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Calyx Design http://calyxdesign.com I work with the smart & quirky to help them express the essence of what they do. Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:48:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.13 TB&O: logo/rebrand http://calyxdesign.com/tbo-logo-rebrand/ Wed, 03 Jul 2013 23:26:35 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1616 TB&O When the namesake of the Santa Cruz commercial photography studio "Thomas Burke & Others" retired, the Others decided it was time for a re-brand. Their logo was already looking dated, and since the studio was moving into cutting-edge digital rendering ... »]]> When the namesake of the Santa Cruz commercial photography studio “Thomas Burke & Others” retired, the Others decided it was time for a re-brand.

Their logo was already looking dated, and since the studio was moving into cutting-edge digital rendering as well as photography, a very new look was called for.

We began by paring the name down to its initials. Then by thinking sleek, modern and cleeeean (and working through many many pages of sketches and comps), I shaped their look into this:

I love it. Strong and simple, light and open, it’s a timeless look that should age beautifully, and suggests “creative studio” without resorting to pixels or camera lens.

A suite of complementary colors, typefaces, and a style guide were developed to help the studio understand and work with their new look. For a certain sort of mind, these detailed reference works are actually pretty fun to do!

The warm secondary golds work perfectly as complementary colors, just dark enough to hold up in typography, but light enough to serve as solid backgrounds as well. And they even evoke sunny Santa Cruz.

The website had recently undergone a nice redesign, so working in the new logo, color scheme, and typefaces went very smoothly too.

There’s more, of course — email newsletter, presentation template, QuickBooks invoicing template, and so on … but this will do for now .

Another logo design, another satisfied client.

client: TB&O
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The Modern Relationship Expert: logo/branding http://calyxdesign.com/the-modern-relationship-expert-logo-branding/ Fri, 28 Jun 2013 03:10:42 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1583 Modern Relationship Expert When my friend Dana recently launched her new relationship coaching practice, I was flattered to be asked to help craft her new brand. It needed to reflect her warm, gregarious personality, to be fun -- but also modern, upscale and professional. »]]>

When my friend Dana recently launched her new relationship coaching practice, I was flattered to be asked to help craft her new brand.

It needed to reflect her warm, gregarious personality, to be fun — but also modern, upscale and professional.

As I worked through various ideas and logo iterations, I realized that one color just wouldn’t be enough for Dana — but a system of three would really spice things up! Green is leading color, and the other two get used for special occasions, with a splash of pink linking all three,

We were able to integrate a piece from another project we’d worked on (that would be Candace), update her look, and hand her a smart phone.

It all came together beautifully — logo, colors, typefaces, Candace, complementary patterns to round out the system — and Dana couldn’t be happier. And we’re both looking forward to extending the brand as her business grows.

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Focusing Resources: CD package design http://calyxdesign.com/focusing-resources-cd-package-design/ Fri, 28 Jun 2013 01:08:06 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1460 Focusing Resources This project dates back a year or two, but it popped back up this week for a couple revisions. As I updated the address and Ann Weiser Cornell's photo, I thought, "hmm, this is actually a nice little package!" And since I do love packaging work, I thought I'd share: »]]> This project dates back a year or two, but it popped back up this week for a couple revisions.

As I updated the address and Ann Weiser Cornell’s photo, I thought, “hmm, this is actually a nice little package!”

And since I do love packaging work, I thought I’d share:

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Simone Seol: website header graphic http://calyxdesign.com/simone-seol-website-header-graphic/ Sat, 22 Jun 2013 23:03:49 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1386 Simone Seol Simone is a certified hypnotist and a life coach -- as she so nicely puts it, "an artist and technician of changing people's minds so they can run their own lives better". A sophisticated header graphic for her brand new website is what she wanted. Something bright but restrained, something ... "wise, but fresh & young". »]]> And then, the amazing New York / Seoul-based Simone Seol sent me a note!

Simone is a certified hypnotist and a life coach — as she so nicely puts it, “an artist and technician of changing people’s minds so they can run their own lives better”.

She’d seen my Astounding Offer, and hoped for a sophisticated header graphic for her new website. Something bright but restrained, something…

“Wise, but fresh & young.”

Yes. Exactly. But it also needed a little touch of magic.

Simone’s reaction?

“I so wish you could have heard me emit a literal 15-second SQUEAL.”

And that’s what is known as “SUCCESS”.

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Mirrorhaven: web header illustration http://calyxdesign.com/mirrorhaven-web-header-illustration/ Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:15:07 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1356 Mirrorhaven A gloriously pink fairy oak, lovingly watching over a darkly forested, twilight landscape. This seemed like the very thing to do -- especially for someone seeking to "make the world more loving, compassionate, sparkly and alive." »]]> A gloriously pink fairy oak, lovingly watching over a darkly forested, twilight landscape.

Yes. Magic.

This seemed like the very thing to do — especially for someone seeking to “make the world more loving, compassionate, sparkly and alive.”

I love it so very much. And thankfully, its new caretaker Rhiannon does too.

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Ratchets Away!: Brand, logo, and website http://calyxdesign.com/ratchets-away-brand-logo-and-website/ Thu, 25 Apr 2013 19:27:55 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1302 Ratchets Away! When Matt Remington Wilson started talking about his vision for a motorcycle repair shop -- a cooperative, DIY motorcycle repair shop (how Portland is that?) -- I knew I'd have to climb on board. »]]> Know what I love? Motorcycles.

Riding them, of course, but wrenching on ’em, too.

So when Matt Remington Wilson started talking about his vision for a DIY motorcycle repair shop — a cooperative, DIY repair shop (how Portland is that?) — I knew I’d have to climb on board.

Matt learned his craft in the military, so a brand that alluded to this fact (as well as to a simpler time, mechanically speaking), was called for. We decided that World War II bomber nose art would be our touchstone.

And thus was born the Ratchets Away “Flying Wrench Girl”:

I love this project for many reasons, but fooling around with hand-lettering (in homage to the DIY art of WW2 bomber crews) and a ’40s-era vibe are near the top of the list.

And the whole thing turned out beautifully.

Note: there’s a Kickstarter project currently underway to raise money to outfit the space. Feel free to throw some cash in the kitty.

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“Astounding Offer” Web Graphics: A Few Choice Results http://calyxdesign.com/astounding-offer-web-graphic-a-few-choice-results/ Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:07:07 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1279 Calyx Design Web Special Looks like today's the day to show off a couple graphics born from my "Astounding Offer" special. Here's the basic concept as I imagined it: the client would send a few parameters via the online form, and I'd give birth to a one-take, drop-dead gorgeous design. »]]> Looks like today’s the day to show off a couple graphics born from my Astounding Offer web header special.

Here’s the basic concept as I imagined it: the client would send a few parameters via the online form, and I’d give birth to a one-take, drop-dead gorgeous design.

It was kind of a nutty experiment on my part, but the results have been Quite Satisfactory … and so I’m extending the offer.

clients: Lots of happy people!
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The Book Roadie: Book Making Poster http://calyxdesign.com/the-book-roadie-book-making-poster/ Mon, 03 Dec 2012 15:42:57 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1106 Book Roadie poster The books are awesome. And the process is complex. And though book making is the kind of old-world process which might suggest a crafty or precious approach, Ealasaid (and by extension her work) rolls with a rock-and-roll aesthetic -- so that's the direction we took for the design: Rough. Unpolished. Strong. »]]> Got an email recently which read as follows:

I want to get a poster-display-thing designed which shows the complex process I use for creating my awesome blank books.

This will make retail shop owners go HOLY BALLS THESE BOOKS ARE AWESOME (AND CHEAP FOR HOW HARD THEY ARE TO MAKE!) and be something I can use as a display, so customers can also be super impressed.

YEAH!

I was in. Obviously.

The books are awesome. And the process is complex. And though book making is the kind of old-world process which might suggest a crafty or precious approach, Ealasaid (and by extension her work) rolls with a rock-and-roll aesthetic — so that’s the direction we took for the design and illustration: Rough. Unpolished. Strong.

The illustrations were technical and challenging, and I learned a TON about how this kind of book is crafted in the process of creating them.

Which is to say I had a blast.

The poster and illustrations turned out beautifully, and will soon be seen in a bookstore near you.

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Chicago Urban Energy: “Wind Speed” Poster http://calyxdesign.com/chicago-urban-energy-wind-speed-poster/ Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:20:39 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1145 Chicago Urban Energy So you want to put a wind turbine on your roof ? That's where Chicago Urban Energy comes in. And even if it wasn't the kind of good-for-the-world heart-of-gold company that I love to support, I'd have jumped at the chance to create a Hatch Show Print styled poster like this. »]]> So you want to put a wind turbine on your roof, but you don’t want to leap into things without knowing whether the wind you’ve got will make the thing work.

That’s where Robert Peplin and Chicago Urban Energy come in — to measure the windspeed and help pick the turbine that’s right for you.

One of their clients suggested that hanging a poster in the windows of various testing sites might be a really useful way to spread the word.

I agreed:

I would LOVE to work on this for you, Robert. Not only do I have some space in my schedule, but you said the magic word: HATCH.

Yes, Hatch. As in “Hatch Show Print” of Nashville Tennessee, a classic of American vernacular folk printing. You know them even if you don’t know them.

» Click for a better look at the cool textures

And I LOVE that style, so even if Chicago Urban Energy wasn’t the kind of green, good-for-the-world, heart-of-gold company that I love to support, I would have jumped at the chance to create this kind of visual homage.

Wood cut typefaces. Letter-press textures. Carefully (if digitally) hand-created ragged edges and organic forms.

A sense of style and a sense of place. So beautiful, and SO MUCH FUN.

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NEST: Brand/logo http://calyxdesign.com/nest-logo/ http://calyxdesign.com/nest-logo/#comments Sun, 25 Nov 2012 14:21:00 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1136 NEST logo Word of mouth is the BEST. That's how Judy Kinney found me when she needed help developing a new identity for the non-profit she heads up: NEST (North East Seattle Together). They needed a mark that was friendly, simple, approachable, and said "community". »]]>

Word of mouth is the BEST. That’s how Judy Kinney found me when she needed help developing a new identity for the non-profit she heads up: NEST (North East Seattle Together). They needed a mark that was friendly, simple, approachable, and said “community”:

It’s a fantastic organization, firmly in the good-for-the-world camp — connecting neighbors, building grass-roots networks, all to help the aging members of the community stay out of “old-folks homes” and in their own. This includes help with transportation, yard work, gardening, computers, pet care and errands, etc.

Wonderful stuff. And I was proud to help.

I always create a wide range of options for brand/logo projects — just for fun, here are a few sketches that didn’t make the cut.

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“Waiting for Pierrot” poster http://calyxdesign.com/waiting-for-pierrot-poster/ Thu, 22 Nov 2012 20:59:58 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=1158 Waiting for Pierrot You may remember the amazing Noel Williams from a poster I did a few years ago for her award-winning one-woman commedia dell'arte show, "Party of One". Noel is back with a brand new project called "Waiting for Pierrot". »]]> Waiting for Pierrot

You may remember the amazing Noel Williams from a poster I did a few years ago for her award-winning one-woman commedia dell’arte show, “Party of One

Noel is back, this time with her partner-in-clowning Allison Latta, in a new project called “Waiting for Pierrot”.

It’s a commedia twist on “Waiting for Godot” (inspired “by lawsuits, gender wars, and Esther Williams”), so we decided to fool around with archetypal images drawn from Beckett’s famous work.

Matt Thulson’s photos were all gorgeous, and of course I picked the one that gave me the most room to have some Typographical Clowning Fun!

Which I did.

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Timbers Army: Ballistic Unit 103 http://calyxdesign.com/timbers-army-ballistic-unit-103/ Wed, 01 Aug 2012 22:00:07 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=917 Ballistic Unit 103 I'm a passionate supporter of the Rose City's football club, the Portland Timbers. I'm a season ticket holder, standing in Section 103 of the Timbers Army. Sections in the Army develop strong individual identities, and ours is no different. »]]> If you know me, you know that I’m a passionate supporter of the Rose City’s football club, the Portland Timbers. I’m a season ticket holder, standing in Section 103 of the Timbers Army (chances are you’ve seen us around).

Sections in the Army develop strong individual identities, and ours is no different.

Ballistic Unit 103

“DIY” is vitally important to the culture of the Timbers Army, so even though I’m passionately opposed to entering design contests, when Ballistic Unit 103 needed a sectional patch, I pitched right in. As it turns out mine was not selected (democracy, dammit!), but I like the designs enough that I just can’t bear not showing you.

Ballistic Unit 103Green and gold are the Timbers’ colors. We were advised that red should be the differentiation from other section identities … and the eleven stars come from our unofficial motto, “We Go To Eleven!”.

And as long as I’m creating this repository for homemade supporters gear, here’s my contribution to the wave of stenciled T-shirts in the section this year. So far.

client Myself and Ballistic Unit 103. RCTID
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Frank Johnson Vineyards: Wine label http://calyxdesign.com/frank-johnson-vineyards-wine-label/ Wed, 01 Aug 2012 16:08:28 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=904 Frank Johnson Vineyards The owner of Roshambo Winery (yes, the Winery of the Roshambus) had an idea for a new line of top-shelf wine - not just to find a new market segment, but as a tribute to her grandfather, Frank Johnson. »]]> Frank Johnson Winery

The owner of Roshambo Winery (yes, the Winery of the Roshambus) had an idea for a new line of top-shelf wine – not just to find a new market segment, but for her grandfather, Frank Johnson.

Frank Johnson planted the enormously successful vineyard that Roshambo Winery would be founded on decades later – and Naomi wanted to honor his memory. His first career was in dental equipment, his second in wine, but Naomi Brilliant’s vivid memories of grandpa in his machine shop are what inspired this graphic tribute.

The “FJ” logo is itself machined, closely fitted, and bracketed by register marks. The background imagery is borrowed from an vintage mechanics manual. And the pipe, arrowhead, and molar icons were all mined from Naomi’s childhood memories of grandpa.

Roshambo Winery evolved into something else before this label could be finished, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it.

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Prohibition Clothing Company: Logo + labels http://calyxdesign.com/prohibition-clothing-company-logo-labels/ Tue, 31 Jul 2012 23:17:49 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=872 Prohibition Clothing Company The email from Corey Miller started like this: "I am currently starting a 20's-30's inspired men's clothing line and I'm in need of a logo and woven label design so I can start making samples." »]]> The email from Corey Miller started like this:

I am currently starting a 20’s-30’s inspired men’s clothing line and I’m in need of a logo and woven label design so I can start making samples.

What I actually heard was “hey, an opportunity to canoodle with vintage typefaces.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

Prohibition Clothing Company

After creating roughly a zillion designs, I came up with the ideal combination of modified period typography. I had to redraw a couple of the letters, but that is what people like me call “fun”.

The elegant logotype that resulted didn’t fully communicate what we were after, though, and I realized that nothing would represent Prohibition era street-style better than a newsie cap. I put on my own illustration cap, and the mark was finished.

Prohibition Clothing Company

We finished up by developing a couple of labels for the clothing samples, a design for cloth packaging tape, and versions of the newsie cap that would work both in outline and solid forms – and Corey was off to the races.

Circumstances prevented us from working together in the next phase of his business, but it appears to be thriving. I’m delighted to have played a part.

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Hiro Boga: Website + logo http://calyxdesign.com/hiro-boga-website-logo/ Tue, 31 Jul 2012 21:08:48 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=849 Hiro Boga Hiro Boga is a business strategist. And an energy alchemist. She knows that you and your business are intimately, inextricably connected at a soul level - and that to grow your business, you must grow yourself. »]]> Hiro Boga is a business strategist. And an energy alchemist. She knows that you and your business are intimately, inextricably connected at a soul level – and that to grow your business, you must grow yourself.

She also happens to be a warm, generous human being with one of the loveliest voices you’ve ever heard, but that may (or may not!) be beside the point.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Hiro for years, and we’ve done a ton of work on a wide variety of web-related jobs. I’ll just share a couple of them here:

Hiro Boga

The logotype – an attempt to capture the soft, nurturing and fundamentally grounded aspect of Hiro herself.

The website – though it has gone through quite a few changes since I first installed it, the essential framework has remained the same: soft, calm, nurturing, and quietly beautiful. I can still feel my blood pressure drop whenever I visit.

Hiro Boga

Deva CardsLet’s see, what else should I show here … how about Hiro’s Deva Cards? Designed by yours truly, programmed by an associate. What these actually are I’ll allow you to discover by clicking on the image.

client Hiro Boga
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Amna Ahmad’s “Pragmatic Hybrid”: Website + blog http://calyxdesign.com/amna-ahmads-pragmatic-hybrid-website-blog/ Mon, 30 Jul 2012 16:12:27 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=818 Pragmatic Hybrid Pragmatic Hybrid: Someone who's chosen to blend the place they've come from with the place they want to be - Creative Strategist Amna Ahmad herself is Exhibit A: »
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Pragmatic Hybrid: Someone who’s chosen to blend the place they’ve come from with the place they want to be – Amna Ahmad herself is Exhibit A:

I’m a hybrid in most of the ways I can measure. I’m Desi, and totally American at the same time. A scientist and an artist, a prizer-of-reason and a simultaneous eye-rolling-but-enthusiastic practitioner of the woo-woo arts.

She is a creative strategist – creative, brilliant, and hard-to-categorize. And she offers creative, brilliant, hard-to-categorize people help in getting their work done and out into the world.

And she asked me to help develop an online visual identity for this new venture.

Among the ideas we tossed around appeared the thought of … RED. And that the site be pragmatic … and feminine. And possibly maybe an elephant, a wise one, perhaps even some sort of … hybrid?

Pragmatic Hybrid

It’s easy to break down what a design means once it’s complete, but it occurs to me that most of the best visual ideas don’t come about in a regimented way … they just pop into my cerebellum, fully formed. Such was the way of the elephant and the tulip tree trunk. (get it? get it?)

And I can barely express how much how much I enjoyed drawing her.

It’s a perfect fit. Wisdom. Botany. Color. Magic.

Pragmatic Hybrid

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Jennifer Louden’s “Virtual Retreat”: Website header http://calyxdesign.com/jennifer-loudens-virtual-retreat-website-header/ Fri, 27 Jul 2012 17:40:45 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=787 Comfort Summit 2010 Jennifer Louden, the world-renowned Comfort Queen, called me with an urgent request. She needed a simple header for her upcoming "Virtual Retreat". »
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Jennifer Louden, the world-renowned Comfort Queen, called me with an urgent request. She needed a simple header for what she described as an upcoming “comfort summit” — an online event packed with inspirational teachers, and thoughtfully designed to act as an oasis of calm in the midst of people’s frantic lives.

Comfort. Quiet. Ease.

Comfort

After a few false starts, an image popped into my head: someone kicked back and relaxing at home, in an environment of pure comfort … not with a cup of tea, but in a teacup.

Illustration magic!

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Western Light: Website + blog http://calyxdesign.com/western-light-website-blog/ Fri, 27 Jul 2012 05:48:31 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=767 Western Light As a native of the great state of Wyoming, capturing the vivid, transitory light of the western landscape has become Walter Hawn's single consuming subject. »
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Walter Hawn has some miles under his belt. Experience. Wisdom. And a deep, resonant voice that sounds like thunder rolling down from the Tetons. Not sure how that helps him take such beautiful photos, but I’m pretty sure it does.

Western Light

And as a native of the great state of Wyoming, capturing the vivid, transitory light of that western landscape has become his single consuming subject.

My job? Come up with a website/blog design that would enhance his work, and create a visual mood that would put the viewer in a Western state of mind at very first glance.

I drew inspiration from classic WPA-era National Park posters of the late twenties-early thirties … and what I arrived at seemed to hit just the right spot.

Western Light

client Walter Hawn

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San Francisco Arts Commission: “Wish You Were Here” http://calyxdesign.com/sfac-wish-you-were-here/ Fri, 27 Jul 2012 01:54:17 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=750 San Francisco Arts Commission / Steve Lambert My brilliant artist friend Steve Lambert collaborated with fellow artist Packard Jennings in a project asking Bay Area architects, urban planners and transportation engineers this question: “What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about budgets, bureaucracy, politics or physics?” »]]> The subject: San Francisco’s urban future.

My brilliant artist friend Steve Lambert collaborated with fellow artist Packard Jennings in a project asking Bay Area architects, urban planners and transportation engineers this question:

“What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about budgets, bureaucracy, politics or physics?”

The result? A series of large format illustrated posters based on those answers, displayed on San Francisco streets: “Wish You Were Here! Postcards From Our Awesome Future

Steve drafted me into creating the glossy, oversized catalog that documented the project and accompanied its formal launch — and I tremendously enjoyed creating the perfect frame for their slyly innovative work.

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Roller Derby logo http://calyxdesign.com/roller-derby-logo/ Sun, 31 Jul 2011 23:29:45 +0000 http://calyxdesign.com/?p=883 Guns N Rollers The Guns N Rollers already have a terrific team logo, but I just thought taking a crack at a re-design would be fun. And it was! »
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I do a fair amount of volunteer design work for my favorite roller derby team, the Rose City Roller’s “Guns N Rollers“. Boom!

Though they already have a terrific team logo, it doesn’t read well at small sizes, and … well, no need for an “and”. Honestly, I just thought taking a crack at a sort of tribute design would be fun. And it was!

Guns N Rollers

Influences poured in from tattoo art, from Oaxacan Dia de los Muertos imagery, and (natch) from the world of rock and roll.

I love the way it turned out (this is just a first tight sketch).

Most of the skaters liked it too – but since the Powers That Be at the league were not overjoyed at the idea of their logo being re-interpreted, let’s just keep this among ourselves.

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