Friday, 4 February 2011


MYPC has a logo. We are excited.  I have printed it out and put it next to my desk. I look at it often and want to hold it aloft outside the office window, screaming ‘We have a logo!’ to see who says ‘Ooooooooo…’

Chris, with her natural genius for attracting hugely gifted people willing to offer their services in support of Our Mission, found Reham Johnson the way you discover the winning lottery ticket in the pocket of your spring coat while looking for your car keys - almost by accident but with ear-splittingly joyous results (see above re: screaming).

Reham had been a throbbing talent, standing next to Chris in the school queue for years. As she wasn’t actually wearing a Green Hornet costume, Chris may be forgiven for not recognising her super-heroic status. Picking up their kids one afternoon, Chris mentioned MYPC and our passion to create diverse and complex roles for women over 35.  

Reham lit up (not literally –she’s not REALLY the Green Hornet) (does the Green Hornet light up?).

‘Can I help?' she said. 'I’d love to help. If you have anything you’d like me to do to help, let me know. I can help.’

I don’t know if she’d been watching television, flipping through channels and saying ‘Where are the women over 35, why is there no woman over 35, can’t they find any women over 35?’ – but her spirited enthusiasm lingered with Chris.

We were, at that point, working with the wonderful designer who had created our poster for SIRENS :

He is also wildly gifted and was offering himself in support of Our Mission. Actually, that’s poppycock, he’s Christine’s husband and was offering himself in support of other rewards, altogether.  But don’t linger on that image, come with me, back to the pursuit of a logo.

I said don’t linger.

You’re lingering.

Shall I just make myself a cup of tea while you – no? You’re back? Lovely.

So Chris and I looked for images and typography that expressed the feel we wanted for the company (her husband is very handsome) (sorry, dreadfully sorry) (liiiiingering).

Most of my research was spent on cereal boxes as we seemed to have these meetings first thing in the morning, i.e. 10:35.

‘I don’t want whacky,’ Chris said. ‘Nothing whacky.’

‘What are you saying?’ I asked, taking off my black, plastic glasses with attached fake eyeballs on six-inch springs while I studied a box of Shreddies. Even without my novelty eye-wear, I could see the Shreddies image was perhaps slightly too brown. Too square.

‘I want stylish, professional. We want to be taken seriously.’

‘We’re not selling arms,’ I said. ‘They have serious typography.’

I glanced up to see if Lockheed Martin had branched out into cereals. The only contender was Scots Porage Oats, featuring that glorious hunk of Caledonian beauty brandishing his little lead baseball, but you could tell he lacked the accuracy of a long-range anti-ship missile. Not an LM product.

‘We’re somewhere between Shreddies and artillery,’ I suggested.

She put forward images of classic Grecian beauty, I liked pictures of Ronald McDonald. She expressed interest in the clean lines of Corbusier – I was attracted to Disney.  Those dogs! Those cats! Those fairies! She looked up, fighting despair.

‘This is never going to work.’

Although doubtless you can tell that Chris was exhibiting the more sophisticated taste, with a more informed eye and more natural feel for the task, I am a person more convinced that All Shall Be Well, regardless of the obstacle. Even if the obstacle is me.

‘All shall be well,’ I said, in my best Julian of Norwich tone.

She gazed at my pictures of Princess Aurora and The Little Mermaid – you’ve gotta love that sea-shell bra - and nodded. I think she nodded. It might have been the tremor of shock.

When Christine's husband launched a career change and was invisible for the better part of two months behind a stack of books with chapters headed  'Asymptotic notation in equations and inequalities' and 'Transitive closure of a directed graph' (he's studying computer science) (I know, I know, handsome and brilliant), we cast about for someone still designing and more - visible.

‘Reham!’ Chris shouted at the crack of dawn (9:45) during our weekly meeting. ‘Let’s ask Reham!’

‘Give me three words to describe your company,’ Reham told Chris within moments of accepting the job and over the heads of boys thrusting sticks into each other’s ears to see if they could retrieve enough wax to create explosives that would propel motorised-Lego cars across most of the postal code. ‘I will present you with six to eight options, you respond, I’ll give you another half-dozen.’

Chris and I met to brainstorm ideas.

‘Fluffy!’ I said.

‘Polished,’ Chris said.

‘Pink!’ I shouted.

‘Corporate,’ Chris intoned.

We were breathing heavily, gun-slingers exchanging words like bullets across the OK Corral.

‘There has to be a middle ground,’ Chris said, slowly. And I knew she was right. Something that combined her Apollonian elegance and my Dionysian exuberance. That didn’t involve cereal or rocket systems.

We sweated. We poured. We worked.

‘Vital’ I said.

‘Lust’ Chris suggested . ‘Not just sex, but hunger, passion..’

‘A lust for life.’


We were getting somewhere.

‘Humane’ I proposed.

‘Heart’ Chris said.

‘Hilarious.’ Obviously.

‘Urban,’ Chris shrugged.

We narrowed the list down. We sent it to Reham.

We waited.

Two weeks ahead of schedule eight designs showed up in our in-tray.

We giggled and pointed. We hugged ourselves. We found our favourite, made suggestions and within 48 hours another eight, like gleaming little Christmas boxes, pulsed in our downloaded files, ready to open.
We chose separately. We met to discuss.

And were in complete, total and absolute agreement.

So this, dear reader, is us:

I love the worlds of film, television and theatre it evokes, the sprockets doubling as marquee or dressing room lights, and I’m tickled by the retro lettering. ‘Like a 60’s sitcom,’ a friend said. ‘Exactly!’ I said (check out ‘I Dream of Jeannie’). For me it has heart, it’s urban and if those lights aren’t shining with lustful vitality – what is??

Any screaming you hear from windows in W2 is me. I invite you to join the milling throng outside the office, trampling the lawn and flowerbeds as they observe the letterhead, raised high in my triumphant hand, and I think you know your line.

(‘Aaaaaaaahhh’’ is optional.)


  1. I love it and it's not at all fluffy. what a relief.

  2. Great blog too - satisfying and fresh. I was there. Well not LITERALLY obviously, I'm in East Belfast staring out at the...rain, writing a...funding application. But I was there.