There was an effort last year to rename Lake Calhoun so that Minneapolis' most prominent lake wouldn't have a bunch of yay-slavery baggage. People's reactions to the idea provided a really interesting/depressing civic Roschach test.
posted by COBRA! at 8:40 AM on January 3, 2012


I live really close to Lake Calhoun and had no idea who it was named after--I wouldn't be opposed to renaming it at all under the circumstances (I completely missed any renaming effort) but you'd also be renaming a lot of other stuff by extension and that could be a pain in the ass--roads, businesses, neighborhood associations.
posted by padraigin at 8:44 AM on January 3, 2012


3. The Time We Went Up To Cranberry Lake With Our Cousins, or, Hurrah For The European Settlers!!!, or, Matt Ate A Fish
posted by threeants at 9:22 AM on January 3, 2012


So ... is Lake Harriet named after Harriet Tubman, just to cancel out the Calhoun thing?

If not, can it be? because awesome?

Think I know why Lake of the Isles is called Lake of the Isles
posted by zomg at 9:56 AM on January 3, 2012


Also I wonder how the designer will deal with the fact that there are many lakes with duplicate names (probably half a dozen Caribou Lakes, I'll bet)
posted by zomg at 10:01 AM on January 3, 2012


I also live right next to Lake Calhoun, and TBH I'd still love the lake if they called it Lake Santorum. Which is to say, it's a really nice urban lake no matter what flaming bigot it's named after.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:39 AM on January 3, 2012


From Wikipedia...Lake Harriet is named for Harriet Lovejoy, who lived with her husband Colonel Henry Leavenworth at Fort Snelling. So nothing as cool as Harriet Tubman.

I like where she is going with these. Many of them look like they could be covers of mystery novels.

She has yet to come up with brands for these two lakes. Maybe she's saving up her best ideas for last.
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2012


All I know is that a set of private suites at Target Field where the Twins play is named after the lakes, and they wisely chose to include only those lakes above a given size. Otherwise, given 10000 lakes, they could have named everything after a lake.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:15 PM on January 3, 2012


Reminds me a lot of the printing and materials samples they have at chain copy shops.
posted by tss at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2012


She has yet to come up with brands for these two lakes. Maybe she's saving up her best ideas for last.

It seems that the names of those two lakes also shade the meaning of nearby Jack the Horse Lake.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:45 PM on January 3, 2012


This could have been a really amazing project, but she shot herself in the foot by calling it branding when it's just generic typefaces on top of stock photos of water. That she's selling these from $20-40 on Society6 is the icing on the cake.

"Something Awesome Everyday" projects are hugely popular, but you need to commit to it if you want it to benefit from it. If hours of tweaking and twiddling in Illustrator and Photoshop outputs this quality of work, and this is the kind of work you're comfortable putting your name on, it doesn't say much about you as a designer. Sorry Nicole.
posted by june made him a gemini at 6:09 PM on January 3, 2012


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