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11
Determinant 11
Right-Brained Thinking:
Come to Think of It
From Chambers Concise Dictionary:
Right-brained: commonly understood as shorthand
for more imaginative, intuitive, or creative than most.
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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding184
This striking new logo for a festival features the
old master. (Design: Justus Oehler, Pentagram)
O
ur societies are unevenly divided between right-brained thinkers and left-
brained thinkers, with the right-brain-dominated distinctly in the minority,
while the left-brain-dominated rationalists run things. This division is both
arbitrary and simplistic; most of the greatest minds in history were gifted
with a balance of cognitive and imaginative powers. However, the phrase
“right-brained thinking” is relevant for my thesis; it literally defines my conviction that it is
our right-brain-centered imaginations that comprise the driving force of all forms of emotion-
al branding. Equally pervasive is the enormous power and influence of commercial persua-
sion branding.
So here is the conundrum. Are professional
commercial persuasion types born or made?
Is it nature or nurture that underpins our
skills? Clearly, it’s a combination of both,
although speaking from my own history—
from childhood on through adolescence—
I didn’t have a clue that I would take up a
career that actually paid good money for
using my imagination. Interestingly, I’ve
learned from talking with fellow creatives
that this is not unusual; the forward prog-
ress of their careers also followed a twisting,
turning path.
All children are invariably asked at some
point, “What do you want to be when you
grow up?” Most kids probably wouldn’t say
they want to be a bus driver or refuse col-
lector or security guard, but life and circum-
stances ultimately lead many to those career
destinations. Not that these aren’t respect-
able jobs; they just aren’t considered dream
jobs. A more likely list would probably
include becoming a fire fighter, an astronaut,
or even a rock star. Children can really only
admire heroes that they can easily compre-
hend and place in the limited universe of
their young minds.
Few ten-year-olds will profess an ambition
to become an investment banker, an ac-
countant, or a lawyer—unless, of course,
they are strongly influenced by family
heritage and motivated by a precocious
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185
This is a very
Mariscal motif
for the series of
Absolut vodka ads
featuring famous
artists. (Design:
Estudio Mariscal)
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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding186
New flexible brand identity program for the famous
New York City Ballet (Design: Paula Scher, Pentagram;
Photo: Jim Brown)
appreciation of the potential earning power
inherent in these professions. Leaving aside
the call of Mammon, for most of us, it took
a while before we recognized the hard facts;
exceptional success in a career, however
long it took before we even picked one,
takes talent, intelligence, determination, and,
most of all, a fair amount of luck.
But how about those budding young pia-
nists, ballet dancers, opera singers, writers,
and poets out there? This creative species
appears to know at a very young age the
path its members want to follow. And theirs
is the kind of talent that needs to be recog-
nized early; to develop it properly requires
consistent, dedicated encouragement from
parents and teachers. But, most important,
would-be performer and artists must ac-
cept the dedication and the discipline of
the years and years of training required to
advance from gifted amateur to the top of
their profession.
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