Discovering a True Identity

Identity is something that a lot of us struggle with.

My own personal identity was shaped around growing up gay and closeted in Montana, and even though I knew who I was, I was afraid of coming out. I feared that I would lose the people who were close to me. I feared that I would have to fit into a predefined box of what a gay person looks, acts and sounds like. I feared entering a workforce where I could be fired for being myself. I didn’t know how to be me.

More than a decade later, I’m out, happily engaged, and co-own a company as a proud, confident gay man. I can look back now and see that my own journey of self-discovery gave me a unique perspective that I bring every day to my work as creative director at Ligature. I’ve come to learn that any identity is about discovering the truth of who you are and who you want to be—and the confidence to live that truth. It’s my queer superpower.

For example, to kick off a visual identity project, our team seeks to uncover and understand the true heart of an organization before we even get into any design. We rely on surveys, interviews, and our Brandstorm workshop to gain perspectives on both internal and external points of view. All of this discovery reveals the brand pillars of an organization—the strength that already exists in a brand and upholds the work being done on a daily basis. Picking up on these nuances of a brand’s core identity, we can begin making design decisions from the head as well as the heart.

A strong identity builds a foundation for more brand recognition with honest and professional appeal. And when a brand looks and feels true to its identity, people take pride in supporting it, growing it, and leading through it.

I’m proud of the brand and process we’ve developed at Ligature. I’m proud of my own identity and how it has shaped my role here leading a team of empaths to design visual identities, balance eye-catching advertising with thoughtful key art, and in digital projects where we constantly think about and go to bat for all users.

From the whole team here at Ligature, happy Pride!