The Creative Independent’s logo is a spiral. We like spirals because they’re about circling back to a core idea over time, something all creative people must do. As Julia Cameron puts it in The Artist’s Way, “You will circle through some of the issues over and over, each time at a different level. There is no such thing as being done with an artistic life. Frustrations and rewards exist at all levels on the path. Our aim here is to find the trail, establish our footing, and begin the climb.”
While the TCI logo is a spiral, our mascot is a snail. We like snails because of their spiral-shaped shells, and because they excrete slime. The slime helps a snail glide over abrasive terrain, and also creates a map of the snail’s path through time. Tracing a snail’s trail makes us wonder, Where is the snail now? And where was it going in the first place? While visiting our site, you may happen upon a snail (or two, or three), moving slowly and curiously. If you see one, say hi.
The lichen in our logo, drawn by Merritt student Mary Ann King, is the mottled tube lichen, Hypogymnia inactiva. But why choose a lichen as our ambassador when a pretty flower or cute animal would be the obvious choice? Two reasons:
1) It is a life form that consists of two or three organisms living together symbiotically (a fungus, alga, and bacterium), which represents the interdepartmental nature of the NHS program, a collaboration between the departments of Biology, Environmental Management and Technology, and Landscape Horticulture.
2) It is an underrepresented and underappreciated organism, symbolic of the people of color who have historically been underrepresented in environmental science but who are now are at the program’s core.
And why the slogan “Be Curious” underneath? If you Google the definition of “curious,” the first meaning that pops up is: “Eager to learn or know something,” a quality we prize in all of our students. But it’s the second meaning that we like even better: “Strange; unusual.” Not only does that apply to the lichen itself, but it also speaks to our desire for students to be intellectual risk takers and to embrace thinking different. Our advice to students is echoed in the advice that newspaper editor Gene Roberts once gave his writers: “Zig when everyone else zags.”
The association of pine, bamboo, and plum is a recurring motif in Asian cultures. Because of their ability to survive the harsh winter months, these plants symbolize strength in the face of adversity. In Chinese and Japanese art and literature, the trio is collectively known as the "Three Friends of Winter".
Introduced in 1948, the Sho-Chiku-Bai logo was also developed under the direction of Keisaburo Koda. The red plum's five petal flower serves as the main body of the logo on which the green bamboo and stylized pine are overlaid. Central to the logo is the white Kagami Mochi. A traditional New Year’s decoration appearing in private and public settings, it is composed of two sweet rice "cakes", differing in size and stacked one atop the other.
The legend of the Three Sacred Treasures has ancient roots in Japanese creation mythology. The eight-sided mirror (pink "shield" in our logo) symbolizes self-reflection and the heavenly sword represents strength and sharpness in knowledge and decision. Comma shaped jewels express dual meanings of amiability on the spiritual level and prosperity on the secular.
Based upon this legend, Keisaburo Koda designed the Kokuho Rose logo honoring his family's cultural heritage incorporating cultural motifs Japanese Americans (of his relative generation) could readily identify. In the center of the pink "mirror", Keisaburo superimposed Kanji characters of "Kokuho" ("treasure of the Country"). The word “Rose” was arbitrarily added, being in fashion with current branding of other domestic rice and grain products.
In continuous use since 1962, Kokuho Rose is the trademark and property of Koda Farms, which alone produces the pure and proprietary strain of this rice. Historically farmed in very limited quantities, permission was granted to Nomura and Co., Inc. to utilize this trademark on their own variety of rice (essentially a "modern descendent" of our heirloom Kokuho Rose) which they produce in northern California. To this day, two versions of Kokuho Rose co-exist in the marketplace.
The clam garden network (CGN) logo represents the relationship between clams, tides, connection, and time that are central to the way that clam gardens capture hearts, minds, and imaginations. The image is in Coast Salish design, built from trigons, ovals, and crescents. The black crescent portrays a butter clam that opens and closes at the oval hinge. The oval also depicts a rock, the foundational material of the low tide walls that characterize clam gardens and distinguish them from other important shellfish beaches. The blue trigon represents the ocean, nearshore waves, and lunar tides that rhythmically and cyclically pass over the rock wall delivering nutrients and exposing the beach for care and harvest. The grey crescent shows the growth rings of the clams - references to the role of clam gardens in connecting ancestral practices from deep time to hopeful investments in the future prosperity of our beaches, our gardens, and our communities.
... community is something different: a group of people interconnected, interrelated, respecting one another's place within a shared landscape. - Terry Tempest Williams