This truism is fundamental to branding—names elicit emotions such as trust, affection or happiness (Coca-Cola) and awe (Apple). Names like Apple and Pepsi may seem arbitrary, but they are pregnant with suggestion. A name greets the customer before he meets the product, and in the end it is the name that rides off alone into the sunset. So…
Draw a flower, carefully unfurling its petals. Follow the line of its sinuous stem, adding tendrils to its flow, extending and multiplying their curves, sprouting a bud here and a leaf exactly there. Repeat, with loose wrist and elegant variation, and an ornament is born. Surely making and looking at them an innocent even natural, pleasure?
A human being, wrote sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein, should be able to fight, write poetry and die gallantly, among 18 more things. Specialisation, he famously said, is for insects.
You see it everywhere, absolutely everywhere: rough-and-ready brush lettering or something like it. It’s proudly imperfect and knowingly naive. It’s bold and inkily raw; its voice can be raucous and assertive or tremulous and quivering. It’s on posters, packaging, banners and trademarks of food brands and political movements; on literary book covers, at conferences, and perhaps most of all as messages on social media.