Friday, June 14, 2013
JOHN ANTONIO. LEAVING AN IMPRINT
Human nature gives mankind an instinct to leave something behind, to make a mark on the world. Most of us fail at this completely but some manage to leave an imprint in ways they never expected.
People create buildings that inspire and their legacy lives on in the brick and mortar. Others write books and their ideas and words keep going forward long after their own pen has been stilled. It is rare however that we attach a person to the symbols we take on as part of our own identity.
Most people could not tell you the names of the men and women who created the symbols that make up our lives. That guy who drew the fish in the sand at the early Christian marketing meetings gets no credit whatsoever but what a simple and lasting thing of beauty he created.
John Antonio is a name most people do not know, but he recently passed away. He was a talented designer at the Henderson advertising firm in my hometown of Greenville South Carolina. He was also the man who designed the tiger paw logo for my Alma-matter, Clemson University.
John Antonio's tiger paw logo, now a widely known and copied symbol is held dear to the hearts of many people. They wear it on shirts and hats, they tattoo it on their bodies and paint it on their cars. It is a symbol people wrap part of their identities around. It is a powerful legacy.
The full story of how that design came to fruition can be found at several web sites. http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20130530/NEWS/305300047/Antonio-creator-Clemson-s-paw-logo-dies
I actually had the privilege of interviewing him in 1998 when I was a intern at a local T.V station and I remember being entranced by how he described his craft. listening to him taught me to see the beauty and effort that goes into the simple symbols that are all around us.
This is a nod to all those talented people drawing fish in the sand, and apples on computers. Most of use will never know the names of the people who created them but there is a trail of paw prints all over the world that lead back to a man, his name was John Antonio and he left an imprint.