Since its first days in 2004, CityLit Project’s work set the tone for collaborating with various institutions, writers, media, and others to create, promote, present, and evaluate its programs. Doing so on a modest budget meant a lot of grassroots initiatives, including the design of the organization’s logo, web site, and promo material...most of which I am reticent to admit was created by your truly.
As a marketer, I knew I wanted to brand most of our programs with the “CityLit” moniker and a second word: CityLit Festival, CityLit Stage, CityLit Teens, CityLit Press, etc. (we even have ideas for CityLit Kids and CityLit Pride programs).
So I used what I had at my disposal (this was back in my childish pre-iMac days), which amounted to a handful of fonts packaged with Word and, dare I say, Publisher. Already flirting with the notion of balance—programs that enlighten and entertain, scholarly or whacky, presenting prose or poetry, for adults or youth—I selected the incredibly edgy-at-the-time Rage Italic and more reserved Tahoma.
Soon, I started noticing Rage Italic in adverts, playbills, vans for extermination companies or floral deliveries. This purloining of Rage Italic, well, enraged me. I’d point at such pilfered examples and scream, “CityLit!” as if I had a cadre of lawyers with handfuls of injunctions to cease and desist their use of CityLit’s font.
I was determined to stick to my guns. Business cards, banners, brochures and a web site were already created with the Rage Italic and Tahoma combo. I raged on with the italic and took strong hold of the Tahoma.
Alas, a nonprofit is bigger than its founder and goodness that’s a good thing. Five years into this project, we agreed some changes were necessary for the organization’s future growth. We went through a dynamic six-month review and evaluation process and adopted a new strategic plan in Fall 2008. That plan, among many things, called for a new logo and new web site. Not just a fancy site that lays claim to CityLit’s little chunk of “the ether,” but one that truly extends our mission to readers and writers while helping all of us nurture the culture of literature.
What you are surfing now and what will emerge as the site develops over time is the culmination of the first stages of that new plan. Enjoy the site and use the site. Come back often as dates, news, and media will change often. Post an event or become part of the Poets and Authors Bureau.
Thank you, Mission Media, for bring me and CityLit into the 21st Century with your city street sign logo and modern, appropriately named Interstate font. Thank you, too, to the Arts and Culture Path and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund for generously supporting the site’s creation. And thanks to everyone—readers, writers, and patrons of the arts—for supporting CityLit Project during its first five years. So much more is to come.
Oh, Rage Italic, how you drove me crazy. Oh-Tahoma, where the words came sweepin’ down the page. I will miss you both.
After five years, we can replace these generic images with real pictures taken at CityLit programs.