July 21, 2016

The Story of the Tenth Crow

TenthCrowStory_2Perhaps you’re wondering what’s up with our company’s name. Tenth Crow? It’s certainly unique. Why tenth, and why crows? These are good questions – and there’s a good story behind it. But first, let’s start with the nature of rebranding.

As a design and branding agency with 24 years of experience, we know a thing or two about strong brand identities and the importance of keeping a brand fresh, vibrant and relevant over the course of its life, an effort that requires diligence and the hard work of knowing when it’s time to try something new. Not long ago, we decided to take that leap ourselves, embracing a new look and identity that would carry us into a new era with energy and style. From a birds-eye view (pun intended), rebrands are just so much fun, a game of choosing colors, fonts and sassy new taglines, and we love the process of guiding clients along the re-brand path, helping them identify their core values, differentiating factors and brand personality. But doing it for yourself is much more challenging – try getting a room full of inventive, creative people to settle on one single logo design when you have 26 amazing options. Needless to say, we learned a lot about ourselves through the process and emerged unified around our new look and re-enthused about our core mission and values.

After toying with dozens of compelling options, we landed on the name Tenth Crow Creative because it captures who we are: strong and confident, quirky and unexpected. The consonants give it a bold, assured sound, and you don’t often see business names with numbers in them. Plus, our current President’s last name is Crow, which is pretty sweet as far as last names go. Finally, there’s the parable.

The Tenth Crow, according to the Chinese folk tale Ten Red Crows, represents the sun. This fable tells the story of the origin of our sun: back in the beginning of time, ten red crows flew to the stars and filled their plumage with the wisdom, colors, light and brilliance they found there. They flew back to earth, where, all together, they were too bright – the good archer shot nine from the sky, leaving the tenth in his perch on the East Mulberry Tree. Each day he flies around the earth as our sun.

So, there you have it. The Tenth Crow is the great celestial force that give us light and life. While we’re certainly not claiming that role for ourselves, we do love the concept of that bird, feathers rich with the colors, energy and life of the stars, being the bearer of light for all of us. (Plus, there’s an interesting twist there – crows are black, yet according to this fable, they’re prisms of light and color. Are there more to crows that we can’t see? In just the right slant of sunlight, you can glimpse the tiny rainbows in a crow’s plumage. It’s a nice reminder that there’s always more magic than meets the eye.)

In our work as branding, graphic design and marketing experts, we take very seriously the process of shedding light on the innermost part of a brand, because that is usually where the emotionally resonant, compelling, simple and essential elements lie, the ones that set it apart from the crowd and the competition. For the businesses and organizations we work with, we’re that torchbearer, exposing the heart of each brand and bringing it into the light. We’re the tenth crow.