Issue 008 — Building the Cypress Brand: Name

Issue 008 — Building the Cypress Brand: Name

Originally published on Jul 4, 2021

Behind the name 'Cypress'

[kayaking image]

This'll be the last issue of Building the Cypress Brand. If you're catching up, the series also contains stories behind the logo mark [] and the brand colors []. But we'll wrap this one on a more abstract note that's quite close to my heart. It's going to get a bit personal, but hopefully it'll add a bit more sentiment to the print issues that'll follow this one.

The name Cypress is a lot of things: an homage to my home, a symbol of aspiration, and an artist's facade. It's a name that's floated around in my life for quite some time, evidenced by sketch book pages of logos going back through most of my collection. And it's a brand that I hope will evolve and change with me throughout my life.

[kayaking image]

We'll start where I did: Louisiana. Growing up in the gulf south presents plenty of opportunity to fall in love with nature. I grew up about a mile from Lake Martin [], a swamp that's home to one of Louisiana's largest bird sanctuaries. So after spending my childhood years hiking or camping with the Scouts, I could spend weekends in my early adulthood with close friends kayaking among the towering bald cypress trees. There's something incredibly serene about sitting water-level with the grazing egrets and sunbathing alligators.

When I think of home, I think of being immersed in these trees. The swamp is truly one of the few things I miss from home, so 'Cypress' felt like an appropriate way to take a bit of it with me.

[Lone Cypress image]

But while I associate the Spanish moss covered bald cypress with Louisiana, the cypress name applies to a broad family of trees that are incredibly resilient. They can survive anywhere between subtropical, swampy regions to the cold mists of the European coast. The bald cypress can live for over 1,000 years and its sinker logs can be recovered with a gorgeous patina after sitting underwater for hundreds of years. Once rooted, these trees can survive and adapt to just about any condition.

A cypress can be so many things, but I couldn't think of a better symbol of strength, adaptation, and tenacity. And now it's a name-bound aspiration for Cypress to persist.

[studio image]

We aren't solely a print studio. But we aren't quite a design agency either. Cypress' first iteration was a canvas hat shop, and since college I've lost count of how many times it's changed. I think it's just something of a disguise to hide behind as I try my hand at the forms of art that I have no formal experience in. Being a designer gave me this idea that I can't simultaneously solve problems via design and ask broader questions via art. But Cypress gave me the safe excuse to explore what my mom used to jokingly call "that art thing." I finally started calling myself an artist after I sold my first print to someone I'd never met.

To be completely honest, I don't think I'll ever know exactly what Cypress does. But I do know that it'll keep changing through collaborations and new interests. Calling it a 'Design Co.' left it just open ended enough to justify almost any impulse.

[final branded image]

There it is: the whole story behind Cypress' name and brand. My hope with this series is that you'll understand a bit more of the journey, no matter what comes next. But don't worry, you'll get another print announcement very soon.


Stay Golden

[image: Stay Golden]

Louisiana doesn’t stop there. I’ve mentioned before that Cypress Design Co. was partly just an excuse to make rad stuff with my friends.

Mike Cormier is a dear friend from back home. He's the artist behind this ‘Stay Golden’ digital print. When he's not getting tattooed or being an amazing dad, he's sketching out logos, drawing posters, or cooking up our next venture. His posters are perfect examples of our digital prints as he's able to pull off the stuff I wish I could: simple, bold, well colored patterns. Buy his art and give him a follow @dudebrah.

Playing in the studio

Surf Curse

This band's entire discography has literally been on repeat for the last two weeks in the studio. Their perfect surf rock, garage pop blend hits that nostalgic note that makes it feel both like a classic record from your dad's shelf or a group of guys playing in your friend's basement.

I personally lean towards their 2019 single Disco – it's a bit more crunchy and unpolished than their album work, which is what this genre deserves. But truly, just start at the top and let everything play through.


Have always been drawn to the tree. Being from south Louisiana, I grew up with swamps right in my backyard. And it was all to common to hop in a kayak and paddle around the bald cypress trees with spanish moss hanging down to the water. Both fond childhood memories and teenage shennanigans have burned Martin Lake into my mind as home. It's one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the US, and a beautifully overgrown swamp. Quietly paddling through the trees with thousands of the most diverse birds hanging in the branchs above you is like being on another planet. The two working names for a studio were always Cypress and Egret. Partly to call back to my Cajun heritage and partly to capture the quiet, calm, strong majesty of both creatures.


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