blue sea and blue sky thinking

by Vivien Mitchell February 05, 2019

blue sea and blue sky thinking

Sharing the story of Solar Bare's first steps - journal from 2015 below.

It’s a big day today, but then again every day seems to be pretty big at the moment. I’m sitting on the bus, heading up to Sydney to meet the digital printer. It’s pretty hard to discount the significance of this meeting , because this is moving blue sea from a concept to a reality. It’s kind of like having a pencil sketch and then adding the full colour. Development of the prints is a critical step, these prints are going to breathe life into blue sea. The great thing about taking the bus to Sydney is that is frees up to 3 hours of your time to work and think.

I’m briefing my girlfriend on blue sea and how it’s time to be a magician and a mathematician in order to get things done on time.

We head out to the digital printer in Alexandria, with a huge industrial street front that looks imposing and serious.  It’s kind of confusing, because when we walk inside, we’re in the foyer with huge swimwear posters for a prominent swimwear label.  Something feels wrong, but I can’t work it out. I’m feeling nervous. The penny doesn’t drop for me, but it does for my friend. This is a swimwear manufacturer. She’s getting uneasy, too, and then it dawns on me…..I’ve unwittingly sent my design files…the entire IP and range of blue sea, to an established big business.  We’re feeling out played and out of depth, and there’s a strong sense to walk out.  But we decide to be honest about my concerns and see what happens.  So, after a long conversation, we have a personal tour with the owner (who knows his stuff, big time) and the company ethos is amazing. After projecting the design files on a wall and building a good rapport, it’s clear that this company will support blue sea. They are champions of design and manufacturing and want to boost start-up enterprises. I’m confident blue sea couldn’t be in better printer hands.

Outside, my girlfriend tells me a favourite family anecdote. Her dad was a renowned industrial designer. Apparently he always told his girls (both designers) to align with bigger, brighter creative business.  It’s a timely story and even though she didn’t use animals to represent keys players like in a fable, it simply meant that in order to grow, sometimes you have to be brave and trust a potential competitor.  If she did use animals, I was the lamb and the digital printer was the fox for sure.

2019: It’s strange writing about this particular stage in the develop of the designs, because at the time, I was planning to use the name blue sea.  Another girlfriend (who has an amazing knack of understanding exactly what concept I hold in my head) designed the logo from my creative brief. I had a very clear vision about how, once it became a household name, it could be easily recognisable by the logo mark, much like the Nike swoosh.

Funny how we have dreams like that, “when it becomes a household name”.  It didn’t even feel like a reach at the time.  It just made a whole lot of creative sense and was something to go for.

blue sea logo designed by Jo Hoadley <3




Vivien Mitchell
Vivien Mitchell

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