Over the last couple of years a number of people have asked me about the origin and significance of the Simple Strength logo. I have to confess, in the first instance I simply wanted a symbol that in some way reflected the concept of Simple Strength. After the fact it is easy to read any number of meanings in to it. I wanted to create something simple and I wanted to avoid imagery that already came with a bunch of misguided meaning attached. Zen as an adjective, Yin Yangs and OM’s abound to the point of being meaningless.
What I can tell you is this. The sumi e itself was one of over eighty that were done in a single afternoon. I sat with a Pentel caligraphy brush pen and started to paint. The first version consisted of two letter “S”, one reversed and over lapping the other. Messy and inchoherent. I then experimented with various shapes and lines, trying to find something that represented movement, that appeared strong without being rigid.
Within a short space of time the first versions of the final logo began to appear. Some done slowly, some done fast. I repeated the same figure over and over until one particular version made itself clear. And I stopped. Simple as that. I had something that made sense to me.
So the final Simple Strength logo is nothing more than a single brush stroke done in a second. The other versions were instantly binned, I didn’t want to go back and compare or second guess. I had what I wanted. It is only after the fact that I realise what it means to me.
I can read all manner of things in to it. It looks a bit like a kettlebell. It is the symbol for infinity. It is an eight, like the eightfold path. It mimics the silk reeling moves of tai chi. I could go on but the end of the day, it is a single brush stroke done in the blink of an eye.
If I did have a thought in mind, it is this…
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” – Albert Einstein