This is NOT Working for Me // Dimi Lazarou

What a week! Last week we had quite the storm, lost power and internet and had to reschedule Craig for October 7. Just hold on a few more days and i will get you that amazing content he is ready to share.

This week we are rounding out our European Escapade (well really Oct 7) on Design Recharge. Our good friend Dimi Lazarou is back talking about branding and how it is NOT working for him anymore.

Dimi has a unique spin and has been studying a lot, bringing math and science and lots of analogies into this world of symbols we are creating. It will be a fascinating talk and I hope you will join us live.

AND I am teaching an intro-level class on Affiliate Marketing at ART BIZ JAM (online conference for art professionals who license their work to companies). The conference starts tomorrow and these people are the top in the business when it comes to licensing your art. If you are interested in learning more this is the conference to go to. Phyllis Dobbs has been leading this conference for over 10 years. You will come out with new friends and a ton of knowledge!

Connect with Dimi

[00:00:00] diane gibbs: [00:00:00] Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode 359. I’m really excited to have my friend Dimi back on, and it is a little bit of contentious, but I actually think it’s really good for us to talk about things and not just always accept how a teacher or somebody in a book presented something to us. So Dimi’s going to challenge us a little bit about some of the stuff that, um, Frustrated him as he was learning graphic design, and as he’s continued to [00:00:30] learn, and he’s really, um, gone into this, he has a presentation for us and it’s really about branding and how branding and the whole way we do design.

[00:00:40] And it’s not super clear that maybe it’s too, um, subjective, still.

[00:00:46] Dimi Lazarou: [00:00:46] Yeah, basically like it was a bit of, a bit of a clickbait, uh, you know, the title and all that. It’s, it’s, it’s the, the, the way we approached branding, there has been a major challenge for me. I think this is, this is [00:01:00] what I wanted to touch upon.

[00:01:01] And lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how, how we can make it clearer, simpler, more, tangible, more. Repeatable even, uh, at some point, um, you know, more accurate. So, so

[00:01:13] diane gibbs: [00:01:13] give him just a little bit of your background, just in case somebody new and they don’t know you. Okay. So you’re from

[00:01:18] Dimi Lazarou: [00:01:18] Greece. I’m from Greece originally.

[00:01:20] I’ve been living in London for the last five years. Now. I’ve been a designer since probably around 2008. I started dabbling with [00:01:30] things and I studied, uh, I finished my studies in, in graphic design in 2014. So I’ll, I’ll go. More into, uh, more into detail about this actually as my presentation starts. So I think it can just go.

[00:01:48] I started studying mathematics around 2004 and I had no idea it was going to become a graphic designer at some point. So basically I find this really cool map of mathematics [00:02:00] that, uh, Dominic Waterman I had made. Um, it’s really cool. So. This is, this is easier for me to, to explain. So basically, you know, uh, mathematics sort of started in this golden, a golden spot.

[00:02:16] Yeah. Yeah. And on the left with the purple colors, you have pure mathematics on the right. We have the blue colors, you have applied mathematics. So I was going, um, in my studies, I was going. Northwest as it [00:02:30] went like a, I started working with a number theory and then infinity prime numbers, uh, and eventually, uh, set theory and mathematical logic and, uh, foundations of mathematics.

[00:02:42] So, um, I pretty much focused focused my studies in mathematical logic. What we call propositional calculus. This was, um, this guy was one of my major inspirations. Joel Cantor. And he’s his main contribution to mathematics is, is what we [00:03:00] call logic. The idea that, you know, if I walk towards a cliff, I will fall.

[00:03:05] Like that’s, that’s the main, uh, idea. So quantifying this and putting this into a mathematical notation was his big contribution computers now work just. Um, just this way. The main challenge though, was the fact that while I was there, um, there was this idea that there’s nothing more to be explored in, in that part of the, of the [00:03:30] map.

[00:03:30] Like this was, uh, the end of the world, nothing to see. Well, you know, there are very, very exciting, uh, new stuff in applied mathematics, you know, fairly nerdy. But okay. Things in and chaos theory and other dynamical systems, but where I want you to focus, like everybody in school told me, you know, this has been out of fashion for, for a long time now, so that.

[00:03:56] Made me lose my interest in becoming a [00:04:00] mathematician because that, that felt really, really depressing. So eventually finding out that I didn’t have the stomach to sort of, you know, push myself through the other courses of other fields of mathematics that I wasn’t really interested in, sort of made me think, okay, if I’m not going to pursue this, what.

[00:04:18] What should I be doing? And it was a time where I had started experimenting with Photoshop and illustrator and all the software basically. And I was, I was picking up books and magazines and I [00:04:30] thought, okay, this, this might be worth becoming a career. So I was self-taught for, for most of the time and the main.

[00:04:40] The main problem I had was that the return to the mathematics big bit, because it’s important. So the main challenge that I had as a self-taught person is I knew how to design, but it didn’t know what to design. And that was, that was one of my big problems. So for example, like. I’ve seen many tutorials [00:05:00] on how to design a Christmas card, but most of them go about the steps where, how to design a specific Christmas card in a specific piece of software.

[00:05:09] Like they tell you which grading to use, or, you know, applied blockchain over here, but they don’t really tell you, like, does it, does it have to have a Santa has have to have a snowman? Like what’s, what’s the appropriate thing? Like how can we make this. Work. So I went to design school actually in order to, to solve [00:05:30] this question.

[00:05:31] And I like, you know, after I finished my degree, like I had solved nothing. Most of my professors had this idea. Like, you can include anything you want. Like it. Just a matter of perspective, if you want to make a Christmas card with dinosaurs, like it’s fine. You know, you’ll find a way to make it appropriate.

[00:05:50] I get the sentiment I really do. And in my soul, I can, I can understand why this is, this is a valid proposition, but that [00:06:00] was that’s the challenging me a lot. Like how could I be producing the effects that I wanted? What do you have to do in order to make a dinosaur Christmas card? Like, what are the things that you need to combine?

[00:06:14] So the, the way that it happened, most of the time was they all know when I see it, and this is

[00:06:23] diane gibbs: [00:06:23] totally, and this is what gets us with clients too, right? Well, no, when I see it, so I get the frustration and I’ve [00:06:30] been there, but I also have been on the other side as a teacher, but I’ve never said that. I know.

[00:06:34] Well, when I see it, I also say, Well, you just got to keep trying you’ll know when you see it, when you feel like it’s what it’s right. But I try to make them analyze. And why, why, why asking them, why? Okay. Keep going. I was just wondering. No, no,

[00:06:49] Dimi Lazarou: [00:06:49] that’s really important. Like, even if you say to other people you’ll know when you see.

[00:06:55] Well, that doesn’t make it easier. That doesn’t work much. And since then [00:07:00] I’ve been, I’ve been working on logo design and branding design, and we do the same, like w w we’ll know, when we see it. And I spoke to any people last year about their methods. And most of them do something like this when they, when they have to design something, they start doing sketches until they see it.

[00:07:20] That’s the challenge. So my biggest. Peeve with this is that when I was in uni, this was called experimentation and I’m pretty [00:07:30] sure that many people relate to this word as a former mathematician. The word experimentation is not that like this is trial and error. So experimentation has to be. Proving or disproving a theory that you have, this is why you expect, you know, what you expect from the experiment.

[00:07:52] There’s there is success and failure. There’s no, I’ll know when I see, like you expect something, you, you, you have a hypothesis, you know, [00:08:00] this, this is going to happen. If I do this and then it does it, it confirms or, or not. And you have to change either the parameters they experiment or your model, but experiments bring us closer.

[00:08:12] To the truth. Well, w w with this, this thing we’ve been following, we don’t get clarity afterwards. Like it just happened. If, if it doesn’t happen, I’ll have to make it a thousand times until it happens. But I have no idea why 999 of the times didn’t work. [00:08:30] So it’s always in my mind, like how can we put this in a more concrete plan?

[00:08:37] This is, I see many, I don’t see the comments because I’m sharing my screen. So if something potent comes,

[00:08:44] diane gibbs: [00:08:44] I am I’m I’m, I’m your DJ. I got ya. So totally agrees. It’s one of the worst sentences that could get, and it doesn’t work. I’ll know when I see it. It’s like, you’ll know what it feels like when a bus hit you.

[00:08:58] Yeah, I don’t want a bus to [00:09:00] hit me. Can you tell me the things to do so that I don’t get a bus to hit me or something? Right. So I think that most, most people are, are agreeing with, I mean, nobody’s not agreeing with you and Jose saying ha ha millions of sketches later. And then I was just saying, Hey to people.

[00:09:15] Cause I’d just like to say, Hey, when they come. Yeah,

[00:09:18] Dimi Lazarou: [00:09:18] that’s cool. Uh, so basically that has been bothering me since enough, since I finished my studies in 2014, uh, it’s been six years. I was really puzzled by this and [00:09:30] lots of, lots of approaches. It has allowed me to be slightly more deliberate, like, um, understanding the, the customer, the client, the audience.

[00:09:41] It sort of helps, but even if you have absolute clarity, even if you’re designing for yourself, you’re not really sure you have to explain it. Like when you design your own logo or when, when you do stuff for you, you still have absolute clarity of the market, but. You have no idea how to approach this. [00:10:00] So I’ve started thinking, okay, how do other people solve this problem?

[00:10:05] So I’ve been working lots with, with, uh, food-related businesses lately. And, uh, this connection has allowed me to, to see some things. So when, when you want to make a dessert, Like there are certain, like you’re going to approach it by adding sweet things on it. And there are many sweet things out that, that they look nothing like each other.

[00:10:29] They have, [00:10:30] they don’t have the same texture. They didn’t have the same color. They don’t have the same temperature. They don’t look nothing alike, but there’s something that they have in common is the fact that the street. So when we started. Trying to find out what happens inside them. Like what is the, what they’re actually made of.

[00:10:52] Like chemistry gives us, gave us the answer. Like they all have sugars inside and you can’t really see [00:11:00] sugar inside a strawberry, but there it is there. And basically chemistry allows us to understand that, you know, if, if it has roughly this foam, then it’s going to taste sweet. And this is so exciting, like finding out.

[00:11:15] You know, the, the internal consistency of something, what it is made of can show you kind of can allow you to, um, to understand how to use it. And. Be deliberate. And so chemistry has [00:11:30] allowed us to, to make, um, you know, the periodic table of, you know, the different ingredients at different, uh, different materials can have.

[00:11:39] And now we understand it more and we can actually harness it in creating whole new sorts of stuff. That’s the thing we can be deliberate. So like when, when we find found out about the structure of the atrium, like 200 cl later, we have. [00:12:00] Computers and electricity and information exchange, or when we found out there are specific blood types, things inside your blood that make it to be one way or another, we could start helping people in medicine.

[00:12:15] So I started thinking like, what is a brand made of? Like, what is the ingredients. Does that, you know, a specific brand might have. So. I [00:12:30] have in this case, for example, um, uh, an example brand like Jackson’s pharmacy, um, located in New York. So this is, this is one of the fundamental things like its name. And there’s probably a few decisions that the, the founder has made that are tied to, to the brand.

[00:12:51] So, um, the fact that it is a pharmacy tells us something about it. And the fact that it’s located in New York tells us something about [00:13:00] it. And the fact that, uh, you know, the main language is English tells us something about it. So there are certain things that these can all be provisional, things might change, but the idea is that with the inception of a brand, there are certain ingredients that the founder.

[00:13:16] Yes. What do you mean provisional? Provisional means that they can change. Like they can decide to change the name. They can decide to open a store and, um, you know, Los Angeles, like these are mutable. These are [00:13:30] just so when, when you’re deliberate about starting something, when, when you’re working on something, you, you still have to put some to put some pins on the board, even though like you can change them later.

[00:13:42] That’s that’s provision. So then the founder will probably. Yeah, go to a professional. There will be more choices that they can work together, uh, on like a logo or, you know, signage, or even, even non visual things [00:14:00] like the values or how they treat their customers. Like all of these ideas, all of these things, they are ingredients of a brand and they, they work roughly in an equivalent equivalent ways was funny.

[00:14:12] diane gibbs: [00:14:12] Wait, just a second about customer service and about. Well say customer service. I think there’s actually things that people can do that are agreed upon that make good customer service and that are agreed upon make bad customer service. [00:14:30] And I guess that’s kind of what you’re trying to make us do is it’s some sort of agreed upon things, right?

[00:14:36] Dimi Lazarou: [00:14:36] Well, well, the, the, uh, Agreed upon things are not necessarily universal, first of all. So, um, you know, in Greece and even further East, even more like, um, uh, bargaining is haggling is some sort of necessary form of. Customer service while, you know, there, there are different customs and [00:15:00] ideas. My main, my main point here is that they’re all part of the same whole.

[00:15:06] And as, as you release the brand in the world and it’s handled by people, uh, you can, you can add more things like you can, you can appropriate or absorb, uh, specific, specific things that work with a brand. And you can even sort of disconnect and remove. Things that are not representing the values of the brand.

[00:15:29] Like you [00:15:30] can, if when you change your logo, you’re shedding the old symbolism when you put in the new. So all of these are all this feels to me very much like. A living thing, like, uh, a molecule pretty similar to, to life. And they have like the same, the same capabilities as genes. Like you have inheritance, you can compete for certain things you can change, or you can add more things like these are, these are quite interesting.

[00:15:58] The fact that there are [00:16:00] parallels between the molecules and, and friends. So the question is, what are these. Dots. What are these basic elements of the brands? So, so here I take one and there are, I can, I can really see that if you zoom in there. Even simpler things that actually work in the same way. So if you have a pharmacy items probably going to have a motor icon or a cross [00:16:30] SCOBY green of some sort, like there are range in a specific way.

[00:16:35] Um, uh, it can be a type phase. Like these are all like every single one of these and. Even like you can zoom in indefinitely sort of analyze and analyze and analyze until you have very rudimentary and basic and simple items in there. Like simple things. And so. And trying to understand what these things are.

[00:17:00] [00:16:59] So am I, am I going too fast?

[00:17:02] diane gibbs: [00:17:02] I said that green pharmacy, I think the cross is a European thing. The mortar we use in America, we can have it any color. I don’t think. But like when I went to Italy, there was a whole bunch of green. Yeah.

[00:17:15] Dimi Lazarou: [00:17:15] Oh, we have green crosses in Greece. Like they’re, they’re very. The very prominent.

[00:17:20] diane gibbs: [00:17:20] Chris says in Portland, green crosses our pot shops. So like cannabis.

[00:17:27] Dimi Lazarou: [00:17:27] So it’s not illegal in Europe yet. [00:17:30] So perhaps that’s, that’s a change. Wait,

[00:17:32] diane gibbs: [00:17:32] wait. Michael says green equals that kind of pharmacy. I just thought, okay. Anyway, but we still get it. We get the idea. I just wanted to make sure context again, it has to do with, like you were saying, New York, uh, an English, you know, it may be a different part in New York city and that was not, uh, English.

[00:17:50] Wasn’t the main, I mean, there’s all kinds of things where you, it all has, but this is what we’re talking.

[00:17:55] Dimi Lazarou: [00:17:55] Keep going. So trying to understand what these, the most [00:18:00] fundamental of these things were. I, I came up to these two people, so Anika and some Harris, um, they’re both neuroscientists. They’ve written about consciousness in general.

[00:18:10] Like what happens. To us, to our minds while we’re awake, not our brains, not the chemistry so much, but the, the, the experience that we have, uh, while we’re alive and they found like five things that happen in our consciousness. Uh, so sensory is just everything, [00:18:30] everything that comes in through the sentences, like, uh, what we see, what Ms.

[00:18:33] Smell, what, you know, if we feel hot or cold, um, Tremors or whatever. So memories are things that we can conjure from the past, but it’s, they’re mostly based on sensory experience. So feelings, there are certain things like not feeling hot, for example, is a sensory thing, but you can feel angry or joyful or serene or asleep or whatever.

[00:18:58] Uh, there’s [00:19:00] reasoning. And that’s the most exciting one. Like, um, If I walk towards a cliff, I will fall. Like you can make a mental image of the cliff. You can make a mental image of yourself and you can see what’s going to happen. And we do this all the time. Like we, we go towards the door with the intent of opening the door, sort of visualize it.

[00:19:20] And then fantasy is an extreme form of reasoning where we put. Non-realistic uh, situations in our minds, like [00:19:30] what would happen if I had wings or, you know, things like that. And, um, we can construe scenarios to this and we, this is how we make stories. So all of these are things that happen in our minds at any time I could, the, uh, they happen hundreds and thousands of times every second, you, our minds.

[00:19:50] So. I decided that, that the simplest of these, they just trigger like the simple of the elements that I described before they [00:20:00] just trigger one of these things. And I called these triggers semitones, which is lagging in, in Greek. The word Simio is basically the word for sign. Uh, I’m just using a different word because, uh, English has this convoluted.

[00:20:16] Um, of, you know, assign being, you know, signpost or it can be, it can relate to, to the form of the sign. So I want to be absolutely clear that when I say semi on, I mean the trigger to our [00:20:30] consciousness, then I started finding out, okay, how do we study these things? Like, how do we study the sort of effects that these triggers have to our minds and this already existed?

[00:20:42] Uh, and I hadn’t been taught. Too much semiology in school. But basically, um, it was a discipline that, um, you know, happened to the world about a hundred years ago. A few people started thinking about this. The most important was fading and [00:21:00] dissociate and he’s, he’s a linguist for him. Signs are an extension, an organizing concept of language.

[00:21:07] Uh, so he has this idea that, you know, you have, you have the word dog. And you have the concept dog and they’re related. So the signify is the word and the signified is the concept of it relates to, but still like, this is most of them, the work that we’ve done in linguistics was by him and [00:21:30] he’s his branch of semiotics and it has a big focus on language.

[00:21:35] Um, most of the people related to this linguists and philosophers and the old word books, which is really easy way to spread information. Uh, and I say this because, because there is another branch more, I know I’ll go to it later. So deliberate, like. It didn’t go far as an idea because it was mostly analyzing [00:22:00] how we use language, but I didn’t try to classify it and try to, um, to sort of manipulate, didn’t try to do things with it.

[00:22:12] There’s just, just an idea that all languages follow this sort of pattern. Like they have words, that mean stuff. But there was another person, uh, Charles Sonder pers, uh, who was American. And he, he lived at around the same time and he was, [00:22:30] he was a mathematician and he thought of semiotics. So this is, this is where it gets, where it gets connected to the things I was doing in uni.

[00:22:39] So I showed you this guy that was all about proposition and mathematical logic, and pers had the idea that there is one level above these things. Um, because propositions and logic are reasoning basically. So there is an overlapping thing that has, that contains other forms of communication, more than [00:23:00] reasoning.

[00:23:00] And he called these semiotics and basically the equivalent of, you know, the propositions, the science. So here, I’m probably losing a few people. Do we have any questions? No, not yet,

[00:23:13] diane gibbs: [00:23:13] but they’re saying it’s fascinating. Kevin decided to go to a client call, but he’s going to catch it when it’s, he said it’s fascinating.

[00:23:19] So keep going to me. We’re with you

[00:23:22] Dimi Lazarou: [00:23:22] now. I know that there was something and the far edge of a map and, you know, [00:23:30] mathematicians didn’t really care about this, but as a designer, I find it fascinating so I can see why people would point me academically towards the East. But this far West thing, like this spoke to my soul basically.

[00:23:43] And the cool thing is I could understand it like semiotics as, as a fundamental. Form of communication, like as a fundamental science of communication. And there are other things that, um, pers uh, stipulated that that makes sense, like [00:24:00] nonverbal symbols. So when you see, for example, you know, a dog showing, showing their, the dog’s teeth, like you, you feel scared or even passive communication.

[00:24:10] Like if you, if you hear funder, Far away, you have the sensor image, and then you have a memory that this is funded and that creates things to you as well. And even animals use them. So the problem with this gun, the reason he was fairly, fairly unknown is that he didn’t write any books. He just contributed [00:24:30] in articles, three, four pages at the time Euro at about 10,000 pages that were really spread far apart.

[00:24:37] Nobody cared. Then the war happened. He died. Like there’s all these sorts of reasons. And most of his work was mathematically oriented. So most philosophers and linguists and to be Frank graphic designers, don’t really, they don’t have the background to see how this is valuable to them right here. Right now.

[00:24:58] This guy [00:25:00] actually did the footwork and he, he created the classes, the classes of, uh, of what we’re talking about. And he started taking up, uh, uh, sort of, uh, periodic table of, of science in some form. And there, there is one of his, um, one of the professors now in South Paolo Brazil that has expanded on this idea and he’s made the parodic table of 66 classes of science.

[00:25:27] So. Uh, it actually, th this [00:25:30] idea has legs, but nobody has thought to put it in, in visual design. So now that we know these things, we can, we can start seeing how this can apply to us so we can redefine the brand. As a set of all the semitones connecting to an entity. So this is like, this looks very simplistic and looks very self evident, [00:26:00] but actually I would wager, and this is one of the contentious point.

[00:26:04] Like Martin, you, Maya has a definition for branding that is tied to reputation as brand is, uh, what others think of your brand. And I think that this is well, it’s kind of true, but it doesn’t encompass everything because we’re actually doing branding before we release a brand to the public or [00:26:30] even to the client, like when, when you’re sitting down and you’re putting things together and you’re doing the planning, you’re doing something.

[00:26:37] What you’re building is, is a brand, right? It’s an know it’s an embryo of a brand, but still a brand. So I think that this is a very elegant, clear definition that can stop all the challenging points of, of all these definitions that rely on humans, uh, to, to interpret on [00:27:00] the same time, like branding absorbing, removing, creating, or mutating Samuel, and sort of brand to achieve a specific result.

[00:27:06] So basically, you know, when, when you work on this. Brand, when you work on these symbionts in some way or another, you’re doing branding. This allows us to understand what we’re doing in a more deliberate way. This, this makes us think with stuff. Now, the next steps of this idea, because there are, there are things to be done in semiotics and it [00:27:30] doesn’t have clear answers yet.

[00:27:32] So there are three branches of semiotics right now that they do different things. Um, the first is speculative grammar, which is, we need to find the types. Yeah. We need to map the types of symbols and signs and semitones in culture. Like we need to, we need to finish with the periodic table. We need to understand what we working with.

[00:28:00] [00:27:59] Critical logic is. Understanding and finding the truth of, of these connections. Yes, please.

[00:28:08] diane gibbs: [00:28:08] So can we ever really finish though the periodic table, because we’re always, maybe coming up with new things, so it’s going to be ever growing, but we need to. Build the, the stuff that exists now, I

[00:28:22] Dimi Lazarou: [00:28:22] think the types of things and things are different idea.

[00:28:26] So the first of all is understand the types of [00:28:30] things. Like we’re not really sure. And even if we don’t ever finish, like we know for example, right now in nature, we have 98 elements and we have 118, uh, if, if we include the manmade ones and. Everything from stars to hearts, to, um, you know, to video games, they’re all made of these things and they’re just 118 of them.

[00:28:57] And it’s a very number compared to the [00:29:00] size of the unit. But I see what you’re saying, but we need to classify them and perhaps. Well, at least we have to try, right? Like we have to, we’ll have to try to understand. And in all forms of science, our knowledge is incomplete. But as long as we, we approach it in within an experimental way, And this is where experiments come handy.

[00:29:22] So an experiment might prove or disprove what we’re doing. And if our theory so far is right. So [00:29:30] as long as we try to evolve the model, we’re fine. So the second part is what I’m working on lately, um, is discovering the truth of symbolic representations, basically mapping out and understanding if heat.

[00:29:44] And the sun are actually connected as, as semitones, as, as units of meaning like, uh, or you know, red and the sun and heat or mapping all this is, is also a thing [00:30:00] that we need to do. And the third thing is, uh, speculative rhetoric that the names are not mine. Now from Charleston, the purse is the study of the effects of Samuel Jones.

[00:30:12] To the audience to us, this is, this is actually handled right now by user experience in psychology and people doing these sorts of things. Um, but just because we don’t have a model, we have a very backwards way of, of doing this [00:30:30] research is we do first and we studied the effects rather than. You know, making an assumption and seeing if this is correct.

[00:30:37] Do we have any questions because I, I want to move to show you what I’m doing

[00:30:40] diane gibbs: [00:30:40] with Jose. It’s not a question. Jose says Dimmi I see where you’re going. A definition based on the atoms, that form the brand. Yeah, precisely.

[00:30:51] Dimi Lazarou: [00:30:51] Yeah. That’s exactly.

[00:30:53] diane gibbs: [00:30:53] Paul has something, um, Paul says discreet, now Paul’s a physicist.

[00:30:58] So he, and you get [00:31:00] along well. Yeah, so discreet, I mean, he’s also a book builder. He loves, he’s a designer. People I know you do. Okay. But they might not remember Paul. Anyway, here we go. Discrete units, which are the most fundamental expressions of the brand. I also think about it like James Victoria, you know, he has, um, something that he’s showing, but then he puts something else within.

[00:31:24] Then it has a different communication. It communicates something else because of the two things [00:31:30] combined. I just think that this is really fascinating to me. I don’t know if you guys are liking it, but you could give Demi some thumbs up or tell him over there in the chat. And then I’ll tell him, because this is kind of putting yourself out there.

[00:31:44] Dimi Lazarou: [00:31:44] Oh, yeah. Um, a hundred percent. Like I’m, again, I’m terrified about this. Like, I could be making a fool of myself, but this is, this is where I’m going with it. Uh, I have started working on this whole critical logic thing and started [00:32:00] mapping out. I’ve made this map. Yes, please. Tricia

[00:32:04] diane gibbs: [00:32:04] has a question. So Patricia says, and thank you Patricia, for asking, will you expand on the idea that brand is what others think of your organization?

[00:32:13] So we’re taught to say that that, like it’s a mantra, something designers do not question. Do you have another model? And she says, I’m trying to follow.

[00:32:23] Dimi Lazarou: [00:32:23] Okay. So I need, I need to, this is the question if I have a different, different approach. [00:32:30] So

[00:32:30] diane gibbs: [00:32:30] it’s kinda like, okay, so Marty Neumeier has taught many people that a brand is its reputation, which again, that does it’s one huge thing, but then what are we creating before?

[00:32:40] So if, if it’s a wedding cake, But you’re making it before the wedding. Is it still a wedding cake? Because it’s not at the wedding, I guess. I don’t know if that’s a good example or not, but. I don’t know if that helps Patricia or not.

[00:32:56] Dimi Lazarou: [00:32:56] Is Patricia aware of the definition by Marty? Because if she has never [00:33:00] had of this, this maximum,

[00:33:02] diane gibbs: [00:33:02] I think she is.

[00:33:03] I think she says, um, she says that we’re taught to say that like, it’s a mantra, like, Oh, you brand is what others think of your organization. And so I think that she gets that part and it’s something that designers don’t question, which I get, but then what do you call what we’ve done before? We release it out.

[00:33:22] We’re still calling it branding. We’re still calling it a building a brand, but there is no reputation connected to it. There is no wedding. [00:33:30] The wedding could dissolve. They could not actually get married, but the cake is made. Is it still a wedding cake then? Is it, do you know what I mean? Or is it just a cake now?

[00:33:40] But you were calling in a, what do you know what I mean? Like maybe that’s confusing. So, um, Patricia, she said there is something before. Okay. Keep going.

[00:33:50] Dimi Lazarou: [00:33:50] Okay. So what I’ve been trying to do there is this is a very complex thing, but I’m actually making a map of things that are [00:34:00] connected. So, uh, you can visit this on my website and have a look.

[00:34:05] Basically you can, you can scroll to zoom out and you can see how big this thing is. And this is actually just 10% of my research so far. So if you go in, you can see. Uh, you can click on something and see all of the ideas that are connected with each other. So I base these on, on anthropological cultural, um, uh, semiotics [00:34:30] research books that I find.

[00:34:32] Uh, so I I’ve discussed this with Paul. Actually, this is very anecdotal. Like this is so biased by the sources that I have. Uh, but I, I still think, uh, it needs to be done at least for me. So I, I don’t claim that this is truth, but this is, this is a way for me to map this, to make sense in my journey. And I can expand a little bit on how this works.

[00:34:57] The most important thing with this is [00:35:00] like, these are actually moveable. Like this has physics, like all these wide. Wide lions that you see their work like strings like elastic bands. So basically the further, the more connected two things are the stronger the elastic band and the closer it pulls several things together.

[00:35:22] So my idea is that the stronger ideas are going to clump in the middle because they’re going to be. [00:35:30] More fundamental than the original ones. And this is actually, we can sort of see this happening, like, Oh, come on. Like in, there are, there are certain things like it’s more sparse at the edges as, as you watch this.

[00:35:44] So this, this already sort of gives us an idea it’s becoming so, and unwieldily right now, but you can see certain bright spots in many places. That means that these are. Fire or gold, you know, there are several, several things [00:36:00] that mountain bike, there are more, uh, prevalent as symbol. So this is I’m actually working on expanding this and it’s going to be about 10 times bigger than this or 20 times bigger than this.

[00:36:12] Um, my, my next processes to make it searchable. So it feels sort of like a Wiki PDF for four symbols. So I think this can sort of help us. Be more deliberate when we build brands, because we can have a [00:36:30] visual representation of, of all the things like you will find New York in this, and you will find pharmacy in this and it’s going to be already pre connected with lots, lots of things.

[00:36:42] And there is definitely as humanity expands. And then as we create stuff, there’s going to be more and more things were presented in here. But I just decided to start mapping it out, even though Mike, it’s never going to finish in mine,

[00:36:58] diane gibbs: [00:36:58] you stopped or you [00:37:00] said you decided to start.

[00:37:01] Dimi Lazarou: [00:37:01] No, no, no. I decided to start, even though I know it’s not going to be finished in a thousand years.

[00:37:07] Uh, it’s still, still good to have something rather than just go blind. Uh, so yeah, this is, this is pretty much everything that I’ve done. This is my idea, and this is what I, I have to propose to people. Just sort of start thinking things in a different, a more deliberate approach. And perhaps all of this is bound to [00:37:30] change and even a few months, but, uh, it’s worth.

[00:37:35] diane gibbs: [00:37:35] I’m just trying to write down this map of symbolism so that I can send them to this symbol on, hyphen of hyphen symbolism. And it will be in the chat in underneath. If you’re watching this on YouTube or listening on wherever you get your podcasts. Okay. Um, I don’t know if, uh, [00:38:00] Patricia is clear or not.

[00:38:02] Um, I don’t know if anybody else is, is, has some questions. Um, if anybody does, this is a great time to like to ask, because again, I think I’m really proud of demean just coming, because it can be, um, controversial. Cause it is, you know, it is that the thing that we always hate is that I’ll know it when I see it.

[00:38:24] Right. Um, That we have something that’s basic. So if we have chocolate, we have [00:38:30] flour, we have sugar, we have eggs. There’s lots of things we can make. It depends on how much of those things we put in. It depends on the time what the form they’re cooked in, how they’re cooked, if they’re cooked on a fire, or if they’re cooked in a.

[00:38:46] Microwave. Right. So van says, wait, so I just want to read this. So she says to Patricia, which you guys are about in the same city, just so you know, Demi is proposing a more encompassing definition of brand expanding upon Marty’s point of [00:39:00] view. It’s not simply just what people see and believe that allows reputation, but also the elements that go into branding and the essence of a brand.

[00:39:08] So I also think it has to, to me, it’s, it’s creating these. Units that we can use as designers to make. It’s like, proving it as a case, like a plus B equals C, this is how or two plus two equals four. So it’s kind of creating some, some sort of, um, Maybe this is where I thought about the [00:39:30] agreed upon thing

[00:39:32] Dimi Lazarou: [00:39:32] that I, I want to, I want to stand in here is I’m actually suggesting a definition that definitely fits what Mart is suggesting.

[00:39:41] But the idea is that I’m basing this on the constituent parts rather than reflections and other people’s mirrors. Like, I, I that’s that’s my base is like, understand, like, because reputation [00:40:00] is more things than branding. Like not everything that others think of you as a brand. Like not everything like a brand has to be tied to, um, to an entity.

[00:40:12] If everybody died, there would still be brands like it’s, it’s, um, it’s a definition that allows us to work with it, to do things. But because then that’s my, my biggest problem. Uh, if branding is what others think of you or your [00:40:30] organization. How is this, how can you work with us? Like if they

[00:40:35] diane gibbs: [00:40:35] can’t exist until the people know it, and then how can you do

[00:40:38] Dimi Lazarou: [00:40:38] it?

[00:40:39] Even if it does, like, how do you control this? How do you, right. That’s the thing, but you can, you can be very deliberate. And again, this is a living thing. So the exposure to environment is going to change it in ways that you don’t want to. But if, if, if you rely on. On a [00:41:00] definition that includes the constituent parts and reputation is a construction product.

[00:41:05] If you rely on a definition like this, then you can do stuff like you can prod things and remove things and try to approach like, if, if your brand has a bad reputation, because of something, we can try to remove this, something with, with Marty’s definition, you’re done. If you have a bad reputation,

[00:41:26] diane gibbs: [00:41:26] ah, you can’t change it.

[00:41:28] Dimi Lazarou: [00:41:28] Right. There’s there’s no [00:41:30] actionable things that you can do.

[00:41:32] diane gibbs: [00:41:32] Okay. So Rhonda has a comment. What components to use to create an identity based on a universal concept of symbolism as a physical entity.

[00:41:43] Dimi Lazarou: [00:41:43] Uh, I, I will have to ask for clarification with this, what you mean as a physical entity. Uh, there are certain, certain ideas that I have, uh, I, I wasn’t sure that we would have time for, so I didn’t include in my presentation.

[00:41:58] The idea is that [00:42:00] as people share semitones we have commonality between them, like many of these, like most of these are shared. Uh, so. When we, we say something is universal. That means that a single semio needs to be shared by everybody. And this doesn’t doesn’t really exist, uh, right now. Uh, I don’t know if we’re going towards, I don’t [00:42:30] know if we’re ever going to do this even no matter how connected the culture is.

[00:42:34] So. I’m not really sure like, uh, but we can, we can see as, as you know, The audience being at cost, a constellation of these semitones. And we’re trying to attach our brand to fit the specific place in the world that we wanted to. And this is, this is where it gets, you know, more, even more [00:43:00] deliberate and we’re doing something quite specific.

[00:43:02] We can, we, we need to die. The, the brand to the audience, but basically we need to tie the brand semitones to the audiences seminarians.

[00:43:13] diane gibbs: [00:43:13] Right. And it has to do with culture. You can’t completely, um, just like the green pharmacy, right? Like in America, we don’t really, well, I guess we do in Portland. Uh, it’s the cannabis pharmacy that kind of pharmacy, Michael Banville says from Houston, but [00:43:30] yeah.

[00:43:30] But we don’t, we don’t see that in the same way. So, but because it is very prevalent in, in Europe, the green, um, it’s like our red cross, you know, we have that, but we do use the mortar and, um, PESTEL or that little stick thing that they mash it up with. Um, but we use that when we, it is a symbol or it’s a big R with an X, because that’s the symbol for us, for prescriptions.

[00:43:56] I don’t know if y’all use that. Do you use that? Okay. [00:44:00] Or like, um, the medical, there’s a medical assemble. That’s like a cross, like a longer, like Jesus’ cross with like a snake.

[00:44:07] Dimi Lazarou: [00:44:07] Yes. We have this eventually. And

[00:44:10] diane gibbs: [00:44:10] that’s like medical.

[00:44:12] Dimi Lazarou: [00:44:12] Uh, yeah. So I know this is, this is also pharmacy, like for us, uh, red cross is a hospital and green cross is a pharmacy.

[00:44:20] So when, where are you when you’re in the street, you look around and see the, um, you know, they’re usually lit. So the idea is that you can spot it. You know, when you’re driving a [00:44:30] car and you have an emergency, you can, uh, you can see

[00:44:33] diane gibbs: [00:44:33] people with colorblindness that would not be helpful. Those two colors are absent on the color wheel, or at least the green and the pharmacy in Italy was like opposite.

[00:44:42] Like Christmas green. Um, doc says he learned yesterday that American, like this AOK would be terrible. It doesn’t mean don’t do that. He says they hadn’t signed in Greece.

[00:44:58] Dimi Lazarou: [00:44:58] Well, I, it might be really [00:45:00] niche if I I’ve never seen it. Uh, and I’ve lived in Graceville twin seven years. So it’s probably be very niche if it exists.

[00:45:09] I don’t know. It could be a specific part of Brisbane, but

[00:45:12] diane gibbs: [00:45:12] it, but it’s the way, but you have, you can’t just take a brand. Um, and think that it’s going to be the same in another culture. You have to actually understand the culture before you put a brand in no matter what that culture, however, niche it is.

[00:45:25] Right, right. You can’t completely X out the culture.

[00:45:30] [00:45:30] Dimi Lazarou: [00:45:30] Right. It has to be attached to something that’s part.

[00:45:34] diane gibbs: [00:45:34] Right. But there’s a lot that exists of a brand before it goes out into the world.

[00:45:41] Dimi Lazarou: [00:45:41] I believe so I believe, and this actually, again, it allows us control of, of some source. It allows us to make stuff and break stuff and make poor decisions and bad decisions and

[00:45:55] diane gibbs: [00:45:55] keep making it better.

[00:45:57] And more clear, right? I wrote combining them in a [00:46:00] new way to convey when you say to convey a specific result, but I also thought about conveying a specific communication. So it’s even just like with, and you said this UX user experience, people are doing it. Now we know what a button is, or we know where normally we look in the upper left-hand corner in a website for their logo, and that takes us.

[00:46:23] Back to the homepage. These are again, universally agreed upon, but it doesn’t mean that if you put your [00:46:30] logo in the right hand or in the middle, that you are okay. Anti, whatever. It just means that you are a, um, a disruptor it’s just you’re disrupting. It doesn’t mean that you’re bad. It just means that you’re trying to disrupt the way people are reading things.

[00:46:46] New tights

[00:46:46] Dimi Lazarou: [00:46:46] basically parrot you mutate. You you’ve arrived and you compete. And that’s that’s,

[00:46:53] diane gibbs: [00:46:53] what’s the one right before you said I’ve arrived.

[00:46:57] Dimi Lazarou: [00:46:57] Yes, like [00:47:00] variation,

[00:47:00] diane gibbs: [00:47:00] like, Oh yeah. Yeah. I, you know, I have an American or in the South we say, Mariah, I sound so much better. I dunno.

[00:47:11] Dimi Lazarou: [00:47:11] It’s my English. No, it’s your British.

[00:47:13] No, no, no, no. It’s very, no, no, no. It’s very British as well. It’s just not mine. Well,

[00:47:20] diane gibbs: [00:47:20] anyway, I just didn’t know if I was hearing it wrong. I hear a lot of things wrong. Like some girl last week said she had had it. Auto body experience. And I was like, what? [00:47:30] But she said out of body anyway, Southern draws in this says, yes.

[00:47:34] So Paul says they aren’t universal. They are conventions. Yes. That’s it. Because, but what you’re saying to me is that there are some things. That would be universal.

[00:47:47] Dimi Lazarou: [00:47:47] Universal, universal universality is, is something, um, uh, contentious, uh, I wouldn’t claim it, but I think there. [00:48:00] There are not entirely conventions either.

[00:48:04] So there are, there are certain things, there are certain things that I’ve seen in my experience. And, and now that I’m reading about this, there are certain symbols that are hard-coded to our genes. Like when you see a bee or a wasp, And you associate black and yellow with danger and you know, many mammals students.

[00:48:25] And we have, we have a fear of snakes and the idea [00:48:30] that, you know, when, uh, when we were, um, you know, our ancestors, uh, were, were living, uh, in, in, in the Savannah. The the three most common dangers were snakes, big cats, uh, and, uh, vultures and other bits of praise. So basically. We, we have made the super monster, which is the dragon that has elements of all these [00:49:00] things.

[00:49:00] Like it’s a flying lizard, the mammo thing. So there are certain of these things that are actually hard-coded in our genes. Like if, if you show a cat, a cute, have you seen cats and cucumbers and the way they jump like that, like, Yes.

[00:49:19] diane gibbs: [00:49:19] One of that. Yeah. Like you just put a cucumber behind the cat and they just like, please,

[00:49:25] Dimi Lazarou: [00:49:25] this is for, for them, for the, uh, rudimentary, like, um, [00:49:30] short, short term scan, this is a snake and they’re afraid of it. So there are certain things like they might be not universal. But they’re not conventional either.

[00:49:44] Hm. So, yeah.

[00:49:48] diane gibbs: [00:49:48] Dave said a smile is somewhat universal.

[00:49:52] Dimi Lazarou: [00:49:52] Yes. Yes, definitely. But I, I, I expect that, you know, there are certain, uh, perhaps some, [00:50:00] uh, because it’s a mammal thing, but perhaps we meet aliens tomorrow and you know, they don’t have it or, you know, squid people, uh, crawl out of the, of the ocean or something like.

[00:50:13] Yeah, no, no, no, no. That’s the thing, like we don’t know, like it’s a mammal thing. We know many mammals smart.

[00:50:19] diane gibbs: [00:50:19] So there was, I watched this documentary the other day. I’m really trying to watch some things that I wouldn’t normally watch. And it was called. Um, I can’t remember exactly [00:50:30] my, that my, the octopus, my teacher or my activist, my teacher.

[00:50:34] Anyway, it was fascinating. Y’all should watch it. It’s I think on Netflix. So

[00:50:39] Dimi Lazarou: [00:50:39] for example, birds cannot smile because they have beaks, right? So honey, any intelligence or any communication that happens with birds and, you know, Ravens quite smart, um, And they understand things like that’s the thing, they understand things that that’s what you need to have [00:51:00] noted have this.

[00:51:01] So, you know, universal, no conventional, neither.

[00:51:06] diane gibbs: [00:51:06] Yeah. Andre, I thought about you with this documentary. It was, I think it was, um, it’s somewhere in South Africa and he goes, and nobody thought that a, um, octopus actually really had. Would connect with like a human or have feelings. And the octopus was timid at first, but then like it hugged the man and not like trying to kill it.

[00:51:29] It was a tiny [00:51:30] little octopus. I mean, not itty-bitty tiny, but like, it, it, it, for a year the man had a relationship, but I taught him a lot of things, but he like touched and they embraced in a weird way. And it was just because he was present anyway. It was really, it was really neat, but it was again, It wasn’t what science, no textbooks had said that.

[00:51:53] And the one thing that he saw in the very beginning that. Connected him to want to learn more about this octopus was this octopus turned [00:52:00] itself inside out and had all these shells and he did it as a protection method. Um, and, and he didn’t ever know when he went to all these books, kind of like you’re doing with these math things, like you’re going way back.

[00:52:12] And you went through all this stuff that this man has. Maybe you haven’t ran it all, but all these things that he didn’t write a book and nobody he wasn’t, um, maybe well-received, but it’s the same sort of thing that I love that you’re doing this. You’re pushing. To try and get us to not just accept, but [00:52:30] actually push forward because at some point there wasn’t an Adam and at some point there, we didn’t know it was sugar.

[00:52:36] We just said, this is sweet. This is sweet, right?

[00:52:41] Dimi Lazarou: [00:52:41] Yeah. That’s my point. It’s like, I, I think there’s, we can. It, it might take hundreds of years between, you know, learning about it’s going to feel very intense. It’s going to be like Al Kimmy was the same when, you know, chemistry started by alchemy and this pretty much, you know, just [00:53:00] guessing and trying and trying again and try again.

[00:53:02] It was very. Inconsistent and unclear. And there were lots of biases in there, but if my main point is like, if we try to visualize it from a different standpoint, it won’t hamper our creativity. This is, this is what, um, uh, like we started becoming more and more, um, Experimental or progressive or creative with our architecture.

[00:53:28] When we started learning about [00:53:30] materials, like we can do more stuff now. That’s, that’s my main thing. Like knowing more about this one, take the magic from it. Add new.

[00:53:44] diane gibbs: [00:53:44] Validity, or it helps us prove to clients that this is something that it makes our job easier, especially when we’re, um, and branding, isn’t just making a logo.

[00:53:54] It’s everything it has to do with the type of green we use or the, you know, what we’re putting [00:54:00] with the green. I love the idea about the Christmas card, right? So you have a Christmas card. It, can you make a dinosaur. And a Christmas card together, your teacher said, you’ll figure it out. Right. So there had to be some, but instead wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of things that we could teach and we would know that if we use a hat, right, a Chris, a Santa hat, then that would.

[00:54:24] Um, B, but before our culture understands a red hat with a white rim [00:54:30] and a white bull, uh, ball is for Santa, but I’d say 200 years ago, they would not think that that was,

[00:54:37] Dimi Lazarou: [00:54:37] there was 2000 Christmases before that happened, like 1,900 Christmases before we could. You know, I know the center mask basically.

[00:54:50] Right.

[00:54:51] diane gibbs: [00:54:51] Okay. Well Dimmi thank you. I want to make sure everybody knows how to get in touch with you, which they can do. I don’t know if I’m seeing your website, [00:55:00] right. So can you just say

[00:55:01] Dimi Lazarou: [00:55:01] it? Okay. So it’s www symbol on And similar branding is my handle on Instagram and Facebook. And I would like for, um, as I was building this deck, I was working more and more.

[00:55:20] And if it looks like I have lots to say, say that I just could include for time purposes. So, um, there’s a new newsletter capture and the [00:55:30] bottom of my website, whoever wants to learn more about this, um, I’m going to be making, uh, more stuff about, about this idea and expanding it in, in a much more concise way.

[00:55:41] I’m just. Trying to be mindful of your time. Okay. Well, uh, I have no idea, but just, just give. The, the idea of some sorts. Just, just keep it in mind, just make sure that, you know, uh, when, when [00:56:00] we’re doing stuff we’re more deliberate. That’s, that’s, that’s the only thing, uh, I need right now. And perhaps, you know, if, if I have more to, if I have more to share, I will definitely share and just put by again.

[00:56:13] I

[00:56:13] diane gibbs: [00:56:13] think it was great. Dimmi I think, I hope you feel encouraged. I don’t think, um, I think it’s just. A new way to look at it. And it’s an important way for us to think about how it will make. Um, again, we’re still experimenting. We’re testing. Things are [00:56:30] always change as time goes on in as cultures change, but there may be some things that we can always pull from, because again, just like the B and the mammals.

[00:56:39] So maybe there’s some connections we need to do with, with, um, biology, right? Anyway. I thought it was great. I hope you feel

[00:56:48] Dimi Lazarou: [00:56:48] okay. I had a blast. Yeah. Yeah, no, no, it’s really nice. It’s really nice. It’s always nice to look into your thing.

[00:56:54] diane gibbs: [00:56:54] Well, and lots of people are here and they were interested. So I think you did a great, [00:57:00] a great job.

[00:57:00] So I hope you guys will just encourage Dimmi. I thought it was really fascinating and I’m really glad you, um, stepped up and you, uh, even though you were scared, you did it. So. Yay. So just so you guys know we had a hurricane last week, so we Ms. Craig next week is going to be just me. It’s a rapid recharge.

[00:57:21] And then the week after we will have Craig and then I have one more rapid recharge, I was going to do a series, but now I’ll just mash it into Craig will be my sandwich [00:57:30] inside my two pieces of bread. Hmm, maybe that sound good to be there anyway. We’ll see you. And I’m gonna, um, stop the recording. We’ll see you in a week.

[00:57:39] Hit like, and subscribe. If you, if you liked this.


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