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Sticking our beak into the arena

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.

–T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

The silence, we’ve been told, has been deafening.

And not in a good way, like during meditation, but in the disconcerting “The Sound of Silence” way.


For years and years now—and a few more years on top of those—CRANE has been steadily busy doing what we’re supposed to be doing: Helping our clients claim their rightful market position. Establish their institutional voice. Adopt a dynamic visual aesthetic. Grapple with big strategic issues. Achieve internal alignment. And, on the whole, grow as healthy, self-actualized institutions prepared for whatever happens next.

On that front, we’re all systems go.

But. . .

We’ve been equally unbusy establishing our own digital presence. Blogging. Posting. Sharing ideas. Making ourselves a known entity outside the small circles in which we interact face-to-face. And perhaps most importantly, we’ve been unbusy applying to ourselves the same social media advice that we have grown so accustomed to giving our clients.

Hello darkness, indeed.

So, after a few friends politely questioned why they couldn’t follow CRANE online, why, aside from our website, scant evidence of our existence could be found anywhere on the web, we knew it was time.


Actually, we realized that the time had long passed. But we meta-realized now was the time to actually do something about our lack of a social media presence, rather than wax poetic about it and then lose ourselves, once more, to the Siren-song of inertia.

Shakespeare probably put it best: Action is eloquence. So here we go.


CRANE isn’t just a name. It’s a metaphor! We’re full of surprises. So of course our blog name—in the fold—ties into our overall metaphor of transformative brandwork.

  • Start with a piece of origami paper—something that possesses inherent beauty and worth.
  • Apply expertise—fold it in very specific, often difficult ways. But never sacrifice the integrity of the paper by cutting, gluing, decorating, or appliqueing.
  • Release the paper’s full potential. The two-dimensional paper was a beautiful thing. The three-dimensional creation is a fully realized and transformed idea.

Crane origamiThe expertise of origami lies in the artfulness and precision applied in the fold. Mission-driven institutions, like a one-of-a-kind piece of origami paper, already possess all the inherent worth they ever need. By expertly “folding” in precise ways—by applying the metamarketing process—we help reveal the full, three-dimensional potential residing within.

Metaphors aside, we also want to invite anyone interested in education, in marketing and branding, in communication and design and strategy into the fold to learn more along with us.


We’re not going to try to catch up all at once and inundate this page with blogging for the sake of blogging. You can expect monthly blogs from various CRANEs sharing their perspectives on current topics in education and branding, on writing and design, on recently attended conferences, on books and articles we’ve read, on whatever seems interesting and relevant to us and adds value to the lives of our audiences. We’ll sprinkle in some interviews.

Maybe even some pearls of wisdom from our founder, Patti Crane. In between blogs, we’ll be active on Twitter and Facebook, to slake the thirst for CRANE you’re sure to develop shortly after reading this.

Should you choose to follow us, you’ll get some glimpses—fleeting, impressionistic, incomplete, but glimpses nonetheless—into the people behind the CRANE curtain. We’ve got an interesting collection of personalities all doing and making five days a week at the Nest (that’s what we call our office, because, again, the metaphor), and we think we could stand to be slightly less anonymous to our clients, prospects, and peers in the industry. But we’re not going to be too cute about it either and post pictures of the deer grazing on the blackberry bushes behind the office. Well, ok, no promises there. But if we do that, we’ll figure out a way to tie it into something at least tangentially relevant.

"I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless…" - New Yorker Cartoon
Alex Gregory cartoon originally published in The New Yorker on September 12, 2005.


This post is going to be as CRANE-centric and naval-gazey as we get on here. You’ll be hearing from all sorts of CRANEs on this blog, but not so much about CRANE. By us, but not about us. You get the point.

So thanks for your patience. We know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for years for this very occasion, and that very likely you’re right now frantically messaging your friends and loved ones with the triumphant news: CRANE has a blog! Let’s cash in the 401k and head for Vegas! But first, we need to locate the fatted calf!

But seriously, we do look forward to the conversations and connections that will surely come out of this new venture. The deafening silence ends now. Our earnest intent is to fill that space with content that will at least make you think, and sometimes laugh, and sometimes just nod along with us, and other times disagree. We’re so happy to have you along.

Here’s where you can follow us: