Posts Categorized: Process

Brand Update: Mulletmyth Studio

With all the growth we’ve experienced in the last year, we felt it was time to update our studio brand to reflect that shift. We took a long, honest look at ourselves, and came away with what we believe is a strong new direction for our young agency. 

And so, we’re immensely proud to introduce to you the newest incarnation of Monomyth:

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But why mullets, you ask? The answer is quite simple. 

Branding is about impressions, about real and memorable experiences, and few things in this wide world make such an impression as a perfectly sculpted mullet. 

In the age of the Millennial takeover, we need to keep in mind that businesses succeed when they are true to themselves, when their values are in line with the beliefs of their consumers. We believe our current and future clients value the personality we put into the work we do, the fun-loving relationships we’ve built, and the fact that, when it’s necessary, we can let our hair loose and still get down to business. Thats why we’re convinced the mullet is the hairstyle of true creative professional.

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Mullets are all about excess – louder, bigger, braver. We wanted our new logo to be all of that. And more. So we made it with more. It has more letters. More rule breaks. More guides. More angles. More inconsistencies.

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The mullet has always been the haircut of rebels. Bowie. Swayze. MacGyver. Norris. These names evoke the true nature of power and original thinking. They represent revolutionary shifts in culture. 

Mullets fight convention, drive individuality, give people the opportunity to find their true self. This is what we do for our clients—we create the opportunity for them to express themselves. To discover their inner mullet. 

At Mulletmyth, you’re the business. We’re the party.

Check out our kickin’ new website here.



5 Reasons to Start Writing by Hand

How often are you writing by hand? Do you find yourself typing everything, from text messages and to-do lists, to blog posts?

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If so, you should probably go out and buy a notebook today. And here are some reasons why:

1. Writing by hand gives us the feeling that we are still drafting.

Taking a pen to paper feels more like a sketch than typing does. By being hand-written, whatever you’re working on is inherently unfinished. It may seem counter-intuitive, since writing by hand is physically more permanent than digital words on a screen, but most of us have been trained for the last two decades that handwriting is rough. Since our computers are used primarily for sharing finished products, once our work is digital, it feels more completed. A computer is the venue for a final product, where polished ideas live. If your idea is put into the digital realm prematurely, you may not be inclined to edit it like you would in a notebook. Because it looks finished on the screen, it might not be given the time to be shaped, sculpted into something more advanced.

“Even a scrap of paper and a stub of a pencil are more preferable for philosophizing than typing the same words down, since writing a word out, letter by letter, is a more self-conscious process and one more likely to inspire further revisions and elaborations of that thought.”

2. Writing by hand evokes a rawness, a humanness, that is hard to achieve with typing.

“It’s not just a question of writing a letter: it also involves drawing, acquiring a sense of harmony and balance, with rounded forms. There is an element of dancing when we write, a melody in the message, which adds emotion to the text. After all, that’s why emoticons were invented, to restore a little emotion to text messages.”

Writing by hand is a very personal thing. The pen becomes, in essence, an extension of yourself. If you are trying to empathize, or reveal yourself in a very human way to your readership, writing by hand might give you the voice, the personality you might lose when typing. There is a sense of formality involved with typing, which could be a hinderance to writing something personable. While writing by hand, you might come across a thought that is too informal for typing, but might be the most relatable take on what you’re writing.

Writing by hand is laborious, and that is why typewriters were invented. But I believe that the labor has a virtue, because of its very physicality. For one thing it involves flesh, blood and the thingness of pen and paper, those anchors that remind us that, however thoroughly we lose ourselves in the vortex of our invention, we inhabit a corporeal world.”

3. Writing by hand is limitless.

It is structureless. Writing on a computer is limited by its interface—spacing, font, left-to-right, top-to-bottom. But in a notebook, preferably an unlined notebook, you are free to do what you like. You can write in spirals, landscape, draw little graphs or doodles in the corner, releasing the creativity that a computer, an application, limits.

In fact, we learned that the FitBit had originally started out as a doodle in the corner of a sheet of paper a designer was brainstorming with.

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4. A piece of paper does not have push notifications.

Overall, a piece of paper is less distracting than a computer. You can not get a text or email to your piece of paper. There is no refilled Two Dots life in your notebook.

Your notebook is a place to be loose, free, but focused. It is a place to regurgitate your creative mind, let go, and let it spill out.

Zach Sims, the co-founder of Codecademy, encourages his employees to leave the laptop outside during meetings. He says:

“Paper forces you to be present with the people in the room and your thoughts. When people aren’t messing around, they’re more engaged and finish faster.”

5. Writing by hand helps foster memory.

A study at the University of Washington showed that:

“…printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard are all associated with distinct and separate brain patterns — and each results in a distinct end product. When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas. And brain imaging in the oldest subjects suggested that the connection between writing and idea generation went even further. When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory — and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks.”

So, you remember things better when you write them down. Think back to taking notes in college. Did you do it by hand, or did you have a laptop? How engaged were you with what you were typing or writing down?

We’re not saying everything should be written by hand. Because, well, most people’s handwriting is not legible. However, there is a time and a place for handwriting, when it’s more beneficial than typing, and we encourage you to try it out.



Two Thoughts on Lists

Two thoughts on lists

1. Everyone is talking about the attention span of millennials.

Millennials are talking about the attention span of millennials. Other millennials are tired of hearing those millennials talk about their attention spans.

The listicle is the go-to example of our dwindling focus. Long-form essays and articles have solidified a place in our psyche as more significant than a list, of a higher stature. Meanwhile, the most clicked on content are articles with headlines like “The 10 Things in Your Diet That Might Be Killing You” or “17 Pictures That Will Make You Regret Your Life Decisions.”

But are all listicles the content equivalent of fast food? We don’t think so. Rachel Edidin argues, in her own listicle, that both long-form and listicles have their place on the internet:

“Lists are the survey courses to long-form’s advanced study. A long-form article will take you through one topic in considerable depth; a list, compiled thoughtfully, will skim the surface of a broader body of content, giving you a series of contact points from which to explore further in your own time.”

In fact, we’d argue that as a result of the internet, people are reading more now than they ever have. The internet has made everything so accessible, so easy to get to, that the problem isn’t that we don’t read anymore, it’s that there are too many options to figure out what it is we should read. Between all the ads, embedded links, and related articles, we may not even finish reading one (we probably won’t) before we’re onto the next. Which is fine. There is a stigma against not finishing books, articles, etc, that when you abandon a piece of writing, you are giving up. But the truth is, most content on the internet is not worth reading. A list structure allows the reader to quickly assess if it is worth their time to read further.

Despite our apparent inability, or lack of urgency, to finish reading an article, or listicle, we’re still reading more now than we ever were. According to this Gallup survey, nearly half of Americans surveyed in 2005 were actively reading a book. That is a 24% increase since 1957, the era of New Yorker Writers, Truman Capote, JD Salinger, Graham Greene. We read more now than when Kurt Vonnegut was publishing. They have a few other statistics in the survey that you can look into, but basically: yes, we read more than we ever have. Writing is more accessible than ever before, especially since it is more portable than ever.

So, why are we reading so many lists? Because, for the type of writing we don’t want to savor, lists are the optimal structure. They are quick. They are a glance. They are an opportunity to dive in, or back out.

So, we read lists. Lists are good. We don’t have short attention spans—we have voracious appetites. We read lists to be more productive with our reading. We write lists to convey information in a way that is resourceful, but won’t take a chunk out of someone’s day.

2. We’ve been thinking about what other things we can use lists for, since they’re everybody’s jam right now.

All lists should convey information, but we want to try writing lists that elicit information.

After reading this BrainPickings article about Ray Bradbury’s writing process, we’ve come to the conclusion that making lists is a genius way to seduce an idea, to coax it out of your brain and turn it into something tangible, sculpt-able, something we can work with. Bradbury uses lists as a means of generating ideas, of brainstorming and afterwards, he has something he can analyze, put together, figure out in a jigsaw puzzle sort of way: “I was beginning to see a pattern in the list, in these words that I had simply flung forth on paper, trusting my subconscious to give bread, as it were, to the birds.”

After having read this, and wanting to write a post about lists, we found ourselves facing a blank piece of paper. So, in the footsteps of Bradbury, we made a list.

The list. The items. The things. The thoughts. The contents. The bullets. The connectedness. The to-dos. The have-dones. The will-but-don’t-know-yets. The possibilities. The failures. The ideas. The fledgelings. The twinkles. The collaborations. The scratch-outs. The cross-offs. The little things in the margins. The last check-offs. Chekhov? The repopulation. The next list. The list inside of that list. The taking it all in. The not forgetting anything. The control. The surmount-ability. The mountain of ideas, the list. The small pick hacking away at it all. The sculpting. The shaping. The processing. The finished product.

And you know what happened when we got to the end of it? We flipped over the page and started writing paragraphs. Some of these paragraphs you are reading now in this blog post.

A list doesn’t have to be a to-do. It doesn’t have to be a final product. It can be a brainstorming process. For example, at Monomyth, when we are developing naming concepts for brands, we often keep a list of word associations to get to an idea, one we probably wouldn’t have been able to discover without the process of listing.

A list is a structure we have worked with since we were children, and because of our familiarity with it, we can use it to pull ideas out of our subconscious. The structure means we don’t have to think about how we’re writing something. We just write it. And then we have an idea, and that idea becomes a blog post, a brand, a short film, or, in Bradbury’s case, Fahrenheit 451.

If you want to share an example of a creative list you’ve developed, tweet it to us @monomythstudio. We’d love to know what has worked for you!

P.S.  We found a couple other cool list related things:

The List App is a social media platform created by BJ Novak (from The Office). It is a place where you can subscribe to and read other people’s creative lists, while also writing and sharing your own lists. If you want to make lists, but don’t know where to begin, they offer suggestions like, “Times in My Life I Was Wrong,” “Notes to My Future Self,” or “Best Advice I’ve Ever Received.”

The Done List is a productivity method that focuses on positive reinforcement, rewarding your accomplishments. The idea is that, rather than checking things off a to-do, at the end of the day you add your completed things to a “done list.” You will be more motivated to do your work if you give yourself the time to reflect on your achievements throughout the week.