I designed the logo for this site many years after starting the blog. I wanted a logo that represents and reflects the values I want to promote and explore with this site. I wanted something that was clear and understandable, but also embedded with symbolism of what hunting and conservation mean to me.
I worked with a designer named Doug Huegel who owns and runs a company called Huegel Design Co., based in Pennsylvania. As much as I wanted my logo to represent what I value about hunting and conservation, I also wanted to work with someone and support a designer who I felt supports similar values.
I came across Doug and his work on social media. I had connected with a new not-for-profit organization earlier in the summer called Hunters of Color, who work to increase representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the hunting community. Hunters of Color shared one of Doug’s Instagram photos of him wearing a Hunters of Color “Ally” t-shirt . I looked at some of Doug’s materials and his other work and felt that he also shared the hunting community values I want to promote.
Over the next little while, Doug and I chatted about what I wanted to express with a logo and the components I was hoping to incorporate. He was wonderful to work with and I absolutely recommend that anyone who has a platform inspired by nature reach out to Doug for design work.
The name of the site, Landscapes & Letters, comes from a line in the book The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf. The Invention of Nature is about the naturalist and scientist Alexander von Humboldt and the instrumental he played in shaping how we would later come to understand the field of ecology. The focus on letters is also a reference to the ways that naturalists and scientists exchanged ideas in the past. Historically, there was a lively and vibrant network of letter writing among scientists who traveled all over the world to study and understand nature. Their exchange of correspondence took time and patience, but it underscores the importance of personal connection, discourse, and collaboration in the history of conservation.
I felt that the title Landscapes & Letters represented my overall goal with this project: to explore issues and ideas in conservation through writing.
The typeface we used for the writing in the logo was created by a designer and artist named Tré Seals, who runs a typeface design company called Vocal Type Co. Tré started Vocal Type out of a desire to increase the representation of Black artists in the design industry. He designs typefaces inspired by the lettering in signs and banners used by Black activists during important events and social justice movements.
When a singular perspective dominates an industry, regardless of any advancements in technology, there can (and has been) only one way thinking, teaching, and creating. This lack of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, has led to a lack of diversity in thought, systems (like education), ideas, and, most importantly, creations.Tré Seals, Vocal Type Co.
The typeface you see here is called Marsha. The Marsha typeface was inspired by the life of Marsha P. Johnson, a Black LGBTQ+ activist who was involved in the Stonewall Riots of the 1960s. I wanted to use the Marsha typeface in my logo to emphasize the need for conservation to engage with social justice movements and express my support for the hunting community being inclusive of Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities. Hunting, fishing, and conservation are strengthened by diversity and these activities need to be safe and welcoming places for everyone. It was also important for me that this statement was front and center in my logo.
The quill in the center of the graphics represents the medium of writing that I want to use to explore hunting and conservation. More specifically, it is a Canada goose feather, which were common feathers used in quill pens.
The history of Canada geese in North America followed an unfortunate trajectory shared by many wildlife species. It is a history that is an apt symbol of the broader conservation story on this continent. Canada geese came perilously close to extinction by the early 20th century due to overhunting and habitat destruction. More broadly, many bird species experienced dramatic declines as they were hunted for their feathers, which were used in the fashion industry, specifically in the production of hats. Conservation groups and policies, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty, signed between Canada and the United States in 1916, brought Canada geese and many other migratory bird populations back to sustainable levels.
The Canada goose is a symbol of many important elements of hunting and conservation in North America. Its conservation is governed by a transboundary conservation approach built on cooperation between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Geese are also an embodiment of the range of values held about wildlife in North America. It is a species that is begrudged by some people as pests and celebrated by others as a living symbol of changing seasons. Therefore, geese at once represent the regrettable history we have with wildlife management in North America, the complex relationships people have with wildlife, and the reparations we have had to make over the years to prevent species extinctions. Finally, and importantly, geese are an absolutely exhilarating species to hunt and goose is some of my favourite game meat.
The landscape design contains mountains, trees, and water, which symbolically represent the need for connective conservation between the varied and diverse habitats we hunt. I am interested in conservation across the continent. I have been a member of Ducks Unlimited, the Wild Sheep Foundation, and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, among other hunting and non-hunting conservation organizations. I have never actually seen, let alone hunted, sheep. But I want to support conservation efforts and issues across the range of landscapes and issues in North America because, ultimately, species and issues cross boundaries and affect us even when far removed politically or geographically. We also made the landscape blue to represent Arctic environments, where I worked and lived for many years. Working in Arctic research has been a formative element in my involvement with conservation and I wanted to represent this in the imagery.
I appreciate deeply the work that others are doing in their own industries and lives to contribute to conservation. I wanted to work with different people to design this logo because I think we need collaboration across a range of perspectives and values to make conservation successful.
To that end, the circle that frames the logo is reminiscent of a coffee cup stain. Whether enjoying the warmth of a cup of coffee around a campfire in the woods or in a bustling coffee shop somewhere, it is where many meaningful conversations have started for me.
I hope to share many cups of coffee with many people over the years discussing hunting and conservation.